Podcast: WCM Market Trends & Predictions With Progress CMO
While attending many events in 2018, Laura and I noticed that customer relationships were just as vital as the vendor relationships that were being formed. Customers need to be inspired by, and set the standard for every WCM system on the market, making it increasingly more difficult to choose the best WCM for their business. The main objective should be focused on the experience created through the customer touch-points, and what the particular platform chosen is offering in that way.
That said, in this podcast, Laura Myers and I share our thoughts on the WCM market for 2019, the multi-channel customer experience, and why customer relationships are vital to your business's success.
Also joining us in the conversation will be Loren Jarrett, CMO at Progress Sitefinity to share her thoughts on the topics above. I was very fortunate to hear Loren speak this past year at ProgressNEXT 2018 in Boston. It was my very first event that I attended that year. I was keenly impressed by the amount of inspirational insight that I was able to receive, not only from the keynotes, but also when speaking with a number of customers, partners, and industry experts. All were able to illuminate us with insightful stories on industry trends, and how they are utilizing the Progress Sitefinity platform. Let’s get started!
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WCM Trends and Predictions for 2019
Of course, the main point of this podcast was to discuss the trends and predications of the WCM market as we progress into 2019. As the market continues to evolve, the technology surrounding it needs to move right along with it.
When chatting with Loren, she stressed that organizations need to offer a hyper-personalized experience. These experiences can really pave the way to an engaging customer journey that adapts to the customer across all touchpoints. “Today, digital has become the primary, if not the only, means of customer communication for so many organizations. Because of that, the importance of this channel has increased, and because of that, requirements have increased. So today, hyper-personalized experiences are what organizations need to be able to create for their customers across any digital channel, or even enabling their offline channels as well."
Hyper-personalized experiences and these wonderful omnichannel experiences, so, not just experiences that look good on a mobile device, but experiences that mirror, track, and offer a really engaging customer journey that adapts to the customer across those touchpoints. Transactional capabilities and experiential capabilities, all of these things are needed within one offering from the WCM system. Machine learning is required to enable smarts that can be embedded into these experiences, really, to deliver much more contextual, personalized, rich, and engaging customer experience. Requirements for digital success have escalated, and WCM remains the core capability that enables you to deliver on this successfully.”
No matter where we turn, we are always surrounded by an experience, and the demand for personalized, connected experiences rises when users expect information at their fingertips. Digital experience platforms essentially integrate the core business tools, and provide a foundation for the future of digital innovation. Brands want a WCM that also supports digital needs when it comes to delivery, intelligence, and much, much more.
Because WCM marketing is indeed moving towards more of a DXP solution, we wanted to know Loren’s thoughts surrounding this notion when it comes to a more holistic experience: “DXP, digital experience platforms, we really see that as the platform that can provide engagement across all digital channels, right? So, it's web, it's mobile, it's chat, it's voice, you know, even AR, whatever it might be, but also really, all types of interactions. So it may be experiential transactional commerce base, customer facing, or employee facing, all types of interactions that need different capabilities. Some are web, some are going to be more transactional and app based, all of these different use cases need to be enabled so that the organization can create a digital portfolio, and they transform themselves, in a way, digital, that enables them to meet the needs of all of their constituents, both internal and external.
Sitefinity is an incredibly user-friendly and powerful WCM platform that has capabilities like AI driven personalization, very powerful responsive web and mobile capabilities. And the Progress portfolio as a whole also includes very strong capabilities for high productivity application development, so web apps, mobile apps, chat based, AI driven experiences, a full suite of capabilities that together, really can enable organizations to truly transform digitally. And so as customers build out these multi-experience types, and these omnichannel experiences, they need a digital experience platform that can support all of these different needs, so that’s what Progress provides. We enable our customers to really build these capabilities and build these experiences with Sitefinity at its core for the WCM.”
Core Principals of the Customer Relationship
Your customer relationships can really set the tone for your platform, and as Laura mentions in our conversation, this can be a two-way street. You have the vendor relationship with customers/users, and then you have the relationship those users, as organizations, have with their customers. There’s also the explosion of channels, whether it's mobile devices, IoT, Alexa, etc., and so your experience needs to expand across all of those, at the same time being responsive, no matter how or what device your customer is using to digest your content, and focusing on the need of your customers, those multichannel experiences, and those touchpoints
Loren shares some great examples of how organizations are disrupting the digital business world today: “Businesses today are all facing an incredible challenge, and that challenge is that every single industry around the globe is being disrupted by organizations who are using digital technology, and digitally driven business models, to create entirely disruptive business models in those industries. These organizations, even ones that sell business to business, are engaging the consumer individually and gaining their loyalty in powerful new ways. Let me give you some examples. If you look at an organization like Amazon, they are totally disrupting the traditional delivery business, right? Whether it's food delivery, or other types of supplies. Organizations that have worked with vendors—specialty vendors in those areas—are finding that Amazon works directly with the person who needs those products or that food product that day. They can go on Amazon, and order them, and their traditional suppliers just don’t have the business model built to do that, and they don’t have that interaction with the end consumer. Another great example is if you look in the exercise equipment industry. With all your traditional vendors of treadmills and bikes, and then along comes Peloton®, who creates a digitally driven bike that adapts to the user, knows everything about them, gives them a wonderful digital experience, and people going to hotels now are demanding ‘where’s your Peloton® bike?’ So it's amazing, even in these traditional industries, technology is completely disrupting.
Organizations today are really faced with this challenge to digitally disrupt your own industry before someone does it for you. This means they need to create disruptive technology-driven business models. They need to be able to across web, mobile, chat, voice, whatever it might be, they need to be able to harness all of these capabilities and these digital technologies to be able to create new ways to go to market, to create new ways to adapt to the customer, to reach that end consumer, and to create demand for their businesses in new and different ways. They need to evolve and they need to disrupt themselves so they don’t become dinosaurs, and that's the promise of digital transformation.”
Choosing a WCM That’s Right for You
There’s much that goes into selecting the right WCM, but we think the biggest thing to start with is to lay out your business objectives. Leveraging all of the content available out there is a good way to look at what technologies are coming, the changes experts and analysts are seeing, and the growth you want to achieve. Consult your stakeholders, have a list of the best-fit platforms that you’ve narrowed down to, and then, of course, you need a partner to implement it all.
Your implementation partner is a huge decision, so it’s always a good idea to go with the organization that best aligns with your own thought process, and who values your goals and objectives. If you’re looking for a system that has the intelligence baked into it, go with that one. If you need a strong cloud offering, go with the one whose leadership is well-established with cloud expertise.
I really enjoyed speaking with Loren, and I especially liked her example when she mentioned Amazon's customer relationships. I have a friend who lives and breathes for Amazon Prime for their fast delivery, and because of that, it creates customer loyalty and brand trust that Loren mentions is vital to any customer relationship.
This is definitely a short list of selection criteria when choosing the right WCM for your business, but like I mentioned above, reference thought leadership, and find the software organization that best aligns with your own thought process. If you’re looking for the best fit WCM platform and need help in the decision making process, please feel free to reach out to us! Our team of experts will be more than happy to assist in selecting a platform that best suits your needs.