2012 was an important year for customer experience management and 2013 will drive our CXM strategies even further. According to VP Products for SDL Tridion, Ian Truscott, it's the content professional who will be in high demand this year and to be honest, content is something you simply can't ignore.
A Single View of the Customer
That's what organizations will struggle to achieve this year. Put aside your organizational silos and take on a holistic view of the customer's journey. That's what Truscott wants to see happen. And he's not alone.
Web experience management (or web engagement), a key element of CXM, is no longer about the "web." Truscott says the stake has been planted -- mobile and website experiences must be connected, along with all the other channels a customer can reach you by. So it's no longer about the web, or the channel at all really, it's about what the customer is trying to achieve.
And content plays a key role.
Today, it isn't just web engagement over your website, or across your mobile device, it's about delivering content for a particular experience. That's content 101.
Truscott made a prediction -- if your business is focused on only delivering content to mobile devices (and there are a few businesses who fall in this category due to the attention mobile picked up in 2012), then you are at risk of becoming obsolete. Pretty much every web content management system does or will provide mobile capabilities.
That begs the question, how will content management change this year? Does it need to at all? That, Truscott said, depends. There are, of course, a broad array of content management platforms and many have been through some changes in the last year -- mobile delivery being an important one. But most of the changes we are seeing in web content management are happening further down in the market, not so much with the top WCM providers.
Truscott thinks we are in a perfect storm right now -- multi-device, multi-channel -- these are the things top level web content management systems have been built for and they are finally seeing increased use by those who have more sophisticated content problems -- think multi-language, mobile versions, etc.
So it's not about the technology changing, it's now about the content.
This is the age of content.
2013 Belongs to the Content Professional
You may define the content professional in a different way, but Truscott sees the content professional as an overarching term for pretty much anyone who's involve in the creation, management or delivery of content. So, for example, people like Robert Rose who do content marketing, Lisa Welchman who deals with content governance and content strategy (add our own columnists Ahava Leibtag and Carla Johnson in here).
We are really starting to see professions like these better recognized within the industry and Truscott says it's an indication of the maturity of the content discussion.
Organizations will pay more attention to these content professionals because it has become less about the three year tech buying cycle and more about how to get better content-wise.
Solving the Content Problem
One of the things that Truscott has found astonishing in his work is that large organizations still haven't solved their content problems. Much of this, he said, is due to the maturity of the business processes.
From a technology perspective, content management doesn't need to change dramatically. We should expect to see some of the details of the functionality of the CMS change (he pointed to the issues of page-based web content management systems in today's multi-channel world). Mobile, personalization, localization -- these will become requirements, not supplements.
What we need to see change in 2013 is the content workflow. "Well organized, well structured, well known intelligent content is an asset for any organization." This content workflow needs to be thought out for the entire customer's journey -- pre-purchase and post-purchase content needs to be consistent.
Content Management will remain the core of any WEM strategy. And it's by organizing your content platform you are future proofing yourself against the next channel that will undoubtedly show up.