Connecting to Microsites with the Sitecore Federated Experience Manager

Posted 02-22-2017 by Ken Gray
With each new update to Sitecore, comes increase personalization power and marketing automation tools to make the complex life of a digital marketer that much easier.

 

The Federated Experience Manager is no different. It allows marketers to take their extraneous, non-Sitecore, digital assets and connect them into Sitecore for reporting and personalization.

The way it works is simple:

  1. Create an FXM beacon in Sitecore that references your external asset (microsite, landing page, blog, etc.) 
  2. Place that beacon on the page(s)of your external asset to establish two-way communication with Sitecore.
  3. Create a Sitecore Rule that permits the cross-browser scripting and you're done!
As simple as that sounds, what you can now do with the external asset is nothing short of incredible! Okay, maybe I'm getting a little too excited, but the FXM is really cool. 

Essentially, once the beacon is placed on the page and communication is happening, you can track analytics, place Sitecore content, conduct A/B testing, and even implement personalization rules on the non-Sitecore site as though it were being managed within Sitecore!

"So how is it done", you ask? Great question, here are the steps:

  1. From the Sitecore Launch Pad, click on the Federated Experience Manager icon.
    Federated Experience Manager Icon
  2. Next, click on the Add External Site option from within the FXM.
    FXM Dialogue 1
  3. Specify the details of the external site and click Save.
  4. Copy the JavaScript tracking code (beacon) provided by Sitecore and place it onto the website page or pages you want to track. This creates the “hook” into Sitecore.
    FXM Beacon

Allow Cross-browser Scripting and Publish

To prevent cross-browser scripting issues and errors, we need to set up a Rule that permits the scripting to run. The last step is to publish our Sitecore FXM Beacon. 

  1. Return to the Sitecore Launch Pad and launch the Marketing Control Panel.
    Marketing Control Panel icon
  2. Navigate to and expand the Federated Experience Manager item and select the external website (beacon) item you created (demo in our screenshot example).
    MCP Dialogue 1
  3. In the Content area, click on the Edit Rule link found in the Matching Rule section of the item. This will open the Rule Set Editor.
    MCP Dialogue 2
  4. In the Rule Set Editor, choose the "where request domains is..." and enter the domain name to the external, non-Sitecore asset.
    MCP Dialogue 3
  5. Click OK to close the Rule Set Editor and then click Save to keep your changes to the FXM "beacon" item.
    MCP Dialogue 4
  6. Return to the FXM, click on the name of the item and in the top-right corner click the Publish button.
    MCP Dialogue 5

That's it! You're all done!

In my next post I will write a tutorial on tracking clicks and implementing personalization on an external site using the FXM. In the meantime, experiment on your own and post a comment or question that you would like answered.

Until next time...

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Comments

  • Thanks for sharing the blog. Really helpful.