I use this analogy time and time again; what you have bought is a Ferrari, but instead of using it to tear up a racing track, you're using it to drop the kids off at school. You're not getting anywhere near to the upper echelons of the gear box and you're not leveraging even half of the more sophisticated tools that Sitecore has to offer.
Right now, you are essentially using an incredibly expensive content management system. You're not making use of Sitecore's infamous marketing capabilities, but that's because whilst Sitecore is an incredibly powerful tool, it's also a very complex piece of enterprise software.
Unfortunately, getting started with its digital marketing tools isn't as easy as flipping a switch. There are lots of things to consider and an array of terminologies to understand; profiles, profile cards, profile patterns, profile keys etc. Then there is understanding how your personas map into Sitecore and how to deliver effective personalisation against them.
Creating further difficulty, is the fact that this isn't a ‘one-size-fits-all’ process. The amount of time you will need to labor over Sitecore profiles for example, will largely be dependent upon how narrowly your audience can be defined. Clearly, there is going to be an enormous difference between the number of profiles that can be identified for, let's say, a university with a multitude of departments, and a B2B commerce proposition with a small product set.
The good news, if you're a glass half-full type of person, is that you're not alone in your struggles to unlock personalisation. The 2015 Digital Marketer Report by Experian cited that ‘understanding customers and translating this into relevant interactions’, is a challenge faced by 39 per cent of senior marketing leaders. And for 43 per cent, ‘translating a deep knowledge of our customers into relevant interactions’ is a top priority.
However, to turn your expensive CMS into the ultimate personalistion tool that it can be, you will often need to invest in the technical expertise required to set-up the features in the first place, and / or the resource to manage it effectively moving forwards; remember that this is an ongoing process and if you are to see an ROI on your Sitecore platform, then this will require continuous measurement and optimization – ‘go-live’ is just the beginning and you will need to make improvements iteratively.
It's an uncomfortable position to be in; spending the entire budget on a shiny new website and having nothing left to invest in what's required to see Sitecore's full potential.
Those that do push ahead though, will reap the rewards.
If you have invested in a Sitecore customer experience platform and you're not seeing an ROI, you might also be interested in our Experience Platform Starter Kit. The kit is broken down into three parts: consultancy, configuration and retainer. Each part complements the other, moving you closer to ultimate personalisation.
If you'd like discuss how the Sitecore Experience Platform Starter Kit could be used to help your organisation, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter if you'd like to keep in touch.