The Sitecore Symposium was a magical week in sunny Orlando where marketers, brands, website developers, and Sitecore architects came together to discuss tools and tactics for success in 2020. Sessions and keynote speakers focused on the overarching theme of “Human Connections in a Digital World,” which in its simplest form is personalization.

How to Turn Personalization Theory into Practice

Nearly every session—from creating data-based automated interactions with consumers to leveraging AI technology as a facial recognition tool to understand how consumers truly engage with a brand—included some form of personalization that can be executed using the Sitecore customer experience management platform.

Four days of sessions, client engagements, keynotes from industry leaders, swag, and free espresso during the expo boiled down to five main lessons:

  1. Be overt when collecting data, but covert in using data to deliver personalization. Use data across several touchpoints to deliver a personalized, consistent experience at scale through multiple channels.
  2. Connections drive buying behavior. Products are commodities. Consumers are buying personalization and customer experiences. How a brand makes a customer feel is 2x more influential than anything else, even the product. Use it to build a relationship with your customers and inspire action and loyalty.
  3. Content is a critical issue. Consumers are seeking quality over quantity when it comes to content. Content strategies should be aligned with experiences your customers value. Don’t sacrifice CX for UX best practices.
  4. Continuity is key. Connected experiences enable richer and more relevant engagements. Communication needs to be continuous across all touchpoints, not consistent. User expect you to use the information you’ve collected on them and serve up a personalized and continuous experience from device to device.
  5. Listen to your customers. Customer data should be collected and assessed in real time, addressing the customer’s current intent and predicting their next move. Deal with what they need today, not what they were interested in the past. Build communication based on profiles—using segments and single points of data to deliver a message isn’t enough anymore.

New releases—coming soon!

A First Look at the Salesforce Customer 360 Data Manager

  • Sitecore/SFMC Connector—new version with increased functionality
  • Coveo AI Search and Sitecore Combined Solution—a big evolution in the partnership between Sitecore and Coveo that allows Sitecore to sell a “starter” version of Coveo on its own
  • Sitecore AI—net-new offering starting with auto-personalization
  • Sitecore SaaS—net-new offering, with phase 1 releasing in the summer of 2020

A few DEGeniuses attended this year’s Symposium, bringing back their learnings for our client partners and sharing them here with you.

Adrienne Dopf, Account Director

What does all this mean for DEG and our clients? While technology and relationships don’t appear on the surface to be synonymous, the two are merging at an exceptional pace. Brands that are winning are putting aside their product equities and category benefits to build relationships with their customers based on data delivered through personalized, right-time messaging to create a human connection in the digital world.

Jeff Rondeau, Sitecore Architect & MVP

My major takeaway at this year’s Sitecore Symposium was the introduction of a SaaS offering. Customers will be able to enjoy simpler upgrades, increased scalability, and faster time to market.

The experience for the Sitecore developer will be changing substantially to accommodate this new offering. New tooling, skill sets, and even the way we think about how to build a Sitecore site will need to adjust in order to have a successful implementation against Sitecore SaaS.

This industry is all about change and exciting times are ahead.

Krislyn Wood, Senior Account Manager

The theme of the week was human connections in a digital world. That really resonated with me as it closes the gap between technology and personalized content that means something to the end user.

Digital transformation was a huge buzzword, it is something every industry is doing or talking about. The big thing conference attendees wanted to learn more about was personalization. Some have purchased the amazing tool of Sitecore but have yet to unlock all the features. Several sessions were geared toward the possibilities—we learned it is not uncommon to be in the crawl phase of personalized content.

Jeff vonSeldeneck, Regional Director

Symposium was an amazing event by Sitecore, which provided ample opportunity to connect and collaborate with current DEG clients, as well as potential future partners. We had very productive partnership growth meetings and look forward to the plans we made for 2020!

We’re very excited about the future of the Sitecore and Coveo partnership, and the opportunities brands have to find success in 2020 and beyond.

Extending Salesforce Journey Builder with Sitecore

DEG offers innovative Sitecore expertise

As a Sitecore Solutions Partner, DEG and Sitecore work together to transform customer experiences, connect consumers with brands, and provide innovative solutions that grow business. Learn more about our content management solutions or schedule a meeting with one of our subject-matter experts.

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