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Jim Howard Posted by Jim Howard April 15, 2014

Web Experience Management: Because "WCM" Is So 2004

It's the end of an era. The days of static and unengaging websites, tedious content updates, and expensive IT maintenance are over. Digital marketing is rapidly evolving to address new challenges.

When Crownpeak began in 2001, it was a "Web Content Management" platform. At that time, WCM was a groundbreaking solution to a huge problem: most marketers couldn’t update their own website content.

But many WCM platforms have historically come with their own sets of challenges. Updating content and launching sites still could take months, resulting in static, outdated websites. Maintaining and servicing the infrastructure was expensive and integrating content with e-commerce, CRM and other in-house or third-party apps required special projects and custom programming.

With the advent of cloud-based SaaS platforms came the speed and agility to launch web projects fast—on a global scale—at a much lower cost than was previously possible. In addition, it allowed for seamless, streamlined integrations to third-party tools to further enrich content distribution. While the ability to quickly deploy websites and content has been a game-changer, marketers need more.

Now, as technologies have improved and the demands of digital marketing have become more complex, the WCM model is shifting into something new: Web Experience Management. Today's websites are (or should be) so much more than static informational landing pages. Well-constructed digital experiences can have a powerful impact on customers through personalized, relevant, engaging content.

The best digital experiences are tailored to customers interests and behaviors, using a variety of data sources to intelligently offer up content, offers and more. They can also look and function consistently across all touchpoints - from mobile to desktop to social channels - and easily integrate with new applications and data sources as they become available. And the results are impressive.CEOs looking at these digital channels can see that even a 1% improvement in performance measurably changes the company's results.

Then and now: The evolution of content management into Web Experience Management

Past Present Future
  • Slow - Making content or layout changes took weeks; adding pages or new websites took months.
  • Static - Content didn’t change often, websites were flat and linear.
  • Expensive - Special resources were required to manage content, make design changes and ensure the infrastructure was up and running.
  • Complicated - Integrating content with e-commerce, CRM and other in-house or third-party apps required special projects and custom programming.
  • Fast - Web projects can be launched rapidly.
  • Agile - Systems can quickly adjust to changes without incremental increases to resources or budget.
  • Affordable - SaaS-based platforms deliver economies of scale that decrease setup and operational costs.
  • Integrated - Content functions and capabilities are embedded directly into the platform with plug-ins that are tested, validated and made available to everyone.
  • Immersive - Web experiences demand greater attention and emotional engagement.
  • Customer-focused - Highly relevant, personalized digital experiences will be the norm.
  • Consistent across digital touchpoints - From mobile and desktop to websites and social channels, brands will look for an consistently unified look and message across the web.
  • Interoperable - New innovative applications and data sources will become increasingly compatible.


The world of digital marketing is changing fast. So, at Crownpeak, we've changed the way we think about what we do. Moving beyond the realm of just managing content, we are now focused on the improved outcomes of the entire digital experience of each individual touched by our platform. Our platform helps digital marketers unify and optimize those digital experiences

These experiences are more immersive and personalized to individuals based on their actual behaviors - what they've done, where they've been. These personalized, yet consistent, digital experiences will cut across multiple channels as customers move between their mobile phone, tablets, social media channels and websites. Integrations between third-party, best-of-breed platforms and data sources is becoming the norm so that companies can leverage all the information they have about a customer to further personalize the experience and anticipate their needs.

Crownpeak is taking every step ahead needed to unify all customer experiences and touchpoints to make them rich, personalized and highly relevant. In the world of marketing, we built tools to enable marketers to focus on customer acquisition rates. In the world of portals, we focused on the use of data and simple, lightweight integration with the existing enterprise system functions to drive, cross-sell, up-sell, and improve lifetime value of the customer. And in today’s post-WCM world, our focus is on the customers—and how our clients can create and manage the best possible digital experiences for them.