Monday, June 19, 2017

The most important image from SUGCON

You may well be asking "why? whats so cool about that image?"

This image popped up in a presentation from the tireless Chris Nash and in one simple picture describes what I still see as the biggest issue with new builds on Sitecore. 

Quite simply, a lot of companies approach a new site with an "it's all about us, the wonderful offerings we have, look how bright and shiny out new site is, showcasing all that you should love about us!!!" 

In the words of Dave Chappelle playing Charlie Murphy .. WRONG!

Here's the image again. 

The image on the left, while functional, is all about the companies brand. The image on the right is all about the customer, designed to remove the irksome half inch of Ketchup (or tomato sauce as we prosaically call it in NZ) left when you get the the end of the bottle, also allowing instant full flow of tomatoey goodness without having to hold the bottle upside down and shake. 

So how does this apply to Sitecore and specifically when it comes time to build that new web presence? 

Same deal, about making it easier for your customer to transact with you, ideally your website should be a tailored smorgasboard of relevant options, for each individual user. This is where its tricky, in a standard site build, the pixel gimps come up with some flash larry designs and the devs then start building it. Pertinent considerations such as personas, profiles, preferences, segments and anticipated behavior so often get swept into the legendary Phase Two. 

The point here is Sitecore provides magnificent tools to allow a true customer-centric approach and my blunt opinion is anyone who purchased Sitecore and is using it only for WCM (admittedly it is damn good at this too) should have probably stuck with Wordpress, sorry for the swearing. 

 So in summary two short messages. 

Design for your customer

Design for UX, customer journey and for what the marketing department knows about your customer, not how you want them to be but how they actually are. 

At the end of the day all that juicy goodness stored in xDB is your biggest tool to increase engagement, reach and conversion. 

Lastly thanks to Chris Nash and if your interested in the amazingness that was SUGCON 2017 - the videos and slides are starting to turn up here:


Sunday, June 11, 2017

SUGCON Europe 2017 - But where were the marketers?

You'd be forgiven in thinking that SUGCON 2017 was a geek-fest, in between machine learning, bots, AI, JSS, Commerce and numerous technical sessions, the marketing content took a little bit of digging out. 

The three sessions I did attend, however were all gems in their own right. As I kept pointing out (possibly to my own detriment), all these lovely technical toys are great and all but somehow a bit pointless if you aren't using all this cleverness to personalise and automate etc.

Five Keys to the Successful Context Marketing Project - CHRIS NASH

Christopher Nash has been with Sitecore for almost forever and is a great advocate for the digital marketing side of things. However this one image he popped up spoke so much to what most sites gets wrong, the website is not about "look how wonderful we are" - it should be all about the customer "how we can possibly help you" - have a look below - this one image does say it all. 

Here's Chris with another beautiful message, one CTA is about the brand, one is about the customer. 

Chris also has some great resources available to get you rocking with xDB. Give him a yell. 

Personalizing for Impact -PHIL WICKLUND

 Now Phil normally looks kinda fly so when he turned up looking like a lumberjack I was intrigued. Phil's sessions was practical so the shirt was very appropriate, hopefully his session will turn up in the video and download section here: 

Phil's message was all about transformation, looking beyond the easy tweaks to personalisation that will have a transformational impact across the organisation. 

Master Personalization and Integration - DAVE WALKER

Dave Walker, armed only with the shiniest cape in Amsterdam launches a brave session in the face of the every restless demo gods. 

Check out his slide deck here: 

The video and PPT assets are turning up online here: 

Two Key Takeaways 

  • Its about the customer visiting the site, not about crowing how great your brand is
  • All the cleverness of filling that xDB with mountains of data? well it don't amount to a hill 'o beans unless you are using it to mange and shape experiences.