In recent weeks, Vignette, the Austin, Texas-based web content management solution provider, has unveiled a slew of new products aimed at making the company's offerings more personalized and more social.
Vignette Community Services, which was released earlier this month, is a product that enables organizations to add social computing capabilities to their websites to help strengthen their brand, increase loyalty, and drive revenue. Vignette Community Servies aims to help organizations connect with and engage their audiences by offering ratings, reviews, commenting and tagging capabilities, similar to the services found on YouTube and Netflix. Vignette hopes this product will meet the demands of its users for services that allow them to share ideas and benefit from the knowledge of their peers.
Vignette's Kirsten Knipp, senior product marketing manager, draws upon the example of a travel company website to illustrate Vignette Community Services capabilities. "When you buy travel, you don't want to just buy a flight, or a hotel room, or a ticket to an amusement park. You're buying an experience. And when you do you want to have the confidence that you're buying the right thing. You want to see what other people have said, what other people have done, and what other people recommend. Those are the types of capabilities that we are trying to bring to our customers," she says.
Providing insights gleaned from peer experiences can help customers make more informed decisions, Vignette asserts. And that confidence in the decision-making process should results in increased purchases, greater brand loyalty, and higher levels of satisfaction. Vignette points to a recent study that states that 55 percent of surveyed Internet users consulted other people’s opinions online, making reviews the top resource for product research.
Another recently announced product, the forthcoming Vignette Community Applications, enables organizations to add features like blogs, wikis, and forums to any web property in order to improve transparency, to increase interaction with customers, and to build customized communities to better engage their target audiences. Additionally, these organizations can leverage user-generated content and peer influence to create valuable online communities. For example, a software company may leverage forums or blogs to solicit feedback from customers throughout each phase of a product lifecycle.
Vignette's Knipp also touts the strong personalization features in several of Vignette's other new products. "One of the key attributes for a successful web experience is making it personal, making it about 'me,' ensuring that I'm having the most personal experience possible," she says. This spate of products with a personal touch includes Vignette Recommendations, which helps organizations deliver more targeted web experiences to customers through content recommendations, product recommendations, and social search; a web analytics integration, which is powered by integration with Omniture SiteCatalyst and helps customers identify and promote high value content and ads on media sites; and an enchanged version of Vignette Rich Media Services, which features enhanced metadata capturing, right-to-left language support, and an optional desktop client that allows users to manipulate images and the associated metadata.
"Making a personal connection with users online is more than just recognizing a name or offering recommendations based on past behavior," says Mike Aviles, president and CEO at Vignette. "Today's web users are demanding dynamic web content that can recognize and adapt to persona and intent at a given time. Organizations that can recommend, deliver, and measure engaging online experiences are more likely to build brand loyalty and keep users coming back."
With its one-two punch personal and community-oriented products and technologies, Vignette is boldly forging ahead with bringing its products up to the cutting edge of online functionality. The company's intrepid, forward-thinking efforts show no sign of letting up anytime soon.