Will these top 3 features justify what is now the longest wait yet for a new version of Kentico?

In comparison with previous versions of Kentico’s integrated marketing solution, the new  version has required the longest development cycle yet. In the time it took Kentico to deliver on their promise of a revolutionary new product, several major in-house events occurred: the development team almost doubled in number, the company moved to new offices, six employees got married, and five established families. So, what exactly is in the new version that took so much hard work and made it the biggest release of Kentico yet? Let’s take a look at why Kentico 8 will be the best way to celebrate the company’s 10th year on the market.

1] “Cherchez la femme le client”   

Just as behind every man’s greatest feats is usually a woman, Kentico 8 was driven by a love affair of its own — its customers! Well, to be accurate, a well-chosen set of user personas representing customers, actually. The new user interface was designed entirely to make working in it light, intuitive and right-first-time for roles, such as the Content Editor, Marketer, Developer and E-shop administrator. The aim of the redesign was to empower customers to achieve more, quicker.
The user interface has been unified into a single administration area from where users can access all its functions. Users can personalize their dashboards with most-used applications, in a similar manner as they are accustomed to doing on their smartphones. They can also find applications easily by clicking the “start orb” button and typing a few characters into the new predictive search functionality, analogous to the one used in Windows.

The redesign wasn’t just focused on simplifying and streamlining the user interface, but also on improving response time of the system and reducing steps required for certain actions. 
Representing the biggest update to Kentico 8, the redesign was made possible with the hiring of six user experience experts and the closed-loop agile development methods employed. Kentico’s partners cooperated closely with these experts and the dev team members in order to coordinate this procedure. The process behind the redesign is described in great detail in the Kentico UX redesign series

2] “A Successful website runs on CMS CXM” 

Any tool that manages customer experience has to provide rock-solid online marketing features, so we at Kentico worked hard on improving ours. The three main changes they made were as follow: 

a) A/B testing improvements 

A/B tests can dramatically boost conversion rates, and therefore, results, by allowing marketers to test different versions of content on their audience. But what if the test version misses its mark and sends conversion rates down? Well, if the test is being run on a high-traffic website, the damage can be swift and significant. This is why Kentico 8 allows marketers to conduct the test on just a small percentage of visitors, keeping impact to a minimum. 
But more importantly, marketers can (based on visitor data or engagement) limit the test to a chosen segment of its audience. And this is why it is crucial to have an all-in-one marketing solution, because this is where A/B testing and personalization connect to offer powerful insights that disparate systems cannot offer. Now the question of what content to display to whom and how it should be personalized in order to get the best results can be answered by simple low-impact A/B tests.

b) Built-in persona management

Marketers are not strangers to working with personas, but getting them from concept to website and dynamic email campaigns is a long and complicated process. Kentico 8 makes adding personas to websites as simple as “add new”, and allows sophisticated rule-setting that assigns points to each site visitor according to their behavior so that they are correctly and automatically assigned to a particular persona.

c) Form builder simplification

Marketers still need the hard-won assistance of developers in the building of online forms. Kentico 8 changes this as forms are being built by using drag and drop components that are then specified by excel-like settings, including the validation rules.  This should result in fewer calls from marketing to development and more power to online marketers. 

3] “E-commerce and as part of CXM” 

Kentico has included e-commerce features as a part of its all-in-one solution since 2008, each new version providing the opportunity for enhancement. And Kentico 8 does this by the bucket-load. 

Digital agencies are repeatedly asked to add Amazon-style smartness to their customer’s e-stores. But not every e-store owner has the budget or knowledge to handle the sophistication that this requires. Lucky for them, Kentico 8 comes with the fully integrated Strands Recommender which greatly supports the store’s upselling and cross-selling efforts. This built-in functionality recommends products to shoppers via "People who bought this also bought" and "Best sellers this week" widgets. These recommendations can be used within websites and dynamic email campaigns. The great thing is that the thirty-day trial of this Amazon-like experience gives you enough time to see if the potential investment will pay off for you. 

Though I’ve only listed the top 3 features that Kentico 8 brings, it’s sure to make a splash in the integrated marketing industry.
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Petr Passinger

Petr is the Senior Business Analyst, responsible for the mapping and optimization of the sales funnel and revenue cycle leveraging the Kentico Customer Experience Management solution for online marketing activities.