5 NonNegotiable Requirements for a CMS in 2015

Content marketing and mobile are the digital marketing buzzwords for 2015. Next year, techniques like personalization, targeting and testing will be non-negotiable CMS features — and here's why.

Your customers are empowered like never before. They seek out information about your business on their own terms, on their own time. And they’ve got options: Google search, reviews, forums and social media all combine to shape their image of your company and its offerings.

If they’re interested, they can choose to visit your site or download your app. It’s their call. If you want to engage them, you have to provide appropriate, relevant and entertaining information. And make sure it is accessible on mobile, which has overtaken desktop consumption in the past year.

5 CMS Essentials

1) Engagement, Visitors, Conversion

In 2015, technology, more than ever before, will help marketers serve visitors the content they want, within their context. The ability to meaningfully power content marketing through targeting and personalization are increasingly crucial qualities of a CMS.

For example, if customers are on cellphones, on the way home, in the rain, abroad, it is likely they are in need of different services than the ones they access on desktops. At home, they may enjoy browsing through detailed information in your extensive product catalog. And based on context, if you see that your visitors are software developers, you might want to address them with different language than, say, marketers who visit.

Through the clever use of the latest targeting and personalization techniques, you can deliver your message clearly across all channels, while simultaneously offering users contextually tailored information. You will see that visitors will appreciate this through increased engagement with your brand.

2) Testing and Optimization

If you offer specific and personalized content to your users, you must first answer the question: "What content would my visitor like to see?" You can, of course, still risk answering this on gut feelings. But in 2015, marketers have access to insights demonstrating which content works best for various audiences.

Using A/B testing or multivariate testing allows you to experiment with alternative content -- for example, a different title over a news story or an alternate banner. Testing provides insight from these variations on which content is preferred by users.

These results substantiate what content performs best with an audience, based on facts rather than feelings. Modern experiments can go even further, delivering the well performing content more often -- diminishing the risk of delivering poorly performing content to visitors.

3) Better Integration

A website or mobile app is more than just the digital equivalent of your company brochure. Nowadays, a visitor expects relevant and personalized information about company and services. To this end it is important that your CMS interfaces with document management systems (DMS) and enterprise content management (ECM) systems.

In addition to integration, extensibility is another important aspect. Business requirements are constantly changing, and your organization is continuously learning and adapting based on insights. These insights require adjustments within the CMS. It’s crucial that your system remain agile, to respond to evolving business needs.

4) Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

Mobile is non-negotiable. In 2015, choosing a CMS that cannot deal with mobile technology simply makes no sense. Mobile means more than simply transferring your website into an app. Let insights from your customer journey inform how and when you invest in an app and/or a responsive mobile site.

5) Multichannel Publishing

The choice of devices your customer can use to access online information is growing exponentially. Currently, you may not consider a television, game console, digital radio, navigation or thermostat a “channel” for your CMS -- but in the coming year, you can certainly expect dozens of different mobile phones, tablets, desktops, laptops and perhaps smart watches connecting with your business’ content.

Step one is making content layout appropriate and responsive. Don’t stop with screen size, either. You may consider a native or hybrid (Cordova) app on mobile devices or a responsive site as appropriate. Let insights from customer engagement inform these decisions.

Wrapping Up

The bottom line: in 2015, mobile, targeting, personalization and testing will become increasingly important to your CMS and the online business strategy it supports. Technology will enable your business to better serve the information visitors actually want, when they actually want it. This "pull" strategy is a powerful alternative to traditional push marketing and will bring increased engagement from customers on their own terms.

Title image by Small(Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.