Published: 07 March 2016
Whilst working on a new Sitecore 8.1 build with a blue chip client of ours, I stumbled across something called Outcomes that had been slipped into the Experience Profile, as a new tab. Now, maybe I didn’t spot this and its been there for a while but I don’t think this is the case!
To me, this was really exciting and remarkably timely as I had just been discussing the conversion funnel with the client and the idea of measuring business value against engagement value. I’d been racking my brain to come up with a variety of ways that we could measure value to the business, using custom fields, goals and facets and one or two other Sitecore features that we have at our disposal.
Lead Time Value and Engagement Value
We’d then been working out custom rules to allow us to personalise based on ‘cash value’ potential, persona pattern and engagement value. The need for this more complex triangulation of data points being down to the fact the client is in the travel business and so there can be up to 12 months between a customer first enquiring about a trip to the time that they come back from their trip.
I’ve Bought versus I’ve Engaged
Consequently, understanding that some website visitors have already bought the product and are now looking for supplementary content is key.
As the visitor has bought, based on how we have structured the engagement hierarchy within the website, they would have a high engagement score, relative to other visitors. However, the key fact is that they have bought. Other visitors could also have a high engagement score but might not have bought - they might have just done lots of research, engaged the brand through quote forms, live chat and contact forms and shared product content with their friends.
Understanding those that are ‘pending the experience’ is a key segment and a fantastic group to try and up-sell other complementary products (e.g. insurance, hotel nights, attractions). They’ve already bought into the brand, the value proposition and the product and so in many ways can be spoken to differently and made to feel special - they can be celebrated for their fantastic judgement and excited by the trip that they are about to take!
Outcomes is now how we are going to make this distinction. We can now judge engagement value and overlay the actual point in the process.
The list to the right shows the Outcomes that we are holding against each visitor. In order to do this we need to integrate with the CRM and Booking system, but once we have this information the possibilities are endless in reducing churn on trips and keeping customers engaged between purchase and experience.
All of these Outcomes are then automatically available in the Rules Engine for List Generation and for Personalisation.
With Outcomes, Sitecore 8.1 has also introduced Monetary Value and for each Outcome you define you can hold a value against it. Consequently, you can now segment and personalise based on specific outcome value or total lifetime value of outcomes.
As always, you can also use Facets to group Outcomes and work with sub-totals of monetary value.
Outcomes and Monetary value fill the gap between Engagement Value with the Brand and what the customer means to the business. It’s a real world, simple to understand, framework for personalisation and segmentation based on actual value. It’s also another measure by which your Sitecore implementation can be assessed by the business.
Fundamentally, any businesses website should have specific Outcomes documented as part of its strategic planning phase and now Sitecore has a clean, simple framework for implanting, recording and reporting on this.