As we have seen over the last 5 years, ROI is one of the most important performance measures and justifications of large enterprise CMS projects. The primary measure of CMS performance can no longer be solely based upon efficiency (automation and centralization of content.) Now, “actual content performance” measures the success of a CMS. Content performance relies on how relevant a company’s content is to its target audience/customer base. Continual testing, optimization, and delivery of content are vitally important for companies looking to improve conversion ratios, usability and ROI. It has been proven that small changes can have huge impacts on conversion, sales, etc. Through multivariate testing, companies can quickly identify and adjust content to meet current demands and quickly adopt a test and learn methodology to refine content. However most CMS vendor focus on the repository and display of content, not the complex process of leveraging analytics to refine, adjust and deliver content based on real-time scenarios. Every CMS product on the planet can pretty much do the basic CMS functions (storage, metadata, presentation templates, basic workflow, etc…), however most do not have A/B, multivariate-testing capabilities.
A/B testing: compare two different versions of a page or content location.
Multivariate-testing: simultaneously measures the performance of several content variations on a page.
However, this is all changing, large CMS companies are seeing this capability as a key blue ocean feature. This year Autonomy/Interwoven and Sitecore added optimization and targeting capabilities to their CMS platforms. Even Analytics vendors are arming up with this capability; WebTrends acquired Widemile a leading provider of multivariate testing and site optimization technologies and services.
I think the role of a CMS will change to:
A holistic CMS/Targeting solution I believe will give many organizations a competitive advantage in delivering the best in breed content to their targeted audience.
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