It’s 2018, and we’re deep into the age of the customer, but customer communications management (CCM) still largely operates in a vacuum. Human resources, creative assets, business processes, and technology investments are largely managed by individual departments and duplicated across organizations. This results in a disjointed customer experience across customer journeys.
Companies that lead their industry in customer experience (CX) now see CCM as part of their overarching CX strategy, and have taken steps to truly integrate the two. And that trend is accelerating; we see it further accelerating and evolving over the next three to five years.
The adoption of cloud- and container-based software solutions will become much more mainstream in the very near term. The reasons will vary from company to company — most out of a need for more deployment flexibility and business agility — but all will be looking to be more responsive to their customers at any time, in any place, over any channel.
Most companies will avoid placing all of their eggs in any one vendor’s basket. They will consolidate home-grown and commercial CCM solutions into a best-in-class offering, which will be integrated with digital experience (DX) components via RESTful APIs. The sharing of data and content across the DX architecture will be more commonplace, as will multi-user collaboration become when composing communications, thanks to a greater use of open source software and open standards, and the rise of a CCM/CX shared-services model.
We will see a trend that began with service-oriented platforms, iPaaS and iSaaS break beyond early adopters into the early majority phase.
As more software is built using microservices, companies will buy features rather than pre-packaged applications. Instead of buying and integrating CCM and web content management (WCM) applications only to have multiple design environments, separate content delivery functionality, etc., companies will choose the best features from software vendors and “roll their own” solution. For example, you might want to use the design environment from a CCM vendor to design communications and have a WCM component deliver the content. Vendors will shift from selling one-size-fits-all “platforms” to offering highly-specialized services that add unique value to an open digital experience architecture.
Topdown first saw this future in 2013. In early 2015 we commissioned Forrester to conduct new primary research to validate our predictions. Then, in late 2015, we began developing INTOUCH® — already the most advanced CCM solution on the market, and it’s only just begun. And we’re not done innovating.
We’ll continue to track trends and update our offerings to address where we believe the CCM market will go next. If you want to know what we're currently thinking and doing, then be sure to check out our blog.
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