Four Points To Ponder In A Digitally Disruptive World

It’s amazing how quickly the world of digital experiences is changing technology, and vice-versa. I’ve covered web content management (WCM) since I joined Forrester in 2006, and that particular market has changed quite in a bit, due in large part to the disruptions caused by digital experiences. These days, many more stakeholders participate in the WCM decision-making process, traditional technology decision-makers can no longer afford to make technology decisions in a silo, and key WCM players are refining and expanding their strategies. I’ll tackle this in more depth with Ron Rogowski next month at our Forum in Orlando but, if you’re a digital experience (DX) decision-maker, you should keep in mind:

·         Don’t hold your breath for a true DX suite. Though some of the vendors are promising integrated suites that contain content management, commerce, analytics, optimization, etc., none has best-of-breed offerings in all of these areas. And even if one were available, haven’t you already made too many investments to do yet another rip-and-replace? Some of the vendor strategies remind me of the great promises of the all-encompassing enterprise content management suite (remember how that turned out)?

·         Technologists are still critical. Have you heard the hype about how marketers will make all the technology decisions? No way. Perhaps they do at smaller organizations where they have simple experiences supported by software-as-a-service technologies. But in your organization, who knows the requirements around security, scalability, and integration? It’s the technologists. They’ll be the ones to do the critical plumbing. They may work with marketing in different organizational structures (such as dedicated DX groups or embedded within marketing groups), but they’ll still be vital to a company’s DX success.

·         Forget mobile first. Instead, concentrate on the channels that are most important to your business. Yes, mobile may be first, but you need to verify this (you have the data!). Focus on the channels most important to your customers and source technologies that enable you to leverage work across the channels.

·         Big data will play a big role in DX. At Forrester, we’ve been talking about DX technologies in terms of a “manage-engage-measure” framework. Most clients are reasonably mature in “manage,” and the engage technologies, which delivery cross-channel experiences, are the hot area now. But keep an eye on measure. It’s increasingly going to be important to collect and analyze customer behavior across channels and make that data available to marketers. Those DX technologists who can make that data available and easily consumable to marketers will be worth their weight in gold.

If you're interested in this topic of digital disruption, don't forget our Tweet Jam, Monday, September 24 at 3:30 pm ET. Follow the hashtag #ForrForum. 

Comments

Forget Mobile First?

Absolutely agree that you need to validate if mobile is the appropriate and/or most important channel for a given digital engagement activity. However, as your own research shows, going mobile after you've deployed technology for another channel without considering a future mobile channel in the first place, will result in refactoring of that technology solution to better fit the mobile channel's requirements. I guess you have to assess the risk of the refactoring exercise against the potential cost of considering mobile first.