Data-driven marketers who want a 360-degree view of their customer’s interaction with all digital channels over time and in real time will find just that in the Sitecore Experience Profile.
A feature of the Sitecore® Experience Platform™ (XP), Experience Profile extracts from the Sitecore® Experience Database™ (also a part of Sitecore XP) all data about how customers have interacted with your digital channels. It’s stored as a single source view of each real-life visitor and integrates data from other systems to give you a much more intimate understanding of visitors than what you might get from traditional web, email, social, and mobile metrics.
Yes, xDB uses a cookie to identify the device a contact uses to interact with a website. In this way, you can identify the device if the contact returns using the same device. A session cookie identifies requests that belong to the same interaction.
Every device and interaction is then associated with a contact in the xDB. When there is no contact to link with a device, then a new, unidentified contact record is created so that each device used has a contact record associated with it. When the contact has been identified, the unidentified contact is merged with the identified contact.
When you say it integrates data from other systems, does that mean it both collects that data and shares it back out to external systems?
Thanks to Sitecore’s open platform and the sheer power of Sitecore xDB, many customers, technology partners, and implementation partners choose to develop custom integrations from third-party systems into xDB. This enables our customers to create a single source of truth when it comes to truly knowing their visitors and enables an even higher degree of experience optimization across their digital channels. This same practice, of course, could be applied to xDB; for instance, we often see xDB data being shared with CRM and ERP systems to further enhance the customer information on those platforms.
Why is it important to have a profile on each individual customer? Isn’t that inefficient?
As a marketer, you likely invest resources in developing buyer personas—profiles of prospects and customers with whom you want to engage. Often, profiles and persona cards are great in theory but not often operationalized. How do you know if these are really your buyers? How are they changing? Are some spending more than others or have more influence over spend?
With Sitecore XP, you can create “Pattern Cards”—numerical measurements of user preference that align with traditional buyer personas. As visitors interact with a site, the platform is able to assess their patterns, label them accordingly, and record that pattern label in the Experience Profile (or xProfile). This enables organizations to verify previous buyer persona hypotheses, as well as monitor changing behavior by comparing real-life visitors to their assumptions.
As well, you as a marketer are never acting on each individual xProfile—you may set up rules or tests or criteria for engagement, but then Sitecore XP automates delivery of your marketing when profile information updates and triggers the conditions for a rule you’ve defined. It all happens automatically, at scale. Smaller organizations may operate on a much more intimate level and enjoy the detail contained in the xProfile, as it’s a fantastic way of truly knowing and understanding how people are interacting with your brand so you can provide a uniquely personal experience.
How long is the data stored?
Data is stored until you choose to delete it. You also have the ability to customize how long a known visitor’s interactions are captured before the visitor “re-up’s” their consent.
Learn a lot with a little from the Experience Profile overview.
Understand how an individual fits into your personas and pattern matching.
Integrate third-party information into xDB and see it displayed in xProfile.