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Sitefinity Summit 2017: Boston

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We’ve just returned from the 2017 Sitefinity Summit hosted by Progress Software. It was an action-packed conference with lots to learn. Here’s a quick recap of what we came away with...

Flywheel2017_Sitefinity Summit 2017

B2B Needs To Up Its Game

Consumer marketing (B2C) is where marketing automation techniques evolve and B2B always lags. In the B2B world, sales cycles are long and personal relationships are gold. The fear is that the white glove, high-touch approach will be lost using digital solutions. But, the truth is the contrary: marketing automation techniques in the B2B world only enhance and augment the human centric approach.

Worldwide Product Use

Among the first things that we noticed at the summit was that there were attendees present from all over the world. We met people from Toronto, Victoria, Austin, London and Dubai. Sitefinity has a very powerful multi-lingual infrastructure which makes it a good choice for companies around the globe. From our various conversations, it was interesting and refreshing to hear that most businesses everywhere are advancing their marketing with digital tools in the same ways.

Scalability In Action

For some time now, Sitefinity has been trying to attract enterprise clients and at the conference, it was great to see how many very large businesses are using Sitefinity for their digital marketing infrastructure. Knowing that Sitefinity can be used cost effectively for small companies also means that as a business grows, they have a tool that can and will grow with them.

Experience Matters Most 

A good tool should be easy to use and feature rich. Sitefinity does a good job at being user-friendly and providing turn-key solutions for websites and marketers. Of course, the tool itself cannot sell a business. To drive more leads and convert more clients the overall customer experience needs to be rich, relevant and immersive. We got to see a preview of the new features coming soon for the Digital Experience Cloud that connects to Sitefinity. This system gives you the analytics and a dashboard to help companies understand how their website content is influencing a customer journey. It’s going to be exciting to see that in action!

Mobile Users Are Dominant

Having a website that is compatible with mobile devices should be a given these days. Simply having a responsive website is no longer enough. Having a “mobile first” philosophy is not nearly as good as having a “user first” philosophy. If you don’t have a website that is optimized to load fast on mobile devices and give users a positive experience, then Google will drop your search engine ranking, fast. With Sitefinity, you will soon be able to adapt your content and rich media so that your site is recognized by Google as having “mobile amplified pages”. In search results, these sites show up at the top of the list with the “AMP” icon.

Personalization Is Awesome

One approach that we would certainly advocate for at Flywheel is to segment your audience and provide as specific an experience and customer journey as possible. This goes back to the point about how important the customer experience is. Using the features provided in Sitefinity and the Digital Experience Cloud you can really geek out on personalization. We saw some great examples of personalization demonstrated that were simple, pragmatic and very quick to implement. It’s a good reminder that it’s perfectly acceptable to start small - especially if it means the alternative is not doing it at all. A good example where to start is to do some A/B testing.

Machine Learning Is Available To The Masses

Machine learning sounds like something that only the big software giants can deliver, but as we found out, that’s not true. With the right tools, data and analytics from your website and other business systems can provide very powerful insights. Simple (and sophisticated) machine learning concepts are now part of the Sitefinity package that help you cost effectively optimize your content and marketing campaigns.

Agile Marketing Is A Thing

In world of software development, the concept of “agile” development has been around for a long time. The same concept is now being applied to marketing. This was a hot topic. The result of an agile approach being that you release components of your strategy in quick iteration, analyze the real-world performance and refine as you go - something else we would certainly advocate at Flywheel.
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