Thursday Feb 02, 2012

7 Best Practices of Web Experience Management

Today's guest post is from Alakh Verma, Director of Platform Technology Solutions at Oracle.

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Alakh Verma

7 Best Practices of Web Experience Management

Alakh Verma, Director, Platform Technology Solutions, Oracle

In my recent blog posts, I shared insights on personalization andpersonalized care that plays significant role in offering pleasant user experience (Personalization: A Key Tenet of User Engagement) and then on importance of Portal and Content (If Content is the King, then Portal is the Queen). In this post, my efforts are to identify and summarize some of the best practices of Web Experience Management(WEM) to create delightful customer experience based on the recent research report by CITO Research.

This report is available here:
Create a Successful and Meaningful Customer Experience on the Web


7

The immense success and proliferation of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare and mobile/smart devices such as iPhones, Blackberry and Tablet PC among consumers has created consumerization of IT and new paradigm shift seeking pleasant web experience. Now, consumers have become more powerful than before with access of information and social media to communicate to the world at the fingertip.

1) Social Computing and Use of Social Mediais changing the way people interact with each other and with companies online. A recent report from Comscore showed that two-thirds of shoppers begin their process online, and the most frequent starting point is the retail site itself. These consumers are engaging, connecting and collaborating. They want to understand what their friends liked, what other options are available, and what people like them ultimately bought. Most of these consumers consider Facebook recommendations when making decisions about purchasing.
Jeff Bullas in his recent blog writes about Best Buy successful implementation of social media that energized its employees and customers (
How Best Buy energized employees and customers with social media)

2) Consistent Experience Across Multiple Channels and Devices have offered Customers many choices of accessing the Web in new, engaging and collaborative ways than before and they want that ease and diversity to be reflected in their dealings with businesses as well. Consumers change channels and switch devices whenever they need to. They can keep tabs on friends and family on Facebook and follow the Twitter regularly. They can find a nearby restaurant with foursquare geolocation on their phone and then look up reviews of that restaurant on Yelp.
With changing consumer patterns and behavior, it is extremely important to offer targeted, personalized, relevant and consistent experiences across these channels and devices.

3) Mobility-Smart Devices and Tablets We have witnessed a smart revolution of the mobile space. As per the recent statistics report, the number of mobile devices has increased fivefold from 1 billion to 5 billion, with a resulting escalation in the number of connected people from 400 million to over 2 billion. This unprecedented growth of connectivity is creating an overwhelming range of new possibilities, and tapping, swiping, locating, pinging and socializing are quickly becoming part of normal human behavior. Technology is starting to change people and these people, whether consumers or employees, will change businesses. As per recent report by research firm IDC, mobile usage will surpass that of PCs and other wired devices by 2015. Mobile data traffic is expected to increase 26-fold between 2010 and 2015. In this rapid shift, mobility has to be the integral part of the solutions and the framework.

4) Real Time Decisions and Social Analytics The recent technology such as big data analytics helps and supports us with right information, real-time event messaging provides at right time, mobility at right place anywhere and social media in the right context to make right decisions. I have shared my insights on my earlier post on how critical are Real Time decisions in business today? http://t.co/H6Yf0J9k

5) Personalized Experiences In the connected business environment, consumers expect companies to know about them and their likes and dislikes. For a compelling and relevant experience across channels, companies need to target, analyze, and optimize the customer experience. I had discussed and shared insights on this personalized experience in my earlier post (Personalization: A Key Tenet of User Engagement)

6) Multiple Stakeholders Need Control Expectations for system usability and manageability have changed manifold. Marketers and line of-business executives require that managing websites be extremely easy to manage their campaign and relevant content to meet the timely execution Nontechnical users need to be empowered to build websites, design the layout, make content changes, set up targeting rules, control user-generated-content, and enable the mobile web, all from an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. (Oracle WebCenter Sites based on FatWire acquisition enables this seamlessly.)

7) Integrated Campaign to Drive Customers In order to create a compelling web experience for customers, we need the ability to organize and access their enterprise data and leverage it in web interactions. We need a technology platform that helps create an integrated campaign to encourage repeat business suiting consumer lifestyle either at work or on the road on an iPhone or visiting a physical store or calling customer service.

Oracle WebCenter is one of the leading technology platforms that offers comprehensive web experience management capabilities such as targeting and optimizing content, social computing, and multichannel engagement—all of which help improve customer loyalty, drive web traffic, and target new customer segments. In one integrated suite, it combines an array of complementary capabilities: web experience management (Oracle WebCenter Sites), composite applications and mashups (Oracle WebCenter Portal), social networking and collaboration (Oracle WebCenter Social), and enterprise content management (Oracle WebCenter Content).

Wednesday Feb 01, 2012

People and Processes are Central to Successful WEM Initiatives

Today, we have a guest post from Christie Flanagan. Christie joined Oracle as Principal Product Manager for WebCenter Sites as part of its acquisition of FatWire Software, where she directed the web experience management company’s marketing and analyst relations efforts.  She has nearly fifteen years of experience as a B2B marketer with special expertise in digital marketing, marketing automation and demand generation.  Christie is a graduate of Boston College.

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People and Processes are Central to Successful WEM Initiatives

by Christie Flanagan, Principal Product Manager, Oracle WebCenter Sites

Christie FlanaganSince this week’s WebCenter blog theme is best practices in Web Experience Management (WEM), let’s take a look at some of the key ingredients necessary for executing successful WEM initiatives. A lot of what you hear about WEM is focused on technology and emphasizes the features and functions that businesses require in order to deliver an engaging and relevant online experience. And while web content management, targeting, analytics, social and mobile capabilities are critically important aspects of WEM, let’s not forget the role that your organization’s people and processes play in driving these initiatives.

 As site visitors’ expectations for relevant, social and interactive online experiences have grown, delivering on these expectations has become an urgent business requirement. Marketers and other business users who rely on limited and often time constrained IT resources to execute their online initiatives may feel impeded in their ability to deliver the engaging online experiences that their customers and prospects demand due to process bottlenecks and delays. These kinds of process failures create friction between IT and marketing and may result in lost opportunities for the business. Stories abound of companies that have failed to capitalize on breaking news or lost revenue because their processes didn’t enable them to react quickly enough online. In situations like these, moving to a WEM solution that puts more control into the hands of marketers and other business users seems like an obvious answer, however, the underlying technology is only part of the solution. Understanding the pain points in your existing processes and aligning marketing and IT goals with business objectives are also critical to the successful adoption of WEM as an ongoing practice.

Another often cited objective of WEM is the creation of relevant and optimized online experiences that help drive customer acquisition and brand loyalty. While delivering online experiences that are tailored to the interests of users with like attributes or behavior can be accomplished with the right combination of WEM capabilities, organizations often encounter barriers to implementation that have nothing to do with the technology. Many times, you’ll hear organizations say that they aren’t delivering targeted experiences to their site visitors because they are not quite there yet when it comes to developing a segmentation strategy. Perhaps they haven’t settled on a segmentation methodology, feel they need to integrate various data sources to get a fuller picture of the customer first, or simply can’t get the necessary buy-in to support their efforts. In the meantime, the targeting and optimization tools of the WEM solution go unused. While there are certainly organizations that derive their online competitive advantage from sophisticated segmentation and targeting strategies, there’s really no need to wait for a grand and fully evolved strategy before setting the segmentation, targeting and analytics capabilities in your WEM solution to deriving value for your business. All that is required to get started are some common sense ideas on how your online experience might be improved and a willingness to experiment. Given a culture and appropriate processes that support ongoing testing and measurement, an organization will be well on its way toward realizing the benefits of delivering contextually relevant online experiences.

With visitors’ expectations for interactive online experiences on the rise, perhaps one of the most obvious areas in which people, processes and WEM technologies intersect is in the social sphere. Today, social capabilities are ubiquitous and site visitors expect to interact with your brand via comments, ratings, reviews and blogs. In enabling these kinds of social features across the online presence, organizations must realize that they are also raising visitors’ expectations for the level of interaction they will have with your brand. For example, by enabling commenting on your website, a customer with a complaint may expect your organization to respond promptly to their problem using the same channel. This creates both challenges and opportunities for the business. Organizations must take care to put the right processes and technologies in place to manage and moderate user-generated content in an efficient manner. Additionally, the business needs to empower employees to react, respond and interact with users in an appropriate and timely fashion. In doing so, what had initially been a customer complaint becomes an opportunity to deepen engagement and loyalty with that customer and to also demonstrate the company’s goodwill and responsiveness to others which in turn paves the way to future sales.

Wednesday Jun 15, 2011

New Look's Award Winning Social Enterprise

Organizations are always looking for ways to engage their employees. A sense of community within an organization can be an incredible morale builder. But more than that, an internal community can foster sharing of best practices and new ideas that drive profitability. New Look, a fashion retailer based in the UK, has engaged its 27,000 employees with online workspaces and social networking tools that it calls iLook. With blogs, wikis, and other social tools, New Look has fostered innovation by enabling teams to communicate and collaborate.

New Look’s iLook enterprise social network was recognized with the International Solution Award at the BT Expedite Retail Week Technology Awards. The iLook workspace provides New Look employees with access to company intelligence including corporate news, company videos, comprehensive staff directory and policy information, along with an online calendar and a cohesive marketing toolkit held as a central, shared resource for all marketing materials.

Marie Tysall-Blay, Head of Group Communications & Social Responsibility at New Look, said the underlying  Oracle technology was “a critical enabler of our transformation from a United Kindom-centric business to a rapidly expanding international retail community with global brand values, strategies, and goals.”

Congratulations to New Look on their award. For more on this implementation, you can read the New Look press release or the New Look customer snapshot.

About

Oracle WebCenter is the center of engagement for business—powering exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. It connects people, process, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal, Web experience management, content, imaging and collaboration technologies.

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