If you've been in the market for a new web content management system lately, you may have found yourself overwhelmed by the plethora of choices. There seems to be a never ending list of companies who can satisfy your every need, and each one claims to do it better than the next. Sitecore hopes to set itself apart from the competition with its newest offering, released June 2, the Sitecore Online Marketing Suite.
Don’t let the name fool you: This tool isn't only for the marketing department. Sitecore's Online Marketing Suite combines web content management capabilities, web analytics, and marketing automation for an all-in-one tool it hopes will help its customers achieve better business results. “Customers want to help being more effective,” says Darren Guarnaccia, VP product marketing for Sitecore.
He says that after surveying customers it was clear to Sitecore there were a few functions that stood out as being most important. First and foremost, companies needed control over their sites. Next was the ability to understand what was happening on those sites: where customers were going, what they were interested in, and what kind of information prompted action. Once companies had websites up and running, and could understand visitor activity, Sitecore’s customers wanted the ability to act on what they had learned and put mechanisms into place to better accelerate marketing plans.
“If you could bring these all together, it would be very valuable,” says Guarnaccia. With its latest release, Sitecore thinks it has done just that.
Sitecore’s marketing suite provides web analytics out-of-the-box. Content editors can profile their content upon creation, establishing the relevancy for segmentation analysis and the delivery of targeted content. The software then develops profiles of site visitors based on browsing behavior, geographical IP identification, and data collected through forms and survey submissions. Using content delivery rules and filters, Sitecore delivers targeted, action-orientated content and offers.
“Typical web analytics suffers from being the lowest common denominator,” says Guarnaccia. By trying to be compatible with the spectrum of web content management systems, many web analytics tools had to compromise on complexity. As Guarnaccia says, Sitecore thinks that by offering all of these tools as part of one package it can “really start to understand that customer.”
Guarnaccia says Sitecore thinks the Online Marketing Suite is best implemented in steps. While it offers out of the box functionality, fine processes of the web analytics tool can be fine tuned over time. “Not everyone is ready to do this stuff on day one. Not everyone should,” he says. Between properly tagging content, adjusting security clearances, and validating information about visitors to a company's website there are plenty of small details that go into making sure users know how to get the most of this tool. All in all, though, Guarnaccia estimates it should take about 2-3 months to get the whole thing working just right.
Though the cost of Sitecore's Online Marketing Suite varies according to a company's size and needs, Guarnaccia says a mid-market customer can expect to pay in the $40,000-50,000 range, while the enterprise tools start at about $100,000.
Even with the significant time and monetary commitment involved in switching CMS providers, Sitecore hopes customers will see the value in having an all-in-one tool. “What in the past was available only through multiple vendors, required complex integrations, and lacked tightly knit insight, is now an elegant and results delivering solution for marketers,” boasts Michael Seifert, CEO of Sitecore. “An enormous amount of inefficiency existed in integrating online marketing tools with websites and their analytics.”