Yellow roses mark the numbers "2017" on top of a bed of red roses. Marketers hoped for a rosy outlook in digital customer experience this year but often contended with the same lingering challenges.
Marketers hoped for a rosy outlook in digital customer experience this year but often contended with the same lingering challenges. PHOTO: Carol VanHook

It would be easy to say it was the year of artificial intelligence (AI) for marketers trying to execute solid digital experiences. The idea certainly has merit, based on the popularity of our coverage of AI in marketing and the fact that two of our top 10 digital experience stories this year had AI themes. However, our numbers also indicate marketers still care deeply about topics like the digital experience software vendor landscape, trends in headless CMS, blogging platforms and marketing automation software.

Without further ado, we present to you CMSWire's top stories of the year on digital experience:

10. Marketo Outage Caused by Failure to Renew Its Domain

Marketo customers were left twiddling their thumbs in July when Marketo's main website, along with a handful of other Marketo domain properties, went dark for several hours, leaving subscribers unable to log in. The reason, it turned out, was the company failed to renew its domain name.

9. 12 Ways AI Has or Will Change Content Management

Many have speculated if the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) signals the beginning of the end of content management as we know it. But AI can give your web CMS new life and make it much richer. After all, the best ideas often come from our darkest dreams. 2017 could well be the year of AI, with intelligent machines invading our lives on a daily basis.

8. Keep Your Eye on Customer Data Platforms: They'll Be Worth $1B by 2019

Customer Data Platforms (CDP) will reach $1 billion by 2019, according to the marketing technology consultancy that coined the category three years ago. Researchers at Swarthmore, Pa.-based Raab Associates made the prediction after analyzing 27 CDP vendors that collectively generated more than $300 million in revenue last year. The finding is part of a new Customer Data Platform Industry Profile report, which was released in January by the Customer Data Platform Institute.

7. Why Customer Data Platforms Are Gaining Traction

The 2016 holiday shopping season sent a clear message to marketers: if you don't have a holistic, data-driven view of your customers, you'll be left behind. Online and in-store boundaries are blurring. The season sounded a death knell to marketing strategies that lacked a mobile component. Mobile sales rose to almost a third of the $3.3 billion of Black Friday’s online sales. Given this fast-paced marketplace, it’s not surprising that the wave of holiday buying numbers was accompanied by buzz about a new technology: the customer data platform (CDP).

6. Marketo Project Orion Rollout Leaves Some Customers Complaining, Confused

Marketo made some big promises to its users during its annual customer conference last May. However, nearly 10 months after the San Mateo, Calif.-based marketing automation provider revealed plans for a major platform re-architecture project, customers and partners are still reporting performance problems. Code named Project Orion, the re-architecture aimed to provide big data scalability and give the vendor an in with business-to-consumer (B2C) companies. Instead it has been met with complaints, confusion and the occasional success story.

5. Why 2017 Is the Year of Cloud-First Headless CMS

When Steve Jobs saw the graphical user interface in Xerox laboratories for the first time, he knew it was the future. "It was so obvious once you saw it... You can argue about how long it's going to take, who the winners and losers are going to be, but I don't think a rational person will debate its significance," he later commented. We're now facing a similar disruption in content management. It may take a few years, but we will eventually get there as the cloud-first headless CMS model provides very tangible benefits for the customers. By best estimates, 2017 is the year when cloud-first headless CMS will start going mainstream.

4. Medium vs. WordPress: Battle of the Blogging Platforms

Once upon a time, a blogger was defined as someone who published personal musings on an online journal. Today, blogging is a major component of content marketing— a practice 88 percent of B2B marketers now leverage to raise brand awareness and promote products. The stature of web authoring is growing both personally and professionally. So we decided to take a good look at the battle raging between WordPress, the market share hogging blogging solution turned CMS, and Medium, the young blogging platform with built-in social networking features.

3. The New Marketo Google Partnership: What You Need to Know

Marketo announced a partnership with the Google Cloud Platform Aug. 24 which signals a “mind-blowing” convergence of marketing and advertising technologies and underscores the "scale and power of a public cloud infrastructure." Marketing automation practitioners and analysts shared these thoughts with CMSWire after Marketo announced its multi-year collaboration with Google and its Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

2. Why the Benefits of Artificial Intelligence Outweigh the Risks

The argument against artificial intelligence (AI) is driven by fear. Fear of the unknown … fear of intelligence. According to Stephen Hawkings we do have reason to beware of the consequences of artificial intelligence (AI) including the possibility of the end of the human race. The rise of the machines won’t be happening imminently. After all, AI is still in its infancy. The most realistic fear today is that AI will take people’s jobs.

1. Forrester Boots Adobe, Names Oracle Lone Digital Experience Platform Leader

Forrester made a significant change in the leaderboard of its Digital Experience Platforms Wave released in September: Oracle is now the lone leader, displacing Adobe. This is the third time Forrester evaluated digital experience platform vendors, also producing Waves in 2014 and 2015. Oracle was a “contender” in 2014 and a “strong performer” in 2015. Forrester demoted Adobe from a leader to a strong performer this year, where it was in the original DXP Wave.