I feel your pain, fel­low mar­keters, for I have just spent a week­end bat­tling hol­i­day traf­fic to get to the beach hear­ing the inevitable ques­tion “Are we nearly there yet?” from the back of the car every few min­utes. The same ques­tion applies to the jour­ney dig­i­tal mar­keters have had with web con­tent man­age­ment.  WCM was meant to ele­vate the tac­ti­cal con­tent man­age­ment func­tion into a highly strate­gic busi­ness func­tion that pos­i­tively impacts key cus­tomer met­rics such as loy­alty, reten­tion and con­ver­sion.  But the sands beneath our feet have shifted mas­sively in recent years; the need to deliver con­tent to a plethora of new devices and social chan­nels, with ever greater per­son­al­i­sa­tion using social graph, loca­tion or just infor­ma­tion peo­ple choose to share with us. As I shared in a recent post, the com­plex­ity is only going to get worse.

Are we there yet?

To under­stand more about where we all are on this jour­ney, we have just pub­lished our lat­est Dig­i­tal Intel­li­gence Brief­ing, in asso­ci­a­tion with Econ­sul­tancy, about web con­tent man­age­ment (WCM). (You can down­load a free copy of the brief­ing by click­ing the link above.)  The report is based on a global sur­vey which has attracted more than 1,000 respon­dents, a record for this on-going series of reports, and a clear tes­ta­ment to the real­ity of the con­tent and expe­ri­ence chal­lenges mar­keters face.

Some of the find­ings are insight­ful about where we are on the journey:

  • 70% of organ­i­sa­tions sur­veyed agree that ‘deliv­er­ing opti­mal expe­ri­ences across all screens and devices is a major challenge’
  • Only 14% of respond­ing busi­nesses say that their ‘CMS enables them to have a com­plete view of engage­ment across all channels’
  • A third of respon­dents (33%) say that mobile web­site func­tion­al­ity and respon­sive design is the one fea­ture they would ‘add to their CMS right now’, more than twice as many as for the next most sought after fea­ture (tar­get­ing / segmentation).
  • Almost two-thirds (63%) of respon­dents agree that man­ag­ing and mea­sur­ing social media activ­ity within their CMS is difficult.

The strate­gic impor­tance of web con­tent man­age­ment is increas­ingly ref­er­enced in ana­lysts’ reports such as For­rester, which stress the impor­tance for com­pa­nies to move beyond using a CMS as a means to sim­ply man­age con­tent and strate­gi­cally utilise it in order to cre­ate dig­i­tal expe­ri­ences.  And yet, just 38% of this survey’s respon­dents agree that their CMS facil­i­tates a ‘brand enhanc­ing dig­i­tal presence’.

At Adobe, our focus has been to help com­pa­nies address the chal­lenge of web con­tent man­age­ment in an increas­ingly mobile and social world where con­sumers are often switch­ing between devices and chan­nels.  Adobe Expe­ri­ence Man­ager, part of Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud, high­lights our com­mit­ment to help­ing organ­i­sa­tions deliver per­son­alised expe­ri­ences across the web, mobile devices, social com­mu­nity and video.  Our mis­sion is to help com­pa­nies not only to deliver engag­ing expe­ri­ences, but also to mea­sure and quan­tify this activity.

Are we at the beach yet? Per­haps not, but maybe it’s not as far as you think! What do you think still needs to hap­pen to get CMS ele­vated to a strate­gic busi­ness func­tion that cre­ates engag­ing, rel­e­vant dig­i­tal expe­ri­ences?  Please leave a com­ment below or engage me on Twit­ter @neil_morgan_uk.