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10 Signs You’re Ready for a Web CMS Upgrade

Do you see any of these tell-tale signs in your workplace? If so, it may be time to upgrade your web CMS PHOTO: Sharon Mollerus

Your marketing strategy is in place and you’ve got the tools to get the results you want. 

You’re starting to translate into multiple languages and wondering how you can integrate all your systems to create brand and message consistency across all channels.

You’ve even set up the apps that your marketing department needs, using a third-party system for storage. But coordinating changes in offerings, coupons and campaigns between apps and sites is beginning to pose some problems.

At this stage, you may wonder if you need a solution which scales more efficiently and gives you more flexibility to grow. 

For most successful businesses, it’s not a question if they need an enterprise-ready web content management system (CMS), but when to make the jump. 

10 Signs You’re Ready for a CMS Upgrade

1. Too Many Systems, Not Enough Cohesion

You started out with one corporate website using one specific software. Now you run a multitude of systems, with different versions that are hard to maintain. On top of that, you need multiple sites in multiple countries in — you’ve guessed it — multiple languages. 

It goes without saying that your sites should be multichannel. So you need a system that allows you to manage all those requirements from one platform, as well as customize and adapt your content and sites for local markets. An enterprise-grade web CMS gives you the integration possibilities, as well as the potential to act as a headless content provider that allows you to pull content from different sources, and publish it in multiple channels.

2. You Need to Personalize Your Sites

You’ve created beautiful-looking sites with great content, and you’ve got the marketing tools to help you understand your customers and what they want. 

Now you need to personalize content to keep people on your site and improve your conversion rate. You can pull personalization traits from various systems, but you need the ability to easily create personas, segment customers and serve up bite-sized pieces of content to different people.

And if you want to get the most out of personalization, you also need to have the tools to test how it’s working, including A/B testing and analytics. Integrating these and delivering a great experience is one of the tasks an enterprise-grade web CMS performs.

3. You’re Delivering Inconsistent Customer Experiences

A music site that I use offers piano lessons. In a way, the site is a victim of its own success. While the business has expanded, the customer experience has become unwieldy. 

For instance, its blog talks about this new service for registered users. However, it pulls images from an earlier website that only certain registered users have access to. So the images don’t display, but the webmaster doesn’t see the problem. 

The result is that end users get a very fragmented and unsatisfactory experience. An enterprise-grade CMS helps you avoid these problem of mismatched content so you deliver consistent experiences across your sites and apps.

4. You Aren’t Getting the Most out of Your Tools

Your business probably has a CRM or at least a database of your customer contacts. You also have an accounting system that probably isn’t connected to your CRM. Now you have a separate CMS with great content, but you just can’t put it all together. You can introduce filters and create targeted mailing lists from your marketing automation tool, then pull content from your CMS, but the buck stops there. 

Your CMS is not talking to your CRM and you don’t have an efficient way to track which customer received what communication and what happened from there, let alone invoicing. You also need to have the tools to optimize your content and serve customers as they move between devices.

5. You Can’t Effectively Engage in E-Commerce

So the music site has got a new user for its piano lessons, but because the whole customer experience is disjointed, they are losing opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell. 

Suppose the user has successfully completed the basic course and printed out the certificate. Done deal, but have they captured the customer data in a way that allows them to target him or her for more business? If they could follow up effectively with all the data collected, they could offer him or her a discount off the advanced course, potentially gaining twice the amount of returns.

6. You Need to Connect Different Technologies

When you work with different IT service providers and vendors and use disparate technologies, it can result in disconnected customer experiences. An open CMS can act as a bridge between these technologies, allowing you to connect with practically any legacy system that you might have, and providing the scalability you may need later. If the CMS provides built-in integrations, you can connect systems including asset management, authentication, marketing automation and CRM, with no additional coding or customization.

7. Your Assets Are a Mess

You have a comprehensive resource pool of documents, photos, graphics and video clips — if only you could find and use the correct ones. 

If you’ve just undergone a major rebranding, you know how vital it is to remove outdated logos or brochures and replace with updated material. How frustrating when you find, six months after the launch, that countries x and y in your global markets are still using old assets.

8. You Need Tighter Control on Content

As your business expands, your content and teams become more difficult to manage, and you need to work harder to maintain brand guidelines and quality control. 

Enterprise-grade web CMSs come with powerful authoring tools that make it easy and efficient to create, preview and edit content, not to mention back-up your changes. It also allows you to set up the right permissions, and to ensure an efficient and secure workflow. You can better synchronize the information that is on your website and in your newsletters. The content is pulled from the same consistent source, allowing you to avoid contradictions and discrepancies.

9. Higher Security and Performance Requirements

An enterprise-grade web CMS provides the workspace for your developers and authors to test and improve the setup before it goes live. No more release faux-pas where users get access to courses that they hadn’t signed up for. Tasks can be automated to support timely distribution, making sure that your news, products and services hit all intended markets at the right time.

10. You Need to Grow

As your site traffic increases, your CMS needs to cope with large volumes of pages, many different sub-sites, multiple URLs and even different domains. It also should ensure that your sites are always online, regardless of traffic peaks.

Opting for an enterprise-grade web CMS doesn’t mean that you have to completely throw out and overhaul your current systems. Some platforms allow you to ingest content from different sources. So you can keep your content structures, but use your new CMS as a hub to better manage your content and to connect with other back-end systems that you need to run your business.

You’ve come a long way without an enterprise-grade web CMS, but if at least some of these points struck a chord, then it might just be time for you to take that leap.

Boris Kraft has been creating and selling software since the age of 16. He is the co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Magnolia International, a Swiss-based open source CMS vendor.


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