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Design a WCM system that enriches customer experience

Web content management systems may become central to delivering information wherever customers are. But to create a positive customer experience, a WCM system needs to be shaped around its audiences' needs.

For many businesses, the Web has become a hub that not only delivers information about the company and its products and services, but also enhances how users experience the brand.

Even when customers enter a physical retail space, they have likely browsed reviews on a smartphone or visited a company website beforehand. After leaving a store, they might want to follow the business on social media or visit the online storefront on a mobile device. Customers also expect easy access to exclusive information and discounts where they are members of programs. They want their Web-based experiences to be effortless and provide tailored access.

But that places a tall order on companies to deliver a seamless user experience -- no matter the context or content. Now that we consume so much information on mobile devices and via social media, audiences may abandon companies that publish content only in one format or in generic ways that aren't tailored to particular audience preferences.

Web content needs to change size and shape to conform to these different scenarios, and that's where contextually aware Web content management design comes in.

To explore the trend of contextually aware, customer-centric WCM design, TechTarget Executive Editor Lauren Horwitz investigates WCM systems' multifaceted role for businesses today. She points out that while many WCM systems already include advanced capabilities for tailoring, monitoring and analyzing customer experiences, it's down to business users to modernize the way they plan and distribute content for different contexts and for different users.

To that end, WCM expert Geoffrey Bock outlines how to design a better multichannel customer experience so that audiences aren't just accessing content -- they're becoming fans of the brand, and ideally, loyal customers. In his second piece, Bock stresses that multichannel design goes beyond just a "mobile-first" mentality. He brings it back to customer experience. What tasks do people want to complete, and in what context? WCM design's real goal should be better targeting an audience, no matter how they may be accessing and using the content.

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