The Sitecore DMS can change the way your organization does online marketing, but only if you know how to use it. Our handy Sitecore DMS reference guide is a great place to start.

Marketing automation, engagement planning, segmentation- while these digital buzz words are saturating the market, execution is often ignored in lieu of exciting conversations about strategy and potential results. Don't get us wrong, we're as excited about writing digital marketing strategy and monitoring the results as the next marketer, but in our books, execution is just, if not more important. 

Personalization in Sitecore

We execute on these digital marketing trends for our own clients using the Sitecore Digital Marketing System (DMS). We've looked at the DMS from any number of angles here on the blog: using its' profiles and pattern cards to enable personalization, setting up A/B tests to evaluate your content and provided a real world example of how the Rotman School of Business is driving personalized web experiences using it, but today we'll give you a look at how it works.

In this first of a two-part blog series, we provide a quick reference guide for both developers and marketers who are new the system and looking to understand its elements and how they work together (and provide a helpful diagram to keep track of it all!) 

Key Sitecore DMS terminology

Page: Every website site is composed of one or more pages. Each of these page has its own URL and contains one or more placeholders. 

Placeholder - An area of a page where components can be added. Placeholders are configured to only allow the addition of components that are applicable to that particular part of the page. Each page is typically architected with one or more placeholders.

Components - A reusable page construct used to layout the content on your page. For example, a slider or a tab structure could each be components. A combination of components will create the layout of your page. Attached to each component is a datasource.

Datasource - An item that contains the content that will be displayed by the component. In our slide or tab component example, this would be the collection of slides or tabs related to your component. 

Personalization Rules - Rules are evaluated when the page is loaded and they determine which datasource will be used to provide correct content to populate the component. Sitecore has a large selection of out-of-the-box rules that can be used for personalization purposes, or you could check out our post on 3 cool ways to use the Sitecore rules engine to find ways to customize your personalization. 

Based on personalization rules configured on a component, the component may use one of potentially many datasources as content to display.

The second post in this series will give you a step by step guide for enabling personalization on your Sitecore pages so be sure to check back!

Sitecore DMS reference guide
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