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A Closer Look at Content Recommendation Across Multiple Domains

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I find there’s often confusion around how the Content Recommendation Engine (CRE) functions when clients have the CRE turned on for multiple domains managed under one instance of Web Personalization (RTP).  You can read a product document about this topic here​ and I thought it worth expanding upon this conversation with an example.

Before we jump into that, let’s start by looking at some basic points for RTP tag implementation:

  • You can only have one RTP tag per web page
  • You can have one RTP instance with multiple domains (different tags for different domains)
  • You can manage segments and campaigns per domain within one instance
  • Currently only one Marketo MLM instance can sync with one RTP instance. (It is on the road-map to look at changing this, but currently there are no dates available)

A look at what happens once the Content Recommendation Bar is enabled

Content Discovery is enabled in Account Settings and can be turned on by domain. Read more about that here.

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Content Recommendation can also be turned on by domain. The CRE will discover content, and once content is enabled for recommendation that content will appear on all domain(s) that have the CRE (bar overlay) enabled.

Here’s an imaginary example to show you just what that means - to make it easier to read, I'm going to bullet out the use case to highlight the main points:

  • Let’s pretend you are a food purveyor that has two domains in one RTP instance. On one domain, you promote meat ( and on the other, you promote vegetables (
  • Once the RTP tag is placed on both domains and content discovery is enabled, eligible content will be discovered on both domains (e.g. case studies, white papers, press releases, .pdfs and videos) and HTML content (e.g. articles and blog posts) if Content Patterns have been configured.
  • If the CRE is enabled on one (or both) domains, content that’s enabled for the recommendation engine will show on both sites.
  • This means if you have vegetarians going to the site and if meat related content is CRE enabled they may see meat related recommendations
  • You may want to consider which type of content you recommend – in this case recommending more general content about the history of your business, or how you back sustainable farming, etc. may be the best types of content to enable.

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On the other hand, for clients who are looking to cross- and up-sell, having the ability to easily recommend content for different products, in the case where each product has its own domain, can be ideal!

Are there other options to gain control of what content is being recommended?

Take a look at the enabling the Rich Media Recommendation Engine (RMRE). Unlike the CRE, which is an overlay on your site, the RMRE is embedded on your site. There is a configurable template which allows you to present three types of content at one time - in separate boxes - either vertically or horizontally.  You can even customize the template to make it match your brand guidelines.


Read more about the template here; if you are interested in using the RMRE, simply contact support and they can enable it for you.  Once you have the RMRE up and running you can use categories to show certain content in the template.

What is a Category?

A Content Category will group content for a specific rich media recommendation template.  If you want to recommend only specific content for a Rich Media template, simply add a category for the content and associate that category with the recommendation template. Note that if you leave the category empty you content will appear on all recommendation templates. David Myers wrote about how categories works and provides two use cases here.

Can I block the RTP tag from showing up on certain pages?

Yes; work with your consultant or support and they can walk you through how to make this happen.

How are you making the most of predictive content in your instance?  I’d love to hear all about it.