Our goal as business people whether you are in marketing, sales, IT or support of a Fortune 500 company or a one-person-shop in a small business, the goal is still the same – deliver a consistent experience across all customer touch points. The siloed nature of big corps and small can make that a difficult feat. Yet we all strive for it.
What to do, what to do? The answer for Gannon Solutions is web content management systems (CMS). Now a CMS all by itself isn’t going to solve the many facets involved with integrated messaging. No sir. But with the proper strategy, it can be the most relevant foundational piece to begin that journey. You see websites aren’t (or shouldn’t be) built as they once were. The idea of IT receiving “requirements” based on a product manager’s explanation of a designers rendering from a senior manager’s vision seems barbaric and inefficient. Not too mention we’ve seen this game of “documentation telephone” often leaves a developer writing native code that offers only a percentage of value expected by the business. And the communication divide often felt by marketing and sales departments as an example generally leaves little room for a development team to know the intricacies of how to execute on say, the appropriate ad serving software, video streaming or sophisticated customer personalization tool.
Now I’m not pointing fingers, because believe you me I have been there. Repeatedly. But what are we to do and how do we sell the right solution into our companies? Here are some considerations you might find useful to those looking for the precise solution to begin the journey of delivering consistent customer value:
- Always have vision. Is it obvious? Sure. But do you know what it means? That’s the real question. Vision is meant to place a company’s potential in the realm of the possible, not the impossible. It is long-term and can be achieved through a singular or subsets of missions. Not just mission statement. Think literally mission. A mission has to be attainable based on the way your company is positioned today or the mission being applied to reposition your company for the achievable future.
- Find the right strategy. Formulating strategy is not as obvious as just knowing you need one. I once read something that always stuck with me when considering crating an accurate strategy – Keep it simple by considering just two critical factors: predictability (How far into the future and how accurately can you confidently forecast demand, corporate performance, competitive dynamics, and market expectations?) and malleability(To what extent can you or your competitors influence those factors?).
- Facilitate a conversation about CMS capabilities. Q: “But we’ve got a great website, why do we need to invest in another technology?” A: Read the first sentence of this blog again. A CMS can be the tie that binds company silos. Ah, but now what to look for:
- Easy-to-use-interface. A must-have for tech and non-tech to get on the same page.
- Single view to the customer with omnichannel delivery. A CMS should be collecting data for personalization to render to the indented customers cross platform. Conversions, impressions, etc. to achieve company goals.
- Automation for all possible content channel messaging. A CMS can scale to translate your content through your current channels and expand to reach new channels that align with your company vision. Customize for scalability.
- SEO. Yep, what’s the point of a cool site when no one finds it. Take care when developing content to adhere to titles, meta descriptions and keywords. Leverage the alt attributes and link backs. All this becomes far more manageable in a CMS and is truly important in Google’s rankings.
- Support. Every CMS has a support component. Whether it’s an active community online or a 24/7 call-in line, use them. When you add a CMS to your business, you’ve just joined a club. Research the CMS’ support channels to find the right solution for your individual business’ needs.
- Integration flexibility. Insists on aligning with a CMS that has simple integration to your current line of business applications. If you begin to see that options become too limited, it’s time to look at your business applications. Don’t stifle your efforts to a scope of work that doesn’t include an internal audit of current technology.
- Scalability. Today’s strategy is tomorrow’s learned mistake. That is OK. But be certain you’ve found a CMS that is continually supported and upgraded to allow your company to pivot on demand. This is the riskiest part, I’ll admit. No one knows the future. We all aren’t CEO with ultimate decision-making power. However, a CMS can be the best tool in your arsenal to keep up with an ever-changing environment.
- Bring everyone together. Yes communication between the silos. Tap the shoulder of a developer. Invite key stakeholders to a luncheon. Never underestimate the power of informal conversation while you research. It’s just the right thing to do.
This is a high-level list of considerations. Many more exist based on the culture and size of your organization. But big or small, there are ways through technology that can align your efforts to meet company goals. Solutions are out there. Research. Then, research again.
Feel free to ask us for help, too, by the way. We love this stuff!