Sitecore Profiling: A Guide to the Perplexed

Avoiding Pitfalls with Sitecore’s Most Powerful Feature in Early Adoption

October 16, 2017 | TBG Strategy/UX

Introduction: Profiling as a Skill

The value generated by personalization and targeting, needs of modern digital ecosystems, the structural limitations of various systems (Sitecore included) and the realities of digital operation require the development of a detailed new skill, called profiling. Like user experience (UX / Information Architecture) and the design of metadata taxonomies, the new skill is fundamentally about connecting the user with the right content. Of course, those three disciplines—IA, metadata, and profiling—achieve that goal in very different ways, and though there are some thought processes that are vaguely transferable, they are really different skill sets.

What is involved in Sitecore profiling? After work has gone into previous activities like assessing personalization readiness, coming up with an orientation for the case in hand to a range of strategies for personalization, and some operational planning around personalization, it is time to dig into profiling and make sure your Sitecore configurations will stand the test of time.

While we can’t give the full course on profiling in a single white paper, to orient to what comes after, we can say that the basic process for profiling in Sitecore looks something like this:

  1. Think critically about near, mid and long-term personalization goals;
  2. Think about what content, user actions, and data you will have available to drive personalization and profiling;
  3. Design the profiling model (in Sitecore, configuring Profiles, Profile Keys, Profile Cards, and Pattern Cards—somewhat confusing terms explained in the detail below);
  4. Subject the profiling model to rigorous criticism; Modify and repeat #4 & #5 a few more times, just to make sure; and
  5. Start personalizing!

This process requires creativity, realism, and intellectual rigor; it helps if it launches from a clear understanding of what all the parts of the model are, and how they are likely to actually interact with personalization and digital operations downstream—hence this white paper.

To learn more about this subject, download the full white paper.

About the Author

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TBG Strategy/UX

TBG’s Strategy/UX team features resident virtuosos of digital business consulting, usability, information architecture, & CMS implementation & user testing. When you meet them, it’s impossible not to immediately catch that the digital world is their oyster.

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