10 Things You Never Knew You Could Do with a CMS

Content management systems can facilitate impressive digital experiences, manage content for multiple websites, provide an effective partner or employee engagement tool, and collect data for crucial user insights.

Since the first “modern” content management system (CMS) reared its head around 2005, businesses of all shapes and sizes turned away from manually coding websites and towards the modern age of CMS.  This transformation empowered marketing teams throughout the business world to push the limits to what the “interwebs” could really do.  Emboldened by agility, faster time to market, dynamically generated pages, and more control over the customer journey, marketers are constantly seeking new, unique features they can leverage from today’s CMS to propel them into the next era.

Well, the search can stop here with this list of capabilities a modern CMS offers to help make your marketing teams much more efficient and effective.  Some of these list items are currently used by today’s modern marketer, but not as a CMS feature, while others belong in entirely different organizations.  What ties them together is the effect they have on a company’s digital experience.

1Dynamically Generated Personalized Collateral.

A modern CMS can produce personalized web content on the fly, but how does that impact collateral?  Utilizing the same personalized web content, developers can build out a .pdf template to dynamically capture the personalized content, creating a custom .pdf collateral marketing asset. This is a good example of extending digital experience into the physical world.

2Partner optimization site.

We spend so much time on our customer journeys and customer experience, we typically forget about the impact our partners bring, or can potentially bring, to our businesses.  What would happen if we presented partners with a well-designed, well-thought-out experience they enjoyed using?  You might be able to more deeply engage with your partners, block out your competition, and enjoy the extension of your business footprint.

3Employee engagement site.

Much like partner optimization, we typically do not think of our intranets as having strategic importance to our overall business growth. Our employees bring their B2C experiences and expectations into our companies, only to be let down. If we focused the employee journey as we do for the customer journey, we might see an increase in employee retention and satisfaction, employees who have a deeper commitment to the company, and employees who spend more time moving the business forward.

4AI chatbots.

Chatbot technology is quite impressive and is now able to offer instant resolution to customers’ issues rather than stalling until a human representative is available.  The modern chatbot has been available for several years, despite interest from the business community, but the adoption rate has been less than stellar (4 percent, according to Wikipedia).  Now that artificial intelligence (AI) has made significant advances in content creation and workflow progression, we anticipate chatbots to make a positive impact in elevating engagement and increasing the rate of conversion.

5Campaign Management and Marketing Automation.

Typically, modern marketing teams outsource their marketing campaigns to different vendors a little closer to their customer relationship management software stack.  Landing pages are created either on marketing automation platforms or have entrenched code on CMS-created pages.

6Application integration.

Many modern apps are created with APIs connectors ready to integrate into modern CMS.  These apps can offer business limitless opportunities to immerse users into a deeply engaging experience though automation, business rules, eCommerce, and so many more applications.  Businesses of any size can expand their online capabilities through these integrations.

7Collaboration.

Keeping up with the speed of business has become its own industry; consider Trello, Slack, Aha, Jira, Skype, G Suite, just to name a few.  Modern businesses spend an estimated $2.7 billion last year on collaboration software.  While modern CMS is not positioned to displace this rapidly growing industry, there are some collaborative features that are quite impressive: content workflow management, AI chatbots, content optimization plugins, etc.

8Predictive and prescriptive analytics.

Knowing what a user did on your site and which points were most engaging are critical pieces of information you need in order to make any optimizing changes.  Some modern CMS utilize site-based and profile-based analytics to equip businesses with insights into how they increase conversions or goals by making specific changes to their site, along with the expected outcome once the changes have been made.

9Aggregation of customer data.

Understanding who is on your site and how they engage with your experience is key to personalization, no matter how mature your company is.  The fact that digital experience extends well beyond your website and customers’ expectations for seamless, frictionless interaction with your brand wherever they engage.  Collecting customer data from all points of engagement is paramount however, without a centralized repository gaining insights is extremely difficult.  The modern CMS can help. A few CMS vendors offer AI -driven prescriptive and predictive advanced analytics, which can import data from external sources and apply machine learning algorithms to the data and glean conversation optimization insights helping you better engage with your customers.

10Digital Asset Management (DAM). 

Best practices tell us to develop engaging content, which is key for retention and interaction with potential and current customers. Content, in this context, moves well beyond text on a page. It involves rich media: images, videos, infographics, music, animation, podcasts, etc.  As the number of these assets increase and are distributed throughout the web, companies must have a procurement process in order to manage where they are being used and the versioning of the asset.  CMS can help here as well.  Being a centralized content distribution technology, CMSs help track the hosting and placement of all types of digital assets, helping companies stay up to date while expanding their reach deeper into the customer’s journey.

Not all CMSs are created equal and finding the right one can be tricky.  Nearly all modern CMS on the market can help you create impressive digital experiences on your website, fewer can help manage your content to multiple distributed destinations, and fewer yet integrate as the center of your digital experience strategy.

Take the time to develop increased expectations and a sound strategy on how a CMS can work hard for your business.

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Gregg Shupe
Gregg Shupe has nearly 20 years of professional marketing experience across a broad range of industries including enterprise IT, consumer electronics and telecommunications. While focused on delivering digital experience strategies, Shupe has a proven track record of helping companies and business partners digitally transform their organizations into the modern era.