Jonathan Saipe

Content is NOT King, Customer Experience Is

5 January 2009, Jonathan Saipe

An interesting report published in June 2008 by Forrester entitled “Stop Managing Web Content” landed on my desk this week. It highlighted the importance of shifting from a website driven by your own content to one that supports the customer experience.

Its findings suggested that we have now moved beyond the “content is king” paradigm of the 90’s to providing more consumer-centric content on websites.

The report suggested that WCM doesn’t stand for web content management but instead “web content, community and customer experience management”.

The concept of a visitor finding and interacting with your website for content alone is becoming a thing of the past; instead visitors want to be engaged, inspired and if need be, connected with others. This has led to the dethroning of content as king in favour of social media sites and communities where UGC (user generated content) is king.

This shift has also been highlighted by Google as it places more and more importance on link equity created by backlinks within social media sites. And whilst we’re on the subject of search engine optimisation (SEO), we also know that UGC is a tool that digital marketers can use to increase content velocity and the potential for increased search bot activity and better overall search rank.

But aside from search engine optimisation, let’s go back to customer experience. The Forrester report found that 37% of IT decision makers consider customer experience to be the primary business driver for increasing the deployment of web content management systems.

So, in conclusion, there’s clearly a need to create the facility (from a content management system perspective) to build websites that support a compelling and contextually relevant customer experience, nurture online communities and increase overall engagement in order to improve conversion rates and customer satisfaction.