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Get more value from audience engagement

By Lars Petersen , Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Welcome to the third in our new series of blog posts that deliver practical advice for getting the most from the Sitecore® Experience Platform™. I’ll be sharing advice and best practices for testing, optimizing, and personalizing your marketing campaigns so you can deliver contextual customer experiences.

This post will show you how to get more from digital analytics with Sitecore’s Engagement Value. Read the post or watch the video (or both!) by clicking over to our digital analytics toolkit, where you’ll find white papers, videos, and ebooks that help you measure engagement quality as well as quantity.

What is engagement?

So you’ve looked at your digital analytics and decided to optimize for better engagement—but what does that mean? For some, it might mean page views. For others, it might mean time spent on site. But neither of those tell you anything about the business value of that engagement. How do you know if lots of page views are resulting in important conversions or purchase? To understand and measure how your digital activities drive business value, you first need to identify the business objectives you’re working toward. In the example below, we’ve gone with increasing revenue as the most important business objective, but you might also choose to boost market share, retain customers, or reduce costs.

Whatever your objective, use the diagram below to understand how it filters into more specific marketing objectives. Then repeat the step to see how those marketing objectives filter into different digital goals.

Now, suppose you’re left with nine digital goals. Obviously, they are not equally important, according to your business objective.

Here are two key things about goals:

  1. Not all your digital goals are necessarily valuable to your business.
  2. Not all the truly valuable ones carry equal weight.

So if you aren’t ruthless about which to prioritize and which to dump, you could find yourself optimizing for the wrong things. Which goals are “right”? Use the Engagement Value Scale to figure out which kinds of engagement bring value to your organization.

The Engagement Value Scale

Quantifying each digital goal means you’re not just choosing blindly. The Engagement Value Scale looks like this:

There are four steps to using it:

  1. Set a sample value
    Set a total sample value you can easily work with—we’ve gone with 100 as the value for the most important digital goal. This applies here to acquiring more leads for a B2B company, but it could equally apply to building loyalty or reducing costs (e.g., by having more people do self-service, for example).
  2. Assess your goals
    Measure how much revenue you get per goal conversion. For example, we average 10 purchases per 100 call requests, but only one purchase per 100 webinar signups, which is why the weighting between these two digital goals is 10:1.
  3. Start stacking
    Stack your engagement channels in order of value, zero to 100. In our example, call requests beat webinar signups 10:1—this puts call requests at the top of the stack, with maximum priority.
  4. Get creative
    Now you have a true business purpose that correlates to what keeps your executives up at night. Whether the resulting stack surprises you or confirms your suspicions, focus on the top of the stack. Then generate ideas for optimization so that those top priorities—in this case, call requests—get the attention they need for increasing the conversion rate.

How the Engagement Value transforms your digital analytics

To get more out of your analytics, use the Engagement Value to put your results into context. For example, in the graph below, the blue line represents the monthly site visits for a business. Going by the blue line alone, June is the month with the most wins, and March is the month with the least wins.

The orange line represents the total monthly value based on the Engagement Value. March is still the weakest month, but now August is revealed as the month with the most meaningful results. The Engagement Value puts traditional analytics in a completely different context, and you realize that what looked like an average month turns out to have been a great one. The scale also offers insight—whatever led to July’s spike in visits didn’t translate into more business value.

Rinse and repeat

We’ve shown you how to work out what engagement means to you. We’ve also shown you how to measure it in a meaningful way with the Engagement Value Scale. It’s your turn to put the scale to use. And should your business objectives ever change, adjust the scale and start optimizing for those new business objectives. For more resources on putting Sitecore’s Engagement Value to work, click over to our digital analytics toolkit page.

Lars Birkholm Petersen is Sitecore’s VP of Business Optimization. Follow him on Twitter @larsbirkholm