According to Forrester Research, web content management (WCM) software has evolved from a set of primarily technical tools for website management into broad products and suites that support the imaginations (and needs) of digital marketers creating multichannel digital experiences (DX).

At CMSWire's DX Summit in Chicago earlier this month, Forrester analyst Mark Grannan discussed this evolution as well as the opportunities created by digital transformation.

During an interview with CMSWire, he explained the broad DX mandate and how it has affected traditional WCM solutions.

Broad Feature Sets

"WCM has evolved to digital experience, in some cases.

"The larger solutions out there have added quite a few features over the years, to the point where they're embracing the needs not only to manage and deliver content but to embrace the marketer — in their needs for campaigns and analytics — or to embrace a social engagement with the community or ratings and reviews.

"In general I would say that's the trend.

"But there are some point solutions out there and even really small, new start-up type solutions dedicated to web content management. There are some solutions that even run headless: they won't even pretend to own the delivery tier and they'll simply surface content to any front-end via an API or web service call.

"So I think the market is splitting. We're seeing the trend toward a larger solution or solution set. That is what we're calling digital experience platforms. And then the smaller solutions, which are gravitating toward an API based solution set, which is allowing for the customer to assemble these things in real time.

"The difference between web content management and digital experience platforms is the breadth of the customer journey that digital experience platforms are enabling.

"Not only are they delivering content to the marketing site. But they're potentially facilitating the transactions in a commerce scenario or their servicing data to a customer support agent or it's delivering content to a field service app.

"So digital experience and the digital experience mandate is simply much broader because it's embracing the notion that there's a holistic customer lifecycle that demands support and in a different way that went web content management traditionally did."