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How to use Engagement Value to maximize your marketing efficiency

By Lars Petersen , Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Welcome to the fourth 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 looks at Engagement Value and how you can use it to make your marketing more efficient. 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.

Measure quantity and quality

Yes, you should measure site visits and clicks in your digital channels. But if you want to know which of your marketing initiatives are contributing most to your business objectives, Sitecore’s Engagement Value is the metric to watch.

Engagement Value is a way of measuring how your visitors’ interactions deliver against the specific goals your business cares about most. (For a deeper dive into how it works, see my previous post, “Get more value from audience engagement .”)

The insights you get from Engagement Value can boost the efficiency of your digital marketing in a number of ways:

1.    In your overall marketing performance

Take a look at this graph. The blue bars tell you how many visits you’ve had each week, and the orange line tells you the weekly efficiency of your marketing—based on Engagement Value.

Although May 15th was the week with the highest visits, it was actually March 20 that contributed most to the business’ objectives, clocking in with the highest value score. With lower visits, but a higher value, we know our marketing was most effective here.

With that insight, you can dig into why your marketing worked so well over that period—and replicate that performance going forward.

2.    In your channel performance

Here you can compare which channels bring in more visitors. But you can also see which channels are most efficient at converting visitors toward your most valuable goals.

In the middle graph, we’re getting a lot of visits from direct marketing sources, and far fewer visits from referrals. But when we look at the “Value per Visit” table on the right, we see that referral visits are far more valuable than direct marketing visits.

That gives us a clear action—we need to drive more people through the referral channel. And, importantly, it’s an action we would’ve missed without a view of Engagement Value.

3.    Across your audience segments

Sitecore captures the interactions people have with your site and builds anonymous visitor profiles for each of them. You can then group visitors by such things as the content they interact with and the amount of time they spend on your site.

It’s a great way to tell the difference between high-value audiences and audiences you can afford to spend less effort on. If you’ve got a segment that mostly browses your site for content but doesn’t ever convert, you can label them “browsers” and shift your focus toward higher value prospects, optimizing around content they will like.

4.    In your content and campaign performance

Typically content analytics look something like this:

You have the number of visits, the average duration, the bounce rate—all the things you’d expect. But here we’ve also got the Value per Visit, and the overall value of each piece of content.

That’s powerful information. Because if we look at the homepage, for example, we can see it’s getting a huge amount of traffic, with a fairly large value score on the right hand side. But look further down at the “Benchmark” piece of content. This has a very high Value per Visit, but few people see it.

That’s telling you that “Benchmark” is a very engaging piece of content, that helps you convert visitors to your business objectives, and if you can direct more people toward it, you’re likely to get a very efficient and valuable conversion rate.

Give your insights to MOM

Everyone knows that if you’re ever lost for what to do, you have to ask mom. And MOM in this case is the “Marketing Optimization Matrix.”

Here we’ve mapped different pieces of content onto MOM, but you can map different customer segments, campaigns, content, and channels onto the matrix, too.

In this case, the best content maps to the top right corner, where we see pieces that are most visited and most valuable. This is “hero” content that’s working super-hard for you.

But we’ve also got “attractors” and “converters” pages. Find content that attracts a lot of visitors, but isn’t converting, so you can test and personalize to drive up the value of these highly visited pages. Similarly, look for converter content that isn’t well visited, to test for ways to drive more traffic, pushing this content up into the hero bracket.

Finally, optimize user journeys

This is the Sitecore Path Analyzer. At first glance it might look complex, but it’s actually very straightforward. The lines are the different user paths through your site. The size of the dots reflects the value each piece of content gets, and the color of the dots tells you their Value per Visit. Green is high, and red is low.

Using this, you can see where the dead ends are in your site’s pathways, allowing you to make informed decisions on how to make them more efficient. You can move more engaging content to your lower value pages, improve the existing content on these pages, or redirect visitors toward your highest value pages.

These are just a few examples of how you can use Sitecore’s Engagement Value to optimize your marketing performance. Combine these insights, and it’s a great deal easier to make every piece of marketing you do more efficient and more valuable for your business.

Thanks for reading. 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 

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