The trend of today’s website CMS is to track user behaviour and display relevant content/merchandise/product to cater customer interests to increase sales. Sitecore Experience Platform DMS makes such tasks much easier.
Here are key terms we need to understand: Profile, Profile Keys, Profile Cards and Pattern Cards.
- Profile: is a category used to define the criteria by which you want to track visitors’ behaviour. Profiles are typically defined under
/sitecore/system/Marketing Control Panel/Profiles.
- Profile Key: an attribute related to a specific profile. It has value typically be in a range of 0 to 5
- Profile Cards: a preset collection of profile key values gathered in one card that can be applied to Sitecore item.
- Profile Cards – Persona: a profile card associated with a persona with specific aspects of a potential website visitor.
- Pattern Cards: cards with combination of keys that are used to match a visitor profile in real time with its closest pattern. They are not assigned to content.
Let’s use a real world scenario to illustrate how the personalization with profiling works. A vacation website wants to track traveller vacation type and display relevant vacation content to the visitor. Here are the steps:
- Design profiling taxonomy then create profile, profile cards and pattern cards.
- Assign points to items in different categories based on audience being targeted (or bulk-assign using Profile Cards)
- Since content has been attached one or multiple profile cards, visitors accrue points based on the content they visit and build up a profile to match a predefined pattern card.
- Content can be personalized by changing rendering or data source based on browsing habits.
Profile vs Pattern.
- Profiles are related to site content (i.e. they are statically assigned to Sitecore items)
- Patterns are related to site visitors (i.e. they are dynamically assigned to visitors).
Sitecore will assign a pattern card to the visitor according to the content he sees in the website. By default, Sitecore automatically assigns one to the visitor after a closest pattern matched more than 3 times.