Today, many companies' digital efforts have transitioned from simple web publishing to more full-blown customer experience management (CXM), as they seek to take advantage of the web, as well as other channels (such as offline, print, and mobile), to conduct core commercial operations and grow their businesses.
Digital experience management is the digital component of CXM. It is a cross-organization discipline and includes strategies and practices to acquire, nurture, and manage users throughout their journeys. Users are customers, employees, prospects, and other people who digitally interact with the firm.
Many technologies in the information management landscape are used daily to support experience management initiatives in any given organization: mobile, marketing automation, analytics, customer relationship management (CRM), digital and media asset management, web content and experience management (WCXM), social media management, portals, and so forth.
What Makes Media and Entertainment Different?
Many of the technologies mentioned previously are required for managing customer experience for any industry. However, media and entertainment firms have specific challenges and requirements, so the focus is slightly different. For most industries, content and experience support their business. However, for media and entertainment, content and experience are themselves the core of their offerings.
For example, for a media publishing company, managing and delivering news (aka content) is a core business activity. Similarly, for entertainment companies, managing audio and video and delivering them to channels of the customer's choice are core activities. This is very different for an online bank for which banking processes are core. Sure, managing content and experience will help in making sure more and more people employ digital banking, but content and experience are still just supporting those processes.
Experience Management Toolkit for Media and Entertainment
Multiple technologies come into play together for experience management.
Web content and experience management-In terms of core capabilities, especially for media and entertainment verticals, WCXM is a key technology.
WCXM tools provide the underpinnings for managing content-the most important business artifact for these organizations. Major WCXM packages typically offer core information management services, such as versioning and workflow. But for companies in media and entertainment verticals, the following capabilities are especially very important:
• Specialized authoring and transformation capabilities-To enable business users to create content and transform it. This includes capabilities for asset encoding and transformation, so you can have different formats and resolutions for different types of screens and devices.
• Aggregation and component management-To be able to source content from a variety of content providers and transform, combine, and then publish it
• Tagging and taxonomy-Ability to tag and apply metadata so they can easily categorize and search content
• Templating-To ensure consistent, predictable renderings for the web, as well as for a variety of devices of different screen sizes and resolution
• Publishing-To publish to standard deployment chains of environments (development, stage/testing, and production) as well as to other channels
• Segmentation and personalization-To deliver targeted sets of personalized content to specific customer segments
• Engagement and social media-To provide basic interactivity to a website and to engage visitors. Includes functionality such as wikis, blogging, commenting, microblogging, and social media integrations
• Optimization and testing-To analyze, test (A/B and multivariate testing), and measure published content in order to optimize it further
• Digital marketing and ecommerce-To create and manage promotional campaigns and integrate with ecommerce, CRM, and other related systems such as Salesforce for various types of automation
• Syndication-To add value to content through advanced internet-based distribution
• Producing mobile, tablet, and other experiences-To create and manage content and experiences specific to various mobile devices and tablets
While WCXM technology provides the building blocks and is a key requirement for experience management, you will probably need specialized tools for specific features, depending on your requirements. Some of these technologies are as follows:
Digital asset management and media asset management (DAM and MAM)-The business case for DAM and MAM traditionally argued that companies whose lifeblood revolves around their multimedia digital assets-such as entertainment and media companies-should actively organize and repurpose those assets to streamline costs and enhance revenues.
However, for media and entertainment, content and experience are themselves the core of their offerings.
These systems are especially suited to managing multimedia content, such as images, photographs, or video. Unlike other products, DAM systems tend to offer hooks into specialized creative, editing, and design applications, as well as to cull specialized metadata from multimedia assets.
If multimedia content serves as your company's products-rather than supporting other products-then you almost surely want a DAM system.
Outbound digital marketing-Digital marketing tools span a wide spectrum of capabilities and include email campaign creation and management, social media marketing and analytics, and landing page management. While some WCXM vendors pack their products with digital marketing features, it is important to know where to draw the line and turn to specialized tools. In general, WCXM technologies can support inbound marketing, and digital marketing platforms emphasize outbound marketing.
Digital marketing tools often have some notion of a marketing data warehouse. WCXM tools typically are not ideal for storing customer and prospect data. However, both systems typically need to connect to your CRM system for extant customer data.
Enterprise mobile technology-For holistic CXM, you have to move beyond traditional websites and consider mobile devices and screens of different capabilities and with different limitations. If that was not challenging enough, you also need to address different types of wearables and other internet-connected devices. You can, of course, use your existing tools to deliver content to these devices, but that's not really sufficient to provide an acceptable customer experience. So you'll need to look for specialized mobile development, delivery, and management tools.
Digital experience management requires you to work with multiple tools and technologies to manage your users' journeys as they interact with your firm. There are specific challenges for media and entertainment firms that make managing content and experience more important as compared to other industries. Real Story Group's vendor map shows key vendors for each of the technology marketplaces previously mentioned and can be helpful in starting with your own evaluations.