Published: 12 May 2017

Profiles, Profile Keys, Profile Cards, Patterns and Personas… trust Sitecore to use alliteration to make Personalisation simple to implement and understand...not! I have been running Personalisation workshops for a while now, and I still have to take stock sometimes to remind myself of the relationship and interplay between the P’s!

So to help, I am documenting what the P’s mean and why we should Pay attention to them. 

But before I get to all these P’s we must first understand what type of information we can retrieve from a site visitor and how we can Personalise according to this behaviour. This is referred to as Implicit and Explicit behaviour. When we implement Personalisation within Sitecore, we consider the relationship between Implicit and Explicit behaviour and the interaction between them. But, what is the difference and why should you care?

Well, Implicit user behavior is where we deduce what users want by tracking which pages they’re viewing, what links they’re clicking and what path they’re following on the site and mapped against their digital maturity.

Whereas, Explicit user behaviour is where a user identifies what their interests are by downloading a data sheet, searching on a keyword or voting in a poll. It might also be what device they are on, the goals they have achieved or their locations. This is where we implement Goals within Sitecore to help track and score this behaviour.


However, in my opinion it’s the implicit user behaviour which is powerful…but a little tricky to implement and implement well and this is where the P’s come in to Play.


Glossary of P Terms

Below if a glossary of P terms to help us understand Sitecore Personalisation. 

What is a Profile?
A Profile Is a category used to define the reason by which you are tracking the visitor’s behaviour i.e. the relationship you have with your site’s visitor.

What is a Profile Key?
Profiles are made up of a number of different Profile Keys, and these Profile Keys reflect the different aspects of a specific Profile.

What is a Profile Card?
A Profile Card is another set of Profile Keys used to represent a Predefined relationship that can be applied to content. This is what you use to tag content on the site to a specific Profile

What is a Pattern Card?
A Pattern Card is essentially your customer (often confused with a Persona). Pattern Cards are a combination of keys, that are used to match a visitor Profile to its closest Pattern. Pattern Cards are not assigned to your content; Sitecore automatically assigns one to the current visitor as they move around the site.

What is a Persona?
A Persona is Pre-defined from Sitecore. They are similar to Profile Cards but have specific user information included within them. For example, name, Phone, Personal information, objectives etc. These are mainly used for Content Teams to help integrate your Content Strategy with your Personalisation Strategy.

 

Let’s take a look at this in Practice.

So, let’s consider a Travel company, whose website Purpose is to sell a number of trips across the globe. Different trips will appeal to different site visitors, so our job is to identify a way to work out what style of trip appeals to which user and put them into a bucket of users that have the same interest. To achieve this we need to follow these steps:

Step 1 – Setup a Profile

Step 2 – Define and Configure the Profile Keys

Step 3 – Define your Profile Cards and consider their Persona

Step 4 -  Configure your Pattern Cards accordingly

Step 5 – Tag content with your Profile Cards

 

Step 1 – Setup a Profile

Example Profile

For this travel company the Profile that we would like to identify is the user’s Travel Style. 

How to implement this in Sitecore?

To set this up, we need to enter the Marketing Control Panel in Sitecore and right click on Profiles, then click  Insert  > Profile. This will then open a pop-up which we will call Travel Style. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Step 1 is that simple, your Profile is setup. Now to define and configure the Profile Keys.

Step 2 - Define and Configure the Profile Keys

            Example Profile Keys

We know that our Profile is Travel Style, so my Profile Keys need to be the different categories that help define my Travel Style. Therefore, as part of this example, my Profile Keys are going to be:

  •  High Energy
  •  Camping
  •  Skiing

 

How to implement this in Sitecore?

To set this up, we need to again enter the Marketing Control Panel in Sitecore and right click on the Profile that we created (Travel Style), then click Insert > Profile Keys. This will then open a pop-up which we will call our Profile Keys – High Energy, Camping and Skiing. We then assign them a value, which is determined in the workshop however typically it has a range of 0-5.

Step 3 Define your Profile Cards and consider their Persona

Example Profile Cards

As described above, Profiles are categories that you define to track a contact’s behaviour as they navigate through your website. As it is the content that we need to tag, in our example our three Profile Cards are the same as our Profile Keys:

  •  High Energy
  •  Camping
  •  Skiing

How to implement this in Sitecore?

Again, we need to again enter the Marketing Control Panel in Sitecore and right click on the Profile that we created (Travel Style), then click Insert > Profile Cards {persona}. This will then open a pop-up which we will call our Profile Cards – High Energy, Camping and Skiing. We then assign them a value, which is determined in the workshop however typically it has a range of 0-5.

 

Step 4 Configure your Pattern Cards accordingly

Example Pattern Card

Pattern Cards are a combination of keys, but they are used to match a visitor profile to its closest pattern…therefore we give your Pattern Cards a real name. Therefore, we will use:

  •  High Energy Harry
  •  Camping Colin
  •  Winter Walter

How to implement this in Sitecore?

You can configure your Pattern Cards within your Profile within the Marketing Control Panel. Right click on the Pattern Card that sits within the Profile we created (Travel style), then click insert > Pattern Cards. This will then open a pop-up which we will call our Pattern Cards – High Energy Harry, Camping Colin and Winter Walter. We need to configure the Profile Key accordingly. If you can’t identify a clear persona for your key audiences, the chances are you shouldn’t have a pattern card for them.

 

 

 Question: What is the difference between Profile and Pattern Cards?

This is a question that I get asked a lot. Simply: 

Profile Card

  • You assign a content item with your Profile Card.
  • Therefore when a visitor views this content item they will identify themselves as this Profile

 Pattern Card

  • This allows you to evaluate who your visitor is as they move around the site. The user will identify themselves by collecting multiple Profile Cards which will form a Pattern.

  

Step 5 – Tag content with your Profile Cards

Once your Profiles, Profile Keys, Profile Cards and Pattern Cards have been setup in the Marketing Control Panel, we can then start tagging content with these. 

How to implement this in Sitecore?

You can assign your Profile card to a page in ether the Content Editor or the Experience Editor. The choice is yours!

Experience Editor

In the Experience Editor, navigate to the page that you want to assign a profile card to. In the Optimization group, in Page Profile Settings tab, click Assign Profile Cards. The Profile Cards dialog box appears. In the Profile Cards dialog box, select the profile that you are interested in and click Edit. The Select Profile Card dialog box appears.

Content Editor

In the Content Editor, navigate to the page that you want to assign a profile card to. Click on the blue Profile icon. Then simply select your Profile Card as detailed above.

 

Still confused?

Luckily for you, Sagittarius run Personalisation workshops to help work this through with you. We will help you define your Goals and Profiles and help implement a Personalisation strategy with you and your team. With a Predicted 19% increase in Conversion Rate through implementing Personalisation correctly, the ROI speaks for itself.

Want to know more?

Check out my latest Sitecore webinar on the Path to Personalisation: 

 

Ruth Irvine

Account Manager

READ MORE FROM RUTH IRVINE

Page Name: {% PageName %}

Page Template: {% PageTemplate %}

CampaignID: {% AgentReferrer.ID %}

CampaignName: {% AgentReferrer.Name %}

CampaignPhone: {% AgentReferrer.Phone %}

Item Location: {% PageLocation %}

Search Session Exists: False