While Sitecore is a powerful marketing platform tool, it requires some training and experience to make the most of it. That’s why training, working with an experienced partner and committing time to the exploration process are stressed. These factors were the focus of a recent CMS Wire article on Sitecore customer tips.
The important takeaway is that many marketers are only scratching the surface of Sitecore capabilities. With the reality that some common and not so common Sitecore tools are being overlooked or underutilized, here are 3 Sitecore tools that you should be using as part of digital transformations.
Sitecore A/B testing
Although many marketers use A/B/ testing as a means to conversion rate optimization, few get the types of results that they seek. This is because even though A/B testing is easy on its face to implement, it requires a lot of data input on the front end and a lot of analysis on the back-end to make achieve statistical models that move the conversion needle.
The Sitecore built-in A/B testing tools for analyzing content are vital for determining the ideal campaign aspects like the best creative execution for headlines, ads or cross promotional panels. Sitecore sends visitors to one version of the page at random and measures the users’ engagement with the site (the videos they watch, buttons they click, whether or not they sign up for a newsletter).
Although the idea is to use this data to decide which version of the page is most effective for reaching business goals, those decisions actually take on weight due to the Sitecore rendering engine. This gives users a proven method for applying in-depth analysis of the content performance, showing which content block has led to more conversions. The ability to assign engagement values to specific goals provides more detailed analysis of any given A/B test such as with website forms.
Multivariate testing and A/B testing tools use the same technology, but multivariate goes beyond just A & B. With A/B/C/D/E (Multivariate) tests users can test far more choices at a single time. Planning, the nature of the tests, and the way that choices are configured and assembled are very important was that these tools can have an impact on marketing. In the bigger picture, Sitecore A/B Testing tools are capable of transforming business approaches to customer experiences.
Content Profiling and Pattern Matching
One of the simplest forms of personalization can be achieved using profile cards and pattern matching. By beginning with several profile cards, Sitecore users can begin to enact personalization parameters. An example would be a large banner area at the top of the site with blog news content. A next step might be adding categorization profile cards to each post such as “Market trends” or “Business Information.”
Then, by tagging articles accordingly you can change the main banner based on which article type they looked at and perhaps even prompt them to get in touch if they were reading about your business.
Because Sitecore uses browsing patterns to build a visitor profile, you need to think about how your content surfaces clues about the person consuming it. That requires a highly targeted user persona and nuanced understanding of visitor interest to be effective. In other words content profiling and pattern matching are only as good as the user profiles driving them.
The Sitecore Path Analyzer is a tool that examines the journey users take to achieve a goal or on-site action. Engagement Value informs the data by identifying which paths render the highest level of engagement. With this knowledge you can better optimize this path to increase conversions or optimize other paths that are perhaps under performing.
Engagement Value is how Sitecore quantifies the micro conversions a user experiences on their journey to conversion. Sitecore allows tagging content with a numeric value in lieu of a hard conversion metric in order to glean greater insights into your user’s behavior and customer journey.
Tagging your website content with the appropriate engagement value opens your business up to a world of possibility with regards to tracking, testing, and reporting. Search engines are looking for the highest level of engagement, which is why Sitecore provides the ability to assign a numeric value to each engagement. This is the foundation that marketers need to quantify customer value.
Consequently, marketers must look beyond traffic volumes and page visits to what customers are doing on the pages and what they are interacting with. Sitecore path analyzer stresses the use of sensible values for goals or events and working to a scale. Here is where path analysis is underutilized by tying it to other Sitecore features.
It is the actions that you take with the path analysis data such as email after form completion, changing tracking status based on actions and acting on user involvement. Collectively this monitoring approach make Sitecore effective for moving visitors through an engagement plan that leads to results.
The goal for Sitecore users should be maximizing its use and therefore its potential for conversions. These three tools are relatively simple to use but they require careful data input as well as output analysis for the substantive change that Sitecore can bring. That means understanding the endless possibilities for refining websites and marketing campaign aspects. That are possible with the platform.
When marketers understand the differences between contextual and target marketing, they can utilize these tools in ways that enable users to track, engage and optimize at every touch point of the customer journey. By working with an experienced Sitecore partner, organizations can impact digital transformations in ways that deliver sustainable customer growth.