The coolest new aspect of Sitecore’s Experience Database is that it records EVERYTHING! These new possibilities leads to a range of conflicting emotions; from utter excitement like a child on Christmas to overwhelming anxiety like a college students during finals. While the xDB has opened the door to a new world of possible knowledge, we still need to go find it. I’m going to let you in on my Marketing journey with Sitecore, and how we leverage Sitecore’s new Experience Database to answer the basic marketing questions. I will be giving a presentation at the European Symposium about the following topic, so check it out!
I started using Sitecore as a Content Editor/Marketer with OMS. This was right before they implemented DMS. We use to create content, track its statistics and continue to improve how we communicated with our customers. OMS offered us a lot of additional ways to track and adjust, but it just wasn’t truly giving the audience what they wanted. When DMS first came out, it took the current marketing efforts and put them on their head. We started being able to distinguish visitors clearly, tailor content, and make our site show the audience what they wanted. Through the evolution of DMS, we now tailor the digital experience to the individual visitor in real time – something that would be insane to even consider 4 years ago.
There were still some lingering questions that marketers had, one of the questions that always pestered me was when I created personas. I could do all the market research into where the visitors are coming from and how they interact with the site, but what if my original assumptions about my audience is wrong? Also, how do I know if my expectations of the audience meets the reality of who the audience is?
I sat with some developers asking them if we can tackle this issue. I wanted to know if my expectations of the audience matches the audience. They were able to create a report that groups together my audience based on the profile points I assigned.
I had a set of 4 expected personas:
Here is what my audience looked like when grouped together:
After evaluating, here was an example of a good match:
This tells me that the persona we created (on the right) matches closely to a large portion of the audience. This can give us some more confidence that the experience we are crafting for that audience will match what we expect from them.
There was a great example of an expected persona that was not getting any traffic.
We can tell the expected audience (on the right) doesn’t meet the actual audience that is visiting our site. There could be many different reasons why this happens, we will be addressing these possibilities in the next blog.
Finally we found a brand new audience type that we never expected.
This indicates that there is a group of people that aren’t matching our original expectations. It looks like they are close to Persona 4 but have a bit of Persona 3 as well. We’ll discuss what this means in future blog posts as well.
At Hedgehog we’ve coined the term Multiple Persona Disorder to relate to sites that have several expected personas but the audience type doesn’t really match most of them. This means the marketers and content editors are tailoring content for an audience that isn’t truly appreciating it. In the upcoming posts, we will discuss how to best spot these new or neglected audience types, what you can do about the outlying audience type.
For more information about how to integrate with the xDB to answer marketing questions or how to spot the Multiple Persona Disorder, make sure you check out my Symposium Presentation in Barcelona “Developers Aren’t Marketers, But Can We Co-Exist?”