Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Author: Tony White (Page 1 of 3)

New Orleans Tourism Marketing’s Web Strategy

On Wednesday, May 6, 2009, at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern), the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. (NOTMC), the Gilbane Group, and ISITE Design will host an online repeat of one of the most popular sessions from the 2008 Gilbane Conference in Boston. Join us to hear Nathan Williams, NOTMC’s Interactive Director, talk about their exhaustive search for the right WCM solution and the extensive user experience planning they undertook in the process. I (Tony White) will describe the process the Gilbane Group used to help NOTMC evaluate WCM products, and ISITE Design will highlight key ways in which they helped NOTMC plan a successful information architecture.

To register for this online event, click here.

Join the Gilbane WCM Practice at the CMS2009 Conference in The Netherlands

On May 19, I will be giving a keynote address on the Web Content Management market landscape at the CMS2009 Conference in Nijmegen, Holland (  In the presentation, I will discuss recent trends in client demands for WCM products as well as strategic directions that vendors will take over the next year.  On May 20, I will also lead an interactive two-hour workshop on estimating the total cost of ownership of WCM products over a five-year period (see “Workshop Tony White” in the sidebar of  And for you English speakers, don’t worry about the language.  Even though the CMS2009 website is in Dutch, the presentations will be in English.

“Who Are Vignette’s Products Really Best Suited For?”

An attendee at an industry conference recently asked me, “Who are Vignette’s products really best suited for?” While the full answer to this broad question would require a consulting engagement to deliver, the short version is “medium-sized and large enterprises that have needs for a unified WCM, collaboration, and portal solution.” While each of these Vignette applications is fully functional on its own, the real value proposition of Vignette’s products stems from the synergies of tightly integrating all three modules. In support of this statement, one client several months ago bluntly stated that for the kind of static Web publishing it had in mind, the Vignette Content Management product was “too complicated and too expensive.” I agreed. But for larger enterprises with collaborative intranets, extranets, or public-facing internet sites – especially those with demanding requirements for dynamic content and personalization – less sophisticated Web publishing solutions would certainly fail, regardless of price.

Clickability Platform: Improved Marketing Campaign Management

In a recent consulting project, the Gilbane Group had the opportunity to get a hands-on look at the current version of the Clickability Platform. Several marketing-oriented product enhancements over the past year will be of particular interest to our clients. While the product maintains its strengths in traditional online publishing (due in part to its origins in the publishing industry), there have been major improvements in areas such as analytics and reporting, social computing, and user interface design. In fact, Clickability has re-oriented its Platform to align specifically with the usage and campaign requirements of non-technical online marketing managers. Although product features such as in-context editing, workflow, library services, and user management, remain important and robust parts of the product, the new social computing functionality for online visitor collaboration have done much to bring Clickability to the forefront of Web 2.0-oriented content management offerings. This functionality includes out-of-the-box support for visitor loyalty profiles, discussion boards, visitor ratings, blogs, wikis, and podcasts.

Combining these new social computing components with improvements to Clickability’s analytics and reporting capabilities makes the product a natural fit for companies looking for a Web content platform to support online marketing initiatives. Areas of improvement within analytics and reporting include visitor analysis, profile targeting and reporting, campaign management, A/B split testing, reporting dashboards, ad weighting, and embedded in-context statistics. While organizations looking for a Web content management application to support traditional online publishing can still successfully use the product, they may find the marketing-orientation of the product unnecessary or awkward. And because good analytics and reporting in the service of online campaign management delivers high value for online retailers (in the form of higher average sales prices and better conversation rates among online shoppers), the product may demand a higher price than those publishing static HTML sites can justify. But for at least one of Clickability’s target audiences – online retail marketing managers – the new version of this platform warrants careful, hands-on consideration.

Market Update on Day Software’s Communiqué

Several clients have recently asked about Day Software and whether its Communiqué is still being actively developed. The answer is a resounding “yes.” In fact, the product remains one of the most technically sophisticated and flexible content management applications on the market. Because Day continues to be highly involved in Java development communities, information technology departments are usually its strongest supporters. Communiqué’s technical flexibility affords IT rich integration and product-extension capabilities and an overall standards-based architecture that often aligns well with services-oriented design methodologies.

Unfortunately for Day, its focus on the technical side of the product has been at the expense of simplicity and elegance in the user interface, producing at times a product too complex for non-technical business managers. To its credit, the vendor has recent made improvements in user interface design. Its longstanding reputation for UI complexity, however, still sometimes causes enterprises to eliminate Day from serious consideration.

Given Day’s past marketing foibles in the U.S. (including a near withdrawal in 2002-2003), there still lingers in the minds of prospective customers some question about the vendor’s commitment to the U.S. market. We feel comfortable saying that Day has demonstrated a strong commitment to this market over the past three to four years; and we see this trend continuing with its recent UI improvements, ongoing leadership in Java development, and a nascent but well-deserved increase in interest from enterprises trying to combine integrated multi-module solutions (Web content management, digital asset management, document management, portal, and collaboration) with technically strategic services-oriented architectures.

Marketing Trends: Enabling Intelligent, Analytics-Driven Content

While many of our clients use analytics applications to support their WCM projects and e-commerce initiatives, other clients not yet using analytics often ask what value can be derived from doing so. The answer depends on the purpose of the client’s website.
For online commerce sites, analytics functionality can be invaluable in that it allows companies to track user behavior on the site and to correlate user behavior with conversion rates, average sales prices, and other useful sales metrics. The bottom line is that analytics almost always increase online revenues. Analytics can also be of great value to non e-commerce clients by enabling them to monitor content consumption rates and to gauge the relevance and effectiveness of content through the analysis of consumption patterns. This naturally makes analytics (sometimes built into “campaign management” modules) indispensable to marketing professionals interested either in optimizing content dissemination on information-based sites (“content portals”) or in maximizing profitability on retail sites.
Please join us on May 8, 2008, at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern), for a webinar sponsored by Bridgeline Software entitled: “Marketing Trends: Enabling Intelligent, Analytics-Driven Content.”

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