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Get Small with Atomic Content to Go Big with Personalized Experiences

By Laurel Erickson | April 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

MarketingContent Marketing and Management

You might remember from your introductory chemistry class that an atom is the basic building block of ordinary matter. Atoms can be joined together to form molecules, which in turn can be joined together in different combinations to form any and all of the items that have matter and take up space in our world.


This concept of building bigger things from different combinations of smaller things is what’s behind an atomic content strategy. Atomic content is the dynamic assembly of smaller content elements. An email, webpage or video experience is pulled together in real time through a combination of data sources, logic, personas and journey maps linked to a library of targeted elements. The goal of atomic content is to create customized, highly relevant experiences.


If you’re familiar with dynamic creative optimization (DCO) currently available through display ad technology, than you’re familiar with the concept. Gartner defines DCO as the use of data, rules and optimization algorithms to dynamically assemble an ad unit (display, audio or video) from templates and creative elements. Dynamic display ads swap out creative elements like images, taglines and calls-to-action to pull together different combinations of elements based on contextual data and optimization algorithms.


Some agencies are helping their clients apply DCO-type personalization to larger experiences outside of digital advertising. RAPP combines the capabilities of its 4D segmentation tool with ADZU, its dynamic creative optimization tool, to deliver dynamic website and mobile experiences in subtle but effective ways — from displaying all images of a product in a user’s chosen color, to applying design elements specifically for introverts versus extroverts.


But the concept of breaking down larger pieces of content into smaller component pieces that can be put together in multiple combinations can also be used to help marketers produce personalized content at scale. Rather than produce six personalized versions of a long-form video, for example, focusing personalization on smaller component pieces of that video can drastically cut down production requirements. The experience of a personalized version of that video is created by pulling together different components in different combinations.

To do this effectively, you need to be smart about how you “slice and dice” larger pieces of content, and about which components you personalize versus which components you reuse in multiple situations. Gartner is here to help. Schedule an inquiry with us, or learn more about atomic content here:

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