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Two Web Experience Management Trends to Watch

Guest Author
Happy Monday! Welcome to the Oracle WebCenter Blog.  Putting out a list of trends to watch is typically a year end endeavor as analysts, bloggers and other experts put forth their best guesses as to what to expect in the coming year.  And while we’re certainly not nearing the end of the year, we are, in fact, nearing the end of April, so I’ll use the month end as my excuse to take a closer look at a couple of trends in web experience management.

The On Site Experience Will Become More Like the Social Networking Experience
The experience on corporate websites will emulate the experience on social networking sites more and more.  Visitors to corporate websites will increasingly expect to engage, interact and participate in a brand experience, in much the same way that they engage, interact and participate on social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. In order to do so, the dialogue between consumers and brands on corporate sites will need to evolve beyond the bidirectional to a multidirectional one as the corporate web presence evolves into a hub for community and brand engagement.  As a result, enabling user-generated content such as comments, ratings, reviews and polls will become must have features instead of nice to have capabilities on corporate websites.   At the same time, organizations will need to remove barriers to social interaction on their websites by making it easy for site visitors to contribute user-generated content.  One way of doing this, would be to enable site visitors to authenticate on corporate websites and contribute UGC using their familiar social networking IDs, thus eliminating the need for customers to register and remember another set of website user credentials. Organizations that successfully foster community engagement on their websites can reap added benefits by enabling social sharing on their websites.  With social sharing, site visitors can easily share content and information that they like with their social networks, thereby extending the reach of their brand to a new audience, with the added power and influence of a social endorsement.

Targeting Methodologies Will Focus Less On Descriptive Attributes and More on Predictive Ones
Much of today’s online targeting and segmentation efforts today are marketer-managed and focused on grouping like customers together based on descriptive attributes such as a user-profile, referring search term, or demographics.  And while targeting and segmenting in this manner is valuable, the burden is on marketers to define segments and make their best guesses as to what site content or offers are most likely to elicit a desired response in a given segment of site visitors.  This becomes trickier to manage and optimize as the volume of visitors, segments, attributes and targeted content options increase.  You might imagine needing an army of marketers furiously segmenting, recommending and optimizing in a room somewhere to make this a reality depending on how ambitious and expansive your optimization goals are. Overcoming these challenges will require moving from targeting methodologies that focus on the common descriptive attributes of segments of visitors, to a learning model whereby visitors are segmented according to attributes that predict desired behaviors and optimize performance of the website automatically, based on specific objectives such as maximum click-throughs, conversions or revenue.

Do you agree or disagree with these trends to watch?  What other web experience management trends should we keep our eyes on? Tell us what you think and join us all week as we focus in on the web experience management capabilities organizations need today to create engaging online experiences that drive sales and loyalty.

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Comments ( 2 )
  • Cynthia Coffield Tuesday, May 8, 2012

    Another aspect of the on site experience as more like the social networking experience includes the recent emphasis on authorship. Not only was rel=author tag introduced to validate site content, but now social media accounts can be tied to authored content. Allowing cross platform account access through programs like Gravatar or Google+ verifies the end user as more trustworthy. This in turn validates the site the user interacts with as a more reliable source of information and interaction.

  • guest Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    I tend to agree with these trends, as websites become more social and targeted, the challenge is on the infrastructure to provide easier methods of defining those personalization. Expression language and taskflows should be tightly prepared/themed so clients can achieve quicker ROI. Loyalty and sales are driven by capturing trends and actions while providing a consistent branding and incentives. Adding this layer or complexity in designing a web solution adds the need for more human resources to be involved in completion of a project. The trend which can be observed from this is that websites can no longer be designed and tracked by any one individual but requires a cohesive team which specializes in their area. As such, these solutions become limited to certain large companies which can resource such endeavors. What innovations could be introduced to make this more accessible to lower ends of the market? Cloud Computing/Saas is certainly one way to make this possible, allowing people to focus on the functional aspect.

    An additional trend of WEM can be described as evolution of eye path optimization and multichannel publishing for mobile devices which further challenges the back-end to provide a platform for business users to make strategies and deploy them quickly while navigating a tool which allows them to control the UI display and provide the functionality from the back-end without IT intervention.

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