With advances in Internet and website management technology, the task of managing a corporate website, a role traditionally held by IT, has shifted into the hands of marketers.
Ideally, content management is the marketing team’s responsibility.This is because the company’s capacity to reach targeted audiences with relevant, pointed content increases dramatically when marketing has the ability to do so.
The evolution of CMS technology has made it easy for marketing to perform content management without relying on the IT department. In the current online market content is disseminated rapidly and in real time, which is how organizations need to be able to act to keep up.Unfortunately, many companies continue to use CMS technology that is inconvenient or inaccessible to marketing personnel.
In many cases, the reason organizations aren’t using CMS solutions suited for the people responsible for the tasks is that IT– is still driving the CMS selection process which is easy to change.
Competing Interests in CMS Selection
The creation of a better CMS selection routineshould go beyond simply transferring decision-making authority from IT to marketingand should address each of the competing interests that have a stake in the company’s CMS technology.
In addition to marketing and IT interests, finance and other organizational stakeholders also have an interest in choosing a CMS that meets specific business requirements and operational criteria and should be considered in the process.
Currently, IT is looking for the path of least resistance in the company’s content management technology. From their perspective, the organization needs a CMS solution that seamlessly integrates with the company’s existing information architecture and corporate intranet;they want a system that is extremely familiar and can be easily supported by IT team members.
Although they have the right ideas in mind, when IT controls CMS decision-making, the outcome is oftenthat the company uses SharePoint, or other sites that are less efficient for everyone involved..But here’s the problem: marketing teams don’t like these kinds of sites because they require users to navigate a several steps and involve IT in time-sensitive content management routines.
Marketing is looking for a CMS that is flexible, straightforward and easy to use.
When marketing is excluded from CMS selection, features that are important for day-to-day and long-term objectives have a tendency to be overlooked. Leading CMS technologies give marketers the ability to measure the impact of email campaigns, score prospects based on their on-site behavior, track landing page analytics, monitor site conversions and perform other activities that are critical to marketing – but not as important to IT.
Because brand content is being leveraged as a competitive resource it should be fresh, relevant and responsive. If the company doesn’t use a CMS platform that can be easily accessed and utilized by marketing, the brand’s ability to compete in the area of content and messaging will be severely limited.
Tips for Choosing A Marketing-Friendly CMS
Although marketing needs to drive the CMS selection processchoosing the right content management platform should still be a team effort and there are several steps organizations can take to choose the right CMS for everyone.
• Set Goals.CMS selection should always begin with goalsetting where marketing, IT and other stakeholders clearly articulate the outcomes they hope the new content management solution will achieve. For marketing, it’s particularly important to identify a comprehensive list of usage scenarios detailing how marketing team members will actually use the technology. Once goals have been defined and communicated across all stakeholders, they can be used as a filter to help refine the process.
• Evaluate Candidate Technologies.The process should incorporate a deliberate and thorough review process allowingboth everyone to test drive candidate technologies and encourage stakeholders who are directly impacted by specific features to speak up. Additionally, it’s imperative to verify referrals for both the solution and the provider during this stage of the process.
• Consider Alternatives.Sometimes the smartest decision is to not choose a CMS at all – or avoid choosing an internal content management platform. It’s common for companies to leverage externally hosted CMS solutions in order to fulfill limited content management requirements. Rather than engaging IT in the process of selecting an internally hosted CMS, the company can by team up withWordPress or another external partner. The advantage is that externally hosted solutions can be deployed more quickly and more affordably than internal CMS platforms – and typically require less input from IT stakeholders.
CMS technology selection can be a tough process to find the the solution that best meets each department’s unique needs..However, now that CMS platforms have become sophisticated technologies organizations can take a more involved approach to choosing systems, which allows all stakeholders to have a voice.
While giving IT authority over CMS technology may be convenient short-term, it can make things a lot more difficult for the organization to compete in the marketplace now that more than ever, competitive pressures dictate that the people responsible for generating content need the ability to directly publish and update content online.