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Sitecore DMS Demystified - 6 Must Have Marketing Features

Rob McChane
Rob McChane

Sitecore CEP, or Consumer Engagement Platform for the uninitiated, is the combination of Sitecore’s award winning Content Management System with their new Digital Marketing System (DMS).

When used together, the two tools provide online marketers with a 360-degree view of a web visitor’s experience. The amazing new capabilities help to create a deeper level of user engagement to improve your understanding of your customers'. Tracking how that increased engagement impacts site performance will lead to better conversion rates thereby creating more value for your organization.

In today’s post, we’ll walk through a high level overview of the features available in DMS and explain how each one works and why you need to start utilizing it today. Over the next several weeks we will continue to blog about certain features in more depth and include a bonus video tutorial for how to set-up these features on your own site.

Feature: Sitecore Analytics

Sitecore analytics functions as the reporting and tracking foundation for many of the more advanced features of Sitecore’s Digital Marketing System (DMS).  Unlike other analytics tools that report aggregate data of all users, Sitecore Analytics provides very granular data at the individual user level. Additionally, Sitecore Analytics makes goal and campaign tracking simple to implement with your Sitecore website.

Why do I need this?

Sitecore analytics provides a different perspective than many other web analytics tools with very granular data reporting.  This user-level data can help generate new insights about how users interact with your site.

What does this replace?

While Sitecore Analytics can generate a wealth of data and useful information, by itself it doesn’t necessarily eliminate the need for an aggregate reporting tool such as Google Analytics.  Many of our clients end up using both, Sitecore for the serious data mining and Google Analytics for a quick dashboard or snapshot into site performance.  Sitecore Analytics also offers the executive dashboard feature which, if implemented properly, can take the place of the snapshot reporting provided by Google Analytics.

Creating Goals in DMS Video

Campaign Tracking in DMS Video

Feature: Personas

Most websites have more than one audience, but often a site is built with a primary audience in mind. With CEP, you can identify multiple different user types and separately track how they use your site. This feature provides better insight into the different needs of your various user groups and how they attempt to meet those needs so that you can tailor your messaging to these individual groups.

Why do I need this?

One of the keys to well-targeted marketing online is having a clear understanding of your various user groups and how their unique needs and goals differ. By implementing personas on your website, you are better defining your separate user groups and thereby will have a better understanding of how they differ and how to market to each group’s unique needs and goals.

Feature: Personalization

Different users find different content and messaging valuable. With user-based personalization, you can target the needs of different groups by personalizing pieces of content on your website to speak directly to that user’s needs.   You can personalize content based on personas, marketing campaigns or engagement scoring to name just a few possible criteria.

Why do I need this?

Personalizing content to your site users based on their expressed interests helps create increased engagement for site users. If a piece of content is specifically customized to a user’s interests based on their persona, campaign or other user-specific criteria, the likelihood that they will click through and take the desired action on your site is significantly higher.

Feature: Engagement Scoring

Engagement scoring allows you to score website content based on the value it has to your organization. As users navigate around your site and interact with content you have scored, they will accumulate points. A more engaged user will demonstrate a deeper interaction with your site by visiting or interacting with more high-value content and accumulating a higher content score.

Why do I need this?

Highly engaged users of your website are users who are more likely to complete high-value actions on your site such as a purchase, form completion or downloading a catalog. Tracking the engagement level of each user allows you to establish patterns of engagement across all users as well as understanding what criteria create highly engaged users, helping you optimize your site experience to increase engagement levels.

Feature: Multivariate Testing

Part of creating engagement with site users is speaking to their specific needs and understanding what messages and creative resonate with your high value users. With multivariate testing, you can test multiple variations of an item (with both copy and images) to see which version does the best job of creating your desired action.

Why do I need this?

Regardless of the type of website you have, increasing conversions has a direct correlation to increased sales and value for the organization. Multivariate testing allows you to test multiple elements of a content area or callout to create content that will convert users at the highest rate, optimizing your marketing efforts online.

What does this replace?

Other tool like Google Analytics can track events that occur on your site, such as clicks or downloads. However, they can’t track what caused a user to take that action. Multivariate testing in Sitecore allows you to test multiple, individual elements of a piece of content to understand what headline, body copy and image combined created the best user response.

Feature: Email Campaign Manager (ECM)

Take your personalization efforts beyond your website by using Sitecore user data to better target email messages to site users. The Email Campaign Manager (or ECM) uses Sitecore data and user actions to trigger customized emails. For example, the ECM can automatically trigger a thank you email when a user registers for a new account or can trigger a discount offer email if a customer abandons a full shopping card. Using the email campaign manager can help create an even higher engagement level for users and higher value for the organization. The ECM can also integrate with most enterprise email tools.

Why do I need this?

If you’ve implemented other advanced features of DMS, the ECM allows you to take your advanced marketing efforts beyond your website, creating additional engagement with your site users based on their personal interests.

What does this replace?

Many email tools offer some customization to specific users, however Sitecore is able to combine its website user data with other email customizations to help create a deeper level of user engagement.

Considerations for Implementation

Implementing a tool like Sitecore’s CEP can be daunting, and the temptation is often to set up the tool and figure out the details later on. However, a tool like CEP and the data it generates is only as good as the strategy and approach that are supporting it. To leverage all the tool has to offer, any organization should carefully weigh their needs and expectations. Aware recommends conducting a workshop to be sure you understand the needs of all the stakeholders involved and develop a manageable, phased approach to the tool. Additionally, organizations should consider how they currently manage their CRM user data as Sitecore has a variety of options to integrate user data through enterprise CRM tools.

Each tool within Sitecore’s Consumer Engagement Platform has its own unique value, but the real value is in the combination of all of these pieces in to a cohesive whole. Assigning personas and engagement scores help you to understand who your users are and what they need from your site. Once you’ve captured this information, multivariate testing, personalization and the email campaign manager help you better engage with (and ultimately convert) those users. And finally, analytics allows you to monitor the performance of all of these activities to ensure that they are creating value and growth for the organization.

If you’re considering implementing DMS as part of your Sitecore instance, you need to approach the project strategically. At Aware, we often recommend conducting a DMS discovery workshop with stakeholders to gain a better understanding of their needs related to DMS. With this information you can create a prioritized plan for DMS implementation that will best meet the needs of your organization and have the most positive impact. 

For more information on planning your DMS implementation, contact Aware.

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