Creating personalised experiences using Sitecore (Personalize and CDP)

Slide from Sitecore Symposium. Map, Align, Match, Model

This October both James Darall and myself took the stage at the annual Sitecore Symposium. Our talk was on how you too can be successful personalising using Sitecore CDP (Customer Data Platform)

This post specifically is to talk through one key element of this session. “How

Map (the Journey)

NNG example journey map

Let’s start at the beginning. Your first step is to create a journey map (NNG). To do this, look at the key journeys’ for your service. Take note and map the interactions, the decisions, the pain points, the drop offs and the exits.

Repeat this with your different customer types; for example you could have a maps for new users as well as known users, if you run an e-commerce site you could have maps for window shoppers as well as buyers.

Map’s are great. The are a quick way to visualise opportunities in the service, those that exist or those potential future ones. They also help teams cut through complexity of a service, making what seems vast into something understandable. It thus helps focus a team and facilitates conversations during each and every sprint.

Align (business goals to user needs)

emfluence journey map with key metrics added

Next is to get hold of (or create) those clearly defined OKRs. Work with stakeholders to identify objectives, goals, KPIs, target, and segments (Avinash Kaushik).

Overlay those goals onto the journey map(s) created in the first step, so that we can connect the problem space to a goal and thus build experiments that add value.

The underlying key here is to align goals – to understand where user needs meets business needs.

Match (opportunities to CDP experiences)

With our opportunities noted and out goals aligned, now it is time to match the relevant Sitecore “experience” to each opportunity. Could it be:

  • A Web Experience (eg based on known experience for example a visitor who we identify as a member),
  • An Interactive Experience (eg someone who has made a purchase),
  • A Triggered Experience (eg a user who has left a website or left items in a basket) or
  • You could utilise a Decision Model Variant.

Model (decisions)

Decision models are the heart of the CDP user’s experience.

They inform the creation of experiences and experiments by enabling your marketers to work out what the next best action is (e.g. offer, re-market, send email)

It offers a vast range of inputs that can be leveraged into a decision model. It’s also incredibly pluggable with external services, data sources, etc.

Simply put, you can create simple through to complex models that work for your situation. Take time planning these, review them and rework them as you learn from your tests.

Ideate and Prioritise

As per the visual, there are wider activities at play that will involve the business, the product owner, marketeers and more.

Ideate phase, where we come up with tests, see what is possible. Whilst this is a very creative phase, we need to be guided by Design Thinking principles – desirable (to user), viable (to business) and feasible (in terms of tech)

Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.


Prioritise phase, where we initially think about the product team capability and availability. How many hours have we got to utilise and with whom.

Impact Effort visual. Low hanging fruit - the quick wins, vs the big bets, incremental work and the money pit

From here we can use the impact vs effort matrix to plot tasks. This will help map the plan of attack; from targeting the low-hanging fruit, the incremental changes, the big bets and those avoidable money pit opportunities.

If you want to learn more, please get in touch with James or myself. Recordings of the talk will be shared once available.

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Posted in Personalisation, Sitecore

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