Not Your Mama’s CMS: The Robust & Integrated Sitecore Solution

Posted: September 26, 2013

Tara Clinton Strategic Partnerships Manager

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Enterprise-level content management systems (CMS) make it easier than ever to provide your website’s visitors with the useful and relevant content they’re looking for. One of our clients is preparing to redesign its website on Sitecore, an innovative web CMS that offers an integrated approach to website management and digital marketing. It’s proven to be a very capable platform. With robust CMSs like Sitecore, your website can better serve both your users and your digital marketing strategy.

Partnering Your Website with Sitecore

According to Sitecore, in order to hold users’ attention in today’s environment, your website should be able to:

1. Deliver content in real time.
Sitecore allows you to create customized rules that trigger the CMS to display different website content to visitors. For example, a rule could be created that if a visitor consumes five pages within the Admissions section of the website, the call-to-action on the page should change to Chat with an Admissions counselor. This ensures that when visitors have consumed enough content to assume they’re ready to move further down the enrollment process, your website will respond with the appropriate user experience.

2. Engage customers and prospects in a smart, dynamic, relevant conversation.
One of Sitecore’s strengths is its ability to track and measure visitor engagement. Sitecore Engagement Analytics allow you to build detailed profiles of your website visitors – even first time visitors – based on the pages they visit and their behavior during the visit. You can see how they came to your website, what they searched for, which pages and content they visited, as well as the paths they used to reach that content. You can use these profiles to push personalized content to your visitors.

3. Avoid dependence on any one platform or device.
With prospects coming to your site on an increasingly diverse set of devices and researching your institution on a number of online channels, the challenge is understanding how this multi-platform and multi-channel sequence ends up supporting your business goals. To assist marketers in meeting this challenge, Sitecore uses its Engagement Analytics feature to track individual users across all of your marketing efforts.

4. Give marketers the necessary tools to understand user behavior.
Sitecore’s Engagement Analytics tool empowers you to do more than just track traditional metrics you also see which traffic sources, keywords, calls to action, etc. provide your visitors the most value. By monitoring a visitor’s interaction with your digital goals or calls-to-action on the website, you can measure and store the engagement of your visitors (in other words, each visitor’s level of commitment to your site). As visitors engage with different parts of your site, Sitecore’s Digital Marketing System (DMS) empowers you to see what content offer the most value to users.

I want my website to do that. Where do I start?

Your success will only be as great as the strength of your plan. Before beginning any customer engagement initiative, it’s critical to define and understand your company’s digital vision, mission and goals. Those in turn should be mapped with corresponding business objectives, key performance indicators (KPIs), KPI targets and customer digital touch points.

Understanding the visitor’s journey through your institution’s research, application and enrollment process is also critical to making sure your website’s user experience encourages and nurtures that pathway. With that information, you can predict what content visitors will be interested in consuming when they first enter each stage of the process and then make sure that content is available and relevant for them when they visit your website. Once you have the opportunity to track and measure visitors’ behavior, you can use that data to refine your predictions and identify any gaps in content or information that will help your visitors through the process.

We have helped many clients select and implement a CMS for their website. It’s a detailed process that requires research, strategy and planning to find the best fit. If you have questions about Sitecore or determining what CMS may be the best solution for your institution, contact us or leave a comment below. We’d love to hear more about your experiences.