Friday, February 11, 2011

Adapt or Die. Welcome to the Adaptive Web

Ektron's new partnership with Baynote is extremely exciting. Therefore, I wanted to make sure everyone in the Midwest had a chance to learn about it via a recent blog by Tom Wentworth, Ektron's VP of Web Solutions. Enjoy!

You have seven seconds to engage a visitor before they leave your site.  Or maybe it’s ten seconds.  Or three.  Whatever the exact number is for your site, you’ve got a finite amount of time to engage a visitor before they’re gone.  Content is the cornerstone of visitor engagement on the corporate website.  It entertains, educates, and sometimes even inspires your customers.  The challenge faced by marketers is to get the right content to the right visitor, in the right context, across every customer channel.  Managing content was so much easier when you could create and publish content without putting much thought into how the content generated business outcomes like new customer acquisition, retention, lead generation, etc.  Today, companies look to web content management systems like Ektron to serve as the foundation for their web strategy.  While content management remains a core challenge for marketing teams, the ultimate goal is engagement, not management.  So how do companies use content to engage site visitors?  Enter personalization.

Web content management systems typically address personalization through rules-based content targeting.  Content targeting allows marketers to define business rules to personalize content delivery.  For example, a promotion on a landing page might be tied to a specific search engine keyword.  Or a site might deliver promotion to existing customers based on their prior purchase history.  Content targeting is often combined with multivariate testing to uncover the best combination of copy, layout, imagery, and other factors to drive conversion.  Content targeting works well when marketing teams have a fixed number of customer segments and are able to clearly define those segments based on behavioral, environmental, or user profile data.  But often marketers want to evolve beyond a customer segmentation strategy to reach the Holy Grail, 1-1, real time, intent-driven personalization.  Welcome to the adaptive web, powered by Baynote.

Baynote’s Adaptive Web suite compliments rules-based targeting, where companies need to deliver a personalized web experience to each visitor in real time based on context and intent.  Baynote operates using the collective intelligence gained from the interaction patterns of site visitors.  Each page on the website automatically adapts itself to provide the right recommendation, the best content, or the most helpful search result, all based on the collective intelligence learned across hundreds of thousands of visitor interactions.

Content, Meet Context

In my predictions for Web CMS in 2011, I proclaimed that content is king, context is queen and together, they rule the fiefdom of web engagement.  Today, Ektron announced a new partnership with Baynote to address the expanding market need for better website engagement.  As Mick MacComascaigh at Gartner said in our joint press release, “Companies across all verticals and geographies are looking to deliver more business value from their online presence.  Next-generation web content management systems must evolve to become context-aware, delivering highly targeted and personal content based on real-time visitor intent.”  Like Ektron, Baynote understands the value of context, and together we now provide a complete solution for organizations looking to better engage their customers across all touch points- including landing pages, microsites, customer support, and more.  Baynote and Ektron worked together to create an integration that allows customers to quickly deploy Baynote on their Ektron-powered sites using Ektron PageBuilder.  Our joint customer Wolters Kluwer had the following to say about the new partnership:  “As a joint customer, we see the value of combining Ektron with the Baynote Collective Intelligence Platform.  Ektron provides us with an enterprise-class web content management system while Baynote lets us adapt the web experience by understanding exactly what customers need.  By combining these previously separate technologies, Wolters Kluwer is able to better service our customers who rely on our websites to manage their businesses more effectively.” 

I’ve long admired Baynote, and now I’m thrilled to be working together to advance the agenda of the adaptive web.  We share a similar vision for the future of the web, and now its time to start helping customers deliver on that vision. Adapt or die. 

Tom Wentworth is an experienced, versatile, and passionate technology executive with over 15 years experience selling, marketing, and designing enterprise software. In his current role, Tom is the VP of Web Solutions for Ektron, where he's responsible for corporate strategy.

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