Customer Experience: 12 Predictions for 2012

7 minute read
Jeroen Verberg avatar

It’s that time of year again. Time to reflect on what we did this year and what the next one will bring. 2012 looks to be just as great -- and we think some big changes are coming. Here are our top 12 predictions for what will be coming in 2012.

#1. Content as a REST Stop.Content as an Accessible Business Platform

Content is quickly becoming an important asset for organizations to manage carefully and thoughtfully.But the number of devices, interfaces and/or channels that need to be managed simply cannot be forecast.Before January 2010 no one even knew what an iPad was. Now organizations are scrambling to build interfaces to support it.2012 will be the year that companies start to think about managing their Web content as a platform that can be drawn from like a well using REST-type API’s.In this way, there can be complete separation from the presentation of content and the management of it. Watch for new standards for Web Content Management, such as the WEMI standard, as well as CMIS to become more important.Then, new channel displays can be quickly assembled when needed and integration/interoperability between best-of-breed tools will become easier.

#2. Big Data Comes To Web CMS

A recent IDC study concluded that digital information is doubling every two years.That is certainly happening in Web content management systems.As WCM systems take over more responsibility for more platforms, tracking more usage, customer and other types of behavioral and other metadata, the repositories for these systems are becoming huge. Savvy customers -- even those in smaller companies -- will start looking at their CMS vendors for how they handle and scale large sets of information.

#3. Social Business Process & Governance Become Priorities

With the explosive growth of content display channels, so too will come the equally explosive growth of interfaces to manage, collaborate and share content. Identity management across devices, business processes and content quality governance will become big priorities in 2012.

#4. Contextually Aware Content And Behavioral Targeting -- The New WEM

Web Engagement Management has been all the rage for the last couple of years.As mobile interfaces start to overtake the desktop in the sheer quantity of Web experiences, watch for “context” and “behavior” to drive Web Experience Management.Gartner has said that “context is as important to mobile as search was to the web.”In 2012, this becomes a reality for many organizations.Forward-leaning organizations will begin to develop content strategies that use context (device, location, time, behavior, etc.) to target more relevant content to their consumers.

#5. RIP Websites -- The Web Is Now Everywhere

In 2012, we’re going to start to see the idea of organizations publishing a single website die. Much more focus will be placed on publishing content when, where and how the consumer needs it. New trends like Mobile First, where interfaces now dynamically morph into interfaces appropriate for any screen size and device, and technology such as HTML 5, that help content publishers create hybrid solutions for tablet devices, will become much more commonplace.The key is that content management systems will need to be able to accommodate publishing content as a service -- consumed by multiple interfaces and optimized for relevance using context.

#6. Best of Breed Across the Enterprise

As it becomes easier and easier to create information flow between applications, inserting “best-of-breed” applications as specialized point solutions will make much more sense for the enterprise than the “suite” of applications.As more and more hyper-focused types of solutions emerge, enterprises will be able to plug and unplug various types of content focused solutions: from email campaign management, web analytics, web content management, to CRM and others.

#7.The “Triple Play” of Intranet, Extranet & Internet Merge

Intranet managers are evolving.Whether it’s knowledge management, content strategy or community management, the idea of the knowledge based “internal” website is going away.As the enterprise becomes more social and the workforce and business partner ecosystem becomes more mobile,  intranets and extranets will move to more expansive types of experiences. People will start to understand that business is, and has always been, a true social network, and the idea of personalized content delivered to their interface of choice becomes much more effective than a simple “destination” portal.

#8. SEO Evolves, Becomes More Social

The practice of Search Engine Optimization is fundamentally transforming.Gone is the focus on keyword density, meta tag optimization and the idea of producing thousands and thousands of common themed pages of content.In 2012, SEO strategists will become much more content strategy and socially focused. SEO will be much more aligned with the deeper meaning of the content -- focusing on the quality of experience. This includes how fast the web content platform performs, the quality of the content, the placement of the content and how much the content is “shared” and linked among relevant social networks.

Learning Opportunities

#9. Textual Content Gets a Demotion -- Video is Crowned King in 2012

In 2012, while producing high quality textually-based content will be vitally important, the real king will be video.Organizations are no longer looking at video as “cutting edge,” but are seeking ways to make video content the content staple of their various content strategies.

#10. At Least Two New Interfaces in 2012

We’ve already talked about how no one was ready for the iPad when it exploded onto the scene in 2010. Get ready for at least a couple of new ones in 2012.Many analysts believe that Apple will be launching an actual television interface.This new television will be yet another interface that will make our content easier to access and we need to be ready for it. Secondly, there will be at least one more mobile interface that will emerge in 2012 that we need to be prepared for.

#11. The Internet of Things Says “Hello World”

Content/data and our ability to manage it has long been generated by humans and in 2012 we will start to see the Internet Of Things begin to add value.Data generated from usage, content produced by “things” and their interaction will produce new opportunities for organizations to contextualize and produce better experiences for their customers.

#12. Social & Web Merge And Become Hyper-Personal

The idea of “social media” is going away.As social networks merge into our content, we will stop looking at them as separate things, and instead as one, integrated platform.One need only look at the Apache Rave (based on open social) concept to see how social networks, identification, content and websites eventually can blend into one thing.These can become the building blocks to new Web content platforms -- where content is delivered on a hyper-personalized level and contextually based on preferences, location, device, etc.

A Great Year Ahead

We’re looking forward to another great year -- and it feels like 2012 is going to be a year of true expansion for our industry. We truly wish you all the happiest and most fruitful of New Years!

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About the author

Jeroen Verberg

Jeroen Verberg is the CEO of Hippo, the company that is setting the standard for how organizations can empower their audience to engage with content. Hippo CMS powers some of the largest and most visited Web properties in the world and is the first Web Content Management solution to deliver context-aware content for its customers.