As another year closes and a new year rises, it is time to make my annual predictions for the web content management industry in 2013. This year, rather than focusing on specific predictions, it is more useful to look at the trends that will impact the industry. 2013 will be a year where the trend-line dictates the future.

The PC is the New Mobile Device

With the advent of Windows 8 and new touch screen PCs, the PC has become the new mobile device. While PCs are not portable, Microsoft Windows now uses the same operating system across desktop, mobile phone and tablet devices.

The transition may take a while, especially in the enterprise, but Microsoft still has the power to write the future. Whether you agree with the execution or not, the strategy is right. It also has far reaching impact in terms of how websites are designed and work, and how Web CMS applications function.

So what is the big change? Web experience is now tactile. You will be able to swipe or tap anything on a screen. Thus, content needs to be visible, whether in tiles or other forms, not layered behind menus. We use the term Universal Design. Universal Design is responsive and intelligent so it adapts the user experience around the device as well as the visitor. Web CMS applications need the features and capabilities to support multi-touch experiences on any device or form-factor, combined with the capability to target content.

Likewise, Web CMS applications should take a universal design approach in the software client and application. The new CMS needs to be touch-enabled and provide a simple, yet powerful user experience on tablets and touch screen PCs.

The Primary Channel for Customer Experience is the Web

The last few years have seen a massive modernization of marketing programs. With better analytics and marketing automation solutions like Eloqua and Marketo, marketers now have the tools to understand their customers and prospects and deliver the right message at the right time. Yet most marketing enhancements have focused on email management and web landing pages, not the public website where customer value is actually delivered to prospective customers.

For most businesses, two percent is a great conversion rate on a landing page. In what other industry would a 98 percent fail rate be a success? Marketers need to refocus web marketing on the actual website. In 2013 marketers will deliver websites with the conversion tools of landing pages layered with segmentation and contextual targeting to make the entire website a high-performance marketing tool. The Web CMS in 2013 needs to support this trend by offering capabilities to target and deliver content intelligently.

The Web CMS is the Social CRM

The value of a Web CMS is no longer simply content creation or management, but how the CMS delivers secure or targeted content by managing users and groups. Permissioning the Web Experience, whether for intranets, extranets, communities or online marketing is the value stone for Web CMS in 2013.