Are CMS Vendors Suffering from an Identity Crisis?

Every day I read the latest headlines to see what new CMS releases are happening and to get the latest updates from the industry and lately, I've been seeing new terms being thrown around by various vendors to describe their products.

It seems to me that some analyst firms and CMS vendors keep coming up with new ways to confuse potential customers. A good example is the term Digital Experience Management.  What exactly is Digital Experience Management? It could describe a myriad of things. For instance, it could be interpreted as a suite of tools that allow you to experience virtual reality or perhaps a new web browser that renders the web in a unique new way, how is a potential customer supposed to "get" what they are selling when the term used to describe the product doesn't really tell them what the product does?

We see this type of marketing conundrum everywhere nowadays. Everyone seems to feel the need to create a new buzz word to describe their products in order to differentiate themselves and that would be fine if the products were actually substantially different from others on the market. The problem is, they are not. Take, for instance, the latest announcement from Ektron and Hubspot. They are forming an alliance to come up with a new content management system / marketing combo but instead of calling it a CMS with a marketing suite or a Customer Experience Management system or any of the other terms that already exist, they've chosen to go with a new buzz word, Digital Experience Management.

Do we really need to start throwing new terms around when there's already CXM, CMS, WCM, ECM, etc? All these new terms do is create further confusion for customers trying to understand the products in the market. I know quite a few customers that, when shopping for a product, will simply get frustrated and go with the one they understand rather than try to weed through foolish terminology to find out what something actually does.

In my opinion, it would be far more beneficial if we stuck with a single phrase to describe these systems. As much as some people find the term "content management system" confusing, it serves its purpose. People get it. They understand the term because it's been used for years to describe a particular type of product. Digital Experience Management can mean anything. The same applies to the term "customer experience management". It's not a clear term that describes one thing.

Some will argue that the same can be said for the term content management system, and that's true to some degree but, in my opinion, it's the best we've got for now, so why not stick with the one that customers understand? Creating new terms seems like a desperate move for content management system vendors who have failed to properly position their products and are trying to differentiate themselves with new words rather than being innovative with their products.

What do you think? Do you find the terms descriptive? Do you prefer Digital Experience Management or Content Management System? I'd love to hear your opinions in the comments below.

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