You are probably asking yourself by now: “How exactly is this possible?” – In order for you to really understand situationalization and its central assumptions, we first want to shed light on the concept of the situation and thereby prove to you: The current situation, in which a visitor to your digital channels finds himself in, allows many conclusions to be drawn about his specific needs.
In the digital context, the situation of the user (also called user situation) is defined by factors such as his location (city, country or region), the device and browser used, the referrer (the page he came from), the current year or time and weekday of his access as well as the weather. This information is called situational data.
But what does this data have to do with the needs of the user? – The influence of the situation on shopping behavior may not sound intuitive to you at first. But think about your own shopping habits in the supermarket. If you go to the supermarket on a cold day in December at 8 a.m. on a Monday morning, you quickly buy your breakfast and a hot coffee. In July, on the other hand, you’d rather buy a cold Coca Cola or an ice cream. On Friday evenings you might get a bottle of wine and chocolates for your date and at noon on Saturdays you do all your weekly shopping and are possibly more open to browsing for inspiration.
You are always the same person, but in different situations you behave differently and have varying interests. The corresponding usage/user situations can be recorded and made usable in the digital context with the help of situational data: The device and browser used, for example, say something about your personality; time and origin of your access say something about your current needs. The following graphic helps to better understand the method.
This knowledge can be used profitably for the individual optimization of your digital channels: Based on the situational data, digital touchpoints (online shops, apps, news portals, etc.) can be individualized and continuously optimized for each individual user. Based on the current users’ needs, which can be derived from the situational data, different content can be presented to each individual user – individually and situationally relevant. This requires disruptive technologies (e.g. the ODOSCOPE platform) and intelligent real-time analysis methods such as correlation or prescriptive analyses. Only this way, the situational data can be evaluated and made usable at the very moment the page is loaded. This method is called situationalization.