If you’ve been mulling over how a web content management platform should support efforts to develop better Customer Intelligence, then I have no doubts that you were pleased if you attended Dreamcore EU 2011.
When Sitecore CEO, Michael Siefert announced at the opening keynote that the Sitecore “Customer Engagement Platform is now here”, he generated a buzz just like Steve Hammond did at the Omniture EMEA Summit last month when he demonstrated the integration between the Adobe CQ Content Management System and the Omniture Marketing Suite. Both counts, the marketers were buzzing about how you could exploit the power of the integrated CMS and Online Marketing Suites .
Forrester VP and Senior Analyst, Mary Bethkemp opined that marketing is now about orchestrating online and offline marketing experiences. I couldn’t agree more because unless you are able to effectively synchronise your messages across online and offline marketing channels, your customers simply drift away to rival brands who are able to effectively harness the power of technology to deliver a consistent message.
Okay, so now why am I so excited about the Sitecore CEP? Well, its quite simple. Till now, I could test and gamify content for different target personas online using the Sitecore CMS but I was subjected to a slightly difficult to use Sitecore Online Marketing Suite. And like most fellow marketers/ Customer Intelligence professionals, I maintained a certain distance as I do not like waiting to slice and dice my data to evaluate performance nor do I like having to go through more layers than necessary to ascertain trends. Yes, I know patience is a virtue but not when you really want to understand your customer’s pulse to optimise your marketing communication and drive a higher ROI. With the Customer Engagement Platform, Sitecore doesn’t give you just a nifty interface but really helps you orchestrate, monitor and measure activity across the web, email and mobile marketing channels.
Essentially, the much awaited Online Marketing suite 2.0 or rather the new Digital Marketing Suite combined with the WCM is the Customer Engagement Platform. The ultra cool Engagement Analytics platform helps you analyse performance across multiple channels and further optimise engagement automation by delivering in-context, in-time information about your visitors, right from when the first digital fingerprint was recorded.
I will add that I’m not too worried about the author’s experience over Sitecore 6.5 as I trust Adam Najmanowicz (Head of .NET Practice at Cognifide) and his team to optimise the authoring interfaces to suit your content authors. If you’ve been following the Sitecore Best Practices, I presume you're already aware of the tips to spruce up authoring interfaces.
I’d have loved to add some pictures on here to help illustrate the engagement analytics dashboards that are now available but I’m afraid I wasn’t much of a shutterbug as Adam, Damian and I were too busy discussing how our clients could benefit from the new Sitecore Customer Engagement Platform.
p.s. Darren Guarnaccia(Senior VP – Product Marketing) revealed at the Technical Q&A panel that Sitecore aims to partner with some BI vendors shortly to further refine their engagement analytics and include predictive analytics elements. To me, that sounds like the Sitecore focus is now on the enterprise market.