Sitecore is a market leading digital experience platform (DXP) that aims to breaks down silos to help marketers deliver personalized, omnichannel user experiences. In fact, Sitecore was named a Leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms.
Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Sitecore offers the Sitecore Experience Platform — a collection of capabilities built around Sitecore Web Experience Manager, a web content management (WCM) offering, and Sitecore Experience Database (xDB), a single marketing repository for customer interaction data.
As a Sitecore Platinum partner, Arke recognizes the value Sitecore can bring to our clients. It offers excellent products with a broad array of features that can help marketers do their jobs faster and easier.
But not every company maximizes the value of their Sitecore investment. Like any high-end technology investment, you have to take the time to learn how to use it.
As a Sitecore engineer, I enjoy capturing what I learn during the development process and then sharing that knowledge with other developers. So today I’d like to share some real-life experiences with Sitecore’s marketing capabilities.
I’ll offer ideas developers can implement to make life easier for marketers trying to master Sitecore’s robust functionality.
Develop Sitecore Components
1. “Component-ize” Your Pages
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to ensure your pages are properly divided into components. Many of Sitecore’s “out of the box” marketing capabilities require web pages to be broken into components. By component-izing your pages, you help marketers easily use these out-of-the-box features without further developer involvement.
2. Make Sure Your Components Leverage Data Sources
Make sure your components can leverage data sources. Sometimes you don’t want the response of an event to remove the component. Rather, you want it to change the content the component is using.
If a component can leverage data sources and if marketers can create those data sources, then they are capable of performing a lot of marketing activities without additional development work.
Help Marketers Embrace Sitecore
So what can marketers do quickly in Sitecore? They can:
- Create goals
- Enable simple personalization
- Conduct A/B Testing
1. Create Goals
For marketers, creating goals is an important first step. Goals provide a quantifiable mechanism to determine the effectiveness of a Sitecore site
The good news is it’s relatively quick and easy to create goals as well as to attach items to goals. The only required information is the name of the goal and the points associated with it.
Many of the marketing tools Sitecore provides aim to maximize engagement values associated with the point accumulation of goals. These include testing, personalization, reporting, and campaigns.
Goals are extremely important, especially for testing. By assigning goals to an item, the engagement value of a visit to that item on a live site increases by the points associated with that goal.
The following video discusses the importance of goals, how to create them, and how to assign them to an item. Take a look at Sitecore A/B Testing – Part One.
2. Enable Simple Personalization
You can perform a good deal of personalization on Sitecore components without setting up profiling. IP information, item states, item content, and triggered goals are just some of the many categories.
If you know how to use personalization as a result of practicing profiling and pattern mechanisms in Sitecore, then you are ahead of the game. However, if you have not performed this activity, you can watch this four-part series on using profile cards, pattern cards, and the personalization mechanism in Sitecore.
- Understanding Sitecore Profile and Pattern Cards for Personalization
- Creating Sitecore Profile Cards & Profile Keys for Personalization
- Creating Sitecore Pattern Cards for Personalization
- Using Pattern Cards in Sitecore for Personalization
These videos should help you set up personalization on your components, even if profiling is not involved.
3. Conduct A/B Testing
Some testing can be done pretty quickly and effectively in Sitecore. A/B testing is one of the simplest tests. It involves updating one component with two data sources to see which version of the component adds to the optimal use of the site.
How is it measured? Well, with goals of course. Because the proper set-up of goals is so important in testing, the first video in the A/B testing set I authored is on creating goals. The remaining videos, which will be released soon, will focus on setting up, running, and examining A/B testing scenarios in Sitecore.
Click here Sitecore A/B Testing – Part One to watch the first video. Or read the blog, Sitecore 8.X A/B Testing (with Video) – Part One: Focused on Goals.
Atlanta-based Arke develops strategies and implements digital technologies for better brand experience for your customers.