The Omnichannel Content Platform Marketplace Circa 2020
Late last year RSG started evaluating vendors in what we label the "Omnichannel Content Platforms (OCP)" marketplace. This new market is interesting because traditional DAM / WCM / Content Marketing platforms that purport to address omnichannel business use cases typically do not support them very well at all.
There's a lot to say here, but let's address it at a high level for now.
Traditional DAM Is Not an OCP
Historically the problem with Digital Asset Management (DAM) platforms is that they're not very good at micro experience and micro narrative management, and lack native data management services outside the context of annotating a media file, so they limit the content they can support.
Traditional WCM Is Not an OCP
Web content management systems often have the opposite problem. They can support some micro narrative and potentially micro experience management, but historically are not very good at asset management. Content marketing platforms suffer the same problem.
Omnichannel content platforms should support different content information types from the ground up. Critically, they need to do this in an object-oriented way for omnichannel distribution, derivation, and tracking. Most DAM and WCM tools are not object oriented.
OCP Marketplace Today
This marketplace is slowly emerging from the mist, but in general you have two broad category choices between fairly complex development platforms and some specialized products. Key caveat: none of these platforms are as advanced or as fully functional as you might wish, nevertheless.
Your OCP Options Explained
Here's is a quick overview of vendor readiness.
- Censhare has been targeting this use case for some time now, albeit with somewhat older technology
- Nuxeo, historically an ECM vendor with an open source twist, then converted to more of a DAM vendor
- Adobe has actively talked about addressing these use cases, but its solution is spread across different systems — WCM and DAM — rather than a single OCP.
- Sitecore's Content Hub via Stylelabs targets this use case explicitly, but has suffered some recent turbulence
- CoreMedia has been knocking on this door for the past several years and has finally walked into this space
- Oracle doesn’t have much of a content hub, being an older technology. Recently, they added new cloud options, but you should be appropriately suspicious
- IBM/Acoustic's offering started as a DAM and then a headless WCM and has become a hybrid headless WCM and DAM offering; expect change ahead
- Contentful is a headless WCM vendor that is trying to target these scenarios.
- MarcomCentral was a content marketing and asset management platform, now targeting omnichannel
- Tenevos is a newish DAM player trying to address this market;
- Picturepark is a longtime DAM vendor targeting the crowded middle space of that market, now with a new SaaS platform modeled roughly after Stylelabs
Three Key Takeaways
Although this is still an immature marketplace, we have seen some promising customer results, depending on the scope of what you're trying to do. worth noting:
- I'm fairly certain we're all going to need an OCP in the future, but the market is still young and could test your tolerance for emerging technologies and vendors.
- Meter investment according to urgency; RSG has identified important use cases around email personalization, dynamic marketing, and sales material distribution, but you may have other needs
- Don't default to your incumbent web content management or digital asset management platform as a long-term OCP solution; chances are they won't get you there
Many vendors today will declare they can support omnichannel content management and delivery — yet few really can. The real story is that these are fairly advanced capabilities. But if they are important to your enterprise, you may need to look at this as another segment in your stack.
For more information on if an OCP is right for you, watch this recorded webinar. "Is There an Omnichannel Content Platform in Your Future.