Before doing any configuration for the personas and personalization, we need to get some nomenclature available to use. Based on that nomenclature, we configure an effective personalization. In Sitecore personalization, following are the key concepts:
Profile cards – Most important to remember that this is what actually going to be used to tag a content for personalization to work in Sitecore. A profile card is something similar to a persona. As the user navigates around, different numeric values configured in profile keys are accumulated and those values are used to match the user with closest profile card which represents the user’s behavior. You may have profile cards for individual goals, behaviors, or attitudes.
Profiles – They are just categories which are the ancestor of profile cards and pattern cards. We can have multiple categories of cards assigned to the content item.
Profile keys – Keys represent actual values which are used during user journey to accrue the required points for identifying the behavior. The keys represent the goals, behaviors, and attitudes of a profile card.
Pattern cards – Pattern cards are used to match the current user’s key values and accrued points against some of the standard values. To be more precise, a user is matched with a pattern card, but not a profile card. While profile cards set how much value is given to the different keys, the pattern cards are used to look how much value the user has accrued across the keys, with the closed matching pattern card to be assigned to the user. In most of the cases, the pattern cards look identical to the profile cards.