Personalize, personalise, smersonalize! Customers often ask what they should personalize on - I've just had an email with this very question. I reply that it depends on your objectives and launch into a bedazzling diatribe that intends to simplify but usually confounds. One personalization criterion that is usually overlooked is an obvious one - the field values on a web form. Surely there is no better source of up-to-the-minute intent data than this!
Form field personalization essentially reads what a visitor has typed into a web form and changes their experience on the website to better match their profile. One could argue that personalization has done its job by the time a visitor arrives at a web form but that is not considering visits from other devices, visits arising from email clicks throughs, and other future visits. Personalizations using form field values will tailor content for all future visits. If we look at some typical form fields:
- Company Size
- Job Title
- Product of interest
- Projected budget
- Gender (male/female/other/not applicable)
A Sitecore website is oblivious to this information before, during, and after form submission but knowing it would provide a great opportunity to personalize Sitecore. For example, if the job title is, "CxO", the web content can be adjusted to better target a senior manager. Similarly, content can be tweaked according to the company size, product, budget, or gender.
Web forms live in the gray space between marketing and sales. Too often they are used to simply harvest names and email addresses and not often enough, as an intelligence-gathering mechanism to support the sales team. It is, after all, the sales team that often converse directly with the prospect, and knowing about a person before the call is essential. All it takes is a few succinct questions on the web form to give them the knowledge they need. The same data can act as source data to the Sitecore personalization engine which uses it to highly engage the visitor.
Website personalization based on form values also changes the way we should think about forms. In some circumstances, fields can be added to the form purely for the purpose of personalizing web content. For example, an "Age" form field used to calculate an insurance premium is also useful to determine what content should be shown on the website.
So how do you personalize content based on web form values? One example we are familiar with is using S4S to push Sitecore form data to Salesforce (the data should be going to a CRM anyway). Simply map the Sitecore web form (and fields) to a Salesforce lead or contact then map those Salesforce fields back to a Sitecore facet where the data becomes available for use by the Sitecore rules engine.
Web forms can be more clever than you think. They not only provide permissioned data to your sales and marketing teams, but they can also provide the source information needed to personalize content to the visitor.
FuseIT specializes in Sitecore to Salesforce integration. Our S4S integration enables both implicit and explicit personalization. Please contact us for more information or to see a demo of this in action.