Sitecore 9 Rethinks & Redesigns Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation Framework in Sitecore 9

It has been several years since we have seen any major updates to the marketing automation in Sitecore, so as you can imagine, a new design was highly anticipated.

The best news to start with is that MA is no longer reliant on Microsoft Silverlight and it is built on a high performance angular framework, setting up Sitecore users for a high performance user interface. With this new framework, the interface is entirely drag and drop and a marketer can build out simple or complex end-to-end marketing campaigns with goals, personalisation and connection to CRM, all in the same place.

The in-session feature of this new overhauled MA will get a lot of interest from marketers. High on the wish list was the ability to personalise the content while the visitor was still “in-session” and navigating the website. This is now possible with the new Marketing Automation capability in Sitecore 9, opening up retargeting for promotion or bait for conversion before the visitor drops off the page and website.

Using Sitecore for Marketing Automation?

As marketers, we want to be able to drive relevant and timely automated actions so as to take the brunt of the work out of target marketing and be relevant to an individual customer - we’re no longer in the business of blast or mass marketing campaigns. To achieve this, we need to leverage Sitecore’s extendable range of activities and automation conditions and tie our MA to a omni-channel engagement with multiple behaviour data points. With the conditions and the data, we can guide the visitor through our marketing automation based on high value scenarios.

High Value Scenarios

Breaking this down into five categories across all aspects of our customer journeys is a great way to help a marketing team to identify high value marketing automation scenarios. High Value journeys should closely align to how our Sitecore Value scales goals. Using the list below as an example, you can pick and choose where marketing automation can apply.

Example marketing automation:

  • Acquisition
    • Browser Abandonment
    • Welcome/On Boarding
    • Gated Content
    • Product Nurture
    • Content Nurture
  • Conversion
    • Recommended Products
    • Recommended Content
    • New Customer Purchase
    • Search Term Zero Results
    • Cart Abandonment
    • Search Term Follow up
  • Account Development
    • Review purchase
    • 2nd Purchase / Repeat Purchase
    • Up-sell
    • Cross-sell
    • Product Area Updates
    • Content Area Updates
  • Retention
    • Pre-flight
    • Welcome Home
    • Loyalty
    • Anniversary
    • Newsletter
    • Renewal
  • Win Back
    • Overdue to Purchase
    • Seasonal Timings
    • Low Engagement

Final Tasks

There are two final setup steps before a marketing automation plan can be activated. You need to journey map the different scenarios across different persona’s you’ve developed for your website. This is a simple workflow and can be constructed in the Sitecore MA system or on a whiteboard. When a customer journey is mapped with conditions, the only step left is to build content which will help your marketing automation plan come to life. Use the personas to guide your content strategy and consider the channel context to ensure messages are relevant.

— Nick Jones

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