Open source Web CMS provider Hippo is releasing version 7.8 of its flagship web content management product. The new web content management system includes a number of features designed to make 2013 and beyond very personal for Hippo clients and their customers.

hippo-targeting.pngThis Time, It’s Personal

One of the most important upgrades to Hippo CMS 7.8 is a highly customizable targeting feature that lets marketers create personalized experiences for site visitors. Marketers can also create in-depth customer personas using data from a variety of internal and external sources. In an exclusive advance briefing with CMSWire, Hippo Director of Product Marketing Sonja Wraith explained why the company is now deciding to focus on the development of leading-edge personas.

The market is speaking about customer experience,” said Wraith. “It’s about the customer journey -- how should I design a digital experience targeting each step.”

To that end, the Hippo CMS 7.8 targeting feature -- called the Relevance Module -- allows marketers to customize the site appearance based upon the demographic characteristics of each individual visitor. Information can be gathered whether the visitor is anonymous (using visit context, session information and channel), known (leveraging data from CRM systems, loyality and transaction system) or based on a define Persona (behavior, interest and engagement).

During the briefing, Hippo CTO Arje Cahn explained further how this type of personalized targeting works.

You maintain a profile and store different types of information you gather from a visitor,” said Cahn. “Real-time visitor analysis allows you to create characteristics based on external data systems such as CRM and/or a local weather data provider to add to the visitor profile the marketer uses.”

Marketers can view the information about each visitor, as well as internal data such as what content the visitor has already seen in a new interface called the Experience Optimizer, and then turn that information into into highly detailed visitor Personas.

In a template composer tool, marketers can then reconfigure and create optimized site experiences tailored to specific Personas. In addition, users can leverage the tool’s “alter ego” feature to take on the role of a persona and experience the site the same way a visitor with that persona would, allowing real-time testing and problem resolution.

Note that the Relevance Module is only available to Hippo Enterprise customers and is optional.

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Hippo Developers Rejoice!

Hippo is very clearly a developers Web CMS, and Hippos spends a lot of time ensuring that developers have the right tools for the job. In that vein, improvements to the Hippo Web CMS include improved DTAP Updater processes.

The Developer Perspective and Updater Editor allows developers to create, manage and run Groovy updater scripts against a running repository from the CMS user interface, allowing bulk changes to existing content, as well as a “reload on startup” feature that automatically updates newer versions of initialized items. In addition, a “diff and patch” tool allows developers to bring live configurations to the developer environment for revisions.