Sitecore 8 Aims to Add Context to Customer Connections

Sitecore announced an update to its core platform, Sitecore 8, during its annual customer conference, Symposium. New features within the platform are designed to help marketers enhance the customer experience by delivering consistent, integrated experiences across channels and responding to customer cues in real time.

“The more you know about someone and the context they’re in, the better experience you can provide for them,” Sitecore CEO Michael Seifert said during his conference keynote. Seifert emphasized that experiences are unique to each individual, so it’s essential that marketers understand customers’ context and preferences at an individual level. “The mass experience won’t last much longer,” he said.

Sitecore 8 aims to address all this with its new features, including enhanced data collection, automated testing and optimization, improved customization, and real-time reporting. The platform is designed to make it easier to gather data from such sources as CRM, ERP, and customer service systems to create a holistic view of the customer. New, completely automated testing and optimization tools are designed to recommend the ideal content to present, the best segments to target, and the optimal paths to conversion. The updated customization tools aim to help marketers customized the platform interface itself to align with their team’s marketing processes, as well as connect multichannel campaigns and support collaborative marketing planning across teams. Real-time reporting shows customer decision points, and highlights what’s working and what’s not.

“Technology is starting to fail the marketer,” Seifert said. “Each technology gives only a keyhole view of the customers, versus a holistic view. Marketers still don’t have the full picture.”

According to Seifert, experience marketing tools are the next generation of marketing technology, designed to provide a single view of the customer in real time to enable marketers to deliver personalized experiences.  Marketers will get the full picture of their customers, he said; not fragments. “Only when you see the full experience can you predict optimally,” he added.

Seifert went on to explain that customer experience makes or breaks a brand. “Brands must provide the right experience at the right time to get the attention and loyalty of today’s modern consumer,” he said. “Experience is the magic. It’s what ultimately matters, the lasting impression.  As you get that single view of the customer you’ll know things about your customers that no computer alone can tell you. Imagine the kind of personalization you can do; the experiences you can create.”

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