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Why and How to track EV with Sitecore

Aug 01, 2019
Suset Fernandez

Organizations can't run digital marketing the way they use to. Times when we looked at quantity in web analytics as a measure of success are long gone. Measuring the total number of visits isn't as relevant as figuring out the quality of those visits. Understanding the value of visitors and their commitment with your business is what will allow you to learn, optimize, and grow.

Sitecore Experience Platform provides you with the necessary tools to measure and monitor the value of website visits by tracking your visitors' Engagement Value (EV).

How is it done?

You trigger Goals to track EV

"Engagement values" are a weighting assigned to different "digital goals". "Digital goals" are online interactions that commonly involve some optional action by the visitor, such as submitting a form, buying a product, or requesting a call. As a visitor completes a digital goal, the corresponding EV is added to their score. The average EV generated per visit is represented as "Value per visit".

A visit starts when a user lands on your site and ends when the browser tab is closed—or the session times out due to inactivity (20 min default). "Value per visit" is used as metric in many Experience Analytics reports.

Sitecore Experience Analytics report

Experience Analytics report that uses value per visit as metric

But before your Sitecore platform is able to provide this kind of insight, you need to set it up. The best way to create an accurate EV scale is to follow the precise steps in this Sitecore Business Optimization Services Best Practices guide. Broadly, these steps consist of defining:

  1. Strategic theme - Business area you want to impact.
  2. Strategic objectives - Your organization's business objectives.
  3. Marketing key objectives - Each marketing key objective must contribute to a strategic objective.
  4. Digital goals - Each goal must be associated to a marketing key objective.
  5. EV Scale - Weigh the value of digital goals. The weight assigned to a digital goal depends upon the estimated impact that digital goal has on marketing’s key objective. Different strategic objectives will determine different sets of digital goals on your EV Scale.

Engagement value scale example

EV Scale example

Once you are done strategizing and your EV scale is defined, you must configure a few Sitecore elements:

  1. Define your goal facets taxonomy.
  2. Create and deploy your Goals.
  3. Associate Goals to content items.

Why is it important?

EV will allow you to measure the commitment of your visitors towards your marketing objectives—and ultimately your organization's strategic objectives.

Because visitors have a choice of interacting—or not—with digital goals, the EV score also measures the relevance to a visitor’s interests and needs.

The Experience Analytics based on EV enable you to measure your marketing efforts:

  • Efficiency across and between channels - visits data is aggregated by channel so you can compare different channels' EV.
  • Relevance to the visitor’s needs - low EV is an indicator of lack of relevance, a call for you to optimize your website content to satisfy your audience.
  • Impact on a chosen strategic objective - when marketing objectives are aligned to the business objectives, EV is a measurement of strategic impact.

But tracking is not the only thing you can do whiting Sitecore—it's just the start. You can use EV thresholds to:

  • Power personalization - show, hide or swap your website content to stay relevant to the commitment level shown by your visitor.
  • Trigger automated marketing actions - for example you can: send an email, add a contact to a list, or trigger an outcome when a specific EV is reached by a visitor.

Final thoughts

As the market evolves, you must adapt to remain relevant. On your path to digital transformation you will find it necessary to embrace better tools and mechanisms to connect with your customers. Sitecore Experience Platform will give you the means to stay competitive. But having the right technology is not enough. Your website won't be optimized automatically once an implementation project is over. You must have a plan to understand the new technology, use it, evaluate your results, adjust, and repeat.