Personalization has become the name of the game in the world of Web Content Management/Web Experience Management (WCM/WEM). CMSWire thought it would be interesting to briefly review how five leading WCM/WEM vendors -- Adobe, Ektron, eZ Systems, Hippo and SDL are offering personalization features and functions.

Adobe – Experience Manager (previously Adobe CQ)

To offer users of its Experience Manager WCM/DAM platform personalization capabilities, Adobe offers creative tools in two core areas -- the Adobe Creative Cloud and the Adobe Marketing Cloud.

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Creative Cloud offers access to Photoshop and other rich content tools that allow users to design targeted content. The Adobe Marketing Cloud is a core offering that allows members of the digital marketing unit to take content developed in the Creative Cloud, or otherwise, and then segment individual pieces of content to ensure they are delivered to the right consumers at the right time.

The Digital Marketing Cloud also allows users to manage and build content and other digital properties for specific devices, as well as to create targeted microsites that pull in specific consumers. Adobe purchased the Omniture analytics platform to serve as a keystone of content analytics and also provides a listening platform that collects data on consumers across various digital touchpoints to feed them content based on their online behavior.

Site visitors can also be identified by their social profiles and are allowed to login from Facebook and Twitter accounts, which provides greater convenience for consumers while also giving marketers access to social information for further targeting.

Adobe has also integrated Experience Manager to CRM systems, allowing personalization based on factors such as average order volume and amount of money spent. Consumers can be tracked sequentially across multiple devices to allow cross-channel personalization and avoid creating “islands” of experience.

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Ektron – Digital Experience Management

As part of its Digital Experience Management solution, Ektron offers content targeting capabilities that allow marketers to take a number of different approaches to personalization. Users have access to consumer data from multiple sources -- not just the Web CMS -- but also information from marketing and CRM systems as well as social profiles to help refine targeting efforts.

Digital Experience Management users can view consumer interactions from multiple touchpoints including email, customer care and social networks, and then utilize that data to fine-tune an individual consumer’s site experience. Packaged connectors directly link Ektron’s solutions to CRM solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce, and to other business platforms such as Marketo, Hubspot, Facebook. This enables marketers to change the content delivered to a consumer based on information gleaned from a Facebook Social Graph or Marketo database, for example.

Users can also develop consumer personas and use those personas to segment consumers within Salesforce. A user-friendly interface allows non-IT experts to perform advanced targeting activities within the Ektron environment.

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eZ Systems – eZPublish 5

Released in November 2012, the eZPublish 5 platform from eZ Systems is a WCM aimed at allowing management of the customer experience. In terms of personalization, eZ Systems acquired a technology startup called YouChoose -- which focused on enabling online retailers to make personalized recommendations -- to obtain the technological know how and experience needed to integrate personalization capabilities into its eZPublish 5 platform.

Personalization capabilities are delivered as a service and allow marketers to fine-tune their recommendations. There are two types of personalization services provided -- one for retailers and one for publishers. For retailers, eZPublish 5 allows users to analyze customer behavior and recognize specific customers when they are visiting a site. Using a tracking cookie set, the solution can then match customer behavior to other patterns which have been analyzed and stored and make product recommendations based on those patterns.

For publishers, eZPublish 5 recommends content to site visitors based on their behavior, and an online content engine recognizes and analyzes visitor behavior and understand that specific visitors may have interest in specific topics. The engine automatically recognizes general segments of the user/contact base and makes them available for automated marketing and personalization.

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Hippo – Hippo CMS 7.8

 Open source Web CMS provider Hippo released version 7.8 of its flagship web content management product. The new web content management system includes a number of features designed to make 2013 and beyond very personal for Hippo clients and their customers.

One of the most important upgrades to Hippo CMS 7.8 is a highly customizable targeting feature that lets marketers create personalized experiences for site visitors. Marketers can also create in-depth customer personas using data from a variety of internal and external sources.

To that end, the Hippo CMS 7.8 targeting feature -- called the Relevance Module -- allows marketers to customize the site appearance based upon the demographic characteristics of each individual visitor. Information can be gathered whether the visitor is anonymous (using visit context, session information and channel), known (leveraging data from CRM systems, loyalty and transaction system) or based on a define Persona (behavior, interest and engagement).

Marketers can view the information about each visitor, as well as internal data such as what content the visitor has already seen in a new interface called the Experience Optimizer, and then turn that information into into highly detailed visitor Personas.

In a template composer tool, marketers can then reconfigure and create optimized site experiences tailored to specific Personas. In addition, users can leverage the tool’s “alter ego” feature to take on the role of a persona and experience the site the same way a visitor with that persona would, allowing real-time testing and problem resolution.

Note that the Relevance Module is only available to Hippo Enterprise customers and is optional.

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SDL – Tridion Audience Manager, Fredhopper, Customer Analytics

SDL considers the ability to make personalized online recommendations the “Holy Grail” of digital marketing. The vendor offers several user-friendly solutions designed to work together to allow marketers to begin personalization efforts from “Day One” of implementation.

Tridion Audience Manager is a WEM platform that can be integrated with third-party CRM and profile management systems, such as Salesforce, to utilize that data to help create personalized online recommendations. Audience Manager is also integrated with Tridion Fredhopper, a cloud-based merchandising/marketing e-commerce optimization solution that includes predictive and personalization capabilities.

Fredhopper allows marketers to predict shopper behavior -- such as what, when and how much customers will buy -- as well as create visitor profiles and predictive models to enable individually tailored customer experiences. SDL designed Fredhopper to allow marketers to define customers based upon their actions rather than simply on marketer intuition.

Furthermore, SDL provides a Customer Analytics module that tracks individual purchases, marketing and survey responses and social media conversations to help create personalized site experiences. Customer Analytics can be integrated with Audience Manager and Fredhopper to maximize personalization and targeting effectiveness (see SDL Combines Core Marketing Solutions into New Suite).