Staying Ahead of the Competition With Sitecore Experience Platform XP
In today’s challenging business climate, companies stay ahead of the competition by touching their prospects and customers over as many different channels as possible. If your business has been around for a while, you’ve probably built new solutions as you’ve needed them — one platform for managing your website, another for scheduling social media posts, an ad buying platform for your marketing campaigns and so on. Adding new solutions as you need them is a good way to promote slow, sustainable growth, but it’s bad for long-term management of your customer touch points.
The Problems With a Disconnected Digital Marketing Infrastructure
The problems with using siloed systems for content management and customer communication include:
- Duplication of work: Lack of integration means that posting the same content on two channels requires double the effort.
- Incomplete data: You collect data on customer interactions to inform your future decisions. If you aren’t collecting all of your customer interaction data in one place, though, you’re getting an incomplete picture of the customer journey. Analyzing data from disparate sources is also costly and difficult.
- Poor branding: People spend so much time reading news and other content on social media platforms such as Facebook that they tend to forget where the content actually comes from. If you want to earn an audience from your social content, the content needs to feature strong, consistent branding. Otherwise, the social media platform receives most of the benefit from your work.
- Inconsistent customer experience: If you use different content management systems for your desktop website, mobile website and online store, it’s likely that each of the platforms has an appearance and interface that differ slightly from those of the other platforms. The problem is that people often interact with brands over multiple channels before becoming customers. If you don’t provide a consistent experience, you’ll lose people in the transition from one channel to another.
Improving Branding and Building a Consistent Customer Experience
Sitecore is a platform-agnostic content management system that stores all of your content in one database and displays it on any channel. You can use it to handle the content needs of your desktop website, mobile website, online store, mobile app, in-store displays and more.
Using Sitecore Experience Platform XP for content management and governance allows you to give customers an experience that remains consistent from one channel to the next, helping you avoid the loss of interest that can occur when customers move between channels and encounter substantially different experiences. However customers choose to navigate through your properties, the experience will remain consistent — and your brand’s message will remain front and center.
Content management, though, only scratches the surface of what Sitecore’s Experience Platform has to offer. Let’s examine some of its other features in greater detail.
Sitecore Campaign Manages an Omnichannel Customer Experience
Sitecore Campaign is your command center for omnichannel marketing campaigns. With it, you can orchestrate campaigns that originate away from your properties — on search engines or social media, for example — and determine what happens when customers reach your properties.
With Sitecore’s Campaign module, you can:
- Record every customer interaction that takes place on any of your properties
- Aggregate customer interactions to create profiles that show where people are in the customer journey and what content your customers find most compelling
- Track each campaign with a unique code to determine what interactions typically take place after people click through certain campaigns
- Attribute sales to the campaigns that generated them
Sitecore’s Campaign module provides real-time reports that show how your campaigns are performing. The reports also identify the campaigns that produce the highest level of customer engagement. Most importantly, the Campaign module highlights the areas in which your campaigns need to improve. There’s no need to delete and recreate an unsuccessful campaign; you can make adjustments to live campaigns and see the results immediately.
Sitecore Email Converts More Leads
A well-orchestrated campaign is a beautiful thing, but a new prospect generally won’t buy a product during his first interaction with your brand. To guide the prospect toward conversion, you need to capture his contact information. Engaging your prospects with nurturing campaigns increases revenue and helps you get the most out of your paid marketing campaigns. If you’re already using basic email marketing to nurture your leads, you’ve probably had some success. Using an email marketing platform that integrates with your CMS and customer database, though, can produce spectacular results.
These are just a few of our favorite features of Sitecore Email.
- It creates a profile for every prospect in your customer database — even when it doesn’t know who a prospect is yet. When a prospect provides his contact information, all of his previous interactions link with his new customer profile.
- It provides an intuitive interface for email campaign creation. You can create all of your campaigns by dragging building blocks to a flowchart.
- It’s not just for email. Because Sitecore’s Email module links up with the rest of the Experience Platform, it enables you to reach customers where they are. Full experience automation lets you create campaigns that move seamlessly between email, the desktop web, the mobile web and more.
Sitecore Mobile Makes Traditional Responsive Website Design Obsolete
Does your company’s website have a responsive design for mobile devices? Of course it does — but a responsive design alone doesn’t do nearly enough to engage mobile device users. A responsive design relies on a viewport — a specific display width — to trigger its features. When someone views your website on a device with a screen smaller than the defined viewport width, the website automatically adjusts its appearance for the smaller screen — but that’s all it does. A responsive website doesn’t know where mobile customers are, what devices they’re using or how they’ve interacted with your brand previously.
These are the three reasons why we love Sitecore Mobile.
- It’s flexible. Sitecore’s mobile features enhance your mobile website, web apps and native mobile apps.
- It enables you to deliver a more relevant message through device identification and geolocation.
- It knows who your customers are. If a customer previously visited your website using another device such as a computer, Sitecore’s Mobile module continues the conversation rather than starting it over.
Sitecore Personalization Gives Your Customers What They Want
As a professional marketer, you already know how difficult personalization can be. If you get it right, you’ll increase your sales while generating great customer loyalty. Displaying badly personalized content, though, is worse than not displaying personalized content at all. Here’s how Sitecore Experience Platform XP can help.
- It begins with a [360 customer view] collected from all of your company’s data sources. Sitecore’s Experience Database can store data about product purchases, website visits, mobile app interactions, email interactions, brick-and-mortar store visits and more. Sitecore’s module for personalized content draws from everything that you know about your customers for true one-to-one engagement.
- It personalizes content and product recommendations according to your rules. You can have it select personalized content based on a customer’s purchase history, device, physical location, website behavior and more — or you can use a combination of factors. You can even have the personalized content module automatically change content in response to changes in a customer’s behavior patterns.
- It enables continual improvement through testing and optimization. Are you unsure about the type of personalized content that would most resonate with your customers? Create multiple versions of the same content, and run a test to determine which variation receives the best response. Sitecore’s Testing and Optimization module doesn’t just test variations of personalized content. Use it to test product pages, landing pages and more.
Sitecore Commerce Blends With Content for a Seamless Buying Experience
Your digital ecosystem exists to fulfill a single core purpose — it exists to sell your products or services. Because Sitecore’s Commerce module exists alongside the CMS and marketing features, it can sell more effectively than any other commerce platform.
These are some of the ways in which Sitecore’s Commerce module increases your company’s sales numbers.
- With Sitecore Experience Platform XP, content and products are the same. Unifying content and commerce means that a customer can move from your website’s content area to your online store without feeling as though he’s suddenly gone to a different site. Sitecore’s Commerce engine also allows you to add sales functionality to your website’s blog and other content areas.
- Sitecore’s Commerce platform can sell over any channel through which your customers want to buy. Use it to sell through your website, your mobile app, in-store kiosks and more.
- Sitecore’s Commerce platform lets you personalize the buying experience. When customers search for products, the Commerce platform can automatically increase the prominence of the products most likely to interest those buyers. It can also recommend upsells and cross-sells on product and shopping cart pages.
Putting It All Together
Time and again, our clients have learned that upgrading to a modern CMS stimulates sales growth and vastly improves the customer experience. Modern business, though, is about so much more than content delivery. We love Sitecore’s Experience Platform because it is a complete digital marketing solution that can handle the needs of any small or large corporation. It delivers a smooth customer experience over any channel, and it doesn’t skip a beat when customers move between channels. When customers are ready to buy, Sitecore’s Commerce module is ready to sell — and when they aren’t ready to buy, Sitecore’s Marketing module is ready to keep them interested until they are.
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