Before 2000, the office of the CMO mainly focused on creating content, tracking audiences and pushing out information via a single or handful of media channels.

As the millennium began to take shape, CMOs became more engrained in shaping an organization’s direction. The conversation shifted to the integration of digital and social media in the broader marketing strategy — and that conversation is still at the forefront for today's marketers.

Among the many challenges they face, marketers are contending with ever-increasing complexities related to managing and leveraging content.

Adopting a “Digital Maker” mindset — which combines the advantages of modern technology with innovation and craftsmanship — can foster a tech-driven approach to CMS. Yet to tap into the maker spirit, companies need to cut through their own red tape, sacred cows and muscle memory around "the way they have always done things."  

Here are five ways to bring the maker spirit into your content management:

1. Optimize Content as Part of SEO

Keywords and link building are no longer enough to produce clear, compelling and frequently updated content. The growing sophistication of search engines means they now use quality as a criteria in search results. 

To address this, companies must approach content optimization in the same way a good architect approaches a new design — giving equal priority to form and function.

2. Give Yourself Permission to Fail Fast with an Agile Process

Whether an organization takes a best-in-class or best-of-breed approach to implementing its CMS, an agile methodology can break the project into iterative work phases. Continually assessing and revisiting each phase of a CMS deployment allows time to change direction or alter the project along the way. 

This agile approach gives permission to “fail fast,” which can result in significant cost and time savings and ultimately a better CMS solution.

3. Conduct Rapid Prototyping

By implementing rapid prototyping techniques, organizations can quickly and efficiently develop better ways to optimize content on their digital properties. Rapid prototyping bolsters an agile process by allowing companies to test the viability and efficacy of different parts of a CMS before it's implemented across the organization.

4. Bring Stakeholders into Testing Early

Soliciting stakeholder input and feedback early in the CMS process goes far in avoiding detrimental losses or setbacks. Tried and true methods include surveys and focus groups, while newer engagement techniques include the use of contextual inquiry — literally watching someone use the system; real-time social media to elicit feedback; data analytics tools to evaluate stakeholder information; or stakeholder advisory committees. 

Bringing in the people who ultimately will use this tool on a daily basis, listening and acting on their feedback will improve the chances of long term CMS success.

5. Adopt a 'Forever Beta' Product Mindset

Ditch the project mindset — focusing merely on completing the task at hand and checking an item off of a to-do list. A product mindset takes a long-term view. Also referred to as “forever beta,” this approach encourages teams to think big, but start small, implement quick wins that show success and build momentum throughout the process.

Whether your organization has an existing open source or custom CMS solution, is planning for an enterprise CMS system like Sitecore or Episerver, or is simply looking for cost effective CMS strategies, content management must be integrated deep into the heart of the organization. As the sheer quantity and complexity of content, media and social communication continue to grow, a “Digital Maker” mindset can be the difference that sets your organization apart.