Why Web Content Management Isn’t What It Used to Be

July 21, 2014

You probably remember when you first heard of web content management (WCM), even if you didn’t call it that at the time. You ran into it the first time you were able to create your own website or blog, or create and publish content, on the Web. It probably felt pretty nifty—and no doubt, you found yourself tingling with all the possibilities it brought to you, as a publisher. That was back when publishing online was driven by a print strategy. Really, that was before digital publishing was truly born.

If we’ve learned anything by now, we’ve learned that thinking digital requires a publishing ecosystem that allows publishers to create a multi-faceted, engaging experience for their readers—an experience that gains depth over time and adapts to the dynamic qualities of the online environment. Today, WCM or SAAS Enterprise Publishing is quite a different thing, built onto that original foundation. It leverages an adaptable, scalable platform that supports a variety of features and integrations.

 A competitive Enterprise Publishing System (EPS) supports several tactics, including:

  • Contextual selling based on user profiles, audience personas and segmentation derived from deep data.
  • Responsive design, to meet the needs of an increasingly mobile audience.
  • social strategy to help increase traffic and expand the audience.
  • Multi channel delivery from one dashboard; creating content once and repurposing many times.
  • Fundamental content management features to automate many editing and publishing processes, while introducing an efficient workflow.
  • A variety of advertising options, including buyers’ guides, topic pages and events.

So, if you haven’t adjusted your thinking about WCM, perhaps it’s time to do so—because you don’t have to look far to see that its modern rendition is how businesses are setting themselves apart.

A recent Forrester report cites several observations about today’s EPS solutions. Not only do they reinforce a few of the messages coming from the New York Times, but they also remind us of what it means to truly operate in the context of digital publishing. Here are three key observations:

  1. You can’t develop and manage a comprehensive customer experience without an EPS. Without the tools and technologies that allow you to automate and integrate, you’d be left in the dust by other organizations. Why? For one, it’s a core technology leveraged by all of your team members to focus on the common goal. It brings all of the moving parts of the customer and staff experience together.
  2. Today’s publishing is about relationship management. A digital strategy, managed with an EPS, changes the dialogue with your customers—providing a variety of ways to engage and listening to what they need and want. The experience naturally becomes more personal. It enables deeper relationships. It also changes the way your staff interacts and communicates—fostering efficiency, teamwork and synergy.
  3. Purchasing an EPS is about digital strategy and requires marketers, editors and IT to work together. Because the EPS is the mechanism for playing out your digital strategy, it makes sense that you would embrace the changing roles of staff and the value of collaboration across departments to make big decisions about your tools for success.

Thinking about updating or purchasing a new EPS? Certainly it makes sense to consider how you'll continue to support print.  But you may want to reconsider before doubling down on technology that inhibits growth in areas where your customers are moving - and it's likely they're already there!