Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hedgehog Persona Tool Part I

Do we really know our visitors?

Profile and Pattern Cards can be very useful, but using them the first time requires that the marketers make a lot of assumptions about their visitors. Marketers create an initial series of Profile and Pattern Cards and as visitors navigate the site they are matched to one of these established cards. Sitecore does that by calculating Squared Euclidean distance between a visit’s pattern and each Pattern Card. This distance is expressed in a numerical value (double). Whichever pattern happens to be “closest” is the one the visitor is assigned to.

There’s a great project you can download and play with. http://www.launchsitecore.net/ I installed it on the Sitecore 8.0 (rev. 150621) and connected it to MongoDB 3.0. I also added more Profile Keys and one additional Pattern Card. In the example below we have a Developer Pattern Card. Sitecore creates a radar chart representing the card.



As I navigate the Launch Sitecore site I am matched to the very Pattern Card we were looking at: Developer.



The question is – how does a marketer know what the actual pattern for the visit looks like? Sitecore determined the closest pattern and essentially forces it upon the visit. What if erroneous assumptions were made? What if there are large groups of visitors that don’t even come close to either of the established Pattern Cards?

My project began with this idea in mind, because it would be great if there was a tool that could help us accurately gather this information. The program that I am currently developing from Hedgehog Development was originally masterminded by Mike Edwards. The tool looks at all visits to your site, determines their patterns and groups them together depending on the Squared Euclidean Distance between the patterns decided by the user. At the maximum possible distance all patterns are aggregated and averaged into one grouping that represents an average visitor to a given site. As the distance is decreased more groups are formed with patterns differing from each other by that new, smaller distance. What’s great is that a user can lay the groups over their Sitecore Pattern Cards and visualize the difference.

The screen shot below shows an average visit to my site. The radar chart displays all Profile Keys for this Profile (such as Analytics, Technology, etc). The grouping tells us what percentage of visits were aggregate into this grouping, how many visits the percentage represents, and a value for each Key.


I can "turn on" one of my Pattern Cards (Content Owner for instance) and see the difference between my average visitor and a Pattern Card. This is incredibly helpful to understanding my users and the content they are looking at on my site.



The tool is currently undergoing enhancements to make it more informative, intuitive, and to offer additional features.

If you'd like more information about persona development and marketing strategy, reach out to Hedgehog Digital Marketing Innovation Team.

1 comment:

  1. Sound like a great tool ;-) I am looking forward to trying it and seeing it in action!

    ReplyDelete