Sitecore Symposium 2018 Elevate the Experience

If you didn’t make it Sitecore Symposium or my presentation at the Cleveland Sitecore Usergroup then check out some highlights, key takeaways and discover how Sitecore Elevated my experience at Symposium!


Sitecore’s CEO Mark Frost – kicked off the Opening Keynote, welcoming the 3000 in attendance representing 53 Countries.


Mark introduce the theme for this year’s Symposium: Elevate the Experience.

“Because it is EXPERIENCES not products customers are buying today.” Mark Frost

  • Companies and customers have realized that the experience is the product.
  • This is a shift in thinking about transactions and purchases to thinking about building lifelong relationships between brands and customers.
  • Elevating the Brand experience is no longer a nice to have it is a must-have.

Mark wasted no time in diving into how Sitecore is going to Elevate the Experience!

1st way Sitecore is Elevating the Experience – the general availability of Sitecore JavaScript Services


  • This will give marketers a faster time to market.
  • They will be able to do everything from simple blogs to progressive Web Apps and native mobile apps working their Javascript developer who doesn’t need to know that much about Sitecore.
  • They don’t need to know .NET or C#, they can work with the frameworks they are familiar with and still gain access to the Sitecore platform.
  • Marketers will still have full control including WYSIWYG previews and editing in experience editor with the full power of the Experience Platform and have tracking optimization and personalization capabilities.

2nd way Sitecore is Elevating the Experience – Sitecore Cortex


At Symposium last year Sitecore announced Sitecore Cortex – it is now generally available!

  • Cortex will help Marketers automate the creation of personalization rules.
  • Cortex will Automate content tagging and the process of optimizing your site for SEO.
  • Cortex is able to identify predictive outcomes. This will help customers identify segments that are next most likely to convert and deliver an enhanced conversion optimization story.
  • Cortex will help find customers you never knew you had the opportunity to market to before.

3rd way Sitecore is Elevating the Experience  Sitecore & Salesforce relationship!


Sitecore is expanding on their successful relationship with Salesforce.

  • Since announcing their strategic alliance with Salesforce there has been an amazing surge of interest and some big wins.
  • Sitecore delivered on the first phase of Salesforce marketing cloud integration in the summer.
  • They are continuing to build on that success with the next phase of integration. This will allow you to share behavioral data and interactive data between Sitecore and Salesforce.
  • The combination of these two great solutions is going to really drive highly personalized solutions at scale.

4th way Sitecore is Elevating the Experience – by the acquisition of Stylelabs!


Mark Frost announced they are expanding the Sitecore family with the acquisition of Stylelabs. WOW!!

  • Stylelabs is the most innovative digital asset management, marketing resource management company in the world.
  • Incredible leading solutions to help companies create aggregate, organize and publish marketing content.
  • This can be done across channels including, websites, e-commerce, and social media.
  • This is a huge deal for Sitecore – with the addition of Stylelabs Sitecore becomes a true end-to-end platform owning the entire content lifecycle for marketers.

“Sitecore are elevating the experience by integrating Stylelabs content creation and asset management technology with Sitecore’s web content management and personalization. Creating one repository for content and digital assets of all types which can be fully rights managed.” Mark Frost

Tim & Tom co-founders of Stylelabs


We are going to be seeing a lot more of these two in the future!

Additional Resources



Volvo is currently going through a digital-first transformation: The Digital Experience Initiative. The goal is to deliver 20% of sales from online channels to support the company’s wider mission—to simplify and improve the consumer’s life. It also ties in with Volvo’s broader marketing goal to position and establish Volvo as a global luxury brand. To achieve these goals, Volvo partnered with Sitecore.


Cannondale demonstrated the power of data by leveraging detailed customer exercise information to make recommendations on the ideal Cannondale bike for the consumer. Use the information collected they could enable the consumer to make intelligent decisions by informing them how much time they could shave their favorite journey. Those recommendations could be linked to brick-and-mortar retail partners for an end-to-end connected purchase experience.


Heather Clark VP, Direct & Digital Marketing at SickKids shared the success they have had so far with their campaign to build a new world-class SickKids hospital. With the help of Sitecore’s platform, they are driving towards their goal of raising $1.3B for the project.

Supporting a charitable Cause

Mark Frost announced that Sitecore they are now going to support a charitable cause at Symposium and every attendee will have an opportunity to help and support the charity.

sickkidsorgThis years charity is the Sick Kids Foundation  –  a Canadian foundation fighting for children’s health since 1875. Sitecore partnered with Cannondale and set up several Cannondale bikes in the Partner Pavillion and invited each attendee to ride a bike for 3 minutes and in return, Sitecore donated $25 to the Sick Kids Foundation.

Highly recommend checking out some of the amazing Sick Kids marketing video campaigns available on YouTube

Sitecore Elevated the experience – by letting attendees join Sitecore in part of something much bigger than just another Symposium and help this amazing charity to make a difference in the lives of families who benefit from this charity. We helped raise a grand total of $50,000, an amazing achievement by everyone who got involved.

Impossible is a total Fallacy

notimpossibleMick Ebeling is the founder of an award-winning humanitarian company called Not Impossible Labs. He shared his story of how they are changing lives one person at a time, Help One Help Many – through the use of technology.

“Everything we do today at one point was impossible until someone made it possible.” Mick Ebeling

Mick tells the story of how he was compelled to help the graffiti artist TEMPT, whose ability to communicate and create art was stolen from him by Lou Gehrig’s disease. He not only helped him communicate but enabled him to draw again using his eyes through the invention of the Eyewriter.

“Commit then figure it out” is the fundamental principle of Not Impossible

He then went on to tell the story of a Sudanese boy Daniel whose arms had been blown off during a bombing of his village. Mick traveled to the war-torn Nuba Mountains to find Daniel and make him a prosthetic arm. Most prosthetic arms cost $15,000 Daniels’ arm cost $100. He then taught the locals about the process as well and established the first mobile 3D prosthetic’s printing lab.

Story after Story Mick described how their inventions are taking the absurd, solving it and then making it available for everyone. Making the impossible possible.

How do they pull it off? They find their one. They find one person and make it personal and commit to helping them. Through helping their one they are able to help many. Help One, Help Many! 

“People make purchase decisions in part based on their perceptions of whether a brand is doing good.” Mick Ebeling


This unexpected talk Elevated my Experience at Symposium. It was really inspiring and emotional – I walked out of this keynote changed. It made me stop and think what can I do to help others – to make the impossible, possible and change the life of another for the better!! What can we do individually and corporately to help humanity.  Wait Sitecore announced they are committed to supporting a charitable cause at each Symposium – doing good is good branding.

Daymond John’s 5 Shark Points: Fundamentals for success in business & life


Sharktank’s Daymond John told his story of how he started pursed his dream started his FUBU clothing brand to some really cool tunes. Sharing his 5 Shark points for success:

  1. Set a goal -you become what you think about.
  2. Homework – do your research.
  3. Amor – love what you do and who you do it for.
  4. Remember – you personally are the brand. Can you pitch yourself in 2-5 words?
  5. Keep Swimming – don’t give up.

Life is short. What really defines success? We will impact the lives of those around us. So do it for the ones you love.


There was a much larger presence from Women in technology this year both on stage and off stage.

Keynote Speaker Sarah Robb O’Hagan (CEO Flywheel Sports) – Change the game by playing your own: How to build an unbeatable company.

Sitecore Experience Awards


Paige O’Neill Announced this year’s Sitecore Experience Awards, 2018 Winners:

Americas: Dine Brands Global Partner: XCentium
Europe / Middle East / Africa: 
Volvo Cars Partner: Avanade
Australia / New Zealand: 
Open Universities Australia PartnerAvanade
Greater Asia: 
Philippine Airlines PartnerAccenture / Avanade

Building Brand Trust

Delivering personalization requires consumers to share data with you at a time where data breaches and consumer privacy dominates the news.

Industry experts Mark Zablan (Sitecore CRO), Eric Stoll (Co-founder & CEO Arke), Scott Liewehr (Co-founder & CEO Digital Clarity Group) and Sabrina Sexton (Director of Digital Marketing for Stanley Black & Decker), discussed the strategies for the implications around consumer data and privacy as companies seek to capture and maintain consumer trust through.


“Have a plan and show your customers that you can execute it quickly in an event. Is what will show the world you are a brand that can be trusted.” Eric Stoll

Breakout Sessions

With 130 Break Sessions and 219 Speakers covering a broad spectrum of topics across the following tracks:

  • Development & IT
  • Marketing Strategy, Innovation, Best Practice
  • Sitecore Optimization
  • Getting Started on Sitecore
  • E-Commerce Experience

We were totally spoiled for choice which made choosing which sessions to attend a difficult task. During my presentation in Sitecore Usergroup in Cleveland, I went through some quick highlights from the sessions I attended. I will follow up with these in another post.


Sitecore Symposium is a great opportunity to catch up with friends, colleagues, partners, and customers. Sitecore did an amazing job this year by creating plenty of opportunities to do so. Starting with the Happy Hour held in the partner pavilion. They executed an awesome Sitecore party this year by busing us all to Universal Studios,  where part of City Walk had been sectioned off for us to enjoy the various foods and beverages from a wide range of restaurants before letting us go wild on the rides at the Island of Adventure! This was a great opportunity to mix and mingle with colleagues, customers, partners, and Sitecore community Heros!!

That’s the Wrap


Ryan Donovan wrapped up Symposium with a look at the future and the possibility of a Sitecore Content Hub.

More Info

The Sitecore Symposium 2018 keynotes are now available to watch on demand. You can find the playlist here:

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