As a member of our sales Solution Concept Team, I spend my days talking to prospects about Sitecore and its expansive digital marketing toolset.
Over the past few years, we’ve all seen incredible growth in the digital marketing space with the release of new, powerful technology geared towards delivering customer-centric experiences. It’s been my observation that while folks in Marketing departments are, first and foremost, very excited about the possibilities in front of them (and rightfully so!) they are also overwhelmed by those exact same possibilities.
“Where do we start? Do we need all of this? Will we need to add headcount? My team needs these tools but can I show value right away so my internal stakeholders will buy-in for the long haul?”
I get those questions A LOT. So, to validate the excitement and also assuage some fears, here’s the philosophy I share: Start small and find the low-hanging fruit. Once you have a few quick wins under your belt, not only are you gaining confidence in Sitecore and what it can do for you as a marketer, you’re also going to be able to show your maybe-not-so-sure internal stakeholders that the whole process of creating meaningful personalized experiences on your site isn’t so daunting after all, and yes, Sitecore is well worth the investment.
So where to start? Here is my go-to list of Personalization Quick Wins and over the years I’ve found that these tactics can work for any market, any industry, or any vertical.
- Use GEO IP capabilities to display personalized information on the home page or persistent side navigation callout
Use Sitecore xM capabilities to display relevant billboard images and content based on the search engine terms (and associated Google Paid Ad, for instance) the user entered to find you
- Examples here could be closest store or distributor, bank branch and/or financial advisor, and even upcoming events. There are a ton of options in this space.
Allow the user to self-select their persona and then deliver personalized callouts tailored to that persona
- Say you’re a health and fitness organization and someone searches for “summer soccer camps for kids.” The first thing they could see on your site is a billboard image of a kid dribbling a soccer ball across the field and you’re touting your super fun, super affordable soccer camps for ages 5 and up. You are immediately telling that user that you can meet their needs.
Track logged-in user attributes to deliver highly-targeted content
- This is a tactic we use on our own site, AwareWeb.com. A site visitor as the option to “customize their view” by telling us where they are in the process of implementing Sitecore (evaluating, purchased, implementing, selecting a new partner, etc.) and what their role is (IT, Marketing, Creative, etc.). Once a user tells us a little bit about themselves, Sitecore can serve up content and assets that are 100% relevant to who they are and where they are in their Sitecore journey.
Continue to serve up related content, thought leadership content, and contact options with optimized relevance
- It doesn’t get any better than explicit personalization. Upon registration or sign-in, a user can tell you exactly what their areas of interest are and what kind of information they want to get from you (and how they want to receive that info). From then on, every time they login, Sitecore will display content and assets they told you they wanted to see. Slam dunk.
- This is all about utilizing Sitecore’s powerful content tagging capabilities to create relationships between content items and various site functionalities as you’re building out or optimizing your pages. For example, if you’re a law firm, make sure your practice area landing pages also have callouts for related blog posts, links to lawyer bios who practice in that specific area, upcoming events or webinars specific to that practice and how to directly contact your experts on staff. Make it easy for the user the next step.
These five tactics have proven time and time again to be impactful ways for our clients to get started in the world of website personalization in a very manageable way. Now we must acknowledge that any of these five requires upfront planning and a careful eye on the broader, strategic vision of your online presence (that’s a whole separate blog post). BUT start with one and you’ll quickly see that you can take your digital marketing efforts to the next level and Sitecore can help you do it.