Modern consumers expect great experiences
As technology evolves and consumers become increasingly tech-savvy, companies have to step their game up to deliver the best digital experiences for their customers. In the past, it was enough to present the same content to every user. But nowadays, consumers expect content to be tailored to their personal needs. Also, this content should be available to them across all the different devices they use, from desktop PCs to cell phones, to smartwatches.
Companies that successfully meet these challenges experience increased engagement from their customers, and in turn, increased conversion rates. On the other hand, failure to meet the demands of the customer results in consumers spending less time on your site, leading to lower conversion rates.
Content management has always been a crucial part of delivering the customer experience, but nowadays, traditional CMS solutions aren't as effective as they used to be. So, what is the answer?
How to deliver seamless, personalized user experiences?
Delivering a seamless, personalized user experience requires companies to develop an advanced content management platform. Such a platform must be able to publish content across all devices, and provide customers with personalized experiences, such as recommendations and watch lists.
A classic example of a company that excels in this department is Amazon, with its personalized pages, as well as extremely accurate and relevant product recommendations. Other content personalization examples include Spotify, with customized music recommendations, and Netflix, which provides top picks and recommendations based on previous customer behavior.
To deliver seamless, personalized experiences, and keep up with the ever-increasing expectations of consumers, companies need three essential systems:
- Content management system: manages content across the board
- Interaction data store: used to capture user action and store individual customer preferences
- Personalization & recommendation engine: delivers the personalized content and recommendations to each customer based on the data in the customer datastore
The old solution: a custom-build content management platform
For many years, companies struggled to develop high-quality content management platforms. Organizations with enough resources developed a content management platform themselves, by integrating a CMS, a customer data store, a personalization engine, and a recommendation engine.
This often resulted in a complex web of poorly integrated systems and custom solutions. Resulting in a platform that is difficult to manage and prevents agile innovation.
The result? Inefficient workflows, a dependence on developers, and a time-consuming and costly process.
Problems when developing a custom content management platform
While the traditional approach can work for huge multinational companies with the funds and resources required, it's not a suitable solution for most businesses. Without teams of developers that they can dedicate to every aspect of a content management platform, it soon becomes a large and expensive burden.
A custom-build content management platform is complex because it is made up of different systems that weren't designed to work together. As these systems aren't connected, ensuring that they communicate well with each other requires a substantial development effort. You will need a lot of highly skilled developers to implement and manage a platform like this.
Implementing a custom-build content management platform takes time, especially when resources are limited. Overall, this can lead to substantial delays in getting your product online. And, at a time when the competition is fierce, long delays can seriously harm your competitive advantage.
The expenses of a custom-build content management platform are not merely limited to the cost of investing in three different systems and the required licensing agreements. Extended training periods and delays add costs while employing extra team members to manage the various aspects of this system eat up financial resources.
The new solution: an integrated content management platform
So, if a custom-build content management platform is not feasible, what's the alternative? For a long time, there simply weren't any. Fortunately, now there is another way to provide the personalized experiences modern consumers have come to expect.
An integrated content management platform allows any company, regardless of its size and resources, to keep up with evolving consumer expectations. Such a platform consists of all three critical services discussed previously, packaged in one seamless solution. As a result, delivering seamless, personalized experiences has never been more accessible or more affordable.
So, how does it work?
What is an integrated content management platform?
Like a custom-build content management platform, an integrated content management platform contains the following components:
- Headless CMS
- Customer data store
- Personalization and recommendation engine
Unlike a custom-build platform, every component now communicates seamlessly with one another in real-time.
Let's take a more in-depth look.
Centralized Content Management System
A centralized content management system (Headless CMS) allows users to easily publish content to a variety of different devices and touchpoints. It's continuously linked to the personalization and recommendation engine, that provides the most relevant content for each user.
Customer Data Store
The customer data store captures and stores the user actions of all your customers as they interact with your content on a variety of devices, apps, and other media. The data store uses the data to fuel the personalization and recommendation engine.
Personalization and Recommendation Engine
The personalization engine creates a personalized experience for each customer with the data from the data store. This includes anything from recommendations, to emails and offers, all tailored to the individual.
The benefits of an integrated content management platform
Adopting an integrated content management platform enables any company to create optimized, personalized content, and offers two major benefits. First, it increases the engagement between visitors and the content, and second, it simplifies the process of content management considerably.
With personalized content, customers spend more time on your site. Since the platform adapts content to their preferences and past behavior, it's more likely they find something relevant on each page. Whether it's videos, music, products, or anything else, personalized content matters and keeps customers engaged for longer.
The longer a customer spends on your site, the more they will purchase products, subscribe to your content, or complete any other meaningful goal. This increases conversion rates and enables your company to stay ahead of the competition.
Because you have more data from your customers, you can send personalized messages that make them come back more often. And higher retention rates mean more business and keep your customers away from the competition.
Simpler content management
An integrated content management platform streamlines the entire process of personalizing content. There are several other advantages when compared to custom-build content management platforms.
With all three services developed and managed by the same vendor, there's a familiar interface, creating a far simpler platform. As a result, users only need to learn one new system, rather than three. Additionally, the three services work together seamlessly, and since they're continually communicating among themselves, implementing the system is relatively straightforward.
Because you only need to deal with a single vendor and a single product, an integrated platform is a far more affordable solution. An integrated content management platform also requires fewer programming resources and can be typically managed by a single team, rather than two or three.
An integrated content management platform is also typically faster to develop, resulting in a faster time-to-market. A custom build platform can take longer to implement, as teams need to integrate each service individually, costing more in terms of time lost, as well as developer fees.
It's clear that customer expectations are continually evolving, and what was once innovative, soon becomes mandatory. Fully personalized experiences across a range of devices are not only expected but demanded nowadays. Therefore, ensuring that your company can deliver personalized content is vital to your success.
While it has been challenging to provide sufficient content management solutions in the past without access to substantial funds and resources, times are finally changing. Integrated content management platforms streamline the entire process, creating a single, easy-to-use, affordable, and time-saving solution that any company can adopt.
So, the next time you are looking at your CMS and content management platform, why not consider implementing an integrated content management platform.