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Sitecore Announces Its Customer Engagement Platform at Dreamcore

Deb Francis
Deb Francis

Michael says “This is the beginning of a journey down the road of digital intimacy”. The platform is an attempt to truly bridge the gap between the online and offline customer. The fully baked platform promises to remove the complex technology barriers that exist today through traditionally disconnected systems.

Aware knew of the pending launch and was afforded a sneak peek at the platform weeks back during technical preview. The announcement gave way to a day chock-full of sessions centered around the next generation release and with it; a few new acronyms were born.

So, let’s break it down.

Customer Engagement Platform (CEP) = Digital Marketing System (DMS) + Content Management (CMS)

Building off the first generation of Sitecore’s Online Marketing Suite (OMS), Michael illustrated the new engaged customer experience in a story about Cosmic cars through the eyes of two interested customers each with unique needs and wants. The husband and wife team shop for a car and the evolution of their buying process is tracked and chronicled through an engagement plan all of which is executed through a fully integrated and dynamic customer engagement platform. The platform builds on a compelling experience using historical behavioral patterns that begin to evolve with each onsite and offsite interaction with a customer (from social media campaigns to showroom test drives). The dynamic profile triggers a series of relevant events throughout the sales lifecycle. So what’s in the new CEP and how does it compare to the soon to be legacy OMS?

The Three Pillars

Engagement analytics – Measures quality of and analyzes all marketing initiatives including offline campaigns where a nice integration with CRM exists. This is a much enhanced version of the current OMS reporting engine but with much more intuitive reporting including a digital dashboard and campaign performance of both online and offline initiatives.

Engagement automation – As an example, use social campaigns to engage prospective customers with calls to action embedded in social channels. Use Web Forms for Marketers to capture prospect information and store that information into an integrated CRM. Customer information and behaviors are captured and stored CRM and then used to trigger dynamic events at various points of conversion. For example, triggered emails specific to the campaign occur through Sitecore’s Email Campaign Manager (ECM). The drag and drop campaign designer is intuitive and slick.

Personalization and experience editor – No more passive messaging. Allow the content author to write to a specific audience through web personas. Select a persona as you are writing content to target messaging toward a user’s goals and needs. Mark content with the appropriate persona and let the user experience personalized content delivery in real time. Historical behavioral patterns begin to evolve to create distinct patterns of messaging. The final outcome is an integrated series of digital campaigns termed the engagement plan.

Business and Pricing Model Changes:

With the release of the Customer Engagement Platform slated for early June, Sitecore is proclaiming to be a two product company to include the Digital Marketing System and the flagship CMS. There will be stand-alone pricing for the DMS and CMS which can be purchased separately or as a bundle. Pricing platforms and implementation strategies will align with this concept. Build the CMS first and layer on the DMS overtime.

The new CEP takes the best of CMS, OMS, ECM, CRM (preferably Microsoft Dynamics) and Web Forms for Marketers and blends them together into one integrated solutions. How’s that for a list of acronyms.

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