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Companies have begun to turn to responsive design to make Web surfing more device-aware for users, but that's just the first step in creating digital experiences that understand users' location, preferences and behavior.
For many companies, the first step in this ambitious goal of personalization is to create websites that put mobile considerations first and that incorporate responsive design. With responsive, the content displayed adjusts based on a user's device.
But, as Geoff Bock a Web content management expert and SearchContentManagement contributor, notes, companies are ultimately trying to do more than just adjust a screen display based on a smartphone or phablet. Ultimately, they are trying to create more interactive experiences that enable users to receive notifications tailored to their preferences, location and other time-sensitive information.
By enlisting geolocation technology and understanding user navigation on webpages, companies can begin to develop more detailed pictures of who their users are, how to communicate with them, and how to tailor content and messages to their needs.
Ultimately, companies need to create personalized and efficient experiences that are user- and context-aware, Bock noted. That is a taller order for traditional Web content management systems and may require additional software, such as marketing automation and analytics technologies.
"We realize we want to do much more than simply publish things out," said Bock. "But if you're trying to focus on business tasks, then you need to begin to unpack what those experiences are. We've gotten pretty good at designing for full-screen websites. What we need to do now is begin to refactor mobile to create more task-centric apps. What are people doing when they are out in the world, interacting with the information? How can we build applications that surface just the right amount of information?"
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