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Assessing your WCM maturity

Fourth level: engagement

This stage enables marketing and e-business professionals to take greater control of Web sites. They can quickly publish related content simultaneously (for campaigns), analyze how site visitors consume the content and make adjustments based on those consumption patterns. IT is now less involved in day-to-day operations and plays more of a support role. Nontechnical personnel can set up new Web sites (including short-term microsites); administer inheritance schemes; and make codeless changes to presentation elements, such as fonts, background color and basic page structure. Integration with customer relationship management (CRM) systems allows leveraging customer information from other channels to target content at Web site visitors. A/B and multivariate testing enables segment-based content testing. Social media monitoring and sentiment analysis give greater views into user-generated content. Integration with third-party tools, such as Omniture and Webtrends, allows analytics displayed within the content of the WCM tools, giving immediate insights into content consumption patterns within the context of the site management tools.

Forrester inquiries reveal that many organizations are in the late stage 2 (tactical) or early stage 3 (enterprise) of WCM maturity. But as organizations contemplate moving to the next stage, they should  understand if they need support engagement. Companies should worry about stage 4 only if they consider the Web channel to be a critical part of an outreach strategy. In that case, the company uses its Web site for marketing and e-business purposes, with the need for frequent updates and a serious commitment to tailor the content based on consumption patterns. Web sites generally don’t require a WCM implementation at stage 4 if they deliver updated information infrequently, are used primarily by corporate communications and act as brochure-ware.

Information managers also must understand the integration points with other repositories and enterprise applications. They should speak with marketing, e-business and operations leaders to understand how they use content across multiple channels, how they plan to use the Web site in their campaign strategies and how they gather data on the way Web site visitors consume content. That will provide insights into how the WCM must integrate with other systems—such as document output management, marketing suites and customer relationship management (CRM)—to create brand consistency across channels and give marketers a single view into consumer behavior.

Finally, WCM decision-makers must decide on the future of their  current platforms. Once they’ve  determined which maturity level  they are targeting, they should evaluate their WCM system—both current capabilities and vendor roadmap—against the features listed in the maturity model. If the current platform doesn’t measure up to future needs, then it’s time to start thinking about a new one that can best serve the requirements of WCM 2.0.

The Web Content Management Maturity Model Chart which accompanies the article may be downloaded here:  http://www.kmworld.com/downloads/60332/KMW_10_2010_11_c.pdf

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