• March 28, 2011
  • By Koa Beck, Editorial Assistant, CRM magazine

Forrester Deems Web Content Management “Alive and Well”

Many enterprises plan to invest fully in Web content management and have extended plans to pair it with other technologies that provide Web support or other multichannel marketing initiatives, according to new research from Forrester.

Stephen Powers, principal analyst at Forrester and author of the “Web Content Management (WCM) Is Alive And Well in 2011 Thanks To Online Customer Experience,” report from Forrester, writes that stakeholders from marketing, e-business and e-commerce groups are influencing WCM strategies. Powers determines that the major areas of investment for WCM include support for mobile Web experiences, social functionality, and content targeting. However, technological and organizational challenges have created some dissatisfaction with current WCM initiatives.

Powers writes that the future of WCM will hinge on technology supporting online engagement. Library services, such as check-in/check-out, workflows, and submissions, have become “commoditized,” he says, and decision-makers see WCM as a way to better engage customers and prospects by moving them through the marketing funnel.

Powers posits that enterprises will focus on WCM initiatives for multichannel marketing, and bases that on the number of respondents (51 percent) who reported using their WCM implementations for marketing purposes (either interactive marketing on the Web or multichannel marketing, including email and mobile). Last year’s Forrester survey revealed that only 30 percent of enterprises were planning to use WCM for any form of marketing.

“Clearly, enterprises increasingly view WCM as a critical tool for supporting their marketing strategies,” Powers says.

Companies will want to integrate WCM with other applications, according to the report. The top three applications were Web analytics (29 percent), CRM (26 percent), and digital asset management (14 percent). According to Powers, these results indicate an area of weakness for some WCM vendors; 17 percent cited enterprise application integration as an area where their “incumbent WCM product” still needs improvement.

Powers also asserts that a large group of stakeholders are now presently involved in WCM decisions. Central IT departments hold the reins in 64 percent of firms, while others named corporate marketing (30 percent), lines of business (16 percent), dedicated online marketing (9 percent), and dedicated e-business/e-commerce groups (9 percent).

The report also found that may companies plan to implement a variety of functionality in the coming year in support of customer experience, including mobile, social, and target marketing. Fifty-four percent of respondents plan to deliver content to mobile phones, while 47 percent plan to target content based on browsing behavior. Forty percent of respondents want to integrate analytics into the content management environment, and 39 percent want to target content for authenticated site visitors.

Social media was also identified as an area of “ongoing interest,” with some organizations planning to begin distributing content to social networking Web sites (39 percent) and to introduce user-generated content features, such as reviews, comments, threaded discussions, ratings, and polls (33 percent).

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