Connective DX

Technology Personalization in Sitecore DMS 2.0: a marketer's view

We’ve been introducing many of our clients to the possibilities of personalized content lately. If you caught our Path to Personalization webinar, you may already be there, too. As a Sitecore Certified Partner, we’ve explored the specific capabilities for customized experiences that Sitecore can support.

Sitecore’s Personalization capabilities allow you to create customized experiences for individual site visitors.  For example, if a visitor comes into your site from a marketing campaign or using a particular Search keyword, you can present a specific callout or a relevant paragraph of content. Similarly, if a visitor enters your site and navigates through pages that you’ve earmarked to indicate a particular topical interest, you can customize content that appears to this visitor after this event is complete. 

Sitecore offers a number of different criteria for Personalization, but before launching into it, a disclaimer:

We cannot underscore enough how important it is to assess your readiness, prioritize your development focus, and develop a test proof-of-concept. This entails planning your strategy and identifying core profiles to target with personalization efforts. These profiles will segment users into different groups based on shared characteristics that you identify, allowing you to better understand their interests and activities and then optimize and improve personalization effectiveness over time.

Digging into personalization criteria

To access the Personalization section, you’ll log into Sitecore in Desktop Mode, where you have access to both the Content Editor and Page Editor. First, you’ll want to go to Content Editor [Diagram 1] where you’ll create a piece of personalized content. You’ll want to duplicate the existing page in the file structure, then use your duplicate copy to create a second version.

Diagram 1
Diagram 1

Once your work on this content is complete, you’ll want to open the Page Editor [Diagram 2], where you’ll assign that content to a particular item on a page. Identify the page where you’ll want the personalization to take place.

Diagram 2
Diagram 2

Once you’ve selected the page, locate the item on the page that you want to personalize and click on it to open a menu that displays the personalize component icon [Diagram 3].

Diagram 3
Diagram 3

This will allow you to see a series of conditions related to the content. You’ll want to create a new condition for this piece of content, and then assign rules to it. To do assign new rules, click the EDIT button [Diagram 4] and the Rule Set Editor Window will open [Diagram 5].

Diagram 4
Diagram 4

 

Diagram 5
Diagram 5

Sitecore contains both pre-defined conditions out of the box and the ability to set up your own rules for personalization. As of 2014, Sitecore DMS 2.0, contained a healthy selection of 62 pre-defined rules, which can be selected independently or in combination with others:

Date

  • when the date has passed
  • when the current day of the month compares to number
  • when the current day is day of the week
  • when the current month is month

Fields

  • where the specific field compares to specific value
  • where the specific field is empty
  • where the item contains a field type that compares to specific

GeoIP

  • where the area code compares to specific value
  • where the business name compares to specific value
  • where the city compares to specific city
  • where the country compares to specific country
  • where the DNS address compares to specific value
  • where the IP address compares to specific value
  • where the ISP name compares to specific value
  • where the latitude compares to specific value
  • where the longitude compares to specific value
  • where the metro code compares to specific value
  • where the postal code compares to specific value
  • where the region compares to specific value

Item Hierarchy

  • where the item is the specific item or one of its ancestors
  • where the item is the specific item or one of its descendants
  • where the level of the item compares to number
  • where the item path compares to path
  • where the parent name compares to value
  • where the parent template is specific template

Item Information

  • where the item ID compares to value
  • where the item name compares to value
  • where the item template is specific template

Item Version

  • where the item language compares to value

Security

  • where the current user is anonymous
  • where the current user domain name compares to value
  • where the user profile includes a valid email address
  • where the current user name compares to value
  • where the specific field in the user profile compares to value
  • where the specific field in the user profile is not empty
  • where the value in the specific numeric field in the user profile compares to number
  • where the current user is a member of the specific role

Sitecore Query

  • where the result of the expression query exists

System

  • Analytics has been enabled
  • where calling the specific script returns true
  • where a condition in the specific rule is true
  • where the current domain name compares to value
  • when the Item Buckets feature is enabled
  • where predefined condition is true
  • where true (actions always execute)

Visit

  • where the specific campaign was triggered during the current visit
  • where the number of engagement value points compares to number
  • where the specific goal was triggered during the current visit
  • where the current visit matches the specific pattern card in the specific profile
  • where the ID of the page event is specific value
  • where the name of the page event compares to specific value
  • where the page index compares to number
  • where the specific page has been visited during the current visit
  • where the value of the specific profile key compares to specific value
  • where the search keywords compares to specific value
  • where the traffic type compares to number

Visitor

  • where the visit no. compares to number
  • where the specific tag of the visitor is not empty
  • where the ISP name compares to specific value
  • where the value in the specific numeric field in the user profile compares to number
  • where the visitor identification compares to specific value
  • where the specific tag of the visitor compares to value

If your needs are not met by the pre-defined conditions, Sitecore allows you to set your own rules.

Once you’ve saved your work, you can double-check that your item has been assigned a new condition by clicking on it to see the default, as well as the other available conditions [Diagram 6: Conditions Window].

Diagram 6
Diagram 6

Finally, finish by publishing your changes. Once published, you can confirm that the personalization is working by going either to the Marketing Center and looking at your Engagement Analytics or by testing the personalization that you set up.

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