I was pleased to get a review copy of the Forrester Wave™: Web Content Management For Online Customer Experience, Q3 2011 by Stephen Powers. It is a very useful document that covers a web content management market in transition. I remember back in my days with a large consulting firm that this was an emerging field and it was included within the knowledge management group I led. Now it was passed KM, at least the old school version, with the rise in Web, but also I doubt it would even be included in a KM group because of the external focus.
Forrester writes that, “functionality to enable publishing to the Web — whether internally or externally — has become commoditized. Yet now, the WCM market is growing based on customer experience management (CXM) needs, including multichannel delivery, content targeting, analytics, and integration with other CXM technologies.” The group the vendors into four classifications: traditional ECM vendors (e.g., IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and OpenText); CXM stack players (e.g., IBM, Adobe, and Autonomy); Independents (e.g., Percussion and Clickability); and Open source (e.g., Alfresco, Drupal).
The major capabilities within the emerging CXM offerings include the following:
Process-based solutions enable business users to create experiences. These solutions include tools that business users (as opposed to IT users) use to create and manage structured and unstructured content for customer experiences. Ease of use is a feature here.
Delivery solutions bring interactive experiences to customers. Vendors often tightly couple both WCM and eCommerce solutions with native delivery tiers, enabling businesses to offer CXM through a single package. Other options include experience delivery with rules-based content targeting through search, personalization, and recommendations engines.
Customer intelligence solutions also enable businesses to gauge the success of experiences. Testing can enable marketers to test variations of experiences on demographic subsets before rolling them out to a broader audience. Web analytics tools can give insight into how consumers use content. Social analytics can provide insight into how consumers engage with companies.
Because most companies already have significant investments in WCM tools, it makes more sense to integrate the missing pieces that rip and replace everything. The top candidates to add to existing WCM tools are analytics and CRM capabilities. This makes sense given the rise of CXM as a value proposition for the tools. The top new capabilities for the next 12 months include mobile capabilities, targeting content based on used behavior, analytics, and distribution of content to social sites.
This is vibrant market that will only grow in capabilities. The report assesses a number of vendors on how they meet market needs looking at their current offering, strategy, and market presence.