By the end of the decade, there will be 33 billion devices connected to the Internet, or roughly four connected devices for every living person. And a significant portion of devices -- roughly 50 percent -- will come from emerging categories that are now beginning to make up the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart homes, smartphones, smart TVs and wearable devices will soon outnumber more familiar connected devices like PCs.
A 2014 smart home survey released by Lowe’s found that more than 70 percent of Americans would like to control home features and utilities from their smartphone. Whether they desire enhanced home safety, energy efficiency or convenience, the overwhelming majority are happy to embrace machine-to-machine (m2m) connections.
When IoT Meets Content
To continue engaging customers throughout the transition to an IoT dominated era, we must not only integrate digital with everyday life but also take advantage of the new proliferation of channels, screens and customer touch points. Technologies that automate daily needs and behaviors, are location aware, and respond to the user’s input (even unconscious input like movement and sleep) present a tremendous opportunity to become more deeply connected to our fans at the individual level.
IoT impacts the entire customer journey and transforms marketers’ approach to customer acquisition, nurturing and loyalty programs. Customer service can become more sensitive and responsive to users’ needs than ever before, and brands from across industries will be enabled to personalize their experiences with voice recognition, automation and mobile technology.
This is why the new model for Web content management needs to be about more than just the Web, the content and the management. In fact, we all need to rethink Web content management and why it exists in order to understand what it must become.
Web content management is going through a reinvention, in order to stay relevant in the decade to come.
1. Web content management needs to support more than the web channel
The customer journey of today dances frenetically across a multitude of screens and places. A ZenDesk study found that while 67 percent of online shoppers made purchases that involved multiple channels, 87 percent said that brands must work harder to create a seamless experience. If Web content management is to be the backbone of desktop, mobile and in-store experiences, it must think outside the Web box. If your digital experience is to boost loyalty and retention, it must be driven by the customer, not brand choice.
Web content management must support more than the web channel. Any Web content management system in 2015 worth consideration should provide not only a way to build and manage responsive site experiences, but also mobile apps at the very least. It must start to weave Web, mobile apps, wearables and each new emerging screen into a seamless experience fabric.
2. Web content management needs to be more than just the content
While content is king, contextual content is its checkmate. Web content management needs to be smarter, and that requires data.
When the industry coined the term big data, it didn't do anything but identify a big problem. Getting the data is only half the equation. With the proliferation of devices and escalating consumer expectations, the challenge is to turn big data into actionable metrics and predictive insights -- not in six months or even a few weeks, but in real time.
Web content management must become smarter by tapping into not only machine intelligence, but also human intelligence. With infinite variables and streams of content coming together, machine learning will be critical to delivering relevance, while human curation and creation will make a brand meaningful and memorable.
Web content management of the future will balance man and machine, connecting the sources of creativity and content with responsive delivery. Marketers’ efforts will start with the audience and context, rather than the content.
3. Web content management needs to be more than just the management
Management provides order and simplicity, two qualities needed in an ever more complex world where digital and physical experiences collide and intertwine. However, management is not enough. Web content management must not only manage but also connect to the sources of creativity and content where brands can discover and spark a conversation with new audiences.
Any Web content management system worth consideration in the future should provide not only a way to build and manage responsive site and mobile app experiences, but also find and deliver assets in complete omnichannel awareness of the customer.
The Reinvention of Web Content Management
The future of digital experience will be shaped by customer experience designers and creative tech innovators armed with both insight and vision. Just as digital has challenged the old business models and customer experiences, digital is now challenging the paradigms of Web content management. Reinvention is not about changing the destination; it is about a new way of getting there. The why of Web content management is still the same -- what has changed and will continually evolve is the what.