Does Sitecore Cortex Live up to the Machine-Learning Hype?

Understanding the customer is critical in today’s highly competitive business environment. Knowledge of what the customer wants requires insights into the context in which he interacts with the brand, and awareness of other vital cues surrounding the transaction. Timely access to such relevant insights enables the marketer to sell better and faster, and also create valuable up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.

Consider the value of a smart and street-savvy salesperson, who can convince a customer interested in buying a fishing rod to buy a twin-engine fishing boat instead.

Such salespersons are undoubtedly a rare breed. But what if an artificial intelligence and machine learning enabled tool is capable of doing exactly that? Enter Sitecore Cortex, which comes with the capability to “read minds”, and scour out the most valuable and potential customers from millions of site visitors. For good measure, the tool also analyzes the buying patterns of the incumbent customers, proactively cross-selling and up-selling products to them.

The Power of Machine Learning

Sitecore Cortex is embedded into the Sitecore Experience Cloud and taps into the power of machine learning. The Sitecore Experience Cloud has inherent advantage, i.e., comparable tools, designed ground-up to exploit the enormous potential of machine learning.

However, there are several tools today which work on Machine Learning and leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence. Sitecore Cortex is, however, different from the rest; in that it is built ground up for machine learning.

Real-Time Analytical Insights

Sitecore Cortex is a powerful tool designed to collect, connect and process huge volumes of data, from many different systems, in the fastest and most efficient way. Cortex connects and collects data from all possible sources on a continuous basis. It then processes the data on a real-time basis, increasing the relevance of processed data.

Like most marketing tools, Sitecore Cortex delivers highly relevant analytical insights, allowing marketers to discover the most likely needs and intentions behind every customer interaction. Such insights enable the marketer to deliver highly relevant experiences, which not only increases the efficacy of the engagement but also enhances customer satisfaction manifold.

Sitecore analyses every purchase journey to identify the highest value audience segment, and also their preferences. All this is done in real-time. In today’s fast-paced world, tastes, preferences, needs, and circumstances change by the hour. As such, the insights derived from data, and in fact the data itself, has a very short shelf life. Sitecore Cortex’s ultra-fast processing and comprehensive analysis increases the relevance and value of every customer experience manifold.

Some of the specific insights delivered by Cortex include:

  1. Automating engagement plans and decisions using predictions or pattern recognition. Sitecore Cortex uses machine learning to automate several hitherto manual tasks in the marketing workflow.
  2. Assessing visitor engagement to identify visitors with the maximum prospects. Not all visitors are equal. Cortex’s deep contextual insights allow scoring leads differently, based on behavior and other insights.
  3. AB and multivariate testing, to easily identify the initiatives that work and do not work.
  4. Rules-based implicit personalization, to target leads with relevant content, based on the organization, geography, demographics, and other factors.

Context Integrated with Commerce 

Unlike many tools which merely process data in real-time, Cortex natively integrates context to the commerce. The ability to scour out contextual factors from the data enable marketers to deliver a seamless and personalized experience before, during, and after every purchase. Applying contextual insights involves testing several variables, aimed at optimizing customer engagement over time. Sitecore’s powerful engines undertake various permutations and combinations to understand what works and what does not work, with the algorithms working to deeply personalize the insights for each customer.

OmniChannel Engagement

Omnichannel distribution is the marketer being able to use the right channel to bring contextual experience to the customer, regardless of geographical constraints.  Today’s pampered customers may opt to initiate the engagement from their smartphones, do research from their office PC, and finally complete the purchase through a tablet.  Success depends on providing a consistent experience and seamless engagement through different touch points.

Sitecore Cortex understands the customer and offers the best possible engagement through any channel of choice. It taps into the preference of each customer specific to the device they use. A customer, may, for instance, want to download product whitepapers on his laptop, whereas he might wish to conclude the purchase on a smartphone.

The Future Works 

Sitecore Cortex is work in progress. Some of the possibilities on the anvil with this intelligent assistant include:

  1. Profiling customers based on content consumption
  2. Building smart distribution models
  3. Driving self-learning engagement scoring
  4. Powering automatic content tagging and intelligent recommendations

Sitecore makes instant judgments, factoring in brand goals and customer needs, to provide a unique context for every interaction.

A cutting-edge tool such as Sitecore Cortex which analyses customer behavior and pushes relevant products is a valuable tool in the marketer’s arsenal.  For a marketer, Sitecore Cortex is virtually a personal data scientist, available round the clock. The tool not only acts as a genie to do what is required, but also prods the marketer on opportunities, warns of hazards, and evaluates performance to give truly objective feedback. These possibilities make it very easy to understand the customer and sell what they want, over and above what they need.

Further, with Cortex taking care of all the essentials and much more, marketers can concentrate their efforts on strategies and ideas. In fact, Cortex offers the perfect tool to actualize strategies and action-plans seamlessly and effortlessly.

Hitherto, understanding the customer was easier said than done. Sitecore Cortex promises to reverse this belief and make understanding the customer a lot easier than it ever was.

 

Excited about Sitecore Cortex? Get in touch with our Sitecore Certified Experts.

Author : Nayab Naseer Date : 27 Jun 2018