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Sitecore personalization

What is a Digital Relevancy Map and why you need it

How can personalization deliver the greatest engagement for your key customer segments? A Digital Relevancy Map is Sitecore’s way of managing content for maximum business impact.



Quick insight

Using a Digital Relevancy Map establishes a structure to provide each of your top customer segments with engaging experiences that nurture them toward purchase and inspire loyalty.

Chapter 1

What Digital Relevancy Mapping delivers

Being able to address, and even anticipate, customer needs is more important than ever for effective personal marketing. Organizations need a structured approach to create the most relevant experiences. A Digital Relevancy Map (DRM) helps you develop the most effective personalization techniques for supporting those experiences.

The importance of a Digital Relevancy Map

At every stage in their decision journey, you want your customers to have experiences with your brand that fit their personas or their segments (and naturally, so do they). As the name suggests, a Digital Relevancy Map shows you how to create the most relevant content for your key segments.

The mapping exercise will help you to ultimately move your customers through their decision and buying journey more quickly. They’ll receive the right content, at the right time, in their preferred channel, and with the right calls-to-action that anticipate their needs.

And since you’ll have done such an outstanding job helping customers fulfil their needs while demonstrating you understand them, they’ll give your brand their precious trust and loyalty in return.

Sidestepping it may lead to a dead end

Of course, you can opt to skip doing the Digital Relevancy Map exercise. But without it, you could end up delivering generic content that doesn’t connect with your customer segments in any personal or meaningful way — and isn’t the quest for personalization what brought you here in the first place?

If your content isn’t effectively guiding customers toward increased engagement and conversion, what is it doing? Your competitors’ content probably is, as many brands are going all-in on the personalization race to win customers’ hearts and minds.* DRMs are the foundation for an effective personalization strategy because they give you a clear, prioritized, focused, and aligned content marketing process.

*94% of marketers are seeking to enable personalized customer experiences.

- “A new era of personalization: The hyperconnected customer experience,”

Martech Today, 2018.

Getting the inside onside

Some of your internal stakeholders may throw up roadblocks to this process by claiming you’ve already got marketing research to work with. That’s great information to have, but it’s not enough on its own. While it demands some extra effort, time commitment, and cost, the DRM exercise will give you several critical advantages:

  • Focus marketing work on the 20% of content that is responsible for 80% of engagement
  • Gain insights regarding innovative offerings
  • Gain organizational alignment around improving the customer experience
  • Reduce “random acts of content”
  • Enable content developers to focus on customer intent, as well as the appropriate goals and CTAs for each stage in the lifecycle
  • Help identify where and what to test to improve engagement and conversion rates
  • Identify missing content and functionality, as well as the optimal channel for them
  • Accelerate customers through their journey

The DRM exercise should not last more than a few weeks and will only take a few days of work for the broader team. The process is equivalent in effort and cost to a usability study or a large survey effort.

Chapter 2

Step 1: Forming customer segments

Most organizations have a specific set of users they focus on as current and potential customers. Based on similar characteristics and behaviors, such as intent, psychological triggers, and needs, these users can be divided into segments to help you better understand them — which is essential if you want to connect and engage with them.

When starting out with personalization, focus on identifying the biggest segments where you have the most opportunity to engage. With the highest-potential users identified and characterized according to their intent, you can then create content that will generate the most engagement, build trust, and nurture them toward conversion.

Chapter 3

Step 2: Mapping the customer journey

What a typical customer journey looks like

Customer journeys — the complete series of experiences customers go through during their lifecycle — have become fairly complex in recent years, with customers using an array of channels and touchpoints to interact with your brand and their peers. That complexity aside, and regardless of the product or service you offer, most customer journeys follow a similar route: Awareness, Research, Evaluation, Purchase, Usage, Advocacy.

While this route would have been more or less the same before the internet, that same journey today might involve interactions like viewing and researching content on your website, browsing your social media feeds, using your mobile app, comparing with competitors’ websites, and researching reviews, among other activities.

Using the customer journey to drive better experiences

Customers are unquestionably the ones in the driver’s seat on their engagement journey. But by identifying similarities in how they engage with your brand and then providing them with experiences that help them along the way, you’ll achieve your marketing directives while creating lifelong customers.

It’s important to understand each stage in the customer journey so you can evaluate whether you have the right channel, right message, and right content for each stage. Your planning process will ensure you have all stages mapped and help you identify opportunities to enhance the experiences you provide.

Chapter 4

Step 3: Creating Your Digital Relevancy Map

A DRM captures the content and functionality appropriate for your major segments at each stage in their customer journey. Completing the DRM helps ensure you have the most important content on your digital channels. It’s also critical for focused content planning for all types of personalization later on.

The creation of the DRM represents an opportunity to build internal alignment and focus on the external user. Your DRM is unique to your organization, but we recommend that you start with the basic approach we’ve outlined here and then add to it later as necessary.

For more insights and to dig deeper into the steps involved in developing a Digital Relevancy Map for your organization, download our white paper.

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