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Choosing the right CMS

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Businesses today are tasked with providing an engaging customer experience (across all digital touchpoints) to be successful. From a marketing perspective, it is crucial that content is distributed across all available customer devices including websites for laptops, tablets and mobiles, as well as content for other devices, such as watches and wearables.

The easiest way for marketers to create a unified communications strategy is by using a content management system (CMS). The right CMS allows marketers to update content with ease and control how it appears on each digital platform. Additionally, a tailored CMS will have the added benefit of strengthening brand and messaging unity on all devices, while delivering a seamless experience for customers.

What your business should look for in a CMS

Not all CMSs are the same, and it is important to keep this in mind when selecting the right solution for your team. The first thing to ensure is that you select a CMS with a headless function. In layman's terms, this is software that separates content distribution abilities from front-end web design functions. This enables marketing professionals to distribute content with an omni-platform approach—not just for the company website—without adding more complicated content management systems.

Secondly, your CMS should be easy to deploy without putting a strain on your IT team. Ultimately, you want your marketing team to manage and maintain your CMS themselves, not turning to your IT team for content updates when they should be focusing on mission-critical tasks.

For any marketer, data is essential for increasing campaign effectiveness and driving engagement. As such, a good CMS system should offer a level of personalization. Your team should be able to identify where users are located and what areas of your site they are exploring, so that you can then send them content that is based on their behavior. This is only possible through a CMS that has analytical capabilities to track users throughout a website based on their activity. So, depending on which pages they land on, what downloads they save, and which forms they choose to fill out, teams can use predictive and prescriptive analytics capabilities to determine what customers crave and how to best leverage that data to engage with them.

Another key feature to look for in a CMS is whether it allows marketers to manage multiple languages and related websites simultaneously. In an ever-changing region like Asia-Pacific, with all its dynamism and diversity, marketers need a tool that lets them easily update content in a range of languages.

For all businesses, security is crucial to the success of your business and the trust of your customers. Virtually all CMSs have been designed to be impenetrable for hackers and provides an additional layer of protection for personal information that may have been entered by customers into your site.

A good indicator of the level of security that such software offers is to always check that it complies with security laws across the globe. For example, GDPR has certainly been a wakeup call for just how much our privacy is being violated.

However, it wasn’t the first initiative like this. Countries around the world have adopted comparable data privacy laws, including Singapore, Thailand with its Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), and Australia with its Privacy Act.

The final tip is to ensure that your CMS allows for easy integration. The CMS that you choose must allow for coding and building other software if nothing is available in the marketplace by connecting to application programming interfaces.

What about an open source platform?

While open source platforms certainly have advantages—they are free and they encourage collaboration—there are fewer controls in place to ensure development is going as planned. As a result, there is a heightened security risk and further strain on IT resources to pay close attention to the security patches required to restrict access to the source code.

Go for a CMS that has its source code locked down so that anything that gets developed is automatically checked as progress is made, and that security patches have been specifically designed for your website. This requires fewer IT resources than an open source platform because the user experience has been designed for ease of use.

However, most importantly of all, there comes a time in any business where it is expedient to migrate from an open source platform to a company-backed platform. Maintenance and management costs will eventually get too expensive on open source, and the security risks will be far too great.

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