Is your Sitecore website holding you back?

Inflexible templates, not enough data, expensive to make changes, unable to personalise, can’t spin up optimised campaign pages… sound familiar?

You’re not alone.

During this video, we’ll explore, the fundamental best-practice building blocks in place to really take advantage of the platform’s full capabilities.

We’ll run you through why it doesn’t have to cost the earth to start making progress.

In this video we’ll give you our insiders tips for the common challenges that Sitecore customers face and how you can start your journey to overcome them:

What we will cover:

  • What you should expect to see in a well-built Sitecore website
  • Common shortcuts to watch out for that will cost you in the long run
  • Making your templates and components hyperflexible to cope with anything the business throws at you
  • Ensuring you’re personalisation-ready
  • How to fix what you already have without breaking the bank

 

 

Sitecore 10 Release What’s New, Why Upgrade and How To Start Using The New Features

Since the release of Sitecore 10 earlier this year, the team at Ratio have spent their time pulling the new platform apart to provide you with an update on what’s new, what will be most useful and how you should begin planning to use the new features:

Join us for this practical session as we run through the latest release from Sitecore

 

Tip: Click on the below presentation to scroll through the slides

xDB Migration Tool Experience

 

xDB Data Migration tool is offered by Sitecore to Convert and migrate data from Sitecore Experience Database 8.x to Sitecore Experience Database 9.x. You can find different version of the tool here.

I have used xDB Migration tool 3 as part of Sitecore Upgrade twice for two different infrastructure setups, PaaS and IaaS, and here is what I learned.

  1. To install and configure the tool, use Sitecore manual.
  2. For production migration make sure you enable verification because the migration process is often stopped/interrupted, and you want to start it again in resume mode, so it does not iterate all data from beginning.
  3. Monitor the migrated data from migration tool, and if the migration stops and won’t start again when trying to resume, check the VerificationLog table from verification database and run the following update command:

  UPDATE  [xdb_Verification].[dbo].[VerificationLog]

  SET [Status] = ‘Succeeded’

  1. If your Sitecore 8 setup is PaaS with Sitecore Mongo as a Service the migration will be very slow. It took a couple of weeks to migrate around 500K records (migration tool on and off). To speed up the process:
  • increase the number of threads at the “Pipelines/MongoDB Contacts to xConnect Migration Pipelines/Read Contacts from MongoDB Pipeline/Iterate MongoDB Contacts and Run Pipelines” item
  • increase batch size at “Pipelines/MongoDB Contacts to xConnect Migration Pipelines/Read

Contacts from MongoDB Pipeline/Add xConnect Client to Context” item

  1. If you have Mongo installed on a VM the migration runs more smoothly and I was able to migrate around 2000K (2 million) records in a couple of weeks (migration tool on and off).
  2. Make sure you have all custom goals and campaigns items installed in the upgraded solution otherwise Analytics data reports will all reference [unknown] data.
  3. Because while migrating xDB data you need to increase maxRequestLength in web.config, editors will get the following error when uploading images in image fields:

The maximum amount of data that you can upload is NaN undefined’. So, editors must go the longer route: upload images under Media Library and refer them in image fields.

Upgrade to Sitecore 9.3 – the easy way

Upgrade to Sitecore 9.3 – the easy way

Sitecore® Experience Platform™ 9.3 focuses on product updates and enhancements that increase usability and improve performance – all centered around making it easier and faster to build digital experiences so brands can accelerate their time to value. The new editing environment offers an intuitive interface with everything a user needs for easy navigation as well as real-time contextual insights as content is created and published, giving marketers the knowledge they need to drive improved conversions.

Other highlights can be reviewed on Sitecore site.

The decision to upgrade from your current to Sitecore XP 9.3 isn’t always the same.

Any upgrade to Sitecore XP 9.3 is more than a simple technical decision, however. An upgrade provides a great opportunity to revisit your content strategy and clean out the content in your WCM that is outdated or ineffective. It’s also the perfect time to re-evaluate your marketing strategy and develop new plans that enable the creation and delivery of unified, contextual customer experiences.

Another area that needs to take in consideration with the upgrade is Server Infrastructure.

Sitecore Cloud on Azure offers great efficiency in your ability to deploy and scale infrastructure on demand, while reducing on-premise costs. Using native Azure services and a pay-as-you-go usage-based model can simplify IT operations.

With Sitecore 9 you can still go with on-premise and IaaS models either in Azure or other data centers, but PaaS deployment may prove to be a game-changer for many organizations. This is a great juncture to re-evaluate your overall infrastructure and associated IT costs given the increased maturity of the Azure platform and available services.

2020 for me is the year of Sitecore upgrades so far. I was involved in 3 Sitecore upgrades, from different versions of Sitecore 8 to Sitecore 9.2 or Sitecore 9.3 with deployments both to PaaS and IaaS.

Before you start the upgrade, you need to asses the level of complexity the custom code has, because that will impact the upgrade time. Also take in consideration to use TDS or Unicorn to serialize Sitecore custom items to the file system and store them in source control.

Here are some integrations and features you need to take in consideration:

  • Dependency Injection – to avoid conflicts it must be changed if is not Microsoft DI used by Sitecore
  • Search, you should definitely consider using SOLR or Azure Search. Use Lucene only for a development or single server evaluation environment that runs Sitecore Experience Manager. You cannot use Lucene in a scaled environment. You can only use Lucene for content search. xConnect does not support Lucene. Sitecore does not recommend or support Lucene in a production environment.
  • ORM – may cause a lot of problems. In my experience Glass Mapper required a lot of re-work, Synthesis and Fortis, not so much
  • Custom Experience Editor buttons or menus – because need to be re-implemented in Speak
  • Sitecore modules that are no longer supported. The main one is Sitecore WFFM.
  • Custom Sitecore modules from Marketplace that need upgrade if you have the source code, or simply removed (PowerShell, 301 Redirects, Image Cropper – already part of Sitecore built in functionality…etc.)
  • Is Analytics enabled, if yes you need to take in consideration
  • Current infrastructure if it has anything specific

Now let’s start the upgrade. My solutions are built using Helix principles, more or less, and they use TDS to version control serialized custom Sitecore items.

Start-up

  • Task1. Get database from Production.
  • Task2. Set up a new branch for Sitecore 8 and set up local solution to connect to Production database copies.
  • Task3. Sync TDS projects with Sitecore (that has production copy databases) to make sure that nothing was missed from TDS while developing features. Look carefully for core items.
  • Task4. Make sure you have an overview of all custom features implemented to all Sitecore Roles that exist on Production (ex. for Processing/Reporting) that may not be included in the VS solution.
  • Task5. Check what custom modules are installed/used and make sure you have a corresponded version for Sitecore 9 (ex. 301 redirects, PowerShell etc.) or look for alternatives (ex. WFFM -> Sitecore Forms)
  • Task6. Create a new feature branch where you will work on the upgrade.
  • Task7. Install Sitecore 9.3 on your local machine. Connect your TDS with the empty installation.
  • Task8. Create a copy of the empty website root to have it as a backup, to compare agains after you first compile the upgraded code.
  • Task9 – optional. Make sure you configure CI/CD for Test server. Release Pipeline should be connected to an empty installation of Sitecore 9 on Test server.

Execute Upgrade

Task1. Update Sitecore packages feed source in nuget config:


<packageSources>
<clear />
<add key=”Nuget” value=”https://api.nuget.org/v3/index.json”/>
<add key=”Sitecore” value=”https://sitecore.myget.org/F/sc-packages/api/v3/index.json” />
</packageSources>

 

Task2. Upgrade .NET Framework for all projects.

Task3. Upgrade Sitecore nuget packages to match Sitecore version you want to upgrade to.

Task4. Make sure 3rd party nugets are upgraded as well but make sure they match the version used by Sitecore => check Sitecore web config or directly the bin folder.

Task5. Consolidate nuget packages making sure same version is used on all projects that refer the package. You can also upgrade projects except TDS to use Package References instead of package.config.

On this step on some solutions I had lot of headaches because VS does not allow you to switch from package.config to package references because project type is not configured to allow it. A workaround for this is to edit the .csproj and remove temporary the ProjectTypeGuids line – this will transform your web application project into a class library project – and after you migrate to package references you can put the line back.

 <ProjectTypeGuids>{349c5851-65df-11da-9384-00065b846f21};{fae04ec0-301f-11d3-bf4b-00c04f79efbc}</ProjectTypeGuids>

Task6. Compile the code. In this step you can decide to solve code conflicts and upgrade obsolete code.

Task7. Connect TDS with the empty installation of Sitecore 9 you want to upgrade too.

Task8. Deploy custom code on Sitecore 9.

Task9. Browse the site to make sure you do not have any incompatible assemblies.

Tip: You can compare bin files from website root back up (clean Sitecore Installation) with the bile files from website root containing custom code. Sitecore dlls should be the same (there can be some exceptions not referred in assemblies mapping)

Tip: You can edit nuget version from .csproj if you encounter problems upgrading packages using Package Manager.

Install Production Content

Task1. Install 3rd party Sitecore modules that are still relevant or have a compatible version with Sitecore 9

Task2. Take latest content from Production as normal Sitecore Packages: content, media, module items (ex. 301 redirect rules), users, roles

Task3. Make sure you comment out item events from config: \App_Config\Sitecore\Marketing.Operations.xMgmt\Sitecore.Marketing.config – it will throw errors when installing duplicate items (one client had  a lot of duplicate items)

Task4. Install Packages

Task5. Transfer user passwords. Use script: UpgradeScripts\TransferUserPasswords.aspx

Task6. Repair content.

Check for dynamic placeholder definition (supported by default in Sitecore 9 but with a different placeholder definition pattern). Use and change as needed the script: UpgradeScripts\FixDynamicPlaceholders.aspx

Check for Rendering parameters that have field names with spaces (will throw error for components used with personalization). Use script: UpgradeScripts\FixParametersFieldsWithSpaces.aspx.aspx

Compare master and web for unpublished content so editors can take care of it before Go Live. Use script: UpgradeScripts\CompareMasterWebContent.aspx        

Task7. Recreate forms using Sitecore Forms application if WFFM was used before.

Task8. Rebuild indexes and link database.

Task9. Use xDB Migration tool to migrate Analytics data.

You can download the mentioned scripts from GitHub

Code refactoring

Task1. Make sure you solve all warning and solve obsolete code.

Task2. Consolidate Dependency Injection to be same as what Sitecore uses. You can see the details of the dependency injection at this URL: http://[instance]/sitecore/admin/showservicesconfig.aspx.

Some objects like HttpContext is already injected.

Task3. Replace incompatible code.

Task4. Use config transform rules to overwrite Sitecore default setting to inject custom configurations specific to your custom functionalities.

Go Live Plan

Task1. Get artifacts from latest approved CI build.

Task2. Make sure you update configs for all Sitecore Roles (ex. Site Definition).

Task3. Install TDS update package.

Task4. Install custom code for each Sitecore Role if needed.

Task5. Install latest content from Production following Install Production Content Instructions.

Task6. If everything is OK update DNS.

Sitecore 10 – what’s included in the latest release and why upgrade to Sitecore 10

With the release of Sitecore 10.0 –   we take a look under the hood at what’s new with the latest release.

So let’s dive in

Development improvements: New options for delivery of solutions including

  • Support for Sitecore Containers and Docker
  • A new ASP.NET Core SDK provides developers with additional headless development option and allows you to build your applications faster on the latest .NET technology
  • Sitecore CLI  and Sitecore for Visual Studio brings you headless serialization combining the best of TDS and Unicorn

Faster Sitecore development on the latest .net tech

  • Increase developer productivity with headless rendering architecture
  • More easily integrate Sitecore into your existing ASP.NET Core applications

For marketers and developers, there’s a lot of small and big improvements to the platform 

  • Faster personalisation reporting – additional tools to help easily manage thousands of personalisations rules 
  • Faster content delivery response times
  • Marketing automation expiry at scale 
  • Application map for xConnect services – monitor, diagnose and trace XP service requests on Micorosft Azure application map 
  • Faster xDB change tracking – faster processing of high volume of changes using fewer server resources

Content experience improvements 

 

  • Horizon editing interface  – introduced in Sitecore 9.3 and further enhanced in Sitecore 10. Editing improvements to help editors support multisite and multilingual sites.
  • New Email templates out of the box
  • Enhanced privacy features
  • Personalisation enabled on CMS only installations

 

Salesforce marketing automation 

For those companies who have integrated their Salesforce marketing cloud platform into Sitecore, version 10.0 has some new under the hood improvements to make this a more compelling proposition. 

  • No more waiting for nightly synchronisation of customer data with data now synced in real-time between Sitecore and Salesforce Marketing Cloud. 
  • Send real-time customer xDB data to Salesforce Marketing Cloud
  • Take advantage of live data by placing visitors into marketing automation plans 

Helping marketers to easier connect with customers 

  • Easier email creation – for those marketers who are using Sitecore EXM to manage their marketing campaigns, new email templates have been added to help manage your campaign creation. 
  • Marketing automation improvements for more granular targeting 
  • Deeper insights with analytics reports – you can now filter reports by marketing segment

Horizon editing improvements 

Horizon editing was a major new addition when released with Sitecore 9.3. With Sitecore 10.0 Horizon now has added new editing features. 

  • Multisite and multilingual now supported: Horizon now supports site and language selectors in the application bar to allow you to use the new editing experience with your multisite and multilingual solutions 
  • Ability to edit metadata directly within the Horizon editing experience  

Greater support for data privacy compliance 

Right to be forgotten: 

 

  • Sitecore teams now have the flexibility to enable anonymisation of personal information submitted through Sitecore forms

 

Right to object 

 

  • Visitors now have greater voice over the use of their data with new consent features
  • Development teams can now easily configure sites to require explicit content before tracking starts
  • Automatically disable tracking if visitor revokes the consent

 

Why Upgrade to Sitecore 10.0?

  • Consistent UI – use either Experience editor (a what you see if what you get experience) and the new Horizon editing interface. 
  • Continuously aggregate data: with a 360 – degree view of your customers. With Sitecore XP 10.0, Sitecore’s xDB offers marketers the ability to continuously capture, aggregate, track and report on customer and content interaction data in real-time
  • Fully headless with multiple content development models, including MVC, SXA, JSS and ASP.NET Core.
  • Sitecore containers: support rapid infrastructure-as-code deployment 
  • Take advantage of data collection at scale: leverage the xConnext API to collect and connect to multiple data stores
  • Advanced customer segmentation: enhancements in Sitecore XP 10.0 allow for deeper insights on audience engagement and segmentation to provide a single view of each customer

Do we really know how our customers interact with us?

Over the past 15 years, Sitecore has grown from being a robust and scalable content management platform into a highly integratable multichannel engine with a market-leading suite of tools to manage and optimise the customer experience.

With features such as personalisation, marketing automation, testing and analytics, marketers have the ability to control the experience for a user at a granular level across the entire digital estate, founded on a data store of every trackable interaction that occurs with the business.

However, for many organisations the single ”true” view of customers will reside in a CRM platform such as Dynamics. This not only ingests data such as personal details, work information, sales leads, mailing lists and so on, but is also the primary resource for internal teams (and sometimes external) to consume this data back out. Furthermore, without a CRM it becomes difficult to accurately track interactions that happen outside of the digital estate.

Whilst Sitecore positions itself as an omnichannel marketing tool, the reality is that the only way to really access a holistic view of your customers’ interactions with your brand, and use this information to deliver excellent experiences across channels and teams, is to integrate it with a CRM system.

Of course there are many elements that sit around this, such as personalising nurture journeys, firing out trigger emails as part of marketing automation, targeting key prospects and so on. I have not covered this within this post, but as part of a strategic initiative this would clearly thread through an effective CRM integration project in the long term.

A quick recap of Sitecore’s platform model

Sitecore is often viewed as a content management system, and whilst at its heart this is true, thousands of clients around the world use it for hugely varying purposes. Websites, intranets, mobile apps, print media, asset management, and line-of-business applications among others all have Sitecore sitting at their core, doing what it was built to do.

In order to illustrate how this works in practice, below is a simple framework overview showing how the pieces fit together:

Channels: The different channels Sitecore can output content to

Management: The traditional CMS layer, storage of content, media and assets

AIDA: The personalisation, automation, analytics and optimisation engine

Database: The store of every interaction that users have with our Sitecore estate

Integration:  The ability to integrate with third party systems

What can we extract from Sitecore?

Sitecore is founded on two databases:

  1. Content database, which contains text, images, assets and so on
  2. Experience database (referred to as xDB), where we store everything we know about users

The xDB is the database we’re interested in for the purpose of integrating user data. It is a hugely scalable database built on MongoDB (although pre-Sitecore 7.5 it still resides in a SQL database and is called the “Analytics Database”) which captures every interaction a user has with our digital estate, including:

  • User’s name, email address and other personal details they provide to us over time through signing up for newsletters, submitting contact forms, registering for events etc
  • How the user reached us: campaigns, referral sites, direct and more
  • Goals and content they have interacted with
  • Audience profiles they’ve matched based on browsing behaviour
  • A historical timeline of their visits and activity

Sitecore also tracks this information for anonymous users as well, but until we know who the user is (e.g. by providing us with unique detail such as an email address) we cannot connect them with their record in CRM.

Below is a screenshot of how Sitecore exposes this data in Sitecore 8, which very much resembles a CRM profile screen in itself. In earlier versions you will have access to a more basic view of this (“Engagement Analytics”),  but the underlying data is largely the same and so we can still use it in a similar way. On the left is an example of the “user overview” screen, and on the right an example of the “audience matched” screen.

This data is essentially what we use to power personalisation on the front end of our website, by setting up rules based on conditions. E.g. if the user has come from Campaign X and triggered Goal Y then show a different call to action. All Sitecore is doing is interrogating this data during the user’s visit.

Integrating our data

Crucially, all this data from xDB can be extracted from Sitecore and shared with other systems within the business, such as Dynamics. Not only that, but we can also update a user’s profile in Sitecore based on CRM data.

What that means is that we can maintain a constant and consistent up-to-date view of a user in both systems, but also use that to effect the way in which we communicate with that user both online and offline.

At a high level, data is integrated by mapping fields from Sitecore’s xDB user table into the appropriate fields in CRM. Therefore there is work to do up front to define what data you wish to share between the two platforms

Having a Member Login feature on your Sitecore website makes a “single customer view” much more robust as we can see that the user is known, but we can also achieve it based on cookies. Let’s take an end-to-end example to show how this could work for a B2B customer.

1. John Smith visits our website, goes through a personalised journey, and submits a contact form. We can track this, as well as past and future sessions, by identifying him through his cookie and matching him back to his profile in the xDB

2. All the data we’ve been collecting about our user is dumped into CRM and is followed up by Sales

3. Sales is able to have an informed conversion with John as they can see which pages he’s been browsing, what audience profile he matches, and how he got to our site in the first place

4. When Sales concludes their phone call with John, they can update his profile in CRM to indicate he has been contacted, along with any other profile values such as product/service interest

5. This CRM information is then passed back into John’s Sitecore profile to update his xDB record

6. The next time John visits the website, he sees personalised content based on the outcome of the phone call and the updated CRM data (e.g. a relevant case study on the homepage banner)

It takes some legwork in setting up an integration to enable this utopian vision, as well as getting the right structure and process in place to allow teams to use CRM in this way. This is a much deeper discussion and involves mapping of user journeys, sales and customer service processes and so on.

We recommend starting with a relatively simple Phase 1 that looks at delivering more immediate value. The next section looks at possible examples of this.

As a footnote, Sitecore does provide a free connector to Microsoft Dynamics. However, this is fairly basic. From our experience with customers who have attempted this, nearly all have eventually opted for building a bespoke integration that better suits their business needs.

Where to begin?

There are many uses for a Sitecore/CRM integration. As I’ve alluded to above, a quick win could simply be the extraction of lead data for users into CRM and perhaps even creating “Key Account Activity” alerts if you’re a B2B business.

This does require up-front work in mapping out business processes, CRM structure, team working, and various other facets. With enough time and resources you can begin to create highly personalised acquisition and ongoing retention funnels by connecting the two platforms to increase leads and lead quality.

However, across both B2B and B2C businesses there are other use cases you may wish to consider to manage the customer experience more efficiently:

  • Connecting call center or other offline interactions with Sitecore either by inputting data directly into CRM or through a data provider, and using this to control the front end experience. This is especially useful when dealing at scale
  • Managing client preference centers within CRM and synching it with user profiles in Sitecore (e.g. email subscriptions, content subscriptions, interests etc)
  • Controlling security and permissions from within CRM
  • Creating and importing email lists from within CRM into Sitecore’s email campaign management tool

Want to know more?

If you’d like to know more about how connecting Sitecore with CRM can help accelerate your customer experience strategy, drop us a line at hello@ratiopartners.co.uk.

Google analytics vs Sitecore analytics

 

At Ratio we are lucky enough to have a strong pedigree in both Sitecore and Analytics products. If you’re reading this article, you probably also use Sitecore as your CMS as well as a third party Analytics product too, or will soon. A question we get asked a lot by our customers is how these products should optimally fit together in their martech ecosystem. “Should we use both? Just GA? Can they be integrated?”

This article is the first in a series which will help to answer those questions.

So what are the relative strengths of each platform? Which parts are complimentary?

Lets start with Sitecores strengths as well as unique knowledge it has about your website and users:

Sitecore tracking is “Server side” and could be more accurate than GA 
Adblock usage is on the rise world wide as is the adoption of products like Ghostery. Browsers are starting to introduce this functionalality in a native way, like Firefox with “Do not track”. The implication of these shifts in behaviour and technology capability is that traditional web analytics products – relying upon the ability to execute Javascript – are measuring and reporting on the behaviour of far less than 100% of your website users. While Sitecore does rely upon a cookie to identify a user across pages and sessions, it is unaffected by users blocking javascript. The result? More accurate numbers.

Sitecore can allocate users to sophisticated Personas 
Sitecore can dynamically move users between Personas based on the strength of their engagement with a particular type of content. The closest this could be replicated within Analytics products would be Segmentation, but segments lack the benefit of being dynamic and (without a lot of thinking) will not really be about the strength of engagement, just whether the user engaged at all. If you sell Cars and Motorbikes and a user saw both types of content but saw the Motorbike content 10 times more, would you want to include them in your “Car buyer” persona? It’s very difficult to prevent this from happening using Segmentation alone.

Sitecore is the source of truth for your content – it’s your CMS! 
Sitecore knows a lot that GA does not about your content. What taxonomy does it fit under? Who was the author? How many words is it? All of this context is invisible to GA without some form of integration, and yet is very valuable in assessing the performance of that content.

Sitecore can deal in named individuals
Sitecore can provide reporting on the journey of specific individuals. What goals were triggered, content was seen, personas were allocated and etc. This is incredibly important Business Intelligence in organisations that rely upon person to person relationships to sell. Third party Analytics products, conversely, are geared towards providing information about “Segments” of your audience, information which is less helpful when your sales person meets their client over coffee.

Sitecore can calculate an Engagement Value score 
This is a very nuanced way of evaluating the engagement levels of the 97.5% of your users that don’t convert. This engagement value can be allocated based on achievement of on site goals like brochure downloads, CTA clicks and more. But, it can also be allocated using automation plans. An example of using Engagement value is a law firm we’ve worked with. They wanted to allocate more engagement value to a people profile view that came after viewing a specialism page; and less to a user who went directly to a people profile from the Homepage – clearly in this scenario, the website didn’t play as strong a role in driving the successful outcome.

Sitecore is probably already your testing and personalisation tool 
It’s the source of truth about who saw what experience. Unless you’re testing two entirely different pages against each other (each with a different URL) or have already attempted some form of integration, GA will know none of this.

And what’s so special about Google Analytics?

Its already your marketing source of truth  
You’re probably already using it to report on the success of marketing campaigns and pages. You should consider that one source of truth means any comparisons you’re making between activities will be on a “like for like” basis. This means better decision making.

You have organisational competencies 
There are not many markateers out there who have an extensive knowledge of Sitecore Analytics, within your organisation or outside of it. This is an important consideration – what platform can people actually use competently? However much I advocate for data and evidence based decision making, the reality is it’s a battle to get this culture adopted in many organisations. Moving to a technology users have no familiarity with is additional friction which will make that even harder.

Google Analytics has an amazing ability to slice and dice – “Segments”
I simply cannot overstate how important this functionality is in Google & Adobe Analytics. Almost on its own this feature means that GA should be your source of truth. Segments can allow you to perform incredibly sophisticated analysis of the behaviour of users on your website – but Sitecore has no way to replicate this functionality out of the box. Segments are pretty much the main way that insights can be extracted from your web analytics data.

Integrations, Integrations, Integrations 
Google Analytics has native integrations with the rest of the Google marketing ecosystem. For example, you can already understand on a keyword by keyword basis how your adwords traffic performs when it hits your website. This is not going to be possible in Sitecore Analytics.

UTM parameters are a much easier way to identify traffic than Campaign codes
UTM parameters can be created on the fly. That makes it very simple for marketeers to identify the source of the website traffic they are sending. Conversely, Sitecore requires the creation of “Campaigns” in advance of the activity occurring, then the generated parameter needs to be added to the destination URL of the marketing activity before it launches. This is quite an inefficient process.

Marketing attribution
In most organisations, users don’t arrive on your website and decide to buy immediately. Their journeys take multiple visits from varying channels, each of which plays a role in a different way. GA has attribution modelling that can help you allocate credit for conversions based on a holistic understanding of the users journey.

As should be pretty clear, both of these Platforms have features and context that can help you optimise your marketing efforts.

In the next blog post, I’ll explore how to integrate the two platforms so that you can have a “Best of breed” approach.

Sitecore 9.3 Release What’s New, Why Upgrade and How To Start Using The New Features

Since the release of Sitecore 9.3 in December 2019, the team at Ratio have spent their time pulling the new platform apart to provide you with an update on what’s new, what will be most useful and how you should begin planning to use the new features:

During this video we’ll run you through the latest additions to the newly released Sitecore 9.3:

  • Overview of everything that’s included in the 9.3 release
  • Horizon: next-generation editing experience
  • Email Experience Manager: enhanced template management
  • Marketing automation updates: scheduled plan enrollment
  • Sitecore AI – auto personalisation
  • Search update