Into the Engagement Tier…

Recently I wrote an article for my blog – Taking the W out of CMS – exploring content management and content delivery as separate disciplines and this is a follow up to that article.

To summarize that article – firstly, to know me professionally, is to know that when it comes to the tribes of CMS folks, I am firmly in the WCM tepee.

Secondly, I disagreed the first time this discussion rolled around, as the millennium clicked over – we were all going to use portal platforms and content management functionality would be in our application server infrastructure (we don’t and it didn’t).

Thirdly, the difference between the systems we are building for tomorrow and then – our digital engagement activities were single threaded following a website groove and the end was very much the driver for the means.

For the mainstream CMS industry it was a web site centric world and in most projects and applications the term ‘CMS’ was interchangeable with ‘WCM’. Today we have a fragmented communication channel; it’s the age of the ‘splinternet’ (in this context, a term coined by Josh Bierhoff), delivering relevant content consistently to multiple places.

This not just devices – our websites are less the single and only web destination, folks consume information about our products and services from other web destinations like Facebook and Twitter (to name two). Plus, of course the needs of customer, consumer and citizen engagement means that we can chuck in multiple touch points, in e-mail, call centres and real life.

We used to get ourselves worked up about ‘baking’ or ‘frying’ content management/delivery applications, about decoupled systems that produce pages and dynamic content – but (as I said in response to a comment on my original blog post) today’s consumer wants super dynamic content fresh caught that day, prepared their way, hot off the griddle – Teppanyaki served to share – family style.

So, we have a new level of complexity and requirements for our systems to support our digital marketers and communicators. A level of complexity of requirements that sits between our content repository and our consumer, which used to be the section of the RFP that simply said “must produce compliant HTML”.

When talking about delivery of content, this is typically where our requirement starts to gain some uniqueness between projects.

The question is, so you have your well-ordered, neatly filed, approved content – but what are you going to use it for?

A requirement for an approval process supported by workflow is fairly ubiquitous – but if you are a membership organisation that engages its audience over email or a consumer packaged goods company with fifty products and a YouTube channel – your Engagement Tier requirements are going to be quite diverse.

This diversity in requirements means two things to me.

1. As an industry we are very good at understanding, defining and capturing CMS requirements – but how are we at identifying, understanding and communicating an organisations engagement needs?

2. If there are diverse requirements, then there are different solutions – and right now it’s is a blend of dynamic web content delivery, marketing automation, campaign management, email, web analytics (etc. etc.) – There is no silver vendor bullet – no leader, no wave, no magic quadrant – its different strokes for different folks.

It’s this that I want to explore, how do we define those needs and how do we compare tools?

So, into the Engagement Tier – my colleagues here at Gilbane challenged me to draw it. Hmm.. right now it’s a box of content, a big arrow and then the consumer.

I am going to need to work on that…

 

Blueprint Report Shaping Up, Coming Soon

We—the analyst team behind A Blueprint for Book Publishing Transformation: Seven Essential Systems to Re-Invent Publishing, David R. Guenette, Bill Trippe, Mary Laplante, and Karen Golden—have been working up a sweat, and it isn’t just because there’s a heat wave on in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. We’ve been heads down and glory bound in our efforts to finish up this whopper of a report.  We sincerely hope—indeed, strongly believe—that Blueprint will be of help to many, if only for its 39-page directory of book publishing-oriented vendors of technologies and services that can help make ebook and digital publishing more successful. 

This study provides a guide for book publishers to discover where they are this moment regarding digital transformation, while offering specific case studies and analysis of how book publishers should approach getting to where they need to be to take advantage next year, and in the years ahead. We knew going in that the study was an ambitious one, although none of us suspected in would be ambitious to the point of exceeding 200 pages, but, well, I suppose that is what can happen when you decide to look at the full range of publishing processes in relation to ebook and digital publishing. Not to mention an art program with over 60 figures, many of the results from our extensive Web-based survey.

We’re also excited about our case studies included in the study, filled with substance and capturing the voices of the subjects we interviewed, providing a conversational tone to these stories of real hands-on work being done in the vineyards of digital publishing. 

Hmmm… maybe the heat is getting to me.

We’re entering the final review stretch, so stay cool, and keep an eye open for the publication announcement.

Why Aren’t Publishers Moving to XML Repositories More Quickly?

As we start to delve into some of the interim results of our survey of book publishing professionals, there is a great deal of good data to mull over. While the results are preliminary (and we welcome your participation here), some trends are emerging.

One interesting set of data points surround how publishers are viewing XML, how extensively they work with it, and what technologies they are using to support the management of the XML. Among those using XML, it’s significant that only about half have invested in some kind of storage mechanism specifically for XML, including both relational databases and dedicated XML repositories such as Mark Logic server.

While that overall number might or might not be so striking, I am struck by what some publishers feel is a barrier to adopting an XML repository, namely, the “Challenge of building XML knowledge, skills, or awareness.”  This trumped more traditional barriers to technology adoption such as cost and the maturity of the technology and would seem, on balance, to be a solvable problem.

 

Call for papers for Gilbane Boston – deadline June 14

Given the popularity of the presentations / topics at our recent San Francisco conference we are organizing the Boston conference around the same theme (Customers, Collaboration, Content) and tracks (Customers & Engagement, Colleagues & Collaboration, Content Technology, Content Publishing).

You can find out more about what we covered in SF from the GilbaneSF-Tweetstream, from Sue Anne’s post below, from the videos before and during the conference, and elsewhere.

See detailed instructions for submitting proposals, and send speaking proposals to speaking@gilbane.com. No sales or marketing presentations please.

The deadline for proposals is June 14, 2010.

Guest Post: A Marketer’s Takeaways from Gilbane San Francisco

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend Gilbane SF. The conference brought together some of the top content management people from the U.S. and internationally. Overall, one of the things I really enjoyed about the conference was the mix of people on each of the panels — you had analysts, developers and content creators responsible for developing content and building web sites.

I focused on my time on the Customers and Engagement Track and also went to a few sessions in the Content Technology Track. As expected, there was a lot of talk of Web 2.0 and how to implement social into your content management strategy. There were also several sessions examining return on investment (ROI) for implementation.
Keynotes:

  • Jeremiah Owyang from the Altimeter Group kicked off the two day conference with a presentation titled “Your Corporate Website Can be Relevant Again”. His slides and video of his keynote are now available online. Jeremiah laid out an 8-step plan on how corporate websites can evolve into social websites that integrate the social experience into their web site. The best part of his presentation, which you can see on the slides is the real-world examples of sites along each step of the integration process.
  • Jeremiah was followed by Daniel Rasmus who spoke on The Future of Collaboration. My notes from his session are available. My key takeway from Daniel’s presentation was the importance of building a collaborative process within your organization. Everyday policies, such as how workplaces are designed, are all an important part of the social culture of an organization. In simple things, like meeting planning and design, everyone should have a voice. He also spoke a bit about millenials and how to create a work environment that is both supportive of millenials, but also encourages them to knowledge share about things that they know about. [Slides]

Customers and Engagement Track:

  • Audience Engagement Frameworks Case StudiesGert-Jan Schikker from Voetbal International presented on how a leading sports magazine in Holland has incorporated social into its online presence and seen a large increase in traffic and engagement. They’ve not only added social, but they also created mobile platforms, added video and worked with their advertisers and online storefront to create custom experiences based on user data.Michael Fisher from Alterian and Steven Alessi of American Greetings Interactive gave a joint presentation about work they did around the Super Bowl. Alterian used its platform to create a campaign to show 46 different brands the value of monitoring customer sentiment. American Greetings talked about the work they have done to make the online card giving experience more interactive and allow brands to connect to consumers in a positive way. As Michael put it, the key is measurement. If you’re not measuring, there’s no way to know if you’re being successful.
  • How to Mold the Customer Experience: My favorite panel of the entire two days was moderated by Ian Truscott and had Melissa Casburn (ISITE Design) and Randy Woods (non-linear creations) speaking about creating a customer experience on your web site. The thing that made this presentation great was that Melissa and Randy had obviously worked together to build the presentation and incorporate examples from both of their work. The presentation was all about how to research your customers and build personas based on customer research and then use those personas to shape the experience on your web site. The approach to building personas is a great idea as it allows you to use aggregate data. Melissa and Randy also provided some useful information on how to get started with a limited budget and use crowdsourcing to help with the process.
  • WCM as the Digital Marketing Hub: Ian Truscott and Robert Rose gave the final panel of the two days. Being the final panel is not an enviable position as people have been sitting around for two days, but Ian and Robert brought a lot of energy and humor that kept things interesting. Ian set things up by talking about the opportunity of working with customers on your web site. They are coming to your web site because they are looking for information. You have a chance to engage with them, but it’s a brief opportunity and you need to make the most of it. Ian shared an awesome anecdote about a small town men’s suit shop business owner and how he knows how to ask the right questions to provide a custom experience for each person that walks in the door.Robert followed Ian and gave some great real-world examples about how web content management relates to online marketing. Back in the early days of web development, the process was owned by the IT / Tech departments, but your corporate website is really a marketing tool. Marketers need to have the ability to be creative and be able to try things (either A/B testing or multivariate testing) without having to go through a long and involved process. Robert gave a list of things that people could start doing immediately to help separate the marketing process from the technology process.

More detailed notes from these sessions and the others I attended can be found on my blog.

My thanks to Gilbane San Francisco and Robert Rose, who gave me one of his speaker passes to the conference. I’m already looking forward to attending Gilbane Boston later this year.

Sue Anne Reed
http://www.sueannereed.com

Guest Post: A Marketer’s Takeaways from Gilbane San Francisco

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend Gilbane SF. The conference brought together some of the top content management people from the U.S. and internationally. Overall, one of the things I really enjoyed about the conference was the mix of people on each of the panels — you had analysts, developers and content creators responsible for developing content and building web sites.

I focused on my time on the Customers and Engagement Track and also went to a few sessions in the Content Technology Track. As expected, there was a lot of talk of Web 2.0 and how to implement social into your content management strategy. There were also several sessions examining return on investment (ROI) for implementation.

Keynotes:

Jeremiah Owyang from the Altimeter Group kicked off the two day conference with a presentation titled “Your Corporate Website Can be Relevant Again”. His slides and video of his keynote are now available online. Jeremiah laid out an 8-step plan on how corporate websites can evolve into social websites that integrate the social experience into their web site. The best part of his presentation, which you can see on the slides is the real-world examples of sites along each step of the integration process.

Jeremiah was followed by Daniel Rasmus who spoke on The Future of Collaboration. My notes from his session are available. My key takeway from Daniel’s presentation was the importance of building a collaborative process within your organization. Everyday policies, such as how workplaces are designed, are all an important part of the social culture of an organization. In simple things, like meeting planning and design, everyone should have a voice. He also spoke a bit about millenials and how to create a work environment that is both supportive of millenials, but also encourages them to knowledge share about things that they know about. [Slides]

Customers and Engagement Track:

Audience Engagement Frameworks Case StudiesGert-Jan Schikker from Voetbal International presented on how a leading sports magazine in Holland has incorporated social into its online presence and seen a large increase in traffic and engagement. They’ve not only added social, but they also created mobile platforms, added video and worked with their advertisers and online storefront to create custom experiences based on user data.Michael Fisher from Alterian and Steven Alessi of American Greetings Interactive gave a joint presentation about work they did around the Super Bowl. Alterian used its platform to create a campaign to show 46 different brands the value of monitoring customer sentiment. American Greetings talked about the work they have done to make the online card giving experience more interactive and allow brands to connect to consumers in a positive way. As Michael put it, the key is measurement. If you’re not measuring, there’s no way to know if you’re being successful. 

How to Mold the Customer Experience: My favorite panel of the entire two days was moderated by Ian Truscott and had Melissa Casburn (ISITE Design) and Randy Woods (non-linear creations) speaking about creating a customer experience on your web site. The thing that made this presentation great was that Melissa and Randy had obviously worked together to build the presentation and incorporate examples from both of their work. The presentation was all about how to research your customers and build personas based on customer research and then use those personas to shape the experience on your web site. The approach to building personas is a great idea as it allows you to use aggregate data. Melissa and Randy also provided some useful information on how to get started with a limited budget and use crowdsourcing to help with the process.

WCM as the Digital Marketing Hub: Ian Truscott and Robert Rose gave the final panel of the two days. Being the final panel is not an enviable position as people have been sitting around for two days, but Ian and Robert brought a lot of energy and humor that kept things interesting. Ian set things up by talking about the opportunity of working with customers on your web site. They are coming to your web site because they are looking for information. You have a chance to engage with them, but it’s a brief opportunity and you need to make the most of it. Ian shared an awesome anecdote about a small town men’s suit shop business owner and how he knows how to ask the right questions to provide a custom experience for each person that walks in the door.

Robert followed Ian and gave some great real-world examples about how web content management relates to online marketing. Back in the early days of web development, the process was owned by the IT / Tech departments, but your corporate website is really a marketing tool. Marketers need to have the ability to be creative and be able to try things (either A/B testing or multivariate testing) without having to go through a long and involved process. Robert gave a list of things that people could start doing immediately to help separate the marketing process from the technology process.

More detailed notes from these sessions and the others I attended can be found on my blog.

My thanks to Gilbane San Francisco and Robert Rose, who gave me one of his speaker passes to the conference. I’m already looking forward to attending Gilbane Boston later this year.

Sue Anne Reed
http://www.sueannereed.com

Multilingual Product Content at Voith: Case Study on Integration

Cross-posted on the Gilbane Press Releases and Announcements Blog

June 24, 1:00 pm ET

At last year’s Localization World conference in Berlin, we heard a terrific case study presentation by Voith, a German industrial manufacturer serving paper, energy, mobility, and service markets. The session was introduced by Daniel Nackovksi from Across Systems, Voith’s language technology partner. Nackovksi commented that while the integration of content management and translation management was critical to Voith’s content globalization strategy, the use of XML was the real key to the company’s accelerated creation of multilingual product content. Ah, music to our ears. We remember thinking what a great webinar the Voith story would make . . .

In this webinar, Voith share its formula for success with multilingual product content creation and delivery. Voith is one of the Europe’s largest family-owned businesses, with sales of EUR 5.1 billion. Voith machines produce more than one-third of the world’s paper, and its generators and turbines generate more than 30% of the electric energy generated worldwide by hydro power. Learn how content management, translation management, and smart content drive customer satisfaction for Voith and its customers.

Integration Calculus: CMS + TMS = Turbo-Accelerated Creation of Multiingual Product Documentation

Register now. Moderated by Gilbane. Sponsored by Across.

Speaking of Localization World Berlin, at this year’s conference (June 8-9) we’re moderating a panel entitled Collision or Convergence? Managing the Intersection of Content Management and Translation Management Systems.  CMS/TMS integration is on Gilbane’s content globalization 2010 Heat Map. The Voith webinar and the Localization World panel explain why and provide guidance on making making it work within global enterprises.

Green Grow the eBooks, Oh

Perhaps it is the season when everything seems especially fecund, or perhaps I can’t resist abusing the lyrics of late, great Robbie Burns, but there is no “perhaps” about electronic book publishing’s astonishing pace of growth.
The Gilbane Group (a division of Outsell, Inc.), together with research partner BISG, is reaching out to the communities of book publishing professionals.  We invite you to participate in Web-based survey, a central research mechanism for our upcoming study A Blueprint for Book Publishing Transformation: Seven Essential Processes to Re-Invent Publishing. The study will be published in June 2010, and all participants in this survey will have full access to the full-length study through The Gilbane Group website.
At the just concluded 2010 BEA—Book Expo America—our research partner on our upcoming study, A Blueprint for Book Publishing Transformation: Seven Essential Processes to Re-Invent Publishing, delivered some facts and figures in a session there.  Kelly Gallagher, VP of Publishing Services at RR Bowker and BISG Reasearch Committee Chair, presented new research from The Book Industry Study Group on consumer attitudes toward eBook reading. According to the research, eBook sales went from 1.5% of all book sales in Q1 2009 to 5% in Q1 2010, with 33% of eBook buyers entering the market in the last six months. The survey was of eBook reading and purchase behavior from print book readers who recently purchased either an eBook reader or an eBook.
Outsell, Inc., our parent company, has also just published news about ebook market growth in education publishing. From the press release: “Outsell estimates the total global market for K-12 and post-secondary textbooks was $15.2 billion in 2009 and will reach $16.6 billion by 2012, representing a modest [compound annual growth rate] CAGR of 2.6 percent. Digital textbook products will fuel the market growth, with a CAGR of 25 percent, while revenues from print textbooks will decline by 1 percent.”
The Outsell report provides case studies of eight publishers’ innovations, including Pearson, Elsevier, Cambridge University Press, Macmillan, Flat World Knowledge, Cengage Learning, Chegg, and CourseSmart. It also provides potential market scenarios over the next 10 years and their likelihood of occurring, and strategies for publishers to “reclaim” revenues lost during a print-only era. To purchase the report, please visit Outsell, Inc. or click here.
Speaking in links, a reminder to all that we’re in the middle of collecting data from our ongoing survey of book publishing professionals, so if you’re one and you haven’t taken the 10-minutes to complete the Blueprint survey, click here. We seek to gain a clearer picture of ebook and related digital publishing efforts underway among the full spectrum of book publishers. Furthermore, the analyst team at The Gilbane Group seeks to identify a number of “pain points” or barriers encountered by book publishers when it comes to their developing or expanding digital publishing programs, including areas such as royalties, digital format choices, digital print decisions, and distribution problems.
So, it is Spring!  Take a survey!