What is Web Engagement Management?
Web Engagement Management (WEM) is a term that encompasses:
"The process of building relationships with customers that result in them becoming ambassadors for your brand or product."
In this context the term ‘customer’ can include a variety of scenarios such as:
- a traditional customer who purchases from your company web site
- a reader who clicks on an ad
- staff member who interacts with company content (e.g. on your intranet) and increases their productivity
- a supplier who integrates with your portal
To ensure that customers promote your brand it is important that they come to intimately understand your offerings, and switch from merely consuming your content, to engaging with it and actively promoting it.
At its simplest, WEM can be considered as:
Presenting the right content, to the right person, at the right time.
From the content producer’s viewpoint this becomes:
Knowing the right content to produce and present, for the right person, at the right time.
It has often been referred to as ‘being like Amazon’ – eluding to how beautifully Amazon presents content to its customer base.
Obviously, in order for customers to engage with your content, they need to be directed towards the content that is of highest interest to them. Whereas in the past sites simply pushed out great chunks of content with no targeting to the end reader, nowadays the content needs to be tightly targeted. To achieve this, sites (web, intranet and portals) need to embrace the following processes:
- Analytics – to understand what users are consuming
- Activity – to understand how users respond to the content
- Automation – to ensure users are then directed to more content of interest to them.
As users, your prospects and customers will need to be analyzed at an individual level to determine where they fit in ‘categories’ of user. The tighter these categories can be defined, the more targeted the content surfaced to them can be defined.
- By using analytics on your site you can track what content is being consumed.
- By understanding how different types of users consume content you can group users into categories.
- By enabling automation you can ensure that content is reliably presented to the right categories.
As a business you can analyze these statistics and behaviors to produce additional and more tightly targeted content.
Building on a solid Web Content Management Foundation
Web Engagement Marketing is best thought of as an advanced form of web content management.
Whilst the usual tools are used for writing, editing, categorising and maintaining the content, new tools (or modules) are employed to ensure that the right content is presented to the right user.
Web Content Management Systems are now being enhanced to include tools for tracking analytics, analyzing user behavior, segmenting the users into categories and then presenting them with pre-designated content.
They are also being enhanced to construct content from mashups of pre-designated content in order to give users a highly personalised experience.
Plus, optimised to present this content appropriately across a range of platforms including different devices (desktop, web, mobile), contexts (user roles, needs, etc), outlets (wikis, blogs, corporate directories, supplier portals, etc) and history workflow (new user, prospect, long term member, etc).
As the web engagement management space heats up over the coming months, vendors will be providing extensive tooling around these areas. It is going to be an exciting time.