EPiServer whitepaper - The Engaged Web


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The EPiServer Guide to Web Marketing in a Post-Web 2.0 World.Welcome to life beyond Web 2.0. A world where passive websites have become engaging web applications and visitors have become users. This new world has three important implications for marketers.

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EPiServer whitepaper - The Engaged Web

  1. 1. WHITE PAPER THE ENgAgEd WEB The EPiServer guide to Web Marketing in a Post-Web 2.0 World Take a browse through Alexa’s top 50 ranking web sites [http://www.alexa. com/site/ds/top_sites] and you’ll see that the web is now a very different place than it used to be. The BBC, yesteryear’s benchmark for excellence, languishes at number 48, hot on the heels of that other ‘old media’ supremo CNN. Sitting pretty above them are the darlings of Web 2.0 and beyond: Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Wikipedia. What’s going on here? Well, it’s clear that web habits are changing fast. In terms of clicks-per-minute, the world’s attention is dominated not by traditional content-based sites, but by a set of radically different, interactive, community-based tools and services. In other words, we’re no longer using the web just for browsing, we’re using it for doing: posting videos, creating content, sharing things and connecting with people and organisations. Welcome to life beyond Web 2.0. A world where passive websites have become engaging web applications and visitors have become users. This new world has three important implications for marketers: 1. You’ve got an exciting new universe of opportunities for engaging the new web user 2. Your users expect richer, more rewarding experiences; anything less is dull 3. If you don’t meet these expectations, they’ll find someone who does In consultancy-speak, we’re in the middle of a ‘paradigm shift’. The world is no longer interested in static, ‘brochureware’ web sites - it’s been living in a hot spot of interactivity and user-generated content for a couple of years now, and everything is new: a life beyond ‘2.0’ where users are more funda- mentally engaged with the web. EPiServer and the Engaged Web Renault: A New Immersive At EPiServer, we’ve taken top brands like Adidas and Red Bull into this brave Web Experience and Tools new world and back. We call it ‘The Engaged Web’ and it takes some of the Renault’s new EPiServer site enables users to view ve- best Web 2.0 applications of the past few years and recasts them, blending hicles in a variety of rich and immersive ways. They’re new user experiences with enterprise applications like CRM. The result: sur- also given a number of useful tools to help their prising commercial returns, ranging from serious new revenues to delighted purchasing decisions, such as an interactive, map-based customers that become involved with your brand. dealer locator. In addition, a new interactive brochure concept has been introduced that enables film and It’s an exciting time -- especially for companies ready to re-think the web visual effects to be integrated seamlessly within a nor- and exploit these new opportunities. mal browsing experience.
  2. 2. Web Marketing Today: Web 2.0 + CRM + Lead generation What We Learned from Web 2.0 At EPiServer, we realised some time ago that all the weird and wonderful Web 2.0 applications had something very practi- cal to offer in commercial terms. As a catch-all term, Web 2.0 isn’t very helpful if you’re trying to develop a new marketing strategy – why should blogging or social networks make a dif- ference to your bottom line? But if you think of these things as signs of changing user experiences, then there are some great lessons to be learned: • Your users are ready and eager to get involved – They’re comfortable with contributing new content to your web site - via comments, ratings, community forums and their own creative content contributions. • They want to identify themselves with you and your products – We’re social beasts. given a chance, we’ll form communities with like-minded people. If this desire is addressed, we’ll identify ourselves fully and take pride in our membership - via personal pictures or avatars, and profiles (including our names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses). • They enjoy helping each other out. Whether it’s sharing bookmarks or product reviews, we’re all happy to take the time and effort to make life easier for other citizens of the web. • They can’t resist the pull of celebrity – In fact they’re addicted to it: through blogs, Flickr streams, YouTube channels, and generally broad- casting to the world (sometimes even on a minute by minute basis via Twitter.) The cost of publishing our ideas and feelings is next to zero, and now that we’ve started, nothing’s going to stop us. • They’re are happy to fight in your corner – They’ll contribute positively to troubleshooting discussions on your support forums and deliver posi- tive comments on your behalf in online debates. In other words, given Allen & Overy: Blogging for the right opportunities, they’ll be an advocate for you and your brand. Enhanced User Relations Allen & Overy is one of the largest law firms in the • They feel they own their own web experience – They like the ability world. It prides itself on its inclusive values and a per- to mix and match the web to their own tastes and on their own terms. sonable working environment. They use EPiServer The rise of aggregation tools – like Netvibes and igoogle – is making to deliver a variety of multi-lingual employee video it much easier and more convenient for people to consume traditional blogs to help communicate their working culture to web-based content. Our primary ‘window’ on the web may no longer prospective employees around the globe in a new be the web browser, but a series of interfaces (desktop widgets, web spirit of openness that encourages feedback from apps) that filter out the noise and deliver only the content we specify. public users. 2
  3. 3. THE ENgAgEd WEB The EPiServer guide to Web Marketing in a Post-Web 2.0 World In short, Web 2.0 is a huge opportunity for switched on marketers that choose to embrace it (and a threat to those who don’t). It’s given us a totally new arena for developing more engaged customer relations: people now have the tools and the confidence to publish what they think about you - on your site, on theirs and on third party platforms like Facebook - and this creates a fantastic opportunity to learn about their preferences, sell more intelligently to them, do better (cheaper) custom- er support and facilitate a deeper, more loyal relationship. What about CRM? At the same time, while your users and web developers were off having fun with Facebook, your IT department was hard at work developing a CRM system that would revolutionise your company’s sales and market- ing processes. The good news is that they succeeded. The bad news is that once they saw the power of CRM, they also saw the need to con- nect it to everything else in your organization. Most marketers have come to the same conclusion. A standalone CRM system is a pretty blunt instrument. It requires a user to opt in or a sales guy to type in some contact details - which means the people who end up in the database are already fairly well progressed along your sales funnel. In short, it’s clear that CRM would be even more powerful with Web 2.0 behind it - so that a web app user can become a CRM contact without any manual processes. Systems like Microsoft CRM and salesforce.com have helped a lot by providing some simple ‘out of the box’ tools - but when pieced together in this way, a web app and a CRM database still tend to operate as separate entities with different agendas. demand generation: Life goes On! In the real world, marketers continue to be measured in terms of sales, quality of service delivery, leads and demand generation. In amongst playing with Web 2.0 and technical project meetings with enterprise ap- plication vendors, we’ve also created ground-breaking email and Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns and agenda-setting micro-sites so that our sales funnel remained full up. But while business as usual meant good business and a healthy pipeline, this activity wasn’t built to last. demand generation campaigns are static and often expensive - and, like crop farming, they tend to leave the ground dry when you up sticks and move on. Lists get stale and your returns steadily decrease. In terms of dialogue and learning, unlike the best of Web 2.0, it’s all push and no return. 3
  4. 4. Where do We go from Here? The big Web Marketing mix circa 2009 Let’s face it, right now (to borrow a very 2.0 phrase) our web marketing techniques are all a bit of ‘MashUp.’ Ultra web-savvy marketers are making great experiments with social networking platforms, community forums and the like. The lead genera- tion pros amongst us are making great strides with email-based demand automation campaigns, and the sales-driven guys are fine tuning sales- force.com into an enterprise-wide communications platform. The problem is that none of these things are connected in a particularly valuable way. Web 2.0 provides us with some incredibly personal data that we can use to inform our marketing decisions; email marketing enables us to send out some fantastic offers and relationship-building bulletins based on these ideas; and CRM enables us to capture a bunch of useful insights from the resulting activity. But none of this is truly automated. Now imagine a world where the user generated content of a Web 2.0 app could inform the personalisation settings for a visitor’s web site experience, as well as your email automation campaigns; and where the resulting click through data could be used to manipulate the target user’s web site experience - with all of this activity and information being made available to your sales teams via your CRM system. This may sound to like a marketing ‘tick list’ from heaven, but it’s exactly what EPiServer is already doing for its more ambitious clients. We’re helping firms like Adidas, Red Bull, Monocle Magazine and Tui to turn passive web sites into dynamic, personalized web experiences that drive new sales relationships and trigger new marketing interactions. Each of these brands is using our technology to embed Web 2.0 func- tionality within their sites, and to repurpose the resulting user-generated content as important relationship ‘feeds’ that can be used to drive other dynamic marketing channels - such as email, web page personalisation, and CRM-based campaigns. It’s transforming the way they do business Reed Exhibitions: The Future and they way they design and develop their new online services - and the Value of Integration key to it all is a state of the art CMS... Here’s what dominic Shine, the Chief Information Officer responsible for executing 500 multi-national online business events a year has to say about the importance of application integration to his future plans: “Our sites are massively important to us as they’re the first place people visit to find out about events. The EPiServer CMS is central to our online architecture and will be connected to a variety of other critical platforms as we overhaul our enterprise applications over the coming years”. 4
  5. 5. THE ENgAgEd WEB The EPiServer guide to Web Marketing in a Post-Web 2.0 World The CMS for the Engaged Web The EPiServer Web Engagement Platform... From an architectural perspective, the focal point for all this great web marketing activity is the web site. It’s here that your users sign up, create their profiles, generate content, and participate in discussions. It’s also the place where your CRM system will capture all of this insight, and the springboard (or landing point) for all of your lead generation campaigns. But up until now, the guts of your site have probably been built from a variety of different data sources and code bases - one for CRM, one for email, one for your forum, and so on.... which has made it pretty difficult to deliver anything that requires cross-application integration. The EPiServer platform is different. It’s built from the ground up on Mi- crosoft’s .Net to support modular, multi-channel ‘Engaged Web’ applica- tions. Using a common code base, it allows you to start life with a basic web site, and then integrate a variety of Web 2.0 functionality, demand generation capabilities and third party application integrations (such as CRM) to create a sophisticated, multifaceted web marketing engine that’s fine tuned for your business. 5
  6. 6. Engaged Web Experiences and Applications Relevant Interactions, More Intelligence, More Sales and Service Opportunities With EPIServer Relate+ – our integrated CMS, Social Community and Email Marketing platform – you’re can create more engaging, timely and relevant user experiences by mixing up your static CMS-based content with the dynamic, user-generated content and forums that are driven by your social networking community. For example, content editors can re-purpose and re-seed their web site content in key community forums as part of a single editorial process, and send personalised email ‘update’ alerts to relevant community members as part and parcel of the same publishing exercise. And from a browsing perspective, our platforms allows you to serve adaptive web experiences to new site visitors: it establishes which company they’re from and presents them with the content that’s most relevant to them, based on a set of pre-defined personalization rules. This means that you can serve pharmaceutical-related case studies to people from glaxoSmithKline, and automotive-based case studies to people from daimlerChrysler ...without touching a line of code. Looking ahead into the immediate future, the EPiServer Platform will also enable you to get more engaged with your users by serving them specific content assets based upon changes in their user profiles – resulting in a more satisfying, personal web experience for them. This new develop- ment will help you to associate a user’s forum useage, blog activity, and community participations with a scoring engine that will generate triggers Visit Sweden: User Generated in relation to pre-conceived events. So, when a customer has signed up Content to Deliver More Useful for a new paper, commented on a blog and then participated in a specific and Relevant Services forum, you might decide to award him 100 points and send him a new VisitSweden.com’s mission is to make the country (personalised) sales offer via email, have your telemarketing team engage more accessible as a holiday destination. They in an Instant Messaging session with him, and/or present a completely used the power of their online user community to new version of your homepage (with a personalized offer inside) the research and then design a totally new service that’s next time he arrives at your site. At the same time, because we will be transforming people’s first impressions of their able to integrate the platform fully with your CRM system, all of this ac- future holiday destination. They used EPiServer to tivity can be fed back as real behavioural intelligence to your sales teams. created a google Map ‘mashup’ that presents Swe- den’s leading cultural and entertainment attractions in a fully interactive fashion. The entire concept and the library of content for this map were col- lated via a series of public interactive user polls and questionnaires. 6
  7. 7. THE ENgAgEd WEB The EPiServer guide to Web Marketing in a Post-Web 2.0 World doing it Right: Three Rules of Web Engagement EPiServer ‘Engaged Web’ solutions give a compelling new direction to web marketing practices beyond Web 2.0. This is a world where passive websites have become engaging web applications and visitors have become users; where web apps are modular and integrated; and where web marketing is personalised, adaptive and automated. In terms of its underlying technology and logic, the Engaged Web follows three important rules: • Be user-centric not content-centric – Engaged Web applications are different from traditional CMS apps. Web Engagement with EPiServer places the emphasis on the user and her ‘goal’ paths through your web site. It’s driven by a powerful content engine that serves the right content at the right stage of an interaction via the right web- or email-based channels. • Think in terms of ‘relationships’ rather than ‘sessions.’ This means that, as time goes by, no interaction is ever wasted and your web site becomes capable of adapting to the needs of your users and your goals on a personal basis, rather than using a crude set of ‘one size fits all’ rules. • Use what you know. Web Engagement is served by content, but not governed by it. Content Management efficiencies remain an essen- tial part of your back office editorial processes, but the user experience - and how your content is deployed - is determined by real insight into each users behaviour and preferences. It’s all about building a smarter technology platform that’s capable of harnessing the best of Web 2.0, CRM and other demand generation ap- plications, and bringing them together in a single, highly adaptive web site experience for your users. Siemens: Personalisation and Immediacy of Information Here’s what Björn Jerlin, Web Manager at Siemens AB, has to say about the power and flexibility of his new Intranet strartegy: “Our company management can now quickly and easily reach everyone with a variety of easy CMS tools. And, at the same time, every employee in the organi- sation now has the ability to tailor their information flow via their very own personal start page.” 7
  8. 8. From Here to Engagement: a Roadmap It’s true to say that none of our customers have made this transition to ‘web engagement’ over night. And for newcom- ers, the prospect of change may be daunting, because any web project with a six month horizon (or more) is usually considered a risk. But the road to web engagement is different to a standard piece of web or IT development. For starters, it’s not an IT ‘project’: it’s not an application that can be switched on (or off) from one day to the next. Instead, it’s a marketing and business process ‘journey,’ which requires you to follow a succession of incremental steps. As such, we usually help our customers to plot a roadmap that will move them on from today’s passive web site experiences towards a more interactive, engaged and profitable future. Here’s what this ‘web engagement’ roadmap typically looks like: • Today’s classic web site profile • Fluent with lead and demand generation applications and cam- paigns: email automation tools are being used, web-to-lead forms are working; some level of integration planned with CRM • Experimenting with blogs: editorial schedule is planned; content is published frequently; sites are enjoying some interactions with public users via comments • Traffic acquisition tactics are in place: Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, SEO, etc • Simple analytics reporting: KPI’s like traffic volumes, bounce rates, time on page, etc, are being measured today: tomorrow: Future: Experimentation Engaged Applications Fully Engaged Processes and Consolidation engaged Engagement Engagement Chasm Chasm ‘My pages’ Web-driven Sales team Interaction Engine better content Personalization management Integration of user- Immersive content generated content Full CRM integration Detailed analytics IM Real-time analytics Web to lead Sophisticated blogging blogs Simple analytics Email campaigns PPC/SEo passive time 8
  9. 9. THE ENgAgEd WEB The EPiServer guide to Web Marketing in a Post-Web 2.0 World • The Next Steps: Crossing the First ‘Enagement’ Chasm • More intuitive backoffice content management: looking to intro- duce more flexibility to build customised pages and interfaces • deployment of Community platforms for relevant applications: customer support, marketing campaigns, events management,, etc, become candidates for community platforms • Experiments with new communications techniques: eg, real-time Instant Messaging (IM) for telesales teams • Introduction of more sophisticated content presentation techniques in the CMS: tagging, rich media, video, etc, are all introduced to the front end • development of a more sophisticated blogging strategy: different ‘channels’ for peer-to-peer communication are intro- duced – eg, for customer support, product development, and business partners • More sophisticated web analytics functions: user and company activity tracking • Destination: the ‘Engaged’ Web Site • Interaction Engine is deployed: user activity and preferences are now scored, giving full picture of user (and company) activity histories and profiles • Introduction of real personalisation: ‘My page’ concepts are delivered, enabling users to create own interfaces and filter their own content preferences (ie, do their own content management!) • User-generated content (from forms, blogs, etc) is integrated fully with the Interaction Engine to extrapolate additional layer of profiling intelligence (via keyword and content mining) • Presentation of intelligent, adaptive content (and advertising), based on user profiles and behaviour • Integration of on-site user profiles with CRM and lead report generation • Sophisticated, real-time analytics are introduced, with new more sales-driven dimensions: eg, propensity to buy, time since contact, etc • Sales team becomes more aligned with web reports: sales ac- tions now happening as an immediate result of visitor web site activity • o …ie, the web visitor to sales engagement circle is complete 9
  10. 10. The Engaged Web: How to Build it? If you’d like to discuss any of the developments mentioned in this paper, or if you’d like to get building an Engaged Web solution straight away, then we’d love to help. You can find further resources at www.episerver.com. Or, you can get in touch with us via www.episerver.com/contact-me and we’d be happy to set you on your way. About EPiServer EPiServer is one of the world’s leading Web Content Management System developers. Our state of the art, .Net-based EPiServer CMS transforms static web sites into powerful sales, marketing and customer service plat- forms - known as ‘Engaged Web’ applications. The EPiServer CMS is the heartbeat of some of the world’s most progressive, engaging web sites, including: Monocle Magazine – Where user experience really matters Adidas – Turning web communities into revenues? Impossible is nothing! Reed Business Publications – B2B publishing on steroids. Renault – Showcasing brand and engineering excellence. Every one of these organisations is committed to delivering the optimum user experience and developing the most profitable and personable online relationship possible. Version 1.0 April 2009. EPiServer is a registered trademark of EPiServer AB. Some software products marketed by EPiServer AB and its distributors contain pro- prietary software components of other software vendors. Other marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. ©EPiServer AB 2009. About EPISERVER EPiServer AB is the world’s fastest growing provider of Web Content Management (WCM) and online social community platforms. More than 2,500 customers worldwide use EPiServer CMS to create collaborative and engaging websites. The platform EPiServer CMS is the foundation of more than 8,500 Web sites and is used on a daily basis by more than 130,000 web editors. EPiServer delivers its Web Content EPiServer AB Phone: +46 (0)8 477 71 00 www.episerver.com Management platform through an extensive network of more than 300 competent Finlandsgatan 38 info@episerver.com www.episerver.se partner companies in 25 countries. EPiServer is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, with SE-164 74 Kista www.episerver.no an AAA-ranking by Dun & Bradstreet since 2000. The company was founded in 1994 Sweden www.episerver.dk and has offices in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. For more information, please visit www.episerver.com