Web Engagement Management (WEM) seems to be one of the prevalent themes at this year’s Gilbane Conference San Francisco. The last session of the event was around the convergence of online marketing tools and web content management systems. CMS has been redefined as a Conversation Management System.

Moderator Scott Liewehr of Gilbane Group introduced two speakers:

  • Ian Truscott, Senior Analyst, Gilbane Group
  • Robert Rose, Chief Troublemaker, Big Blue Moose

Tools is Not the Focus, Yet Important

Truscott talked about the imperativeness of focusing on communication and not tools. You own your content, not your digital agency, not some dark-clad group of people.

When you try to do engagement, Web CMS is at the core of it. Amazingly, according to a survey of CM professionals, 50 % said they use e-mail to manage their content. And that is in the era of digital engagement and customer engagement.

Importance of WEM

Digital engagement can be seen from different perspectives/notions:

  • Web experience management
  • Persuasive content
  • Web engagement management

There are several important properties to WEM. We need to:

  • Listen
  • Be relevant
  • Facilitate conversation, not just convince customers to buy our product. If you don’t facilitate the conversation, they will (using social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter).

Truscott referred to Jeremiah Owyang’s “maturity model,” in which companies can evolve from doing websites to web engagement. Think of engagement as a unit of measure.

Deeper Engagement and Web Experience

Engagement is also about the experience, as Truscott wrote in the past in the suit shop story. You (Mr. Customer) have to enjoy the experience. It’s a win-win. You’ve enjoyed the experience, Mr. Suit Shop Salesman achieved his objective of selling you a product.

Hence the reason why people read reviews and check ratings. They want to experience the experience.

What you need to learn from this story:

  • Understand the engagement objective
  • Understand the visitor
  • Deliver persuasive content
  • Capture feedback
  • Gain actionable insights

Personalization – people make it sound so hard. It doesn't have to be complicated. There are easy and light way of dropping in a cookie to gather the needed data about customer behavior.

Deeper engagement = deeper understanding. If you’re nice to your customers, they will do what you want them to do (e.g. fill out your surveys). “Offer me free points, stays – I’ll do anything.”

Impact of Social Media

Everyone is talking. Social media monitoring should be utilized to make use of all this chatter. It’s rude not to listen.
Know your content and think about your visitor, be nice to your visitor.

Web CMS That Doesn’t Suck

Robert Rose’s opening line was around the needs of marketers. What do marketeers want in a Web CMS? They want the one that sucks less. All content management tools exist for one purpose: to transfer information from our heads onto the keyboard and onto our website.

Marketing Manager Sally doesn’t want to be empowered with doing more, she just wants a tool that will let her do the job. Sometimes we only *think* we want control.

Online Marketing, WCM and WEM

Some of the important things to consider when deploying marketing processes specific to WCM:

  1. Invest in the process, not the product. Techies used to own organization’s web presence -- a strategy born in the .com boom. It used to be that websites were all about E-something: E-business E-commerce. Little attention was paid to the website. In this era, 60% of an Aberdeen survey audience said that the web is the most import marketing channel.
  2. Content-driven, not data-driven. Data doesn’t convert customers. Data is there for efficiency, content drives growth. Web analytics reports will not help you convert a prospect. Web analytics = WMD=Weapons of Mass Delusion.
  3. Conversation that happens outside your website via social media channels. Web content is now a conversation and it lives beyond the boundaries of your site. CM tools are mere enablers, allowing you to manage content anywhere. We need a process that allows for listening, replying to comments, answering to @ replies. Who is empowered to talk for the organization? There can be a way of doing approvals and workflows for social content like tweets.

Content management tools should "listen." The new definition of CMS is a Conversation Management System.