Stephen Morgan is the co-founder of digital transformation business, Squiz.
Whilst providing marketers with the ability to create and manage digital content is still the critical function of any CMS, marketers could be missing out on the platforms true potential.
In 2016, our State of Marketing Technology report found that 83% of businesses were using a CMS, placing it as the most commonly used piece of marketing software, ahead of other tools such as analytics platforms (77%). However, the research also revealed that 53% of marketers struggle with marketing technologies beyond their initial investment, so it’s absolutely vital that marketers are utilising it to its full potential in order to gain real business value.
So what more could your CMS platform be doing for you?
A recent report by Verint and IDC highlighted that brands are finding it difficult to hold on to customers as digital consumers become less loyal. This is yet another indication of how important the customer journey is in driving retention and loyalty – customers want a quick and seamless experience when browsing your site and considering a purchase.
If your CMS has bugs, runs slowly, or delays with connecting to other platforms, like a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, this will impact the marketing team’s ability to engage with customers in real-time using personalised messaging – in other words, they’ll be less likely to convert.
As a result, it’s vital to seamlessly integrate a CMS with all the other digital tools being utilised throughout the organisation. When this happens, you’ll be able to enhance and analyse customer actions so that it becomes a hub for customer insights. This way, a CMS goes from being just a piece of technology for the marketing team, to a vital resource for the entire organisation as they develop product strategies and objectives.
Utilising analytics to create compelling content
The best businesses are those that look at their customers’ needs first and build content that will be useful and relevant for them.
To get to these insights, you need good data and analytics, so the starting point is ensuring that you’re properly collating accurate data.
A CMS can help to understand exactly what pieces of content are of most interest to a customer, providing insights via integrations or in-product analytics, which enable you to combine it with other data sources (such as previous purchasing behaviour) to help you to determine what kinds of web pages, reports, blogs posts etc. would be of most interest to that customer in the coming weeks.
The customer is key here, and being able to deliver this level of insight enables highly personalised content to be shared across the organisation and other technology platforms, identifying and flagging users at decision-making stages or communicating with them via other mediums at particular times of the day.
Whilst a CMS is often left out of this conversation, cross-device (and channel) integration must be an important part of the strategy.
People are now interacting with brands across lots of different devices, so a CMS needs to be able to provide relevant content that responds to its needs.
Unfortunately, in our 2016 report, over half of marketers (51%) say that they couldn’t react to new channels or devices – this simply can’t be the case in 2017. Marketers must make it their priority to understand multi-device marketing, and in doing so, recognise the role that a CMS can play in aiding their strategy. Ultimately, this will result in a smoother end-to-end customer experiences and enable you to give the customer exactly what they want, when they want it.
We’ve seen customer behaviour shift so much in the past year, and this won’t change. What’s important is that we react to these changes and look for quick-wins by taking advantage of the systems that are already in place.