Today’s digital landscape and the unification of social, mobile, and the web into a cross-channel experience are fundamentally changing the ways our portfolio of brands engages with its customers. This new paradigm has led to an evolution of user experience (UX) into Customer Experience (CX), influencing how we approach creating digital experiences that drive business impact for our clients.
One of the implications of CX is the increased role of content management systems (CMS) in delivering and managing customer experiences across channels. In the not-too-recent past, companies implemented CMS platforms to help them manage and maintain website content, generating operational efficiencies and gaining greater control over their web properties. The new focus on CX requires that CMS must become an enabler in helping clients go to market differently and transform the way they deliver products and services.
Here are three examples of the new demands CX is placing on content management technologies:
The most effective demand generation processes are those where marketers respond individually to each prospect in the buying process. But given the volume of marketing campaigns, that’s not practical. Marketing automation gives companies the ability to manage their interactions with customers and deliver the right messages at the right times over the right channels.
Marketing automation software like Eloqua and Marketo are established solutions with proven performance. However, best-of-breed CMS need to go beyond simply enabling easy integration with current marketing automation applications and build automated targeting, testing, and analytics tools right into the content workflow.
Digital personalization serves users content and even unique experiences based on their profile and behaviors. Delivering a more relevant, or personalized, experience results in higher user engagement and enables a website to more effectively drive key business outcomes.
Personalization takes one of two forms, explicit and implicit. Explicit personalization is straightforward. Data is gathered when the user performs an action, such as filling out a form. Content can then be customized based on what the data tells us about the user.
Implicit personalization employs passive tools like cookies to gather data about users from behavior such as page views, searches, and location.
Retailers like Amazon employ complex and extremely granular personalization that requires a significant investment in resources. However, best-of-breed CMS technologies will need to enable a personalized experience to be created with very basic user information. This means that organizations can implement a personalization strategy without the massive investment.
Many marketing organizations today face the need to deliver an increasing number of stand-alone and unique digital experiences for marketing campaigns, product launches, or new brands. Whether it’s a landing page, microsite, or more complex website, they frequently have new content, a unique look-and-feel, and an accelerat ed time-to-market.
CMS platforms will need to make the process of delivering large numbers of unique web experiences repeatable and scalable, taking days instead of weeks and months. Marketers are able to maintain high brand consistency while more effectively react to market opportunities.
When reviewing the current CMS landscape, products like Adobe CQ and Sitecore clearly stand out from the pack in terms of CX enablement. Another entry worth noting is Drupal.
Beginning as a flexible open-source platform for on-line communities, Drupal has evolved into a truly enterprise CMS platform, capable of delivering content-driven brand engagement and sales enablement. As a pure CMS, Drupal is powerful, yet user-friendly, with a streamlined development, admin, and publishing processes that helps accelerate a site’s time-to-market.
In the past, custom modules and expert code development could enable Drupal to deliver a degree of marketing automation, personalization, and multi-site capabilities. Acquia, the commercial open source software company that provides products and technical support for Drupal, then introduced two products that brought Drupal to the next level.
Acquia Lift –an interoperable platform that delivers testing, targeting, and analytics capabilities to simplify the delivery of personalized digital experiences. By mining and interpreting data, it automates contextual relevance to create a one-on-one conversation with users.
Acquia Site Factory –a turnkey solution that reduces the complexity of and time necessary to deploy one site or hundreds of sites. Intended for non-technical users, Site Factory allows for customized design and content, without the need for back-end Drupal development.
For companies currently on Drupal or who prefer open-source technologies, Drupal is a powerful and viable solution for customer experience management.
Decisions around digital technologies come with an investment and companies have to weigh a number of factors such as existing infrastructure, total cost of ownership, and business requirements. The emergence of CX means that ROI and revenue performance management are now starting to become part of the decision-making process. Whether you’re considering replacing your current CMS or upgrading your current system, be sure to make customer experience enablement a “must have” and a high priority requirement.