Customer Experience

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When the Customer Experience Counts
Managing and Tracking Web Content for Profitable Interactions with Sitecore Online Marketing Suite

A White Paper by Sitecore

Copyright Copyright © 2009 Sitecore. All Rights Reserved. Restricted Rights Legend This document may not, in whole or in part, be photocopied, reproduced, translated, or reduced to any electronic medium or machine readable form without prior consent, in writing, from Sitecore. Information in this document is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment on the part of Sitecore. Trademarks Sitecore is a registered trademark of Sitecore. All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.

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Table of Contents
Executive Summary Marketing in a Down Economy
Doing More with Less Maximizing the Value of Customer Interactions

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Competing with Effective Content
Reinforcing your Web Site with Customer Insights Combining Customer Insights with Content Delivery Personalizing Experiences and Optimizing Results

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The Sitecore Online Marketing Suite
A Complete Solution for Maintaining Customer Relationships Tracking the 360-degree Customer Experience When Every Click Counts

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Calculating the Business Benefits About Sitecore

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Executive Summary

As online merchandisers and marketers, you need to target outcomes and focus relentlessly on building a complete, 360-degree view of your customers -- who they are, where they came from, what they do, and how you can best meet their needs. A smart solution combines web content management with customer insights, captured and maintained at the point of engagement. As a result, Sitecore OMS delivers the tools and technologies for tracking customer interactions in real time, together with the resources for managing the dynamic content that drives successful sales initiatives. You can grow your business by turbo-charging your marketing campaigns and your sales enablement efforts. With Sitecore OMS, you ensure that customers consistently have the personalized experiences to make informed buying decisions. This is where the Sitecore Online Marketing Suite (OMS) delivers the next generation platform for enabling online sales and managing web-based marketing campaigns. Sitecore OMS blends web content management with personalized content delivery, powered by integrated customer insights.

While the recession grinds on, it’s essential to know how to gain competitive advantage from today’s challenging economic climate. Doing business on the web both can yield larger profits and substantially reduce operating costs. But simply publishing more content and building your web traffic is a poor substitute for the transformation at hand: engaging customers, gauging their interactions, and personalizing results.

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Marketing in a Down Economy
With the economy mired in a deep recession, you are facing some of the toughest business decisions of your career. Sales are static and marketing campaigns no longer deliver their predictable results. Your tried and true products are losing their punch, while innovative ones, long the lifeblood of your firm’s revenue growth, are ever more costly to bring to market. Customers are demanding more services and better support, all delivered at lower prices. Not surprisingly, your company’s margins are under pressure and your profits threatened.

Doing More with Less

How can you best navigate this chaotic environment? This is the time to invest wisely and emerge from the turmoil in a stronger position. Certainly reinforcing your web presence makes sense. Over the past few years, you have developed a promising online channel. Your web site is a powerful engine for communicating with existing customers and reaching new ones. You know that it has the potential to generate significantly more revenue and substantially reduce customer acquisition costs.

But simply publishing more content while economizing on service and support is not an option, lest your competitors whittle away at your hard-won successes and your loyal customer base. Simply counting the number of site visitors, page views, and click-streams – the basic web statistics you’ve been collecting for years – is a poor substitute for what today’s hyper-competitive environment requires: understanding your customers’ experiences, gaining insights into their actions, and anticipating and adapting to their needs. Without meaningful ways to monitor and assess these experiences, you are left to best judge your online initiatives by gut instincts and rules of thumb. The trick is to strengthen your customer interactions by rapidly gaining insights about profitable engagements.

Customers value great experiences, ones that effortlessly lead to tangible results. In the physical world of stores and malls, shopping is a social experience. Good sales people engage their customers, gauge their tastes and preferences, sense their interests, respond personally to their questions, and steer them in the right directions. Customers interact, remember, and (particularly when satisfied) tell their friends and return.

Maximizing the Value of Customer Interactions

It’s important to transfer the buzz of memorable shopping experiences to the online world. You need to directly engage your customers and maximize the business benefits of every interaction. You need to be able to sense and respond to online customers with the same degree of insight and familiarity as found in the physical world. It’s essential to personalize experiences, target outcomes, and focus relentlessly on obtaining a complete, 360-degree view of your customers -- who

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they are, where they came from, what they do, and how you can best meet their needs.

You already invest significant resources managing the content on your web site -ensuring that the information is current and accurate – and then embedding this content into your online marketing campaigns. While necessary, these investments in web content management are no longer sufficient. In today’s business climate, successful organizations are evolving their web properties from passive marketing resources to engaging customer experiences. You now need to reinforce your successes and highlight your challenges by monitoring and measuring what matters to customers.

In fact, it is important to recognize how managing web content is only the beginning of an overall focus on online marketing and sales enablement. As shown in Illustration 1, there is a steady evolution of applicable capabilities.

Illustration 1. There is a steady evolution of capabilities from passive marketing resources (featuring core web content management capabilities) to engaging customer experiences.

To build market share, respond to the new opportunities of a down economy, and increase your online business, you need to extend the capabilities of the web properties you use for online marketing. It’s all about engaging and gauging -- being able to make sense of what your customers want and need, knowing what’s required, and responding in an intelligent fashion. 6

Competing with Effective Content
How do you obtain a 360-degree view of your customers’ experiences? It’s essential to know how the marketing messages you produce affects your customers, generates awareness about your products and services, influences their choices, and yields results.

Reinforcing your Web Site with Customer Insights

While this is difficult to do through offline channels, your web channel offers you an unprecedented ability to engage with your customers and gauge their responses. It’s important to also associate these customer interactions with the rest of your customer tracking capabilities, including the information captured by your customer relationship databases. This level of customer intelligence brings a wealth of detailed customer insight to the rest of your organization. By tapping into your customer’s web engagements, capturing what happens, and making the results available, organizations can now truly harness the web to build a 360 degree view of their customers. For example, when it comes to calculating the performance of an online marketing campaign, recording results is not a one-time event. Marketers and the sales organization often focus on a campaign by itself and disagree on how to determine the immediate outcomes; marketers count the number of leads recorded, while sales managers track the deals closed. Yet this is only part of the story. In fact, the success of a campaign extends over the length of a sales cycle, which often spans multiple months.

There’s the sales funnel to consider. Prospects first learn about your offerings from the campaign, return to collect additional information managed by your content delivery platform, and consider their options on their own schedules. Then, only long after the campaign has ended, do your prospects engage, finalize their orders, and become paying customers. To know what they are doing and gain insights into their behaviors, you need to be able to follow them at each step of the way.

Similarly, when it comes to promoting products over the web, you can tune your messages for different groups of customers and identify the online experiences that produce the best results. After all, customers are coming to expect personalized experiences, particularly when they identify themselves through repeated visits and/or register and provide you with their profiles.

You face a simple challenge. You need to create different kinds of web experiences – exploiting the capabilities of your content delivery platform to vary web page designs, offers and descriptions, and even the logic and flow. You can target different groups of users, determined by profiles, IP addresses, or other unique identifiers – continually enhancing your abilities to personalize your customer’s interactions with you. Then you can track what happens, compare the alternatives,

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and optimize outcomes. It’s easy to create and manage personalized experiences when the insights and tracking capabilities are linked to the points of engagement.

In short, when you combine customer insights with web content management, you transform your marketing and sales operations. No longer do you need to wait to compile the results of your web marketing initiatives. No longer do you need to manage multiple applications, such as connecting customer tracking, campaign management, and web optimization technology with your content management and delivery environment.

Combining Customer Insights with Content Delivery

Rather, customer tracking and analysis are directly tied to the content you deliver. Indeed, all the components of modern web marketing program are seamlessly connected. As shown in Illustration 2, there are interactive connections between what you understand about your customers and the web experience you deliver to them – connecting site measurement and analysis with site testing and optimization.

Illustration 2. Customer insights combine what and how you understand customers with what you implement, and how you optimize for best results.

It’s important to determine customer responses in real time and gain immediate insights into market trends. You need to be able to categorize content by business goals, marketing campaigns, customer segments, and other criteria – all as part of your sales enablement processes. It helps to build on the capabilities of a configurable platform where your IT group does not have to be involved in the dayto-day details of running the business.

Thus you can personalize interactive experiences and optimize business results that leverage your web content and the customer insights you’ve gained. You can track the sequence of events over time, test multiple alternatives, and determine customers’ underlying selection criteria. Since you’ve connected web insights with the rest of your customer databases, you can track leads to wins ratios, analyze the web interactions that produce successful results, and then replicate these successes.

Personalizing Experiences and Optimizing Results

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The end result is a platform where you tailor content delivery to produce ever more profitable, long-term customers. As marketers and decision-makers, you have the real time metrics and analysis to drive your business forward, together with the web content management capabilities to forge ever more valuable customer connections.

You can manage modifications in light of quantitative measures. With the right content readily at hand, you can accelerate customer conversion rates, and turn more browsers into buyers.

The Sitecore Online Marketing Suite

This is where Sitecore transforms the practice of online marketing and sales enablement. The Sitecore Online Marketing Suite (OMS) delivers the next generation platform for managing marketing campaigns over the web. It blends web content management with personalized content delivery, powered by integrated customer intelligence.

A Complete Solution for Maintaining Customer Relationships

Sitecore OMS delivers the tools and technologies for measuring and tracking customer interactions in real time, together with the resources for managing the dynamic content that drives successful marketing campaigns. As one might expect, Sitecore OMS captures, organizes, and manages content for an interactive web presence. In addition, it collects and stores detailed analytics about customer behavior. Sitecore OMS then applies business rules, derived from these analytics, to personalize how content is delivered to predefined customer groups.

As a result, Sitecore OMS provides a complete solution for direct marketers, brand managers, and sales executives who need to understand their customers and their buying criteria. Content analytics are integrated with content delivery and web content management. Leveraging the Sitecore platform, this solution can easily span multiple web sites and business units, and yet can be cost-effectively maintained as a single enterprise application. Based on a state-of-the-art, flexible platform that can grow with your business, Sitecore OMS focuses on customers at the point of engagement. With tracking tools that directly measure online information delivery, marketers publish content, monitor results, and tailor the interactive experience. Customer intelligence is tightly integrated with the business rules that generate dynamic web pages. The metrics accurately capture what customers view and what selections they make. There is a single, consistent environment for analyzing results and continuously improving customer experience and business results on your website.

Tracking the 360-degree Customer Experience

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With Sitecore OMS, marketers and sales executives manage their overall marketing campaigns that build customer relationships and achieve business objectives. Working on their own and without requiring ongoing IT assistance, marketers categorize content with tags that identify goals, campaigns, and real time profiling actions, all without coding. They then score the interactions as the content is displayed, and measure the results. Sitecore OMS includes a business rules engine that drives the way content is delivered to your visitors. It can be integrated with your CRM platform or other enterprise systems to ensure that marketing and sales metrics are managed as a single, consistent application environment. Sitecore OMS makes every click count. As a marketer or sales executive, you can continuously improve your online experience in such diverse areas as online advertising performance and sales enablement. You can make your web site an active, integral part of your overall sales and marketing activities.

When Every Click Counts

Using Sitecore OMS, you can instrument your web site to measure overall conversions and advertising campaign effectiveness. You can track how customers react to content, focusing on the click-by-click analysis from the initial landing pages to the points where you make offers and record sales. You can measure results in real time, and proceed to optimize the messages for target customer segments. In short order, you can deliver the context sensitive offers that drive customers to action. Illustration 3 shows how Sitecore CMS and OMS bring together Online Marketing Automation tools and Web Analytics into a single, comprehensive platform

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Illustration 3. Sitecore OMS brings together the best of web analytics and marketing automation into a single integrated platform.

With Sitecore OMS, your sales executives can be immediately notified when prospects are looking for content on your site, and respond accordingly. While your site is busy qualifying your prospects, and probing for concerns about your offering, you are gaining valuable insight on your customers’ motivation. Finally, all of this data can be added to your CRM system to manage predefined enterprise business processes. Your sales team accesses deeper and more relevant customer information, while your website provides the personalize experiences that help to address your prospects areas of concern. Sitecore OMS thus augments and extends

Similarly, with Sitecore OMS, you can improve the quality of leads that your marketing group produces for your sales organization. To begin with, both groups can agree on common metrics – lead scoring allows marketing and sales to define the common set of lead qualification parameters. Lead scoring then provides the natural interaction points for sales to track and engage prospective deals. Geotracking and IP lookup, capabilities embedded within the platform, allow you to automatically route the leads to the appropriate sales unit.

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the existing ways that you structure and manage your sales, service, and support activities.

In short, particularly in the current business climate, it’s important to economize and make the most of every customer interaction. By combining web content management with customer intelligence, you now have a complete view of your customers’ online experiences. With Sitecore OMS, you can understand every click and dynamic web page display. You can measure customer intent and interest in depth. With this customer intelligence available in real time, you can manage the business rules that optimize your website’s overall performance and financial results.

Calculating the Business Benefits

It’s time to engage with your customers and prospects, and bring the tangible experiences of the physical world to online shopping experiences. You can grow your business by making your marketing campaigns and your sales engagements efforts much more effective. You can make the most of every interaction by ensuring that customers consistently have the right online experiences where they find answers to their questions, take action, and make informed buying decisions. With Sitecore OMS you make the promise of web engagement a reality.

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Sitecore’s Web Content Management System (CMS) and portal software solutions enable companies to deliver compelling Web experiences. Sitecore’s award-winning CMS software makes it easy for businesses to create and keep up-to-date dynamic, full featured Web sites of all types. Sitecore’s industry-leading flexibility and scalability allow companies to better leverage their content to improve customer experience and drive business growth.

About Sitecore

Thousands of public and private organizations, including national governments and Fortune 500 companies utilize Sitecore solutions for their web sites. These organizations have created and now manage over 20,000 dynamic web sites with Sitecore including Microsoft, Sara Lee, Siemens, Toshiba, Omni Hotels, Computer Associates, ISS and Atlanta Falcons. As a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner, Sitecore works closely with Microsoft in the development and improvement of both products and services. Sitecore’s solid architecture and dedication to the .NET framework and Service Oriented Architecture principals provide companies with virtually unlimited development and integration opportunities. Microsoft named Sitecore ISV partner of the year in 2004, based on the impressive success of Sitecore’s software for many significant mutual clients. For more information about Sitecore CMS, visit www.sitecore.net.

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