Observations from DOCUMENT Strategy Forum ’15

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May 28, 2015

The annual DOCUMENT Strategy Forum took place in Greenwich, Connecticut earlier this month on the 12th through the 14th. The Document Strategy (DS) Media has been organizing the event for the past several years and attendance this year was made up of 330 industry representatives, executives, analysts, and vendors. The group coordinates with a hand-picked advisory board made up of leading industry professionals to select topics and organize the forum’s panel discussions.

Kaspar Roos Presenting at DSF

This year’s meeting had a strong vendor presence with over 30 companies hosting booths on the exhibit floor, and many vendors also participated in panel discussions. Industry analysts spoke at length about the current state of the market. InfoTrends’ own Kaspar Roos, Director of the Production Software Services group, shared some key findings from his recently completed research project, “The Customer Journey Landscape: The Customer Communications Management Continuum.” Some of the topics Kaspar covered in the study were collaboration, mobile and next-generation content, and omnichannel output.

Those themes were carried across many of the sessions with a specific focus on Business and IT collaboration. Businesses today are relying more and more on IT to make business strategy decisions. As discussed by several panels, collaboration between siloed groups within an organization – particularly business and IT but also marketing, sales, and other departments – is crucial for companies to reach customers consistently and effectively.

Self-service portals are also becoming more popular among both businesses and vendors. This is especially true in situations where consumers want more information than a standard document provides but don’t want to interact with another person. The consensus among forum participants was that self-service portals are a common tactic for reaching Millennial consumers. Unfortunately, although Millennials were a popular subject in many of the meeting’s sessions, they were underrepresented in the audience. The advisory board actually called this out during a panel discussion on Wednesday morning and said it plans to address to rectify the situation in coming years.

One last noteworthy item from the conference was a mobile app that attendees could download upon arrival. The app included a list of all attendees along with their title and company, allowing for some interesting networking opportunities as well as useful information about speakers. The app even incorporated some gamification, giving points to attendees for posting images and quotes to the activity feed or using the “check-in” function at the various sessions.

InfoTrends Opinion

As Kaspar discussed in his research, many vendors (including those present at the conference) are moving away from a traditional CCM view and have begun to look at the market in terms of Customer Engagement and Customer Experience. This change in perspective, which is echoed by the convergence of Marketing and Process Communications, has been driven by customers who want to view documents in a digital format. This disruption in the market by digital technologies has created new opportunities for marketing to become more influential in the Customer Journey beyond acquisition, to increased satisfaction and, ultimately, retention.

*Subscribers to InfoTrends’ PWS, PWSE, CET, CETNA, and TCP services have access to Kaspar’s DSF presentation – The Customer Journey Landscape: The Customer Communications Management Continuum through the “Services” tab after logging in on the InfoTrends Homepage.

 

 

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