Aaron Dun wraps up his answers to the Content Marketing Institute Tweet Jam on Marketing Automation and Web User Experience.

Intersecting Web Experience Management & Marketing Automation: CMSWire – Tweet Jam – Wrap Up

Mon Mar 4, 2013

I recently had the pleasure of joining with a number of industry folks in a “TweetJam” put on by CMSwire.com.  For this installment of the monthly series, the focus was on the intersection of web experience management and marketing automation. Here is the brief from CMS Wire:

One of the most valuable assets for an enterprise these days is data, unfortunately much of the data we collect is in silos never allowing us to get a full picture of the customer and their journey. Tools like marketing automation and web experience management platforms both contain a lot of data, some of it collected using similar tools. So the question is, should we integrate these processes and platforms leading to better overall web experiences for customers and prospective customers? What are the challenges and opportunities in doing so?

It was definitely a spirited discussion. According to CMS Wire, there were over 700 Tweets fed by over 120 people in the span of ONE HOUR! Right, content was flying fast and furious. My eyes were spinning.

Since this is a topic that comes up frequently, below are the questions and my tweeted answers, as well as some additional context of the ensuing dialogue in italics. 

Enjoy!

Q1: Marketing Automation Platforms (MAP) are by nature broad. What are your top 3 Marketing Automation functions?

A1  Top 3: Lead Scoring, Lead nurturing, & form building. Bonus 3: activity tracking, email delivery, campaign reporting. #cxmchat

There was significant discussion about the role of email management in the marketing automation stack, with most participants agreeing that email automation was simply just one component of what marketing automation should be.

Q2: Marketing Automation creates a data silo, how is this causing pain for you today?

A2. MAPs are purpose built platforms for campaign mgmt/measurement; it should be the campaign system of record #cxmchat

A2. No reason to plug campaign reporting functions into other system. Better to plug the resulting data into your BI tool if needed #CXMchat

There was some disagreement on if there was a data silo or how to better connect the data into other tools, and what system owns the customer data. Certainly a few providers suggested their all-in-one technology platforms would easily solve this problem. However, the reality is that most all-in-one platforms under perform other purpose-built products in key areas and remain far too expensive and too complex for the typical marketing organization.

Q3: Marketing Automation and Web User Experience overlap in areas like landing pages, forms, activity tracking and profiles. Are we destined to be stuck with this or is there a better way?

A3. A thousand times NO. Make your content platform more strategic, and let MAP do what it does best! #cxmchathttp://bit.ly/117QK03

A3. Make strategic decision on where to host landing pages/forms based on how easy your WCM is to use. #cxmchat

A3. If you can’t update a landing page in real time in your WCM, then get a new WCM (!) or use MAP landing pages #cxmchat

A3. Unless you have unlimited time and $$, no reason to try and make one product do everything. Tech is not yet there #cxmchat

As you would expect, this question and the subsequent answers, kicked off a long thread about where the systems should overlap, and where they should not, as well as the overall maturity of the technology.  It’s pretty clear how Percussion feels about this.  Your content platform needs to be a strategic part of your marketing effort. Leaving it on an island run by IT is destined to fail.

Q4: WEM requires intelligence, which requires data. How can we use MAP data for better WEM?

A4. The end conversion data should be used to instruct best performing content, user pathways #cxmchat

A4. Holy grail of “personalized website experience” is grand vision, but make sure you have enough content to be meaningful! #cxmchat

Another great debate ensued about how the MAP data should be used to create better web experiences, and possibly a personalized web experience. Whether this was done through direct integration or an API, that is valuable data. Despite a few vendors pitching the all-in-one solution, most felt this was not yet a viable option.

Q5: What are the challenges to integrating Marketing Automation Platforms (MAP) and WEM platforms?

A5. It all starts with your strategy. Without a proper strategy, why are you integrating at all? #cxmchat

A5. Base integration should be as easy as export HTML form and embed on web page, scale up from there #cxmchat

A5. If you have to hard code your MAP forms into your WCM you are doing it wrong. #cxmchat

A5. Any integration that takes away ability to A/B test forms easily, swap out landing pages, or manage thank you pages #fail #cxmchat

There was significant agreement on making sure that you have a good strategy in place, and to not overlook the organizational side of the integration equation either. There was also some discussion of where vendor consolidation will happen. (Specifically some question about if Adobe would acquire a MAP vendor at some point as well.)

Q6: What's the most interesting opportunity around better integration of MAP and WEM?

A6. Using MAP data and content effectiveness data from WCM to measure content marketing program ROI. #cxmchat

A6. WCM must be strategic application on level of MAP and CRM, today WCM is relegated to an IT app dev platform only #cxmchat

A6. Strategic opportunity to recast role of WCM as content system of record, owned by MARKETERS. #cxmchat

Not surprisingly, continued discussion on personalization opportunities, web content optimization using MAP data sets, and the notion of the “contextual web” floated earlier in the discussion.

In all, it was a lively discussion that covered a tremendous amount of ground in just one hour.  If you want to learn more about our views on deploying marketing automation and content management check out our blog on the subject.  If you know you need a better way to manage your content, watch this short video now!

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