A long time ago, like five years, the web (and what we could do with it) was just beginning to blossom. Despite the fact that we all wanted to take it farther, there were simply limitations that would not allow us to, or it was so cost prohibitive that few would venture into those waters. But in just a few short years we’ve seen the advent of some amazing components like jQuery, HTML5, CSS3 and more, which have taken us to a whole new level of possibilities. Throw in things like responsive web design and RESS, and you can jump even higher.
So now that we have all this great stuff, what’s the next frontier? I think that with the demand for a mobile web, the natural progression is to start making websites smarter. Thanks to some of this new tech, we can finally take our copies of Adobe Flash and burn them in celebration as we dance around the fire in victory. As we get older, we start to realize that it is less about “pretty” and more about “smart”. We’re talking about websites, right?
Now we should start figuring out who our online customer is.
There are lots of ways to think about the relationship between the website, the visitor, and your company. Although this story is not meant to be promotional, I can tell you that we have found a pretty cool product called Kentico (pronounced Ken-tih-koh) Enterprise Marketing Solution, or EMS. We’ve begun implementing websites using EMS, and the thought that has gone into this product, still in its relative infancy, is remarkable. It includes features like A/B Testing, multi-variant testing, dynamic page content, marketing automation, and lots more.
There are other products like this available, but we found that the cost of entry, feature set, plus the level of integration (it truly is 100% part of the code base of the Kentico CMS) makes it a winner in my book. Although the actual logic and automation “flow” is designed and created as a team effort between developer and client, you end up with a really “smart” website. If a visitor searches on a word or phrase and finds your website, you can leverage the knowledge of that search term to present unique content to the visitor. EMS also allows you to automatically reward visitors for completing certain actions and attaining plateaus through value scoring. Add the advanced workflow to the mix, and you get a marketing automation juggernaut.
That’s right, I said juggernaut.
Like I said, this is not an advertisement for Kentico EMS, but it certainly is a promotion for using the tools available to make your website smarter and serving your visitors more effectively. If you want to learn more about Kentico, drop me a line. I’ll be happy to talk “smart websites” with you!