One of the main objectives of digital marketers is to extend exceptional digital experiences to prospects and customers across channels and devices to generate more conversions and advocacy. Providing personalized experience across interactions is not easy as it needs collection and assessment of large sets of information.
In today’s changing digital technology paradigm, marketers are keen to reduce their dependence on IT. One of the ways in which they can do so is through data driven Insights about customers on/for:
This wish list is not new and there are several technology platforms available to achieve this. But there are few platforms that are able to extend a single and personalized view of the customer across channels.
Are you wondering how will you meet your wishes and get insights on customer behavior from rapidly increasing customer interactions and volumes?
Sitecore understands the philosophy of digital marketers and has hence introduced a technology shift in their latest release – Sitecore 8 – to allow marketers to:
Sitecore 8 comes with xDB (Experience Database) that provides powerful insights on individual customer behavior, segmentation and customer profile.
The Sitecore Experience Database is a data repository that collects information related to customer interactions across all channels, defines unified view of the individual customer, makes it immediately available to marketers for analysis, and provides truly personalized experiences to customers.
Connected data is needed to extend exceptional customer experience. But that brings the challenge of huge interactions by date/time and classification of such data to better target personalization based on behavior.
An interaction is the way in which a person communicates or engages with an organization.
1 Interaction = 1 visit / session
All interactions from the first anonymous visit to customers showing higher levels of engagement and commitment are recorded in the collection database.
You must be wondering that all applications are integrated with web analytics tools e.g. Google Analytics then why would you duplicate and integrate all applications with Sitecore Analytics (based on xDB)?
Traditional digital analytics tools keep information such as page click data at an aggregate level and are unable to translate those into a view of the customer. That’s why such tools are more the domain of Web analysts instead of marketers.
In contrast, Sitecore Analytics captures the complete online behavior of customers at a detailed level and can associate it with existing offline customer data sources – e.g., promotional, demographic – to provide a complete profile of the customer known as Experience Profile in Sitecore 8.
By combining these typically disparate data sources into a unified view of the customer, you’ll gain valuable insight into a customer’s true needs. This translates into more relevant offers, better targeted outbound campaigns and more efficient use of your marketing resources.
xDB is based on Mongo DB (NoSQL Database) to manage billions of records in a big data repository and deliver optimal performance.
Don’t think pf Sitecore from only an individual website perspective, rather think of it at an enterprise level where you have multiple websites, microsites, external sites, partner sites, CRM, campaigns, multi-channel platforms, where visitors/customers interact, and you target to engage them. Three aspects are important here:
From Sitecore database point of view, the collection database is the central repository for storing contact, interaction, history, and automation data.
More and more information will now be associated with the individual contact, such as pages viewed, automation plan states, profiles scored, engagement value triggered.
Mongo DB scales horizontally through a technique known as ‘Sharding’. When scaled, a Mongo DB database consists of many Shards. Each Shard is a complete database that contains unique data. Data is not replicated between Shards.
Few examples of NoSQL DBs include Mongo DB, Hbase, Cassandra and CouchDB
There are 4 types of NoSQL DBs: