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Content Management Systems: Why You Need One Now

Content ManagementJun 09, 2014
Author: Steve Herz
Content Management Systems: Why You Need One Now

It’s not an overstatement to say that content management systems have revolutionized the way many companies view their websites and online marketing initiatives. Gone are the days when companies had to ask their online agency to make every little change or update to their website.

Today’s content management tools enable even non-technical employees to make most website changes and updates, saving companies a tremendous amount of time and money. Just as importantly, content management solutions help companies respond to changes in the marketplace in minutes, instead of days, weeks or longer.

Before CMS

Before content management systems like Ektron, Kentico and Wordpress were introduced, changing or updating a website was anything but easy. It generally required a working knowledge of HTML programming — and while HTML is not incredibly difficult, it does require training and education.

The process usually went something like this: The company would write up the changes it wants to make in a formal work order and submit this to its online agency, which would add the request to its work queue. The changes would be made in a day or two — or maybe longer depending on the agency’s workload at the time — and then released to the client for approval or more adjustments.

The process is very different with a content management system. With CMS, an employee can simply log into the website’s admin panel and make changes and updates himself or herself using an edit tool in a dashboard that’s no more complicated than Microsoft Word. Next, the employee clicks “preview” to review the change or update, and if it looks good, clicks “publish” and it’s done.

So in the time that it used to take to write up and submit a work order to an online agency, companies can now use a content management tool to make website changes themselves. What does this look like in the real world? One of our clients used to require three months to get new brochures posted on their website. With their content management solution, it now takes them less than 15 minutes.

Removing the Hygiene Barrier

Obviously, a content management solution saves time and money when it comes to keeping your website current and up to date. But the benefits go well beyond this when you consider the fact that the time, hassle and cost involved in making changes actually deter many companies from keeping their websites current.

With the barrier to making most website changes and updates — or what I call the “hygiene barrier” — removed, companies are free to try new and innovative strategies with their websites and content marketing initiatives. One good example is delivering personalized content based on unique website visitor behavior.

You may recall back in the late 1990s when so-called one-to-one marketing was being touted as the “next big thing.” Well, it’s taken more than a decade, but one-to-one marketing is finally becoming a reality with this kind of technology and application. A content management system enables you to deliver more of the specific content your visitors want, based on their individualized behavior, instead of just the same generic content that’s served up to everybody. This increases your website conversion rate and your ROI.

In the meantime, if companies want to try new things that are beyond the scope of their content management tool’s capabilities, they can tap their online agency for higher-level assistance that’s more strategic than just changing out copy or graphics. This might include adding a lead management or nurturing program like Marketo or Eloqua to a content management system. These programs integrate your website with email and other communication vehicles to extend your personalized one-to-one marketing efforts even further.

If you have not yet implemented a content management system, what are you waiting for? CMS is clearly the wave of the future for websites and online marketing initiatives. Before long, managing a website or online marketing program without a content management solution will look about as antiquated as using a dial-up modem.