I have learnt from my American colleagues that according to some the end of the world is nigh, or the 21st May to be exact – so as the big day approaches let me be the first to proclaim that WEM is dead.
Really? Well, maybe, OK, probably no. I just thought I’d get in there early. Plus, on the first day at blogging school they tell you to have a sexy title, so BAM here’s mine and what’s better than to claim that something is dead? So…
As a moniker WEM (Web Engagement Management) is widely recognised is flawed. Not just because it has been cynically abused to dress up any tatty old thing that publishes a web page, but it’s problem (as I’ve blogged about before in lots of posts) is the W.
In WEM the W should also mean e-mail, it means social channels, it means mobile apps, TV apps and maybe (gasp) personalised print. Plus of course whatever other IP based communication application that some college kid is beavering toward his first million on today. None of this is technically speaking the web, which to Wikipedia is:
A system of Internet servers that support specially formatted documents. The documents are formatted in a markup language called HTML (HyperText Markup Language) that supports links to other documents, as well as graphics, audio, and video files. This means you can jump from one document to another simply by clicking on hot spots
You knew that (has anyone ever pasted in something to a blog post that was so superfluous to their reader?) But, I pasted it in as ‘technically speaking’ really? Is that the best argument?
There’s lots of discussion around what WEM should be called, perhaps we should loosen our technical tie a little bit, worry less about the order of the pens in our trusty pocket protector and go with it.
We should worry more about how we really engage across this pervasive web of IP linked devices – all of which marketers need to recognize as part of their *EM strategy. As an industry we need to clearly identify why you can’t just search and replace “WCM” for “WEM” in our requirements or product brochures.
Let me share something I’ve observed here at SDL. When we sit around in rooms (that used to be described as ‘smoke filled’ when life was more dangerous) where we plot our product course to providing tools for these new requirements – you will see scribbled on flip charts not ‘web’ – we say “the multi’s”.
The Multi’s are of course multi-channel, multi-language, multi-device, multi-visitor segments – basically managing multiple content variants delivered dynamically across multiple channels.
Sooo… There we are, WEM isnt dead, but the future is The Multi’s.