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WCM software must give way to multichannel content management

Web content management has to acclimate to the outgrowth of new audience channels and adjust accordingly.

Companies are still trying to master the Web, and today they have to make use of a variety of touch points in order to reach their audiences. These touch points may include social platforms, communities and forums, and also different mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Web content management, which enables companies to publish content to the Web, has to acclimate to these various channels and adjust accordingly.

"Next year we won't talk about Web content management, but [instead about] digital content management or digital information management," said Geoff Bock, an industry analyst and principal at Bock & Co. "The Web is only one channel of multiple channels we want to reach. So you have to look at what your customer experiences [are] and what are your business situations [that you're trying to satisfy]?"

To become multichannel-ready, companies need to start with where they are, Bock said. Bock said companies need to think about the business scenarios they want to satisfy in terms of mobile and other channels, and there may be some quick-hit tweaks that can be made.

Second, Bock said, companies need to think about the low-hanging fruit and the high-value experiences you're trying to create. It's important to recognize that mobile devices are used in a different context compared to desktops. Users are using them for different goals, at different times of day, and so forth.

Bock also discussed the impact of HTML5 -- a set of technology standards -- and its possibilities for Web content management and for multimedia. "It makes video a first-class citizen of a Web browser -- you no longer have to fork off to flash or some kind of video recorder, and you no longer have to do that in HTML5 … you can embed video right into a Web browser." There will be richer viewing experiences that are "baked in," and it's also easier to organize, build and develop rich-media experiences, Bock said.

Finally, Bock addressed the issues that are introduced by the Internet of Things, which requires companies to adjust website designs to be compatible with smaller devices despite the fact that they have just begun to take a mobile-first approach to design.

Next Steps

Will Web experience management kill WCM software?

Could the invisible hand of search engine technology change the Web?

Are DAM software's days numbered?

Web content analytics still a black box

This was last published in December 2014

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Intelligent, adaptable content that can be used in multiple contexts can help companies respond to these challenges and get the most out of their current resources - though it can take a lot of work to get the production processes in place.
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