Sitecore: driving customer engagement though marketing automation

Sitecore is one of the leading enterprise-level content management systems built on ASP.NET, enabling web content editors and marketers to have full control over all aspects of their website from social integration and blog posts to advanced personalisation and e-commerce.

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We are a Certified Sitecore Implementation Partner, this means that we are experienced at implementing the Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) for our clients and have an in-house team of Certified Sitecore Developers on hand to create a highly engaging website backed by an award-winning content management system.

What is Sitecore?

Sitecore is an Enterprise-grade content management system and suite of digital marketing tools, combined. It is an application framework that websites are built on top of, rather than an out of the box solution which can be themed. As such, there is usually a significant amount of technical development needed to deliver any size of Sitecore website. That coupled with the fact it requires multiple back end databases and a sophisticated hosting infrastructure to support it, it's wise to choose a Certified Sitecore Implementation Partner that you trust when considering becoming a Sitecore customer.

Why choose Sitecore?

The real power of Sitecore lies in its suite of digital marketing tools - the Sitecore Experience Database (xDB).

Integrating seamlessly with the core Sitecore content management system, the xDB provides the ability to gather and act upon data in real time based on the explicit behaviour and implicit predictive nature of your online audience, delivering a highly personal, consistent and meaningful experience for your customers as they interact with your brand across multiple channels, include desktop, mobile and email.

Some of the key features of the Sitecore xDB include:

  • Content personalisation
  • Marketing automation
  • Visitor identification & segmentation
  • Advanced analytics
  • Engagement plans & campaigns
  • Content, A/B and multivariate testing

The tangible benefits of these features are that:

  • You have all your customer behaviour and profile data in one place
  • You can connect Sitecore to your existing CRM or ERP to collect and share even richer data
  • You can use the customer data you’ve collected to deliver consistent and connected customer experiences across all your communication channels
  • You can access real time analytics to query and report on all the data that you’ve collected
  • You can personalise the content a visitor sees in real-time based on their past, present and likely future behaviour
  • You will have a single customer view of each individual online visitor

Sitecore Case Study: RNLI

Yoyo and Sitecore

Yoyo have a unique process and approach to delivering Sitecore websites. We always start from a pre-built starter pack of Sitecore components (e.g. search module, 301 redirects, blog, etc.) , and then add more bespoke code as necessary. Our approach to front end HTML, CSS and JavaScript is similar and have predefined modules of code that can be rolled out quickly and easily (e.g. best practice pagination, navigation, header, footer, etc.). This means that we can build highly modular, user-centred, technically sophisticated websites much more quickly than an average development team, without any 2 of our websites looking the same. This is directly reflected in our pricing structure and equates to overall reduced development effort. Our clients directly benefit from this efficiency in our process.

We typically structure our content in terms of atomic and molecular UI components, providing you with the building blocks to create your own modular content pages as you see fit, rather than relying on highly structured and inflexible page templates based on fixed wireframes.

There are always exceptions to this rule though and some content pages such as highly functional pages (e.g. search results, contact us, login, etc.) can be more prescriptive and locked down in terms of what content can be added to it in certain places on the page. You will always have a say in how flexible each page template needs to be though, based on your needs today and in the future.

How Yoyo can help you move to Sitecore

There are 2 ways to move your website over to Sitecore:

1. A complete rebuild of your website business logic from scratch

2. Migrate your existing legacy ASP.NET based code over to Sitecore for reuse

Which one you choose will depend largely on what technology your existing website is built in, as well as how portable your existing business rules and services are, as they reside within your code.

Below are two examples of working with legacy Sitecore code. 

The first is our flagship Sitecore project with the charity Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

This was a fresh Sitecore 8 build but we also had to migrate over a set of legacy code and components concerned with non-CMS specific business processes and logic. For example, components used to integrate with 3rd party payment providers or other component-based architecture.

We had no documentation to go by. Furthermore, many of the 3rd party systems and vendors we were integrating with had no documentation, or more accurately, their documentation / APIs had changed significantly from the code base we were working from.

To overcome this challenge, we decompiled the legacy code and went through it line by line and decided whether to reuse / rewrite / reject as we went.

Although time consuming, it was by far the most effective way to mitigate against long term risk across key areas of the project, like processing online donations, CRM integration and other 3rd party API calls (e.g. weather and tidal feeds, latest lifeboat launches/ shouts, etc). As a result, we were in a much stronger position and were ultimately able to service our client much more effectively, from a position of knowledge rather than remain at the mercy of the previous suppliers. It ultimately provided a smooth transition between suppliers.

The second example is a long term client of ours, Smiths Medical.

We have worked with Smiths Medical for over 6 years but Smiths became a Sitecore customer before Yoyo became a Sitecore Partner. As such, a different agency built the main website some years ago. Since this build, our role has been to build microsites that sit within the main Sitecore site, or extend the main website with additional functionality.

The current Smiths site is based on Sitecore 6.6 and uses ASP.NET Web Forms, whilst the recommended Sitecore application architecture is now ASP.NET MVC. Fortunately at Yoyo we are able to work with both ASP.NET MVC and Web Form architectures.

We promote a highly modular application architecture to all of our website builds, but Sitecore websites especially, meaning that modules of functionality can be added / removed independently from others. This promotes the concept of high cohesion and low levels of dependency between website components. This is also something heavily promoted by Sitecore and their Helix Design Principles.

It is important to take a pragmatic approach to this however and how legacy code has been built can factor heavily as to whether or not it is feasible to apply such application architecture principles. We would be able to advise on the suitability of following Sitecore’s best practice in this regard, once we have fully reviewed your existing legacy code and future website requirements.

Enquire about Sitecore

Please use the form below to get in touch to enquire about what Sitecore services Yoyo can help support you with going forward, including:

  1. Design, development and consultancy services
  2. Migrating your existing site to Sitecore
  3. Capability of Sitecore and future proofing
  4. Content personalisation, marketing automation and other Sitecore xDB capability