Web Content Management at the Nexus of Your Marketing & Customer Experience Strategy: Ten Lessons Learned

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Key Takeaways from Forrester Research Analyst, Stephen Powers on the WCM Landscape.

Siteworx, Inc., one of northern Virginia's largest independent Web design and development firms, hosted a webinar titled, "Web Content Management (WCM) at the Nexus of Your Marketing and Customer Experience Strategy."

The live Web event's featured speaker was Stephen Powers, Senior Research Analyst and resident WCM expert at Forrester Research, Inc. Powers provided a big-picture view of the WCM/CMS landscape based on his recently published research, "The Forrester Wave™: Web Content Management For External Sites, Q2 2009" in June 2009.

Forrester evaluated ten leading WCM vendors and 30 companies who use one or more of the vendors' products. Evaluated vendors include: Day Software, EMC, FatWire, IBM, Interwoven, Microsoft, Open Text, Oracle, SDL Tridion, and Vignette.

What follows are key takeaways:

1. WCM investment is expected to increase despite current economic conditions. The Web has become the primary method of communication for business/client relationships. Therefore, the Web is now seen as a critical part of business strategy. As of October 2008, 72% of WCM decision makers said they were going to increase their investment in WCM over the next 12 months. Thirty-seven percent said their reason for increasing investment in WCM is to lower operational cost, while 67% said their reason is to improve the customer experience.

2. Clunky, unfriendly user interfaces of first generation WCM led to lack of user adoption. When changing the way people work, the change needs to be for the better, not worse. This requires input and usability testing from key stakeholders.

3. WCM is a highly specialized field. IT vendors who don't specialize in content management don't necessarily understand the business buy-in process and digital marketing agencies can be technically bound. When investing in WCM it is important to choose a firm that specializes in WCM and understands the scope of both back- and front-end design.

4. The "C" in WCM stands for more than content. The next generation WCM solutions enable a number of advanced capabilities, including:
-Brand consistency across multiple Web sites
-Community-building features such as user generated content
-Insight into user behavior so the business can see how content is used and can tailor accordingly
-Integration with analytics, customer experience management (CEM) and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions

5. WCM can serve a multitude of channels. Second generation WCM has the ability to distribute content via a variety of channels including: mobile devices, email, print and emerging channels such as DVR, Tivo, and Kiosks.

6. WCM can no longer function as a separate entity. WCM needs to interact with a variety of systems such as email management systems, digital asset management systems for rich media assets and portal systems.

7. There are several considerations to take into account before selecting a WCM vendor. Before selecting a WCM vendor it's important to:
-Interview stakeholders
-Determine business drivers behind WCM initiatives
-Document current WCM performance
-Understand enterprise architecture
-Determine audiences/sites/channels
-Evaluate in-house WCM expertise and promote organizational buy-in

8. Leaders in the WCM field include: SDL Tridion, FatWire, Interwoven, Open Text, Day Software, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, EMC and Vignette. Up and coming WCM solutions include emerging or smaller vendors (Alterian, Ektron, EPIServer, GX, Percussion, Sitecore), Open Source (Alfresco, Drupal, Joomla, OpenCMS), and SaaS (Clickability, CrownPeak, OmniUpdate).

9. There are a variety of skill sets needed in WCM projects. Areas of expertise needed in WCM projects include: requirements, design, development, deployment and maintenance.

10. WCM ROI can be measured in terms of productivity.

Download a complimentary copy of "The Forrester Wave™: Web Content Management For External Sites, Q2 2009", at Siteworx.com

About Siteworx, Inc.:
Siteworx offers Fast, Focused, Forward-Thinking Web site design and product development solutions through deep expertise in user experience, a wide range of Web development platforms and an award-winning creative design team. From mobile applications and social media strategies--iPhone/Mobile apps, social media, blogs, RSS--to CMS, enterprise search and analytics solutions, Siteworx delivers improved performance to an impressive roster of clients including AOL, The College Board, Discovery Communications, National Geographic and U.S. News & World Report. Siteworx is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. Learn more at http://www.siteworx.com.

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Patricia Mejia
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