Don’t get caught in the bear trap: Content Delivery starts with but doesn’t end with CMS…


Content Management is critical to delivering contextually relevant, omni-channel customer experience. In an effort to provide a more comprehensive customer experience, many businesses are jumping on the content management train and assume that just buying and booting up the platform will solve all of their content delivery problems. In an almost “build it they will come” mentality, businesses are buying CMS and/or automation software and hoping that – overnight – customers will sneak in and feed on all of their amazing and relevant content.


You don’t have to fall into the bear trap, if you know and understand while there are complete CX suites out on the market and recognize that you may already have pieces of the puzzle.  The key is to integrate what you already have, fill in the gaps of what’s missing and make it all work together. It has to be a vigorous, integrated and interactive collection of programs that – when combined – truly allow businesses to not only deliver relevant content but to do it in real time.

So, while this all starts with a strong CMS, it doesn’t end there. There are many pieces to the puzzle of successfully managing content; most of which don’t even include technology.  It is all about people and processes. However, on the technology side, we have to keep in mind the goal – to deliver contextually relevant content on any channel, device or platform, and so we need to look at all of the technologies that are required to achieve that goal

  1. At the center is the CMS itself – It needs to be able to publish content of any type and in any form to any channel on any platform, in any format.  If the CMS can’t manage cross-channel publishing, it will never deliver omni-channel customer experiences.In order to really know one’s customer and the customer experience – marketers, as well as the businesses they support, need to be everywhere on the virtual landscape; not just online but immersed in social media and mobile as well as offline- in-stores, B2B event marketing and so on.Some of the best tools for Omni-channel publishing are SDL Web (Tridion), Sitecore and Adobe.
  1. Know that not all content looks and acts the same – All of the assets need to be managed in some sort of content repository, typically a digital asset management (DAM) like Adam software and/or a product information management (PIM) system like Hybris.  Rich content like video or interactive graphics may also require a specific media management technology like SDL Media Manager.
  1. Recommendation/Decision engines for personalization: Content needs to be relevant to the person consuming it or it will most likely simply be ignored. That entails aligning the content itself, its type and its format with the specific interests, behavior and attitudes of the consumer. This requires the ability to publish content dynamically, based on a set of implicit and explicit data triggers. This sort of personalization is delivered by a recommendation or decision engine. It can be rules based, algorithmically based or a combination of the two.  Leading systems include SDL Web, Adobe Target and SAS Personalization.
  1. You get the behavior you measure – So, it is critical to have a robust analytical environment.  Analytics includes but is not limited to web analytics systems like Webtrends, Adobe Site Catalyst and Google Analytics.  In addition to web analytics, there are customer analytics tools like SAS and SDL Campaign, social analytics tools like Brandwatch, Blab and Crimson Hexagon and business intelligence tools (BI) like those from SAP, IBM and Tableau.

Don’t get caught up in the, “build it they will come,” mentality and avoid getting snagged in the bear trap by looking beyond your CMS implementation. The risk of not composing an integrated approach to content, will be an inability to achieve the business goals laid out in the first place despite the expenditure of a great deal of time, money and resources.

In my next article on Future CX, we will take a more in-depth look at each of the above areas as well as examine the people and process issues required to deliver world class customer experience that delivers business results.

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