Does your organization need a headless or hybrid content management system (CMS)?
The rise of Headless and Hybrid CMSs is revolutionizing the way content is created, managed and delivered to devices and platforms across the globe. But deciding whether your company needs to move to a Headless or Hybrid CMS is not something to jump into lightly.Use the following questions to gauge your organization’s business needs, staff capabilities, management support and financial resources for a Headless or Hybrid CMS:Do we have needs that aren’t being met by our current CMS?Are we able to sufficiently optimize content delivery speed so that it isn’t a hindrance to our SEO goals? Can wedeliver the kind of user experience our customers expect, on all of our must-have platforms and devices? Are security concerns or bug fixes taking developer time that could be better used elsewhere?Do we have, or can we hire, a development team to handle the Head presentation layers that may not be part of a Headless or Hybrid CMS?Can we successfully migrate our existing content to a new platform without sacrificing our search rankings?Explore capabilities from headless and hybrid CMS vendors like Magnolia, Arc XP, Acquia and more in the full MarTech Intelligence Report on these content management platforms.Click here to download!Can we tie a new CMS into the existing important elements of our martech stack?Is our editorial and content creation staff flexible enough (or tech-savvy enough) to adopt a new CMS interface?Are we committed to changing our editorial processes to support more reuse and repurposing of our content?Do we have current needs or future ambitions to deliver content to enough different platforms or devices to justify switching?Does our C-suite support this type of initiative?A lack of executive buy-in can lead to inadequate budgeting, measurement and performance, and broken customer experiences. It is critical, therefore, to secure C-suite support.How will we define success?What KPIs do we want to measure and what decisions will we be making based on the data? As with any technology investment, it is critical to measure the impact of the Headless or Hybrid CMS on your marketing ROI. Although KPIs will vary by organization or industry, you should be able to measure site or app speed, SEO ranking and traffic improvements, and conversion rate gains for lead generation or e-commerce. You may also be able to gauge whether the CMS is saving your developers or editors time.What is the total cost of ownership? Because Headless and Hybrid CMSs unbundle some of the functions that are built into a traditional CMS, it’s important to ensure you’re accounting for all of the pieces you’ll need to assemble for your new infrastructure. You may also need to budget for editor training and ongoing development to help you realize some of the benefits we’ve discussed here.Headless and hybrid content management systems: A snapshotWhat they are. Headless and hybrid content management systems are software that serves as a repository for textual and other digital content that includes an application programming interface (API) that allows that stored content to be distributed to a variety of platforms. “Hybrid” systems have some of the characteristics of headless systems and some of those of “traditional” content management systems.Why they’re hot. Most enterprise content management systems are built to deliver content to a desktop web browser, with WordPress being the most popular. However, much has changed since the platform’s start in 2003. People interact with content not just on desktops and laptops, but on their mobile phones, cars, TVs, and other connected devices.Each device people use requires their unique interface and type of content to deliver the best experience. Brands may want to share content in different “wrappers,” which could include webpages, mobile apps, email, smart speaker apps, or VR apps.How it works. A headless CMS disconnects the underlying content from the manner of display, making it easier to leverage the same assets across many platforms and devices. Repurposing and reusing content in this manner improves marketers’ ROI and reduces spend on creative efforts. These systems also speed up content delivery, helping brands better meet customer expectations.Why we care. Enterprises need to deliver the same content in different languages with certain cultural tweaks in each market. This, coupled with the need to present their content on many channels and platforms, has shown many web developers the limitations of PHP formats. This is why so many adopt more modern CMS technologies to improve user experience.Read next: What are headless and hybrid content management systems? About The Author Pamela Parker is Research Director at Third Door Media’s Content Studio, where she produces MarTech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land and MarTech. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager, Senior Editor and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She’s a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.
How agile is transforming modern marketing
Kim Davis, editorial director of MarTech, discussed updates to the Agile Marketing Manifesto with industry leaders at our MarTech conference. Many of these changes stemmed from developments at a recent virtual gathering of over 80 agile marketers from around the world.John Cass, co-founder of AIContentGen, spoke of the gathering — the SprintTwo conference — that made some much-needed improvements to the Manifesto: ”The first conference took place in 2012 — at that one, we developed the Manifesto because we felt that the practices of agile were needed by marketers at this point in time.”The marketers at SprintTwo were asked what they believed were the core values of agile marketing. Based on their responses, it appears agile has the potential to shape the future of marketing as a whole.Image: Proposed values of agile marketingNote: Subsequent to the session, the values were finalized.The importance of agile marketing valuesThe proposed agile marketing values say much about where the industry is headed. They outlined where top professionals in the field see agile methodologies shaping how consumers and brands interact.“These values are the basis of it all,” said Giannina Rachetta, marketing manager at 3M. “Marketers need to shift their mindsets — to let go of the old ways of how we used to do marketing and do what our colleagues in the product development side have successfully adopted.”But not everyone has the same ideas when it comes to the path forward. It all depends on which side of marketing you’re operating in.“People look at it from their point of view from their world,” said Stacey Ackerman, owner of Agilify Coaching & Training. “If they’re working in a company, they’re looking at it from how that language may be interpreted in their organization, and often what I see is where it could get misused.”She added, “But we landed in a good place. We had a good consensus from most people that these are meaningful values to have in our community.”Understanding customer-centricityOne of the biggest issues agile marketers — and marketers in general — face is how best to address the customer. Most marketing professionals agree customers should be the focus of any campaign, but few know how to best define “customer-centricity” accurately.“So the marketing language is one thing,” said Cass, “but the other is the issues that people face today. With so much digital transformation going on, we have to think about the customer journey.”Building relationships is a key ingredient of any marketing campaign’s success — even more so with agile methodologies. Their ability to adapt to changing consumer patterns makes them a foundational piece of relationship marketing. But, at its core, agile should serve the purposes of customer relationships — whether through conversations or tailored messages.“Meaningful conversations are going to be interpreted differently depending on your organization,” said Ackerman. “I think about actually talking to each other versus relying on a tool; that is one of the issues I see in a lot of companies. They don’t take the time to converse with each other.”Read next: A set of 10 principles were drawn up to reflect the finalized valuesA transformed agile marketing ecosystem“Having an advanced [Agile marketing] ecosystem means that it can have better tools to help you do your job better,” Rachetta said. “Having more thought leadership can bring in that learning and spread it around.”Marketing systems can thrive when they’re installed in adaptive frameworks, or “ecosystems,” and marketers are finding tools based on agile methodologies to be quite effective. Some professionals believe these tools and methods are so prevalent that they’ve already brought us into the next level of agile marketing.“So many people are experimenting and trying agile marketing and they’re seeing what’s working and not working for them in the real world,” said Ackerman. “That’s exciting to see as it becomes more mainstream.”But, convincing your whole team to transform their marketing operations can prove difficult. There’s always concern about poor results when adopting new frameworks. That’s why agile practitioners need to highlight the success of these methods in other departments.“Developers have always had a method about how they work,” said Cass. “Whereas marketers might have strategies and ways of doing marketing, we don’t have processes on how you do marketing. That’s a different question.”“I think that what agile offers are an opportunity for a way of working and also addressing some of those big issues in the marketing profession,” he added.Watch the full presentation from our MarTech conference here (free registration required). About The Author Corey Patterson is an Editor for MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in SEO, content marketing, and journalism, he covers SEO and PPC to help marketers improve their campaigns.
5 Key Themes Shaping the Future of Marketing
Marketers and business leaders came together at Zeta Live ‘21 to discuss the evolution to a digital-first world and trending topics on the future of marketing. From NFTs to first-party data to the Metaverse and everything in between, here are some of the conference’s most engaging themes that marketers can’t afford to ignore.1. E-commerce enters the experience eraThe last 20 years of ecommerce and the technological progress made within the industry have offered solely static experiences for consumers. Enter the “experience era.”The experience era enables marketers to give consumers the branded experience they crave. In the What Comes Next for Social Commerce session, industry experts from Verishop, Snap Inc., ThirdLove, and Yahoo! explain what’s next, with emphasis on one-to-one interactivity, sustainability, the Metaverse, and livestream selling being the holy grails. 2. Web 3.0, NFTs, and blockchain technology go mainstream Web 3.0 represents the next iteration of the evolution of the internet as we know it. Built upon the core concepts of decentralization, openness, and great user utility, the real value coming out of web 3.0 will be blockchain. At the center of this blockchain technology now sits non-fungible tokens, better referred to as NFTs. In our session 2022: The Year NFTS Take the Mainstage, industry leaders from TIME and CNBC weighed in on the ability of crypto technology to create a new type of relationship with consumers through exclusivity. Michael Rubin, CEO of Fanatics, supported this positioning in his session on Sports Marketing in The Digital Era, sharing why he is launching NFT trading cards to strengthen the fan experience. While we’re still a few years out, NFTs and other Web 2.0 products platforms will inevitably disrupt the MarTech industry as we know it.3. The next wave of customer engagement in the Metaverse Despite an uptick in big news surrounding the Metaverse lately, the reality is that this shift to virtual experiences won’t come overnight. Bob Sherwin, CMO of Wayfair, noted in the session on The Future of Commerce & Creativity that the home goods brand has offered these experiences to its shoppers for years. Yet, the question of ‘when do consumers want to engage with it?’ still remains.4. Identity plays a pivotal role in the digital economyIdentity-based marketing – especially through the use of first-party data – has become increasingly important as consumers accelerate their transition to digital for everyday conveniences, transactions, and social interactions.In the session Navigating the Golden Age of Identity, marketing experts from Zeta, LiveRamp, AWS Data Exchange, and T-Mobile unpacked the significance of identity being the only thing that unifies the customer experience. 5. CDPs become the marketer’s North StarWhether it’s added complexity that slows down processes, or siloed processes that lead to mono-channels, marketers are breaking through these roadblocks by implementing a Customer Data Platform (CDP) to power their martech stack. In the session Technology Bets for the Modern Marketer, industry experts from Carter’s, Email Connect, Healthgrades, and SIMON weigh in on the importance of having such a CDP platform at the core of their marketing infrastructure. Access all the Zeta Live ‘21 session recordings until December 17th by navigating to the “theater” area of our virtual experience here.Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.About The Author Zeta Global Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ZETA) is a leading data-driven, cloud-based marketing technology company that empowers enterprises to acquire, grow and retain customers. The Company’s Zeta Marketing Platform (the “ZMP”) is the largest omnichannel marketing platform with identity data at its core. The ZMP analyzes billions of structured and unstructured data points to predict consumer intent by leveraging sophisticated artificial intelligence to personalize experiences at scale. Founded in 2007 by David A. Steinberg and John Sculley, the Company is headquartered in New York City. For more information, please go to www.zetaglobal.com.
How to build a successful marketing technology roadmap
The rise in marketing technology platform offerings, coupled with consumer behavior shifts, has created a need for strategic transformation. Courtney Trudeau, Senior Director of Technology Strategy at Merkle, recently worked with Dick’s Sporting Goods to build out a marketing tech roadmap for the brand to address these issues.“There have been huge changes with COVID-19, accelerating customer behavior, experience, and digital transformation,” she said in her presentation at our MarTech conference. “Even before that, there was this rise of digitally-native brands — brands that are born online — giving consumers more options to shop.”It’s becoming clear that brands without this digital-first framework must adopt new strategies to keep up with these trends. But this isn’t about adopting the latest, greatest technology. Instead, marketers should put together a roadmap that provides insights into the most effective technologies for their audience.Here are some tactics Trudeau recommends marketers take to build successful technology roadmaps.Navigating new consumer trends and behaviors“Customers are shopping not only online but on mobile,” said Trudeau. “People expect omnichannel shopping experiences. They demand service and they like shipping free shipping.”Image: MerkleBefore addressing these trends with new marketing technologies, brands should pay attention to the latest (and changing) consumer behaviors. Technological growth always drives these changes, but the pandemic has sped them up and introduced new trends, such as the desire for greater personalization.“People are craving connection,” said Trudeau. “People want connection not only with other people but with brands… They expect a personal experience.”Tackling organizational challengesMarketers should focus on addressing this need for personalization. But with the overwhelming amount of marketing technology choices available, people need a roadmap, says Trudeau. It can help organizations streamline their operations and avoid stagnation.Here are some of the more common organizational challenges with marketing technology.Lack of understanding about customer-centric data management;Missing an identity resolution solution;Lack of self-service analytics and KPIs;Product-driven focus instead of customer journey orchestration;Overreliance on channel segmentation; andContent creation processes neglecting the needs of omnichannel.“Brands are striving to become more customer-driven, but it’s hard to make that pivot from product-focus to customer-focus,” she said. “But technology can help enable that.”Set a marketing technology strategyOnce marketers have a better grasp of market trends and organizational challenges, they’ll be more prepared to develop a technology strategy — that piece of the puzzle that can accelerate campaigns. Here are four ways Trudeau suggests marketers put it together.Align current state capabilities. The goal is to create buy-in from your entire organization, says Trudeau. Marketers should highlight where their organization is in terms of marketing technology.Identify future state KPIs. After pinpointing the brand’s current technology state, marketers can more easily identify goals.Offer recommendations to get to a future state. Once the KPIs are agreed upon, Trudeau says marketers should concern themselves with “articulating those clear recommendations and strategies to get from your current state to your future state goals.”Prioritize technology implementations. If the current status, KPIs, and recommendations have been clearly articulated to the rest of the organization, marketers can begin prioritizing the required technology implementations.Create a technology roadmap, and bring others along“There’s a lot of internal bias that comes from working in an organization and using technologies day-to-day,” Trudeau said. “There are either people who love it or hate it. So looking at your technology from a capability framework takes that bias out of it.”Instead of ramming marketing technologies into organizational processes (some of which may be adverse to them), marketers should prioritize implementations based on effort, impact, and dependencies.Image: Merkle“Prioritization is super important,” said Trudeau. “It helps you recognize that low-hanging fruit that’s going to show value quickly, and those are the types of quick wins that show value to others.”She added, “People will be invested if you bring them along the journey and make them feel like they have a voice.”Watch the full presentation from our MarTech conference here (free registration required). About The Author Corey Patterson is an Editor for MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in SEO, content marketing, and journalism, he covers SEO and PPC to help marketers improve their campaigns.
8 questions to ask marketing work management vendors during the demo
Once you have determined that marketing work management software makes sense for your business and have spent time researching individual vendors, it’s time to schedule demos with your selected vendors. We recommend setting up demos within a relatively short time frame after receiving RFP responses to help make relevant comparisons. Also, make sure that all potential internal users are on the demo call, and pay attention to the following:How easy the platform is to use.Whether the vendor seems to understand your business and your needs.If they are showing you your “must-have” features.And whether the reporting is actionable.But a good demo is one where not only is the vendor demonstrating platform capabilities clearly, but also is answering all of your questions in a way that gives you greater confidence in the tool or service.Here are eight questions you should ask when demoing marketing work management software:How robust and flexible are your reporting options and visualizations?Different users have different reporting needs. Find out if reports can be customized and automatically delivered to different users and types of users, and whether data can be exported in CSV format.What workflow and project methodologies does your tool support?Is it focused largely toward Agile or Waterfall, or does it include aspects of both?How are permissions and access by non-licensees handled?If you plan to use the tool to coordinate with contractors or clients, you should look for tools that offer robustsharing options, including free guest accounts that won’t incur additional licensing fees. Also consider how granularly the different types of accounts can be set up, so that you can expose just the right amount of information to the different users and stakeholders.With regard to projects, tasks, sub-tasks, etc., what is the hierarchy within the tool and how is it organized?If you plan to use the tool within multiple departments, at multiple locations or with each of your clients, you must ensure you can keep initiatives separate from one another within the tool – both to prevent the leakage of proprietary information, and to avoid confusing users with too much data that they don’t need.Where are the actionable reports?Enterprise tools typically have dashboards and generous amounts of data but it’s very important to understand how, and, which reports can immediately benefit your business. A good sales team will understand yourcompany’s objectives and KPIs and will have reports ready or be able to run them in real-time.What does the onboarding process entail and how long will it take for my team to get up and running?What are the training options, i.e., is it online only…or will you send people to our location to train us on site? Be sure to find out what onboarding and support is included in pricing and what is an add-on.What kind of ongoing support and client engagement will your account team provide? How will you gauge our use or non-use of the platform’s features?One of the most common reasons a company transitions out of an enterprise platform is because they don’t use it enough. How do they propose you avoid tool fatigue and checkout for your organization? A vendor should be prepared to address this issue and specifically how the tool creatively engages users and gets them back into the environment. Quick and effective resolution of user questions is also an important factor, as it can make a significant difference in the speed of adoption.What new features are you considering? What’s the long-term roadmap and launch dates?The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing. It’s important to understand a vendor’s level of innovation and its ability to add and track emerging technologies. How do they solicit suggestions and feature requests from users, and what kind of influence do these have? Knowing a vendor’s new feature release date schedule and its ability to stick to committed timelines is also very important. This helps establish a long-term trust and relationship with the vendor based on the understanding that it will always be on the cutting edge.If the vendor answers all of your questions well and the platform seems to meet your needs, that means it’s time to move on the checking references, speaking with existing customers, and ultimately negotiating the contract.Marketing work management: A snapshotWhat it is: Marketing work management platforms help marketing leaders and their teams structure their day-to-day work to meet their goals on deadline and within budget constraints, all while managing resources and facilitating communication and collaboration. Functions may include task assignments, time tracking, budgeting, team communication and file sharing, among others.Why it’s important today. Work environments have changed drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has heightened the need for work management tools that help marketers navigate these new workflows.Marketers have been at work developing processes that allow them to work with those outside their own offices since marketing projects—campaigns, websites, white papers, or webinars—frequently involve working with outside sources.Also, with marketers required to design interfaces, write content, and create engaging visual assets today, more marketers are adopting agile workflow practices, which often have features to support agile practices.What the tools do. All of these changes have heightened the need for marketing work management software, which optimizes and documents the projects undertaken by digital marketers. They often integrate with other systems like digital asset management platforms and creative suites. But most importantly, these systems improve process clarity, transparency, and accountability, helping marketers keep work on track.Read next: What is marketing work management and how do these platforms support agile marketing About The Author Pamela Parker is Research Director at Third Door Media’s Content Studio, where she produces MarTech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land and MarTech. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager, Senior Editor and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She’s a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.