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Among some of the very exciting announcements for Sitefinity 8.1 is one new capability that marks a very important step in bridging web, mobile, personalization and analytics. The new Mobile SDKs bring personalization and customer journey optimization directly to the world of mobile apps and this could open some very exciting opportunities for you. In this blog post we will discuss some of the business benefits, use cases and specifics of this new capability.
There are two very crucial guidelines for businesses today and on a first glance they seem a little bit contradictory.
Hold on. How can a message be personalized and yet be consistent? In earlier days when there was one message and one channel - the web - this was easy. One message = consistent message, no problem.
But what happens if you want to personalize? Well, a lot of you solved this problem with easy to manage frameworks such as personas. Personas help with consistency, because they put order in the complex universe of thousands and probably hundreds of thousands of unique potential buyers. With Personas you just put them into buckets, use various interactions to profile who falls within each bucket and build separate messaging and content for each persona. This way you can strategically use solutions such as Telerik Sitefinity to target visitors with persona-specific messages. Each visitor sees the right message for their context and they don’t need to know that alternative versions of that message exist.
But what happens if you add another channel such as a mobile app? Sure, your mobile app can completely disregard your personalization efforts and your persona profiling could completely disregard mobile app behavior, but this way you compromise both message consistency and relevancy. But what if you could utilize the same personalization engine between your apps, your websites and any other applications?
Here is where integrated mobile personalization and analytics come into play. The worlds of mobile and online are quickly converging and businesses are heavily investing in new digital offerings, especially in mobile. As a part of that trend we started seeing two critical growth drivers:
If I learn that someone behaves like a CIO based on the information that they browse on the website, I want to be able to use this information on the web and within mobile apps. This not only lets me promote more relevant products and content and improve my conversion rates, but it also gives my CIO visitor a more compelling first experience with the mobile app, as they will be seeing a relevant message even upon the first visit. Being relevant from the get-go is a sure way to increase adoption of any digital service I offer – be it an app or anything else – as you have a limited time window to catch your visitor’s attention to begin with.
Integrating native apps is also possible as the system provides these services as RESTful APIs that can work with any of the native or cross-compiled languages such as NativeScript.
There are two components of the Mobile SDKs: tracking and personalization.
The idea here is to integrate tracking of mobile app behavior and capture it with the entire customer journey. Interactions within mobile apps can be very valuable indicators of purchase intent, context or interest. If a user searches for something in an app, clicks on a notification or an offer banner or uses a certain feature this could tell us a lot about this user. Even registering or logging into the app can be a conversion goal by itself. For that reason tracking within the mobile SDKs can be instrumented to capture absolutely any interaction – clicks, swipes, taps, zooms, toggles, logins, even exceptions and errors. The type of information tracked can be classified in two ways:
You can log any interaction as a human readable sentence and you get to decide on the verb and the object(The sentence subject is typically the current user, anonymous or not)
The personalization SDK essentially provides a way for you to know:
Based on this information your developers can change any app behavior - form showing a slightly different message or promotion to changing the entire features and navigation of the app. Both the tracking and personalization scripts can work together at the same time to monitor the experience, personalize it and even monitor interactions with personalized experience to answer questions like “How much more likely is a CIO to become an opportunity if we show a personalized message”.
This cross-channel personalization framework is not about what you can track, everything can be tracked and that’s just the beginning. The business value comes from what business units can do on top of this information. Having unified data for web and mobile journeys opens dozens of new opportunities for you and hare some of the core use cases that you can take advantage of right now.
You can track any interaction in your apps and see which features are being used and why. You can utilize the user's persona and make your application dashboard and features more targeted to their needs. You can also use application behavior for the purpose of persona profiling – if a user clicks on design features, they are likely a designer, if they browse developer features, they are likely a developer.
This way your custom applications can become powerful marketing channels that showcase relevant offers and promotions to your users and at the same time add value based on the specific problem they solve. This is exactly the business model behind digital giants such as Google and Facebook.
The basic principles of contextualization and targeting go far beyond the website and we are excited to continue delivering features that combine these principles to a much broader framework that can achieve true integration between cross-channel data, analytical insight and content targeting.
If you wish to explore contextualization opportunities for your specific web and mobile projects, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Happy Sitefinity 8.1 Release and Happy Personalizing!
View all posts from Svetla Yankova on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.
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