CMSWire is only as good as its community of readers and contributors.

So little more than a year ago, we invited a six professionals to join our first CMSWire Reader Advisory Board to offer feedback, guidance and assurance the content we provide align with the interests and needs of our community.

After contributing comment, writing articles and advising the CMSWire team, it's time to say thank you to Ann Breckenkamp, Meghan Walsh, Jake DiMare, Joel Oleson, David Lavenda and Alan Lepofsky — and open the door to new advisory board members.

We're looking for professionals to share perspective on industry trends and offer feedback on how we deliver content. 

You'll have a chance to shape the future of CMSWire, author articles and network with fellow industry thought leaders. Interested? Contact reporter Dom Nicastro.

It's a fun, unique and worthwhile experience, at least according to our departing board members. As they leave their positions, we'll share some of the insights they discussed with us during their tenure.

Departing Advice

Jake DiMare, Director of Marketing, Digital Clarity Group

Jake DiMare
Jake DiMare

Back in October 2015, we asked each advisory board member to define digital experience (DX). 

DiMare, who has been in the digital agency world helping marketers leverage technology for more than a decade, said digital experience “refers to a subset of interactions within the overall customer experience, which happen to share the distinction of being enabled by digital touch points.” 

“On a practical level, he added, “this includes every interaction between a customer and an organization delivered on a computer, mobile or wearable device.”

Previously a digital strategist at Agency Oasis, he told us digital experience refers to any content or experience in support of any phase in the overall customer journey. Depending on the specific strategy of an individual organization, it may include search results, email, website, online ads, social media, a mobile app and more.

Ann Breckenkamp, VP, Giftly

Ann Breckenkamp
Ann Breckenkamp

We asked Breckenkamp, “How do we deliver consistent digital experience that's clear, relevant and functional?” Breckenkamp takes on this challenge every day as a marketer at Giftly, a San Francisco-based digital gift card provider. 

“Every marketing organization has unique business goals, data maturity, technology infrastructure, budgets, team composition, processes, culture and other factors that impact how the customer’s digital experience will look and what it will take to orchestrate,” Breckenkamp said.

Trial, measure, automate and iterate data-driven interactions with your customers without having to fight with tools, manipulate data or rely on other people or teams, Breckenkamp said. 

“When selecting a vendor, the most important questions for you to ask depend on your requirements, so I recommend outlining scenarios to guide your selection process,” she added. “Be specific.”

Joel Oleson, Director of Strategy and Innovation, Konica Minolta

Joel Oleson
Joel Oleson

Oleson knows all about digital experience, whether it’s executing for consumers or employees in the digital workplace. He is a recognized SharePoint influencer and was the first full-time employee hired to deploy global SharePoint environments at Microsoft

"Imagine the experience at your favorite band’s live concert,” Oleson told us in October 2015. Now, deliver that experience to your friend who wasn’t there — with all the emotion you experienced live at that concert venue.

That’s digital experience. A lot of elements “need to come together to make the digital experience as close and authentic" as possible to the live experience,” Oleson told us.

“Let's take that concept of experience and apply it to your business,” he said. “How do you want to take your brand and bring it to your customers, partners and future customers? This is more than UI and UX from a delivery perspective. You have to think about the processes and social interaction.”

Digital experience management, he added, is the full collection of processes and technology designed to provide a consistent experience for all customers and future customers across all channels. 

Meghan Walsh, Senior Director, Content Strategy, Hilton Worldwide 

Meghan Walsh
Meghan Walsh

Learning Opportunities

Meghan Walsh has practiced content management and delivery for years at high-profile hotels, including Marriott International and Hilton Worldwide.

She told us content strategy is a “connective tissue.” Organizations should define what content is, how it comes to be, where it goes, who makes decisions around it and what expectations there are for it.

Platforms that manage content — web CMS and DAM — are “too often left to languish," she added, "and costs to upgrade are often more than a company wants to regularly invest.” 

All tools must align with the company's technical architectures, which, Walsh said, generally get “unfairly underrated by the business.” Walsh’s IT partners work with her on the company's DAM project. Through this, they've gained new priorities and approaches. 

“Even though we are going (Software-as-a-Service) SaaS for our DAM solution, it still needs to fit our architecture vision and IT's assessment of the company," Walsh said. "Product was a critical input to our decision on the technology vendor."

David Lavenda, VP,

David Lavenda
David Lavenda

In almost every market, customer segments are comprised of a mixture of personality and demographic types, Lavenda said.

So it’s obvious how customer segmentation and big data analytics tools can help businesses recommend how to best address the needs of their customers and prospects. In a similar manner, businesses can use employee analytics to improve the service provided to workers to increase their effectiveness. 

In the course of normal work, operational systems collect data about how, when and who is using each system and what they are doing with each one, he explained. New graph technologies like the Microsoft Graph and IBM Graph can augment these analytics tools to provide insights into how employees interact with colleagues and content to get work done.  

And it may not be long before analytics tools will be able to integrate data from multiple graphs, applications and services into a single, coherent 360-degree, multi-vendor view of what’s happening in the enterprise, he concluded.

Alan Lepofsky, VP, Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Alan Lepofsky
Alan Lepofsky

Lepofsky said many file sync and share solutions are now commoditized. Those that are not are "content centric cloud platforms that enable people to create and share content in new ways."

Dropbox and Box, with their lightweight document editing tools like Dropbox Paper and Box Notes and camera capture tools like Dropbox Scan and Box Capture,  fit into the latter category, he said. 

Lepofsky said he'd like to see both Dropbox and Box push the boundaries further and faster around the way people create, collaborate and control content. 

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