Sitecore Symposium 2018: Key takeaways for marketers

The annual Sitecore Symposium has come and gone. Thousands of marketers flocked to Orlando to attend a variety of sessions on this year's theme ‘Elevate the Experience’, and in anticipation of hearing what’s new and next for Sitecore customers.


If you missed the announcements, here’s our top picks...

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Updates on ‘Horizon’

Sitecore announced ‘Horizon’ as the new user interface for web content editing at last years’ Symposium.

This year, it announced that it’s now been unlocked for all core editing use cases to simplify the way marketers design pages; providing an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, device-specific previews, and analytics that deliver real-time contextual insights as content is created and published.

Benefits to marketers:

  • More productivity gains with a simplified user experience
  • Allowing for a more data-driven approach when developing with real-time insights on where content generates value

Horizon is set to be released with Sitecore 9.1.

Sitecore acquires Stylelabs

The pressure is on for marketing departments to deliver consistent and personalised digital experiences across channels, and Sitecore have capitalised on an opportunity to simplify how marketers achieve this.

To create such experiences, you have to start with a substantial amount of content - that requires a repository that can act as a hub for content development.

To date, Sitecore customers have typically relied on third-party DAM (Digital Asset Management) integrations or basic cloud drive services to share and collaborate during the content production process.

The acquisition of Stylelabs means Sitecore customers will now have an end-to-end content and personalisation platform - a one-stop-shop to address the whole content lifecycle.

What it means for marketers:

  • It will reduce the time and effort required to manage content end-to-end
  • It will allow them to deliver personalised experiences across any channel, at every stage of the customer journey
  • It will unlock their ability to connect marketing assets, customer data, and analytics to discover previously unobtainable insights based on customer behaviour

Other announcements around 9.1

Sitecore Cortex

Version 9.1 will bring the next level of machine learning innovation. The new Cortex-driven capabilities will allow marketers to automate the creation of personalisation rules and the generation of content tags, and help them to identify the next, most likely segments of their audience to convert.

It will also be fully customisable - allowing customers to integrate their specific machine learning processors for their own vertical use cases.

EXM

With the roll-out of GDPR earlier this year, e-mail governance is a hot topic and Sitecore’s set to add some new capabilities to make it easier for marketers to govern their campaigns.

‘Send limits’ will allow marketers to manage the frequency someone can be emailed daily, weekly, or monthly, and ‘message types’ will classify which messages are crucial and must be sent regardless – such as password resets.

Marketing automation

Sitecore is augmenting its automation capabilities to help simplify the lives of marketers as they build and deliver campaigns. Some of the new features include:

  • Campaign templates to enable marketers to reuse automation plans
  • Enrollment controls to prevent customers from being overloaded by automated communications
  • Maintenance tools to bulk enroll or purge contacts from automation plans

Supporting WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines (one to tell your tech team about)

Sitecore’s Experience Accelerator provides reusable, templated UX layouts to simplify website implementation.

The release of 9.1 will see it support the industry-standard WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines across its components, allowing anyone building solutions using Experience Accelerator to easily comply with accessibility guidelines.

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