Content management tools may be getting more sophisticated, but that doesn't mean the job of web publishers is getting any easier. According to a recent Forrester report, The Forrester Wave: Web Content Management For Digital Customer Experience, Q2 2013, plain-old web publishing will not cut it any longer. These days, if you're in the business of web-publishing, you also have to be in the business of creating digital experiences.
According to the report, "Ultimately, WCM tools are no longer just about managing web content. Instead, they have evolved to become the cornerstone of an ecosystem of tools that support digital experiences for customers."
But despite this trend toward more comprehensive management of the digital experience, most WCM vendors are not rushing to provide all-in-one services. Rather they are focusing on integration. The reports says, "Leading vendors in this Wave complement core WCM capabilities by integrating with more specialized third-party DX and marketing enablement products or widely recognized and accepted best-of-breed products that they already own."
What kinds of tools do these integrated solutions entail? Forrester says it breaks them up into three groups that "manage, engage, and measure." Tools aimed at management are the traditional WCM-type tools, but the tools in the engagement group have the more complex task of delivering "interactive multi-channel experiences." Measurement is something many web publishers are already familiar with. Though, it's not as simple as Google Analytics might make it seem. Forrester says, "A/B and multivariate testing enable marketers and business users to test out variations of experiences on certain demographics before rolling them out to a broader audience. Web analytics tools track
website visitor behavior. Social analytics tools track how consumers engage with companies by monitoring social interactions. And dashboards present analytical data from which marketers can draw actionable insights."
These findings probably aren't a surprise to anyone who follows the WCM industry. It wasn't so long ago, that a Frost & Sullivan report called standalone WCM outdated. At the time, Real Story Group's Irina Guseva told EContent, "The past few years have been evolutionary for WCM technology. Unlike ECM, which remains mostly static, status quo is not something I see in the WCM industry, which continues to evolve under the notion of experience management."
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From traditional desktop PCs and laptops to smartphones, tablets, consoles, and interactive TVs, consumers are using more devices than ever before. That puts added pressure on digital content companies (DCCs) to ensure an ideal user experience when people switch between these various screens. As a result, many businesses are turning to responsive web design (RWD), which can create a single source of web content that displays in a readable and relatively controlled way anywhere it's viewed. RWD's single code base delivers to any screen, so that when a change needs to be made to a web page, it only needs to be done once, saving valuable time and money. But while RWD can, under ideal circumstances, adjust your content according to the device and enable more fluid and responsive interaction, it doesn't always work across the board and may not be the best option, especially compared to traditional user experience (UX) design, some experts say.