Dominque LeBlond knows a little bit about the web content management industry. After all, he’s been involved in it for almost twenty years, including working on the Tridion WCM before SDL acquired it, and as Principal Architect of Backbase, a portal platform. Today, LeBlond is the SVP of Product Marketing for SDL and we took the opportunity to get his perspective on what’s happening in the WCM market and his view of digital experience today and in the future.
It’s a great podcast – only half an hour long. Here are a few highlights.
LeBlond acknowledges that WCM isn’t exactly the right acronym for the set of technology and platforms used to drive brand awareness, marketing, communications and customer care, but it’s what we are still using today. The reality is that the tools we tend to bulk into a core WCM platform are used by business practitioners to run and execute business processes for digital communication.
We still use the WCM term because in the end it all comes down to content. Organizations of all sizes still use the core WCM capabilities that support content, they have simply integrated additional activities around that content to support the way it is consumed. In fact, LeBlond said some organizations are still doing classic WCM.
The Third Wave – Digital Experience
We tend to think of the evolution of WCM in waves. LeBlond sees two key waves:
- The first one took away the dependency on the Webmaster/development team – this is the Publishing Wave
- The second saw the demand for functionality that enabled interaction, such as forums, blogs, and social – Web 2.0. This wave was disruptive for many industries like travel and hospitality.
Now, LeBlond says we are in the third wave – or revolution – triggered by the adoption of mobile devices. But it’s more than simply how do I get on mobile (responsive design, mobile apps), it’s deeper than that. It’s about consumers who are constantly connected, and how organizations can expose services to these constantly connected people.
The repercussions for WCM are wide, says LeBlond, with this third wave. It’s a total loop, where organizations need to expose services in a different way to encourage consumers to engage with brands and products. This is the place where you see organizations working on their digital transformation strategies and customer experience design.
Not everyone is ready for this wave, and the complexities of some products and services will hold some industries back. But even those can use digital to share high quality information, and work on getting better ROI from their digital activities.
Key Challenges/Opportunities for WCM
Many organizations are already in their second or third generation WCM. What’s triggering change now is the need to mobilize the experience. Some orgs started by running projects with mobile, but are now finding they can’t scale them. They are looking for a more multi-channel or omnichannel approach. This, says, LeBlond is a holistic process that presents new challenges, like how to orchestrate the experience across the whole organization (and not just marketing or sales).
Another big area of focus is personalization/targeting – many keen to layer it in. What he’s seeing though is that some orgs still need the base strategies in terms of defining segments and content strategies – things that are not technology problems.
And this brings an important point – many WCM vendors have also had to adapt and modernize their own professional services teams (whether they do full service implementation or not). These teams have to understand the challenges faced with digital experience and help organizations figure out what they are trying to achieve. This requires CX business consultants from the vendor working with the business. They help define the business case and can then figure out how the technology helps. Of course there are still plenty of IT people on the teams.
Much more to hear from Dominique LeBlond. Please down the Podcast and have a listen. Also sign up for our newsletter to get informed of new podcasts and plenty of important digital experience news and research and insights.