March 23, 2017 by Mike Shaw

Why Profile? The Impact Profiling Brings to Sitecore Personalization

As we’ve all come to realize, predictive personalization is the north star of marketing tactics. When I say predictive personalization I’m referring to the concept of giving an anonymous website visitor the right content at the right time. Which is a much easier sentence to write than it is to implement.

To get to this gold standard, it requires thinking about your visitors and their interaction with your site in a particular way. This prism of view puts the visitor's wants and interests above your need to sell. This doesn't mean not selling, it just means understanding what your visitor wants at the particular point in time and addressing the need.

The infrastructure and process to implement this strategy relies on three steps. While these steps seem general and obvious if we align our marketing activities to accomplish this creating a predictive personalization structure becomes a matter of analyzing and iterating on progress.

First, the primary focus of your strategy must be quickly identifying a visitor’s wants and interests. To make a prediction on what type of content a user is interested in, we need to gather as much explicit user information as possible.

We do this by structuring the user journey in a way in which a user self-selects their interest and in so giving you intelligence about their wants. Structuring your site to gain contextual intelligence on your visitors requires a focus on engagement not just conversion. We want lead the user down a particular path to conversion while allowing the user to tell us what they are interested in. We are not selecting the paths or interests for them, but allowing them to dictate what content they want.

Second, we include personalization tactics to enhance engagement. After we’ve identified the visitor’s interest we surface content which corresponds with the interest. With the overall objective in mind, we hope showing content to the visitor matching their self proclaimed interest at the time, will systematically move them down the decision process and into or through the sales funnel. Marketers look into granular one-to-one marketing tactics and optimize their site towards deeper engagement and conversion.

Finally, we save this interest to the person’s profile this way upon returning to the site we can provide efficient pathways to relevant content, thus increasing satisfaction. We can continue to deliver relevant content over time getting visitors to truly engage with the brand and form loyalty with the service. By storing all interactions we can test and implement optimizations ideas to increase engagement.

This is the three step approach marketers need to live by to implement predictive personalization. We need to understand our visitors in terms of their interest at the moment they are on our website, give our visitors what they want, and continue to meet and engage with them in order to create long term valuable relationships. Putting our visitors wants and interests first will always work best in the end. In today's market can we afford to not give the visitor content matching their interest?

At Hedgehog, we live for this stuff. From Profile Cards and Other P’s of Sitecore Personalization to Entry Page Tactics, we love to talk about the latest and greatest ways that companies can use personalization to reach their audiences. If you have a question or just want to talk to someone, give us a shout.

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