For many, 2018 was a challenging year for digital experience management. Providing consistent web experiences across what is today a huge range of channels is no simple endeavor, and a few things happened this past year that further complicated marketing strategies for many global organizations.
Throughout the year, we've provided insights and guidance into what makes a great digital experience. Here are our top 10 highlights from 2018:
Parsing the Headless CMS Market: Agile Experience Platforms, Headless Apps, and Traditional WEM
A CMS is not a CMS is not a CMS. These days there are so many types of content management solutions on the market that it's difficult to know which one is right for you. We take you through the different types of Web content management systems available and then narrow in on the types of "headless" solutions you'll need to understand.
"Providing customers with a consistent experience across channels is critical. If the content you provide in one channel doesn't match the content provided in another channel, or worse is completely contradictory, your customers won't know what is correct, and they won't trust you. A CMS that can deliver the same content in different ways to multiple channels ensures that consistent experience."
The 2018 Digital Priorities Report
Ingeniux launched its first Digital Priorities Report in 2018, and we had some great responses. The biggest takeaway:
"The truth is simple; there is no one app. In 2018, the mantra is: "All Your Apps." Having a great website, portal, and search platform are symbiotic, they are all part of a single customer experience. You need to take a portfolio approach to deliver a successful program."
Structured Content is Today's Best Practice for Content Management
Ann Rockley is the mother of structured content, and she shared her insights with us in a webinar. In a summary of the event, we covered some of the highlights of her talk including the fact that 'structured' does not mean you break down a piece of content into paragraph 1 and paragraph 2; it means you break content down into descriptive, logical sections.
- "When you define the structure, ask yourself:
- Does the structure help authors create better content?
- Does the structure make the content reusable?
- Do you need the structure for processing? Do you need to filter the content (hide and show different elements of the content depending on the situation)?
- Do you want to display content differently for different channels or audiences?
- Do you need to deliver targeted content?"
Struggling to Understand GDPR? Here's a Quick Primer
One of the challenges marketers faced this year was compliance with the new EU privacy law: GDPR. If you are a global company, you likely had to do a lot of work to comply with the new regulation, which ensures the privacy of EU citizen’s information. You can check out two of the articles we posted on the GDPR topic below:
“This is an EU citizen privacy regulation. If you are a global company that sells products and services to citizens in the EU, then you are required by law to comply with the regulation. Even if your company is in the US, if you ship goods to the EU, you are affected. You don't have to apply these regulations to your US customers, or customers from countries not part of the EU.”
“The content inventory as it applies to your website comprises not only the data you capture directly from your internal web applications but also the data captured and managed by your cloud-based marketing applications and third-party apps integrated with your website.”
The All of the Above Approach to Content Delivery
"Your content strategy feels like it's all over the map. You need content for your website and email campaigns, your support team wants to create a customer portal that provides a knowledge base and customer community, Sales is looking for a range of product documentation, Marketing wants to elevate your customer experience for web and mobile apps that are owned by IT. There's so much content, and it needs to go to so many places. Can your CMS do the job?"
The answer is "Yes," but not every CMS is up to the task. We walk through the various content delivery models and what you need to be thinking about.
Today's Digital Priorities for Headless Content Management
Headless content management was a key topic of discussion this past year as many organizations looked for ways to manage content centrally but had more choice in how that content is delivered. It was a question in our Digital Priorities survey, and we discussed the results and more in this piece.
“Traditional web content management has typically involved the tight coupling of the management of content and the delivery (publishing) of content. While that may work fine for some company websites, many other digital channels that support customers won't work this way. These companies want highly customized websites, mobile experiences, and portals that require a new approach to content management. This new type of content management is called headless.”
3 Ways AI Will Revolutionize Digital Experience
Personalization, chatbots and content optimization – three important strategies for marketers; three ways artificial intelligence can revolutionize the digital experience.
“Chatbots are everywhere. When based on AI, chatbots can deliver truly personalized interactions. You could implement a chatbot to answer frequently asked questions, gather basic support information before connecting the customer with a live agent, recommend content or products based on past behavior or purchases and more.”
What Does Your Content Management Strategy Look Like?
If you don't have a content management strategy, then you will have challenges delivering great customer experiences. We examined research from the Content Marketing Institute and offer some tips to get started defining your content management strategy.
"New research from the Content Marketing Institute found that 72% of organizations are challenged with managing their content strategically. What does that mean? It means they don't have a good handle on the content they need, the content they have, how to best manage it to support a wide range of use cases, and who is responsible for it. These are critical things to know before you start a website
Let's end our top 10 list with two great interviews with industry experts:
Cruce Saunders on the Future of Content Strategy
Cruce Saunders, the founder of [A], offered up some important insights on structured content and content management. This was a two-part series, with one of our favorite quotes being:
"Just using a WYSIWYG text block robs customers and the wide world of some of the utility that is latently possible inside that article. But if I put it into structure from the beginning, capture the conversational variant and contextual triggers as tags or semantic indicators while the author is building the creative brief or the asset itself, then I have to think about content differently. Not as a page or a single rendering but as an asset that has multiple expressions in different customer experiences. The way we craft that knowledge needs to be unique from a page-based authoring process."
Deane Barker Shares His Insights on Headless CMS, Personalization, and WCM Project Pitfalls
Deane Barker, Founder and Chief Strategist at Blend Interactive, is a system integrator who helps organizations deal with complex web and content challenges. Deane dished on headless content management, picking the right CMS technology and some of the biggest Web CMS project pitfalls.
Check out this honest look at the CMS market in the full interview.
Plenty More to Read
Subscribe to the Ingeniux blog for the latest in web experience management.