An outcome in Sitecore is a way to track the stage of a contact’s relationship with your brand. By tracking the outcomes a contact has hit during their journey to becoming a customer, you can see how they’ve interacted with your site and how valuable they are financially to your business, rather than just how much they engage with your content.
Sitecore goals track activities that visitors have completed on your site. They measure how visitors are engaging with your website and brand.
An event in Sitecore also tracks activity, however these are used to track more significant events, like downloading a PDF, rather than just a page that someone has viewed.
A campaign in Sitecore allows you track visitors who have been referred to your site through an advertising or promotional initiative.
Outcomes, as mentioned, track the stage of a contact's relationship with your brand.
You can use Sitecore outcomes for personalization rules, which can be a great way to engage or upsell a particular customer depending on their stage of the relationship with your business.
You can also use outcomes to trigger marketing automation campaigns in Sitecore that you can use to nurture contacts. For example if you can enter someone into an automation nurture campaign after they sign up to your newsletter, and then move them to a different campaign after they buy their first product and so on. You can even personalize the emails based on their product interest, and nurture every sale to become brand evangelists and lifelong customers.
And of course, you can also use outcomes for tracking purposes only - to track how evolved a contact's relationship with your brand is.
Marketers and content authors can create outcomes and outcome groups (categories of outcome items) in Sitecore in the marketing control panel, however in order for outcomes to be triggered, all outcomes must be created and registered programmatically by a developer.
Sitecore comes with 3 default outcome groups. Within each outcome group, there are a few predefined outcome definitions:
When a contact is acquired, i.e. when the contact hands over their details and identifies themselves.
When a product has been purchased by a customer.
Allows you to identify the stage a contact’s in as they progress through your lead funnel.
By default, Sitecore comes with some outcome definitions in the lead management funnel outcome group:
A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a contact who has demonstrated an interest in what your brand has to offer based on your marketing efforts. These are contacts who you would deem are more likely to purchase because of their actions on your site, like registering for a webinar, or signing up to your newsletter, but who are not yet paying customers.
A sales qualified lead (SQL) is a lead who you would deem ready to make a purchase, and who has demonstrated the ability to make purchasing decisions. Usually these leads have passed through the stage of MQL and have shown a high level of interest based on their activity. These contacts are ones that you’d forward to your sales team because they’re “warm”.
An opportunity is an SQL lead that has indicated that they would like to become a customer.
A lead who became a customer.
A lead who did not become a customer.
A closed lead who used to be a customer but has since cancelled their contract.
A new contact that has recently been converted from a lead or opportunity to a paying customer.
When a contact purchases a product.
To assign financial value to an outcome, on the outcome item, on the Content tab, in the Data section, select Monetary Value Applicable.
I hope this gave you a good understanding of Sitecore outcomes, and how you can use them to help your business gain more insight into your customers. It's unfortunate that marketers can't set the outcomes, but at least we can create them and the outcome groups.
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