The previous post explained the Customer Experience Maturity Model and its use as an effective marketing tool. Although many marketing professionals are aware that today’s customers are increasingly demanding greater control of their purchasing decision, some feel that the CEMM is a long-term, slow and steady, plodding approach. It is true that, hopefully, the CEMM will produce lifetime customers, but it can also be used to secure “quick wins” that pay off in terms of weeks or months, rather than years.
The Sitecore Digital Marketing System, or DMS, was developed to use the Customer Experience Maturity Model as a complementary component. DMS does not replace the goal of long-term wins; instead, it is a beginning stage that allows organizations to see tangible benefits sooner. Sitecore DMS provides a connected platform that combines real-time execution with robust analytics.
Step 1: Define Goals and Enable Customer Engagement Analytics
Engagement analytics is an important, built-in part of DMS, allowing companies to measure the relevancy and effectiveness of their marketing efforts without requiring tracking scripts. Details about every visitor’s interactions with a website are collected and stored for every visit. Marketers assign values to the most critical interactions that demonstrate whether the visitor is engaged; these values are typically based on the likelihood that the interaction will result in a sale.
- “Opting in” for the company’s e-newsletter will have a lower engagement value than requesting a hard-copy catalog.
- Registering an email will have a lower engagement value than providing a phone number.
- Requesting a sample will have a lower value than asking a sales agent to call.
The data collected can provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of marketing messages and help provide a roadmap to converting visitors to buyers. It can answer questions such as:
- How many times has this individual visited the website?
- Which marketing message generated the most positive interactions?
- Which pages generated the most sales in terms of order count and order value?
DMS also allows marketers to test the effectiveness of individual elements of the website. For example, marketing professionals know the importance of images in presenting material to consumers. They also know that seemingly inconsequential elements, such as placing the link to request more information at the bottoms of the page, rather than the top, or making a form difficult to navigate while completing can affect the number of interactions.
Step 2: Improve Conversion Rate by Optimizing Experience
Having people visit a company’s website is nice, but it is of no importance if the visits do not result in sales. The goal is to persuade visitors to take the next step — to add an item to their cart, click on the option to enter a chat with a representative or submit a form asking for a quote. Often, web developers save the “call to action” for the bottom of the page. In some cases, this is the proper location. However, in many cases, customers do not decide to interact at just one critical juncture; there might be multiple points where they feel the need for assistance, for example, or are ready to commit to a purchase. DMS helps marketers determine where those junctures are and which messages provide the best results at specific junctures. An analysis of the data collected can help marketers:
- Determine which pages received the most number of visits
- Determine the visitor’s previous location, such as a company’s Facebook page
- Determine the visitor’s geographic location, based on the IP address
- Determine the sequence of actions the visitor takes, such as going immediately to the knowledge base or catalog, initiating a search or navigating to a secondary page
- Determine the amount of time each visitor spends on each page
- Determine whether social media is properly incorporated in your website.
Armed with this information, marketers can fine-tune their messages to encourage interactions that will ultimately result in a commitment or sale.
Step 3: Review and Adjust
No system, method or process can be truly valuable unless its effectiveness is evaluated. Comparing the conversion rate during the four weeks prior to optimization to the conversion rate during the four weeks after optimization is one way of measuring performance. Another measurement might be:
- Average length of visit
- Average order amount
- Number of requests for a representative to call
If the metrics do not show that the goals are being met, a review of the efforts taken to optimize the customer’s experience would be appropriate — and if necessary, adjustments can made.