Article | by Andy Wood
Episerver and the evolution of marketing technology
Article | by Andy Wood
Back in the early 90’s, early adopting businesses (Yahoo, for example) understood the potential impact that websites could have on future marketing communications activity. Some businesses, however, were a little slower… Fast forward to the mid 00’s, it was clear that digital was ‘the future’ and the majority of businesses were investing more in digital. Viral ads started appearing (the first I remember was the slightly gruesome Ford KA ad involving a cat, in 2004…) and we were spending our own time on new digital platforms including Myspace, in 2003, and online games (Counterstrike, anyone?). Early content management systems were being used and by the end of the decade blogs were becoming increasingly commonplace.
But where do we go now? What is the next ‘big thing’ for websites and our online experience? Responsive design is standard; content management systems are standard; focus on the UX is standard. Most(!) businesses now understand and embrace the need to deliver class-leading customer experiences; whether they are B2B websites with customer centric content or B2C ecommerce sites providing complex journeys across multiple devices.
If we look at the technology adoption lifecycle, what are the ‘early adopters’ and ‘early majority’ doing differently to the ‘late majority’ and ‘laggards’ of this world?
Well, website technology has moved on again and it now involves significantly more than a content management system. The major change for me is the development of cloud based digital marketing platforms. Platforms that not only house your content, but also link various systems and tools together to help power the entire digital marketing/communications effort, across all stages of a customers journey.
These tools vary by platform but typically combine CRM and CMS systems; personalisation and recommendation engines (to show content or products to visitors based on previous behaviour or segmentation); digital asset management systems and marketing automation platforms.
Just as before, there are businesses that have been quick to embrace this change. Others are seemingly oblivious to the short and long term risks that their inertia will cause– lower customer engagement, loss of market share, or negative brand perception, for example.
There are a number of options available depending on the budgets and ambition you have as a business but thankfully our chosen technology platform, Episerver, is quite literally leading the pack with their cloud offering – the Digital Experience Cloud (DXC).
The content management and ecommerce experience was always very good. But now, following key acquisitions of Peerius (marketing leading personalisation software) and Optivo (real time, omnichannel behavioural based campaign management), Episerver’s ability to facilitate class leading digital marketing activity has reached another level entirely.
This has been reflected in two of the most recognisable industry benchmarking and research reports: The Gartner Magic Quadrant and Forrester Wave. I’ve included the tables below but the key piece of information is this:
What does this mean? Well, if you are a progressive business looking to implement a CMS or cloud based solution based on .net technology, and irrespective of your current place on the adoption lifecycle, then Episerver should be first to be considered.