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When would I use or create events under the marketing control panel?

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Also, what is the difference in the marketing control panel events and the ones found under Analyze > Attributes > Events?

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  • The 2nd list is located at /sitecore/system/Settings/Analytics/Page Events. I don't really understand the use of the first events folder. I have never used it. – Chris Auer Oct 24 '19 at 3:24
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I have not practically use the Events as much but from the definition and research, I am writing this answer hopefully it will clear your doubts.

An event is anything significant that occurs within the context of an interaction, such as viewing a web page or making a purchase in a physical store.

When an event is triggered, an event definition ID is passed into the constructor. Event definition ID comes from items in Sitecore that give contextual meaning to an event in a reporting context. Event definitions are managed by marketers, who define properties such as the event name, description, and classification.

Sitecore gives the following type of events -

  • Goals- /sitecore/system/Marketing Control Panel/Goals
  • Outcomes- /sitecore/system/Marketing Control Panel/Outcomes
  • Generic events- /sitecore/system/Marketing Control Panel/Events
  • Page events - /sitecore/system/Settings/Analytics/Page Events

All events are triggered with an Event model, an event definition ID, and a timestamp. Event models determine what is be collected when an event is triggered. For example, the SearchEvent model represents the search terms that were used as the Keywords property. Sitecore gives the following Event Models -

  • Event
  • Goal:Event
  • Outcome:Event
  • CampaignEvent:Event
  • DownloadEvent:Event
  • SearchEvent:Event
  • PageViewEvent:Event (System event)
  • PersonalizationEvent:Event (System event)
  • MVTestTriggered (System event)

Now come to your question here, So events which are under the Marketing Control Panel - /sitecore/system/Marketing Control Panel/Events are Generic events and Events which are under system setting - /sitecore/system/Settings/Analytics/Page Events are Page events.

Generic Events use the event models that are used by the system as System event -

  • EventPageViewEvent (System event)
  • MVTestTriggered (System event)
  • PersonalizationEvent (System event)

and Page Events use following event models-

  • Event
  • CampaignEvent:Event
  • DownloadEvent:Event
  • SearchEvent:Event

Since Generic Events are being used by System as System event so I don't think we should touch it until a specific requirement.

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What are Events in Sitecore?

The best description of what Events are would probably be the one provided by Sitecore:

Events track visitor activity on a website. Tracking events helps build up a more complete picture of a visitor’s behavior as they navigate your website. You should assign engagement value points to all events to reflect their relative importance to your organization.

Sitecore user documentation on Events

The four main events in Sitecore are:

  • Events
  • Page Events
  • Goals
  • Outcomes

What is the difference between these types of Events in Sitecore? (And when to use them)

  • Events - /sitecore/system/Marketing Control Panel/Events

    These are the base of events in Sitecore. All other events inherit from this type of event. This type will likely not be used directly. I say this because this type of event was introduced in Sitecore 9. In Sitecore 8, this base event did not exist, so the only options were between the other three event types.

  • Page Events - /sitecore/system/Settings/Analytics/Page Events

    These are the general use case events. They get used to track general activity by the user. They have the option to track Failures, such as an error in submitting a form. You can also add Rules to them that will get executed when the event gets triggered. For example, writing a custom log statement when triggered by the user.

  • Goals - /sitecore/system/Marketing Control Panel/Goals

    Goals actually inherit directly from Page Events. From a technical standpoint, they are no different from Page Events. However, their difference is a conceptual one. Considering Page Events should be used to track all general activity, Goals can be thought of as tracking achievements by the user. An example would be, successfully submitting a form on your site.

    Here is an answer to a previous question, that provides additional information into the differences of Page Events and Goals. When would you use a Page Event?

  • Outcomes - /sitecore/system/Marketing Control Panel/Outcomes

    Per Sitecore, "An outcome is the business significant result of a dialog between a contact and a brand." Outcomes can be viewed as milestones for a user of your site. You may have a Goal associated with a user signing up for an email newsletter, but you have an outcome setup for when that user creates an account on your site.

    Sitecore user documentation for Outcomes

The "real world" example

I have been working on a new portal for our site. The portal will require a user to create an account. Once created, they will have a collection of online forms to fill out. Some of these forms do get a little lengthy, and can require additional documentation to fill out. So it is possible that they may start a form and be unable to complete it in one session.

Therefore, we will have Page Events tied to when a user starts a form. Then we will have a Goal tied to when a user completes a form. This way, we can see if a user started a form, and never completed it. That will allow us to send them a re-targeting email should a few days pass and they never complete the form.

In addition, we could add Outcomes to creating their account and when all the forms are completed as these are the major milestones we have for the user.

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