All I Want for Christmas Is a New CMS

7 minute read
Boris Kraft avatar

It's been a while since I've written you a letter Santa, but I thought it was worth a try.

I’m a CEO of a big fashion company — can’t tell you the name or I’d get in trouble with the management board. But let’s just say it’s popular with some of the top models.

Here's my problem: people keep complaining to me about our current CMS. The marketing department says it won’t let them be ‘agile,’ sales say they don’t have enough leads and the IT department say they’re sick of spending all their time writing code to fix spelling mistakes. And don’t get me started on finance. They say it’s the reason we’re not making profits.

So Santa — if you're out there — I’d like a new CMS for Christmas. I've got lots of reasons why I need one.

1. I can’t react quickly to new trends

All I hear is digital transformation, user experience and agile marketing, but everyone is telling me my company can’t get on board because our CMS doesn’t allow us to integrate much. I’d love to introduce responsive design so our sites can look good across different channels. It’s so embarrassing when I meet my old college chums and they look up my site on their iPhones. They’re not nearly as impressed as I’d like them to be.

And I’ve heard lots about the Internet of Things and would love to test out some of those beacons in my stores. It would be cool to offer customers special offers the minute they walk in the door. I wouldn't stop there. I’d have interactive changing rooms, as well as use it for inventory management.

2. My employees hate editing our site because they say the interface is ‘horrible’

Every day I check the website to see what’s new. But it’s always disappointing, because there’s rarely anything new. So I go to the marketing department and they tell me, ‘oh but it’s so horrible to edit our site, and we don’t understand how to do anything fancy anyway.’ I said, ‘Ok, that’s it. I want a new CMS, one of those systems that make it fun to edit.’ 

Personally, I don’t see why it has to be fun — I mean, it’s not as if my staff are working for free — but apparently it makes people work harder. And since I want to see fresh content all the time, that makes sense to me.

3. I can’t keep up with all the channels and platforms we have

I was proud of the first website that we produced, but now I can’t keep track of all the different channels we have. We have different websites for every brand in at least 20 languages. Marketing keeps launching new sites with different systems because it’s too complicated to use our legacy system. This causes problems with ensuring consistency and security across channels. I was a bit alarmed when the CMO recently admitted he didn’t even know we had a partner portal, but then again, neither did I.

It seems we employ different marketing and technology teams to run and maintain all of our different digital properties. And none of them know what the others are doing. I’ve heard that there are some systems that make it easy to have a multi-site, multi-channel presence — I want one of those!

4. I need to reuse content

This is a big problem. I have thousands of staff producing all sorts of content, from images and videos to product listings and catalogs. This gets expensive.

We did a major relaunch of our site a while ago, but it was a disaster. We couldn't roll out subsidiary sites because we couldn’t duplicate content. A CMS that makes it easy to reuse content — maybe one with a content pool to reuse content on different platforms and channels — would really help us step up our multi-channel strategy.

5. Our sites keep getting hacked

Maybe I should be proud that our site keeps getting hacked, like Vogue did that time, but I don’t think that our customers appreciated it when their details were posted on that social media site.

Learning Opportunities

So I need a system that guarantees the security of all our sites.

6. My developers and marketing teams are always fighting

This is a little embarrassing to admit, but we have 2.5 million web pages (that’s what the IT people tell me anyway) and it turns out they were generated by JavaServer Pages (JSP) files, so that the developers could put dynamic functionality into HTML.

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but it turns out that it’s hard to edit. Anyway, I’m really tired of being stuck in the middle of developers and marketing people arguing.

7. My sites keep getting more expensive to manage

Like I said, I can’t track how many sites or channels I have any more. But according to finance, they cost a lot of money to maintain. The marketing team keeps telling me that I could save lots of money if they could edit things directly instead of getting developers involved all the time. We’d probably also save money in training costs if we could find something easy to learn quickly.

8. Sales are not getting enough leads

In my day, we used to get out there and pound the pavements to get more sales. Now these sales people want everything handed to them on a silver plate. They keep harping on about how we need to use a ‘marketing automation tool’ to generate more leads. It seems we have one but it doesn’t interact with our other tools, and we need to fix that.

9. I can’t edit on the move

I know I shouldn’t have to edit things. I am the CEO after all. But I like to keep my fingers in the pie. And I don’t spend much time sitting in offices. Our current CMS can’t be accessed in a browser, but I know there are some you can use to edit from anywhere. This would be great for our partners, who could save so much time by editing when they are out and about.

I was sitting in the front row at the last Milan Fashion Week, and everyone was checking the designer, brand and price details on their iPads. Some of my competitors were publishing live streams of the fashion show. And I was just thinking, why aren’t we doing that? I was so jealous when I saw my competitors getting all their content — from images and product listing to videos and blogs — online in minutes.

10. We can’t afford to crash

There’s one last, but very big, reason why I want a new CMS. What’s the point in having lots of brilliant websites if they go down the minute you have a big sale? I’m still trying to get over the last time that happened. So I really need a CMS that’s reliable and scalable, so that no matter how much traffic we get, it won’t crash.

I know it’s a long list Santa, but you can make all my Christmas dreams come true by giving me just one good CMS.

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License Title image by  andrewr 

About the author

Boris Kraft

Boris Kraft has been creating and selling software since the age of 16. He is the co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Magnolia International, a Swiss-based open source CMS vendor.