We’re often told that the best way to create advocacy and brand loyalty through business websites is by providing compelling, timely content and making it available on multiple devices and across a number of platforms. But is content creation and delivery only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to producing dynamic, customer-facing digital experiences?

Reducing the creation of an engaging customer experience to a simple, easy-to-achieve objective overlooks the complexities and layers that go on behind this task.

Diving Below the Surface

Great content will always lie at the heart of any truly successful customer engagement, but it’s worth remembering that this is a well-worn path, and one that competitors are also highly likely to be familiar with. What this means is that businesses are increasingly finding themselves having to explore newer ways of building digital relationships with their customers.

Selecting the right web content management system (web CMS) is perhaps the most underestimated means of achieving this. This may not at first sound like an obvious solution, but the fact remains that CMS selection is one of the most strategic technology decisions any business can make.

What few realize is that by selecting a CMS that does not provide a good fit with objectives, businesses can struggle to attract, engage and retain customers. There’s no point in developing personalized, cutting-edge content if you do not get it to the right customer, in the right channel and in the right context. Choosing the right CMS for you and your business ensures that this connection is made, through allowing compelling content to be shared through the right blend of design, usability, strategy and tonality.

By connecting customers and their experience of the website to the most suitable and relevant content creators, developers and systems for them and their message, businesses are not just driving engagement. They are also connecting them a superior digital experience. Not all CMSs are the same, and there are many that promise to deliver this experience, but fail.

Distinguishing the 'What' from the 'How'

So what is this "superior" customer experience, and what does it comprise? For many, the customer experience comes down to the "what" -- the content delivered. But it is also crucial to look further than that, to the "how" -- how experiences are created.

Also keep in mind that this is a key to a successful outcome, don't lose sight of the fact that the customer experience is only a small part of the overall user experience itself. The experience of the editor or content creator is another key when it comes to creating engaging websites, as are developer and integrator experiences.

All of these elements combined ensure a quick time-to-market, and a fast implementation of new features and functionalities that help marketers to provide state of the art online experiences for their customers. Some companies struggle or fail to deliver this experience because the web CMS doesn't include all of the tools required to deliver it.

With so many web technologies evolving these days, no CMS vendor can provide ever tool at the same quality that specialists can. Incorporating external best-of-breed tools and functions inside the CMS of choice gives content creators, editors and developers the tools needed to perform their jobs. Integrating all of the best systems into one CMS can allow for ease-of-use, efficiency and speed at the back-end, and an enhanced experience for customers at the front-end.

When searching for the right CMS partner for your business don’t forget that no two businesses are the same. More than anything, it’s vital that the business has strong chemistry with the CMS vendor, and that both are aligned in their vision of what the customer experience should look like and how it is delivered.

Achieving success in selecting and implementing a CMS requires a strong, trusting relationship with the vendor or integration partner. They have to be approachable, supportive and solution oriented. Finding the right CMS can be an investment for the future as long as the relationship is built on a continued exchange of value throughout the relationship.

It’s clear that content plays a significant role in creating a positive customer experience and helping customers engage and appreciate your business and brand. But it’s one small component of providing a truly superior customer experience, and one that needs to work as part of an integrated CMS if its effects are to be maximized.

While it’s true to say that without the right content even the best CMS could struggle, it’s also true that it’s only the tip of the iceberg for successful engagement. Perhaps more focus is needed on the other aspects that lie beneath the surface? Although they might not be immediately visible, all elements of the CMS play an equally important role in delivering memorable, lasting and impactful experiences for customers and businesses alike.