Web content management has transformed over the last five years from a focus on publishing and managing content, to becoming the hub around which most customer engagement and marketing activities are carried out.

So what should marketers expect from web CMSs today? The ability to:

  • deliver personalized experiences 
  • analyze customer data and optimize strategy
  • streamline publishing content across channels 
  • utilize and manage data from CRM, ERP and other applications 
  • improve management of organization-wide digital assets

All of these elements add up to the digital experience that consumers have come to expect. Let’s explore how today’s advanced web CMSs help achieve these goals:

1. Delivering Contextual and Personalized Digital Experiences

While small businesses rarely venture beyond personalized emails and advertisements, SMEs and enterprises managing multiple brands and products are leveraging their web CMSs to deliver contextual and integrated digital experiences.

Top-of-the-shelf CMSs simplify the task by making it easy to: display separate content to different user segments, personalize the design and content for landing pages on the basis of various criteria, and reusing code, design and content elements across websites and portals. Sounds simple, but make no mistake: this is not easy. Marketing managers need to test and iterate, working with CTOs to define the scope of personalization, and create and map content to specific user groups or scenarios.

2. Publishing Content Across Web Properties, Social Channels and Devices

When handling several marketing teams promoting an array of products or services globally, a separate marketing team for every region and product is not a feasible solution in the long run. That approach results in increasing licensing and maintenance costs from websites built on different platforms, redundancy of efforts, and exponentially growing marketing team sizes.

The right web CMS helps push content across web properties and social media automatically. Not only does this help companies achieve a consistency in brand messaging, but also enforces SEO. At the same time, with the right design groundwork, the task of publishing and displaying content across desktop, mobile and other devices is also simplified.

3. Studying and Leveraging Customer Data

CMOs now have access to large chunks of customer data — everything that a customer does on your web properties can yield insights. Paradoxically, it is the wealth of data that presents the biggest challenge: how to optimize the use of all the data.

Look for CMSs equipped with full support for A/B Testing, goal tracking, customer engagement analysis, customer journey tracking, predictions and recommendations, campaign tracking and other actions related to analyzing customer data. If you want to raise the bar even higher, see if the CMS offers intuitive backend interfaces with integrated BI insights, plus the administrative ability to take quick actions on the insights through just a few clicks.

4. Integrating WCM with Other Systems

Customers don’t view your web, social and other presences as separate silos. So, if you fail to integrate with siloed platforms like CRM, Portals, BI, analytics and other key systems and applications, all of your attempts at reaching a 360-degree customer view in your CMS will be like boiling an ocean.

Integrated CMSs simplify the task of integration by offering out-of-the-box connectors for major CRMs, search platforms, e-commerce, language translation, databases, publishing platforms, analytics and more. At the same time, you can also integrate with existing systems and web applications through APIs.

5. Managing Digital Assets Efficiently

When dealing with huge chunks of content, reusing content and minimizing redundancy in content creation are a must to keep costs down. Managing and optimizing the use of digital assets — text, as well as visual — takes priority in this situation.

While media management used to be the Achilles heel of most CMSs, today you can use a web content management system to edit, convert formats and preview digital assets, automate resizing, and push media and documents to web and social channels. It is also easy to search and manage multiple digital asset libraries right from the CMS. For companies with entrenched DAM solutions, integration with the WCM plays a vital role in delivering digital experiences efficiently.

Your Homework

While CMSs have evolved to provide the features and functionalities required to fulfill the demands of modern marketing, it is important to note that not even the finest CMS is the silver bullet that will slay the werewolf of fragmented marketing. Every organization needs to identify its unique challenges, marketing objectives, desired business outcomes and expectations, before beginning the journey of selecting and implementing a web CMS. You have a choice of tools, but what will matter in the end is how you use them.

Title image CC BY-SA 2.0 by  M Trombone