Econsultancy has this week published its 2009 CMS Buyer’s Guide, containing profiles of 23 leading platforms and a discussion of key market trends. A lot has changed since the last version of this report in early 2007, including the explosion of social media and much wider use of mobile phones to access the web. 

With these developments in mind, one of the key trends highlighted in the new report is the growing importance of being able to deliver content consistently across multiple channels

According to Ben Robb, CTO at digital agency cScape, companies are now approaching content production very differently because of the need to cater for so many different formats and ways of consuming information:

Web content management vendors should all be working to provide tools and systems which recognise this and can help manage this content going forward.”

Judging by the profiles of platforms included, many vendors have acted on this by making sure they can provide technology which helps companies to meet user expectations across different touch points and to provide personalised content appropriate for a particular channel. 

Dan Zambonini, technical director at Amaxus, said: “Twitter, RSS, social bookmarks, podcasts, e-books, the iPhone and many other relatively recent technologies have proven that they are not fads, and that web users want to – and will – access content whenever and however best suits their context.”

Another trend in the world of CMS is the way that ownership has moved from IT to marketing. According to Steve Morgan, founder of Squiz UK:

“These customers [i.e. marketing directors] are looking to their websites to increase client retention rates and revenues. As marketing budgets have been squeezed, the direct and highly measurable nature of the web has become so important to them. A decent CMS sits at the heart of most online marketing strategies.”

Effective measurement and analytics have become much more central to a CMS platform in recent years. 

Peter Sejersen, an analyst at J. Boye and contributor to the guide, said: “Measurement is a key trend for both buyers and vendors. It is technically possible to track most transactions online. Given limited resources, measurement becomes a key tool for knowing where to focus the resources and deciding what goes on the website.”

Leigh Whitney of Design UK said that “good marketers will have spent the last 12 months gaining a better understanding of their site, its metrics and their customer behaviour. This in turn will give them important insight into key areas for investment when budgets are renewed.”

The 190-page guide, which contains tips for buyers and enables readers to compare different vendors, features profiles of the following platforms:

Acquia (Drupal), Alterian, Amaxus (Box UK), CM System (Percussion), concrete5 (Concrete CMS), Contentworkz (GlobusMedia), cookiejar (Solid State Group), dotEditor (dotAgency), Ektron, EPiServer, FatWire, FirstSpirit (e-Spirit), Joomla! (OpenSourceMatters), LavaSuite (Design UK), MySource Matrix (Squiz), Open Text, Sitecore, Symphony, TERMINALFOUR, TYPO3, Vignette, VYRE and WORKSsitebuilder (eShopworks).