Two Web Experience Management Trends to Watch
By Christie Flanagan on Apr 30, 2012
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.