Content Marketing

Forget headless: Why agile CMS delivers the goods for marketing teams

Forget headless: Why agile CMS delivers the goods for marketing teams
Adam Sturrock is VP product marketing at Amplience.

Brands are trying to keep pace with new technologies and trends and even the terms that are adopted to describe them. ‘Agile CMS’ has recently been coined by Forrester, and it sounds great, but what does it mean in practice?

Disparate content systems rife with duplications and impossible to search cause delays and difficulties in enterprises today. Headless CMS, which separates frontend experiences from the backend content repository and management, had potential, but failed to improve the situation. It addressed issues for developers but resulted in marketing teams losing control of the experience creation process thanks to developer bottlenecks. This served only to reinforce the ongoing battle for control over delivering a tailored customer experience.

Running alongside the headless trend, Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs) should have been able to orchestrate the entire digital customer journey, if it weren’t for the fact that they became too proprietary and monolithic when it came to building and deployment. All too many marketing teams found they were landed with a restrictive and complex solution, instead of the seamless experiences and collaborative environments they were hoping for. They were a long way from being able to execute with agile best practices.

Enter Agile CMS. This new technology has entered the fray to augment headless CMS and, more importantly, eliminate its limitations and remove the complexities of DXPs. Agile CMS does away with the need for deep developer involvement, enabling both IT and marketing teams to make use of a common set of tools and shared purpose.

Being agile – what does it mean?

The values and principles of agile underpin a range of software development frameworks, including Scrum and Kanban, that are already familiar to developers, and an Agile CMS shares many of those principles.

For marketers it is important to know that an Agile CMS can be used by multiple teams across the organisation – in fact, it is designed for this – allowing fast iteration to adapt to content management needs so seamless customer experiences can be driven across all channels. All marketers face rapidly changing customer expectations and Agile CMS delivers internal tooling that encourages successful collaboration to meet those needs.

So if you think an Agile CMS might be the answer to your prayers, it will be useful to understand what it is. Here is Forrester’s definition of the four necessary components:

The content hub: this is a single repository for all people who work with normalised content, including marketers, campaign managers and content writers. It is a place where the team can discover and manage all content in a single place. The practitioner is no longer an afterthought, being forced to adapt to workflows designed by developers. Instead an Agile CMS content hub is designed with the end user, and their tasks, in mind.

Collaboration tools: The second key component is collaboration and planning tools. Working with an Agile CMS optimises the opportunities and best-practices for feedback and communication between all teams, working collaboratively on new content and experience projects. These flexible planning and collaboration tools along with structured workflows, built-in best practices and standards accelerate time to market and improve ROI for the business.

Content services: Building on the headless trend, an Agile CMS embraces the principles of headless by providing API-first content services to create, manage and track content at scale, powered by intelligence and governance. This flexible API layer connects the content hub repository to customer experiences across all channels. This not only provides content for experiences right now but handles potential unknowns and future use cases.

The development platform: The Agile CMS is still a work-in-progress and this means flexibility is needed in the frontend technology choices and extendability of the content management interface for both developers and marketers. It will fit seamlessly into the existing technology stack.

Agile can differentiate you

If you’ve been struggling for a while with a content system that is not fit for purpose and its complexities are holding you back from delivering a responsive, seamless customer experience, Agile CMS deserves your attention. The single content hub will cut your time to market by streamlining your content collaboration, planning and workflows; it supplements existing headless CMSs and removes bottlenecks, and encourages collaboration and planning across development and marketing teams. Ultimately, it could be the answer you are looking for to create the sophisticated customer experiences that set your brand apart.

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person?

Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.  

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