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May 25, 2023 | 7 min. read

How composable technology improves experiences in financial services

The financial services industry is one of the most advanced sectors when it comes to using digital technology. However, companies in this space are constantly competing for customers at every level, from large investment firms to small, independent banks.To stay ahead of the competition and satisfy customer needs, financial institutions must take advantage of the most advanced solutions available to optimize customer experiences. Composable digital experience platforms provide an easy-to-implement suite of tools and features that allow businesses to execute complex tasks quickly and cost efficiently. In this blog, we’ll explain what a composable DXP is, then look at how financial services companies rely on this technology. We’ll also cover the major benefits of composable DXPs and give you questions to ask when selecting a DXP.What is a composable digital experience platform (DXP)?In a legacy platform, a suite of features and capabilities are built into the software by the vendor. You pay for everything in the suite, even features you don’t want. To add functionality, you must choose vendor-approved, third-party plug-ins. There’s no freedom to choose the ideal solutions for your business as you grow.Composable DXPs differ. They’re “composed” of best-in-breed solutions that work together via APIs to deliver omnichannel content and digital experiences. With composable, you’re no longer locked into features and capabilities chosen by the vendor. Instead, you can compose a unique DXP with the right mix of tools for your business.Many types of software can be integrated into a composable DXP such as:E-commerce toolsAsset managementCustomer managementOmnichannel managementMarketing automation and analyticsContent workflowsCustomer engagementAI toolsThe architecture of legacy and composable DXPs also differs. With a legacy platform, developers create HTML code to control how a website’s front-end display looks. This is great for managing content like photos, text, art, and videos on one website. However, it’s inefficient when using content across multiple websites and channels like social media sites and native apps.With legacy systems, users must manage content separately for each channel. This is difficult, time-consuming and also increases the risk of human error. Legacy systems simply can’t provide the level of agility financial organizations require to deliver the meaningful content experiences required to be competitive.Composable DXPS are built on composable architecture with headless content management systems at the core. With headless, the front-end display and back end are disconnected. Because of this separation, content for multiple channels is managed from one central hub. Then it’s pushed to websites, mobile apps and social media on demand. When integrated with tools like real-time customer data and analytics, organizations become more agile. This leads to greater customer satisfaction along the customer journey.How financial services companies use composable technologyTo understand how financial companies rely on composable technology, let’s consider their customers. According to the Forbes Advisor: 2022 Digital Banking Survey, nearly 80% of adults in the U.S. prefer using a mobile app or website for banking rather than banking in person at a physical location.That’s not surprising when digital is more accessible and convenient. With digital, customers can bank 24/7 from anywhere in the world on any device. They no longer have to leave home to make a deposit, get a loan or even close on a new house.New digital-only banks have also disrupted the market. These non-traditional banks offer fast, convenient mobile banking solutions and payment services. And they have left some traditional banks struggling to keep up.Advances in digital technology aren’t limited to banking either. E-commerce is booming. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce sales in 2022 were estimated to total $1.03 billion. Payment providers, acquiring banks and card schemes like Mastercard work behind the scenes to enable these transactions.Customer expectations of financial services organizations have evolved along with technology. Customers now expect options that make it easy to manage their banking, conduct financial business and make purchases quickly and conveniently. This has increased competition between financial services companies trying to seize their share of the market.Competition is actually responsible for furthering banking along the digital journey toward digitized processes and digital revenue. In fact, according to Gartner’s CIO Survey 2021, it’s further along than any other industry.That's why robust DXPs are must-have technology for financial services companies trying to seize their share of the pie. By robust, we mean composable DXPs that support personalization, marketing automation, data and analytics, and other tools your tech stack may require to keep pace with customers expectations.Benefits of a composable DXP for financial services  Increased flexibility Banks, payment providers and other financial services companies gain the freedom to keep existing systems and solutions they require to do business, while integrating new solutions they want to leverage for customer engagement and other purposes. Put simply, they can choose the best mix of tools for their unique success story.From one composable platform, this mix of best-in-breed solutions will connect and communicate seamlessly. Many complex processes that were once slow, time-consuming and left room for error become automated and streamlined.Agility Composable empowers financial organizations to move faster. They could mean pushing important information to multiple channels quickly or adding a new product ahead of a competitor. This agility enables financial organizations to scale faster while still keeping up with customer expectations and regulatory requirements.Composable DXPs can even help financial organizations to grow as it enables them to deliver much better content experiences. This not only helps to attract brand new customers, but builds customer satisfaction and customer loyalty among existing customers. Enhanced security Composable enables faster implementation of security updates. This minimizes both disruption and vulnerability to cyber attacks. Financial organizations are very susceptible to cyberthreats from criminals trying to access financial assets or personal information to target customers. And the slow process of updating security protocols with traditional, legacy DXPs can result in lengthy downtimes. During these times, secure systems are more vulnerable to cyber threats.Not only do government regulations require that financial organizations take security measures to protect their customers from cyberthreats, customers have similar expectations. They want security when they bank or conduct any business through a financial services provider. This is true whether they’re banking on their phone or making a purchase on an e-commerce site.What to consider when implementing a composable DXPBefore choosing a DXP, it’s crucial to first consider who will be using the platform and how they will use it. Be sure to loop in stakeholders from marketing, IT and business. Developing specific use cases will provide a clearer picture of what you require from a platform.Next, it’s time to begin searching for a DXP to fulfill your requirements. Be sure to ask these four questions: Does it have a headless CMS? A headless CMS is important because it enables composable DXPs to manage content from one location, then push it out to multiple channels like your website, social media and native apps.Is it easy to use? Composable DXPs should enable content creators and other nontechnical users to create and edit content without any coding skills or assistance from IT. Select a platform that’s easy to use and intuitive.How configurable is it? Regardless of how easy a platform is to use, it isn’t going to be the right fit unless it can be customized to align with user requirements and business objectives. Choose a DXP that offers the customization options your business needs, as well as the capability to integrate the best-in-breed solutions you may want to leverage both now and later as your organization scales.How good is the customer support? Transitioning from a monolithic platform to a composable DXP is a unique experience for every organization. Making the switch is often done in phases with different capabilities and features being rolled out over time with minimal disruption. You’ll need technical support throughout the transition. Make sure your provider is willing to listen and comprehend your use cases and business objectives and will be there when needed.How financial services companies use composable DXPsHere are three examples showing how banks and financial services companies are using composable DXPs:Composable banking: Many banks have already adapted to composable banking, which makes it easy to quickly adapt to changes in the market. With composable banking, products and services are broken down into separate components that are managed independently. Composable DXPs support composable banking by making it easy to launch new products and services at the right time without disrupting other services.Managing content across channels: Banks with multiple locations, divisions and different suites of products and services for personal and commercial banking customers are using composable DXPs to manage all their content from one central hub. When an interest rate changes, for instance, a composable DXP enables content teams to quickly push the new rate out to multiple channels in a matter of minutes. Whereas in the past, someone had to go into each piece of content and manually update the rate. This was not only tedious and time-consuming, but increased the risk of human error.Personalization: Some larger banks are focusing heavily on enhancing personalization through better technology to deliver a better customer experience. Composable DXPs enable banks to seamlessly integrate and connect sophisticated automated and AI-powered tools that communicate and share data. For instance, localization tools can determine a customer’s location and deliver personalized content in their language, while feedback from analytics tools ensures the message is relevant to them.Learn moreLearn more about the advantages you can expect from our composable DXP in our blog, “Contentstack demonstrated 295% ROI in Forrester study.” To see how Contentstack’s composable DXP can help your digital transformation, schedule a free demo. 

May 24, 2023 | 3 min. read

3 ways tech and business teams can help each other through a transformation

Not all great tech transformations are brought to the table by a developer, engineer, CTO or other technical person. We see great projects kick off because someone in marketing, sales or customer success raises the flag for change. Sometimes business people can see opportunities that aren’t as plain to the tech teams.That’s what happened when Booking.com decided to transition off its old systems to a headless CMS. Juliette Olah, senior manager of Editorial, realized that her teams had produced thousands of pieces of content over the years — but the capabilities of their current technology significantly limited the value that content produced in their local markets and possibilities for the future.Listening to her “People Changing Enterprises” episodes, I admired the way Juliette united Booking.com’s product and editorial teams from the beginning to pull off their transformation. Business and tech can either be each other’s biggest advocates or frustrating roadblocks.To avoid the latter, these are three examples of how tech and business teams can support each other throughout a transformation.Thoroughly debrief at the onsetAt the beginning of every project, we encourage organizations to sit down with their cross-functional teams and level set. Business and tech have their own KPIs and goals to achieve. In a project that bridges the two, there should be a frank discussion, ending in clear, written requirements of process and goals for both sides.Once Juliette realized a tech transformation was the answer to the editorial team’s needs, she became the living bridge between the editorial and product teams. Sitting down with tech stakeholders, they talked through what Juliette called a “comprehensive 360 view of the benefits to the technical side of the platform”:The editorial team’s strategy and the justification behind the new technologyReal-life examples of what execution would look likeThe business value of a central headless CMS would bring to each local marketOpportunities they were currently missing out on because of their current toolBecause she had clearly done her homework and demonstrated the need on both sides, the product team was eager to get started.Partner up to find and test new toolsFinding and testing new tools is an easy way for business and tech teams to partner effectively. When the new CMS was in place, the teams at Booking.com partnered to try out the new tool to make sure it worked for both sides.At Contentstack, once a new solution is initially developed, we pull in our business partners for User Acceptance Testing. They can test, catch bugs, or point out which workflows function trickier than anticipated — versus the tech teams doing it all themselves.Additionally, when you’re on the hunt for new tools, tag a business partner in for their opinion. From a different mindset, they might be able to raise questions or point out benefits you didn’t consider. Work together to phase out what isn’t neededA transition to composable is the perfect time to evaluate what tools you’re bringing into the new environment — and which ones you should retire. This is another area that tech and business teams should work together.A few years ago, we bought an analytics tool for the organization to use on their reports. It was low-cost and met some of our needs upfront, so we decided to take a chance on it. Six months down the road, we were spending a huge amount of time trying to force the tool to work. When a business person came to me and admitted the tool wasn’t helping their team meet their objectives, we decided to look into something else. On a composable project, it’s not always clear on the back end if a tool is working for teams as they need. That’s where our business partners come in. It’s a partnership.Babe Ruth once said, "The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime."It’s easy for business and tech teams to work in silos, but working together produces more value. Especially in a tech transformation, the two teams are different sides of one coin. Find ways to bridge the gap and you’ll see much more value in your resulting tech stack.

May 23, 2023 | 5 min. read

5 best practices for improving customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction, a measure of how much a company’s products or services meet or exceed its customer’s expectations, continues to dominate the business world. Customer satisfaction directly correlates with and translates to customer happiness, which is reflected in your business ratings. It is an important metric that helps measure how well a business is meeting the needs and expectations of its customers. Therefore, understanding and enhancing customer satisfaction is critical to ensuring long-term success for your business. Why customer satisfaction mattersWith more than 96% of customers claiming that customer service is essential to brand loyalty, it’s no secret that customer satisfaction is vital for your business's growth. It is the key to keeping your current customers and retaining new ones. Customer satisfaction directly affects customer loyalty, and it affects how customers may intend to associate with your brand in the future.Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that your customers are happy with your products and services. Customer satisfaction provides insight into things that need improvement or ways to improve your services or product to serve your customers better. A high level of customer satisfaction shows that a business is providing quality products or services, meeting customer expectations and delivering an overall positive experience. In today's digital world, understanding the market from the end user's perspective is the need of the hour. For example, in a product-based SaaS organization, recognizing customer requirements, curating the product according to their needs, and understanding best practices for improving customer satisfaction can help you get an edge over your competitors.Top 5 best practices for improving customer satisfactionSo, what factors affect customer satisfaction? How do you improve it? Understanding what drives customer satisfaction is a must to improve it. Here are the top five best practices for improving customer satisfaction in your SaaS business:Provide convenience with in-app chat featuresConvenience lets customers use your products or services without hassle. There’s comfort in knowing that everything will be taken care of, no matter what.A virtual assistant or chatbot is one way to provide convenient customer service. The in-app product chat feature provides the easiest way for customers to connect with your support team or agent. Customers always look for an easy way to connect quickly with the support team in case they need help while using the product or if they have any feedback about a feature. However, there should not be limitations to reaching out to the support team or agent only via chat support; an email or contact number should be available to expedite the process.Deliver the human touch with personalization Delivering a personalized customer experience helps establish a strong emotional bond with your customers. Research suggests that 80% of customers are more likely to buy products or services from a brand offering them personalized experiences.Providing a human touch or lively experience is essential, which is not the case when implementing a chatbot for answering queries. Customers expect to get the most relevant answers to their queries with little back and forth. Most of the time, organizations implement a chatbot by designing it to provide the most appropriate answers to the questions asked by the customers. However, after a certain point, bots are not self-sufficient to answer these accurately. In such instances, a live customer support agent can interact with the client to gather the required information by probing for correct questions. This gives additional assurance to the client that the team is looking into their query and that they will get a resolution soon.Track response and turnaround times (FRT and TAT)The quicker the response to a customer’s complaint, the better it is for the customer and the business. First Response Time (FRT) and Turn Around Time (TAT) are the most critical factors in engaging customers. First response time (FRT) is a metric used to measure the time it takes for a business to respond to a customer's initial inquiry or request for assistance. For example, this could be a customer support email, phone call, or message on social media.FRT is crucial because it directly impacts customer satisfaction. Customers generally expect a quick response to their inquiries, and delays in response time can lead to frustration and a negative experience. A prompt first response time can help establish trust and build a positive relationship between the customer and the business.When customers reach out to the support team, they expect an initial reply or acknowledgement of their query. A prompt reply or acknowledgement assures customers that the organization is dedicated to understanding their problems and helps win customer trust and improve satisfaction. In customer service, turnaround time (TAT) is often used to measure the time it takes to resolve customer inquiries or complaints. This includes the time it takes to provide a first response (FRT) plus the time it takes to resolve the issue entirely. A low TAT generally indicates that a business can quickly and efficiently resolve customer issues, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.Organizations should serve customer requests 24/7, across all time zones. It is important to share regular updates on specific cases, so use a unique reference number that can be shared with the client so that they can reach out for updates.Resolving customer-reported bugs in a timely manner helps unblock users and positively affects the organization. Once a bug is resolved and/or an enhancement is implemented, updating customers with a unique reference number is a key factor in improving customer satisfaction. Obtain customer feedback Obtaining customer feedback is essential for enhancing customer satisfaction as it helps businesses gain insight into their customers' needs, preferences and pain points. By acting on this feedback, businesses can make necessary changes to meet customer needs and expectations better, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty.Feedback helps identify the gaps between customers and businesses. Understanding customer needs via feedback is very important so details can be discussed with the product team to implement them within the current functionality. A transparent approach to customer feedback collection ensures customers are heard, improving their overall experience. Ensure customer success with proper onboarding Earlier in the onboarding process, determining the customer's end goal for using your solution and defining milestones to achieve that goal improves your customer's experience and assures them that they are in the right hands moving forward. Connecting with customers is important. Schedule regular meetings to understand their workflow and hand-holding (when necessary) until they are fully live. This is usually done with dedicated customer success managers and solutions architects assigned to specific customers. It helps them achieve their use case, clear any roadblocks with the product and get technical guidance when needed. CSMs also help clients to expedite resolving the important features or bugs they may experience. A wonderful onboarding experience engages the customers better, making them less likely to churn and more likely to make repeat purchases. Also, a solid onboarding experience makes customers feel valued while increasing their product adoption.Final thoughtsThe right strategies and best practices can help improve customer satisfaction, propelling your SaaS product's trajectory toward reduced churn and increased business revenues. Investing in contemporary customer satisfaction strategies (artificial intelligence, visual tools and an omnichannel approach) enhances your ability to offer personalized experiences. Most importantly, increased customer satisfaction keeps your customers returning and is directly linked to growing your business' topline revenue.

May 19, 2023 | 4 min. read

5 key takeaways from ContentCon 2023

If you were lucky enough to attend ContentCon 2023, the Contentstack’s highly anticipated annual customer conference held May 8-10, you know how incredibly useful this event can be for those on the journey to composable. With inspiring keynotes and exclusive workshops, attendees take away new insights on composable leadership and technology. In case you missed it, here are some highlights and key takeaways from ContentCon 2023:The monolith is dead: Welcome to the age of composableThe monolith is dead, Contentstack CEO Neha Sampat declared in her opening keynote.“When you're living life according to the rules of the monolith, you're stuck in a cycle of what's not possible,” Sampat said. “You're constrained by the limitations of tech. But when you do break free suddenly this whole world of possibilities can open up to you.”To break free from the monolith, Sampat said, “We have to find our people. We have to find our champions, and we have to find our inner heroes. We challenge the status quo, we redefine the rules, and we can only win if we do it together.”The first-ever Composable CharterCustomers and partners from over 100 leading enterprises at ContentCon 2023 participated in the creation of the first-ever Composable Charter, a roadmap for any business to be successful on the path to composable.  The Composable Charter provides a framework of 10 guiding principles applicable to enterprises across all industries seeking to future-proof their business through the adoption of composable technologies and architectures. It takes a village to raise a platform Procurement in the age of composable technology is no longer just one contract but many. Keynote speaker Mindy Montgomery offered a “procurement survival guide” based on her experiences as senior technical product manager at ASICS. "I think communication and managing expectations amongst the team of the solution provider, the brand and the integration partner is going to be more and more key because we are dealing with much more complex solutions that we need to bring to market,” Montgomery said.Her recommendations for brands implementing a composable platform also included:Product management should lead procurement activities but not be the decision maker.Create a contract expiry and scope schedule and review it quarterly.A scoring matrix for requirements makes it easier to quantify and defend decisions to internal stakeholders and solution providers.A framework for getting everyone on boardJurre van Ruth, strategic program manager at PostNL, shared how he used a storytelling framework to persuade decision makers to invest in a fully composable digital experience platform.Name your enemy: “You could say we created a Frankenstein out of our old CMS,” van Ruth said. Like Frankenstein’s monster, “It was alive. But alive doesn’t mean it’s bringing joy and happiness,” van Ruth said. Create a sense of urgency: The existing platform provided inconsistent communication and a long lead time for content changes, resulting in unhappy customers and employees and slow time to market.Agitate the problem: If the company didn’t act now, customer satisfaction would keep dropping, costs would keep increasing and employees would become more dissatisfied.Offer the missing piece of the puzzle: Content as a service in a central platformSpark intrigue: van Jurre created a model that showed how a headless CMS would save up to 90% of time spent on content management.Sell benefits, not features: A headless CMS would deliver a consistent experience, cost savings and customer satisfaction.Show, don’t tell: A workshop with users allowed them to experience the changes and understand the impact of the headless CMS.Build trust: Rather than presenting the need for change himself, van Jurre gained support from others so decision makers knew employees were already on board.Demonstrate the potential: van Jurre’s team created an inspiring video to share the possibilities of the new CMS with employees to get them on board.Show long-term vision: Jurre’s team positioned the headless CMS as being part of something bigger, a composable DXP with capabilities to facilitate the best possible digital experience.A ‘360-degree’ approach to content strategy for AI Ana L'Antigua, global head of technology partnerships, and Sam Chapman, vice president of content and communications at Aprimo, led a workshop on how to develop an approach to content strategy to get the most out of generative AI.“Our lives are about to change as a result of generative AI,” L’Antigua said. “In fact, they already are in so many ways. The way that we do business will never look the same. And with those changes will come extreme challenges, and unless you and your teams are equipped and prepared to face them, you will be left behind.”L’Antigua and Chapman presented Aprimo’s “360-degree” approach to content strategy to get the most out of generative AI. The steps include:Create a cross-functional steering committee to develop a centralized company POV on opportunities to use generative AI.Consider AI use policies and brand safety risks and develop an approach to mitigate them.Identify budgeting and process changes that will be needed to take advantage of AI.Develop a prompt-management strategy as a reference point for content creators.Create training strategies for creating effective AI prompts and scaling performance and consistency.More from ContentCon 2023Visit the ContentCon 2023 Video Hub to watch videos of these presentations and more.

May 11, 2023 | 5 min. read

5 ways AI tools can help you create content

Generative AI is a powerful technology that has transformed how content is created and consumed. Many companies, big and small, use generative AI to create better content, make customers happier and grow their businesses. Read this post to learn how content creators can use generative AI to make different types of content, like text, pictures, sound, video and personalized suggestions.What is generative AI?Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that specializes in producing new content, data or patterns by relying on existing data. These AI solutions have undergone extensive training on a wide range of content, including written articles, images, websites, social media posts, and real-time conversations, primarily in English. As a result, they can now effectively copy the structure and grammar of written language and frequently used phrases. Generative AI has developed a remarkable ability to recognize shapes and patterns in images, such as the silhouettes of cats, children and shirts.How is generative AI used in content creation?The versatility of generative AI tools for content creation is vast and diverse, with many industries and formats benefiting from its implementation. Some of the most common applications include:Natural language processing (NLP) for text generationImage synthesis for generating imagesAudio synthesis for generating music and speechVideo synthesis for generating videosMachine learning-based systems for personalized contentNatural language processing for text generationOne of the most popular applications of generative AI in content creation is natural language processing (NLP). NLP is the process of computers and human languages interacting with each other. This enables machines to read, understand and create human text. Models such as GPT-4 have attracted a lot of attention due to their impressive capacity to produce clear, relevant, and natural-sounding text that fits the context.Data scientists train NLP models to mimic human writing by analyzing extensive datasets to comprehend grammar, syntax, and context. Businesses use them for various purposes, such as composing emails, generating product descriptions, producing blog articles, coding and even creating poetry.Image synthesis for generating new imagesCreating new images using generative models is known as image synthesis. One of the most well-known techniques used in this process is called Generative Adversarial Networks or GANs. These involve using two neural networks — the generator and the discriminator. The generator is responsible for creating new images. At the same time, the discriminator is used to evaluate these images against the existing training dataset. As the generator continues to create new images and compete against the discriminator, it learns to produce more realistic images.When it comes to image synthesis, the applications are wide-ranging. You can create original artwork or design virtual environments. You can even generate realistic product images and synthesize faces for digital avatars. A great example is StyleGAN, an NVIDIA-developed AI system that can produce photorealistic images of human faces, animals and objects.  Audio synthesis for generating music and speechAI has made great progress in creating new music and speech through audio synthesis. AI models can generate new compositions by learning the structure and patterns of music, including rhythm, melody, and harmony. Platforms like MuseNet and Magenta have produced AI-generated music spanning different genres and styles.AI-powered speech synthesis, or text-to-speech, transforms written text into spoken language. This generative technology is trained on human speech and produces realistic voices with intonation, emotion and accent. It can be used for virtual assistants, audiobook narration, and video voiceovers.Video synthesis for generating videosAI-powered video synthesis is a growing field that employs generative technology to create or modify videos. Composers can generate realistic video sequences using techniques such as GANs and VAEs. This method analyzes motion patterns, scene composition and object interaction to produce a fresh video piece of content.Deepfake technology is a well-known example of video synthesis. It uses AI to manipulate videos by replacing one person's face with another, making it appear that the person is speaking or acting in a way they never did. While deepfakes have raised ethical concerns, the underlying technology has promising applications in filmmaking, advertising and virtual reality.Video synthesis is ideal for creating 3D animations. This is done by training AI models on 3D models and motion data to produce realistic animated sequences. This technology benefits video game development, animated movies and virtual environments.Machine learning-based systems for personalized content  AI-powered recommendation systems now personalize content experiences for users. By analyzing user behavior, preferences and demographics, machine learning algorithms generate tailored recommendations that match each individual's unique taste.These recommendation systems are commonly used in content platforms like Netflix, Spotify and YouTube to provide personalized suggestions for movies, music and videos. But they can also be employed in other industries, such as e-commerce, news and even online learning, to curate a personalized experience for each user.Generative AI is changing how we produce and consume content in different fields and formats. With the help of generative AI, companies can create more appealing, imaginative, and individualized content, which leads to better customer experiences and business growth.To excel as a business leader, marketing professional, or technical expert, it's crucial to stay informed about emerging technologies and consider how to incorporate them into your existing content marketing strategy. By doing this, you'll be prepared to adapt to the future of content creation and outdo your competitors in a world that is increasingly influenced by AI.Embracing generative AI in your content strategyTo make use of generative AI in your content plan, here are some practical steps you can follow:Start by evaluating how you currently create content and pinpointing opportunities where generative AI could be beneficial. This may involve automating repetitive tasks, producing personalized suggestions, or generating unique and captivating content.To make the most of generative AI tools, it's important to do your research and invest in those that match your business goals and content requirements. Depending on your focus, tools like GPT-4 and other NLP models could be worth considering for text generation.Collaborating with experts in the field of generative AI can be challenging due to its constant evolution. With so many new AI tools available from various vendors, finding an expert in marketing content management to help guide you is crucial. It's important to balance automation and human creativity when it comes to content creation. While generative AI can be incredibly helpful, it's crucial to remember the value of the human touch. Rather than relying solely on AI, use it as a tool to enhance your team's expertise and imagination.AI-generated content has ethical considerations that you must address. It would help if you established clear internal guidelines to ensure transparency and maintain trust with your audience. These guidelines should address privacy issues such as unintentionally exposing personal information, prevent bias that may exist within the existing data and maintain authenticity. By doing so, you can protect your brand's reputation and ensure the ethical use of generative AI technology.In the rapidly evolving field of generative AI, there may be better solutions than what works today. It is important to test and measure the performance of your AI-generated content continuously. Be open to refining your approach as new technologies and techniques emerge.Incorporating generative AI into content generation presents numerous chances for companies to improve, interact, and customize their content. By adopting a methodical approach and adhering to the steps described above, you can leverage the potential of generative AI to enhance your content plan and stay ahead in a highly competitive, AI-centric environment.Learn moreLearn more about using generative AI in our blog post, "How to transform your content creation with generative AI."Contentstack recently announced AI Assistant, a ChatGPT integration for our composable digital experience platform. Schedule a free demo to see how Contentstack's DXP and AI Assistant can help you scale your marketing content creation.

May 10, 2023 | 3 min. read

What makes content great?

"You're not just competing with other brands. You're competing with every other piece of content on the internet." That was a mic drop from Juliette Olah, senior manager of editorial at Booking.com, during a recent “People Changing Enterprises” episode. We get so confined in our worlds that often we're just asking ourselves: How can I do better than what I did last time? But shouldn't we ask ourselves how we can be the best in our niche? For Olah, that niche is travel. That means at any given time she's competing with everyone from Travel and Leisure to Airbnb, the Travel Channel, and Drew Binsky, a YouTuber with over 3.7 million subscribers. Consumers have endless options. That's why we need standards to ground us on what makes content great. These are my suggestions: Elements of great content Overarching, unique angle Listen Notes estimates that over 3 million active podcasts exist today. Of those, about 350,000 list "business" as their genre, which is where Contentstack's “People Changing Enterprises” sits. We could have produced a Composable DXP podcast since we are the category leaders.  Instead, we focused on who we wanted to build relationships with: enterprise technologists and marketers. We made them the heroes as they share their learnings and stories of triumph every day.  Our unique angle? Successful transformation stories from within enterprises.  Drenched in POV Once you have your overarching angle, make sure every individual piece of content has a POV. Google clamped down on SEO-driven content for a reason. Its top 10 ranked articles tied to any search query all sound the same. Raise your hand if you agree! You can avoid that by applying some challenger brand techniques: Lighthouse your beliefs with each piece of content. Or, drench it in POV, as I like to say. This works no matter the channel. On LinkedIn, you'll never not know where CEO of Refine Labs Chris Walker  stands on marketing attribution. Here's an example of when I spoke a hard truth — entrepreneurs come from anywhere, not just Ivy League schools — on the same platform. Be helpful This doesn't mean that it must be a "how to." It does mean that your audience must find it helpful in some way.  Your content could be inspiring, make them think differently or save your audience time. Your content might be helpful simply because it allows them to lose themselves in storytelling after a busy week. (Thank you, New York Times Sunday Read.) Make it visual This can be as simple as making something easy to consume with white space, bullets and pull quotes. But video, infographics, original photography, memes, cartoons and VR storytelling work, too. With tech, the visual sky is the limit!  You'll rarely see a single-spaced, dense article get mainstream play because we simply don't have the attention spans anymore. In an omnichannel content world, play to the strengths of each channel you're active in.  Or do something entirely visually unexpected. Postmark, the email delivery service, created a series of comic books poking fun at common email problems like churn and getting stuck in spam folders. Prioritize speed Admittedly, this one isn't as "creative" as the first four elements. But it's   what unlocks your competitive advantage. You can excel with the first four, and if someone beats you to it or your target audience simply moves on from a trend, you've lost an opportunity. Some retailers were able to move quickly promoting their versions of the Zara pink slip dress that went viral on TikTok. Most didn't. Our research shows that 78% of retailers say it takes them two weeks or more to execute a standard marketing campaign, and 63% struggle with the ability to update content. Speed is non-negotiable, so I'd recommend removing any barriers to achieving it. Booking.com's Olah said, "Remain open-minded that there's always going to be changes on a micro or macro level. You have to enable the ability to flex and adapt your approach." When you get the first four principles right — and wrap your entire process with the ability to move quickly — you can compete with the best content out there. You really can.  If you don't believe me, listen to “People Changing Enterprises” for more examples of regular people accomplishing unimaginable things within their organizations.

May 08, 2023 | 2 min. read

What’s new and what’s in store for Contentstack Launch

Are you a developer looking for the latest data on Contentstack’s front-end hosting solution? Then look no further. Contentstack Launch has officially entered its first quarter since announcing our product, which is now in general availability, and we’ve earned a wealth of knowledge and cultivated relationships along the way. In this blog post, we’ll take an in-depth look at our successes over Q1, provide insights into how it all came to be and what users can expect from us moving forward. We pride ourselves on continuously innovating our products so that anyone using the platform can benefit right away with maximum efficiency. Let’s explore together!New features added in Q1Contentstack Launch is the ideal front-end hosting solution for your business, providing developers with a roadmap to success. As the only MACH-compliant platform on the market, Contentstack goes beyond any other offering by streamlining workflows, optimizing development operations, and improving business outcomes all through clicks not code. By reducing wait-states and eliminating friction between back-end code and front-end user experiences, Contentstack Launch has everything developers need to take their projects to the next level.Contentstack remains committed to providing developers and operations teams with the highest quality front-end hosting solution. During Q1, numerous features have been added and improved upon to ensure they can take advantage of tools such as:Local testingAutomationsStaging environmentsGIT repository linkingCDN/caching for optimal performanceIn addition, users now enjoy greater flexibility with automated redeployments and cache refreshing via webhooks — leading to faster turnaround times and smoother transition from development to production states of their content. With these new enhancements, Contentstack has the full solution for your stack.What’s in store for Q2We strive to create the best workflow experience for developers. In Q2, this means exploring multiple avenues for streamlining operations and improving user experience. To start, our team is developing support for more frameworks so customers receive greater flexibility when working with our hosting solutions. We’re also expecting to launch on-demand revalidation (ODR) for Nextjs very soon so developers can respond quickly to user requests. And lastly, look out for availability on European AWS and Azure data centers — opening up new opportunities for high-performance delivery on a global scale. Exciting times are ahead!Now, did that get you interested in learning more?Contentstack Launch has revolutionized how modern developers build and host front-end applications. Its features create a more streamlined workflow and improved user experience. The Q1 recap featured improvements made to the situation of modern developers in this regard. With these measures in place, Contentstack's platform is better equipped to handle dev operations efficiently and effectively.  In Q2, we are looking forward to expanding our offering even further with deeper integrations, additional product launches, and events. We encourage everyone to take advantage of Contentstack Launch's best practices for development operations by visiting our website for more information.Learn moreIf you'd like to learn how Contentstack Launch can help your business, click this link: https://www.contentstack.com/launch/ and get started today!

May 04, 2023 | 3 min. read

Spring recap: What's new and what's coming for Contentstack

Welcome to Contentstack Pulse, your go-to source for the latest news on platform enhancements, roadmap updates and answers to frequently asked questions. Our mission is to keep you up-to-date on all the exciting developments at Contentstack and with our platform. Each month, we'll share the latest platform news to help you streamline your user experience. And every quarter, we'll offer a recap of everything that's happened, so you never miss a beat. Whether you're an existing customer or just curious to learn more about what we do, Contentstack Pulse has got you covered.We hope you can use this information to better leverage new features, learn from success stories and discover new tools for delivering engaging customer experiences. These recaps should also provide valuable insights into strategic growth initiatives and product innovations that will help you make the most of your experience with Contentstack.What we've accomplishedHere’s what we released in Q1:Contentstack Headless CMSSearch Relevancy: Improved search through stemming and word form support, accent-insensitive searching as well as the automatic ignoring of stop words for more accurate results.Entry Editor Experience: Now updated with prominent field blocks, smarter nested fields and more flexible custom fields for seamless content creation for business users.In-line Commenting in JSON RTE: Introducing further enhanced collaboration between teams, allowing business users and developers to collaborate and easily communicate about content.Contentstack MarketplaceRelease Preview App: View your releases in a calendar and timeline view within our new Full-Page extension location. Preview your content before a scheduled release and compare changes scheduled for your stack with upcoming releases or content you already have published. View other release details such as entries or assets that are added to a release with their specific titles, content types, and versions within your Contentstack environment.Interstack Reference App: Reference entries between stacks, similar to referring entries between content types within a stack. Easily fetch the referenced entry across your Contentstack environments without ever leaving your current stack, ensuring the availability of content across the entire enterprise and reducing manual maintenance of managing duplicate data.Contentstack AI Assistant: Our new integration brings the power of OpenAI ChatGPT instantly to the point of content creation through in-line UI extensions, allowing content editors and publishers to create a brand- and tone-specific content in seconds.Contentstack Automation HubConditional and Repeat Paths: Easily create complex workflows by defining multiple paths with conditional logic and repeating steps, saving time and effort for developers and business users.Project Sharing: For improved team collaboration and efficiency, users can now invite others to view, create and modify a project’s automation steps.ChatGPT Automation Hub Connector: Developers and business users can now leverage ChatGPT’s capabilities to unlock new possibilities in their workflows, including metadata extraction, text summarization and so much more.Contentstack LaunchEarly Access Program: General availability is scheduled for May 2023.Support for serverless functions: Next.js, Gatsby, webhooks and more advanced features are supported to enhance user experience and performanceWhere we're headingLooking ahead to Q2, we have an exciting lineup of features and innovations designed to provide you with endless opportunities and possibilities. Here’s a sneak peek:Assisted Search functionality will offer more accurate and relevant results when searching for content within the platform.Teams & Taxonomy will empower businesses to create a streamlined content management system with powerful tools for grouping and categorizing content. Content Type Visualizer App will provide businesses with a visual representation of their content types. The app's dashboard allows teams to see an overview of their entire content structure, enabling companies to manage and organize content more effectively.Predictive data capabilities: Automation Hub will be able to leverage its access and knowledge of the Contentstack system to improve user-friendliness by doing things like automatically creating trigger payloads or suggesting the right data values to include in various fields to users.Availability in AWS EU and Azure EU data centers will provide businesses with increased flexibility and choice when it comes to choosing their infrastructure. This feature allows users to choose from a range of data centers across Europe — including options in London, Paris and Frankfurt — offered by Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.Contentstack's composable digital experience platform (DXP) offers a powerful and streamlined solution to achieve your digital goals. The platform provides a wide range of advanced features, from content modeling to composability to built-in integrations with services, unlocking tremendous potential for personalization, scalability and efficiency. We look forward each month to highlighting our latest enhancements designed to help you get the most out of our platform and the digital experiences you are building.If you're an existing Contentstack user wanting to learn more about these new releases, please reach out to your Care Without Compromise™ team.If you're curious about how Contentstack can help your brand streamline content to deliver better digital experiences everywhere, get in touch with our team here.Chalo!

May 03, 2023 | 5 min. read

How to build technology and culture to embrace change

Keith Mazanec isn’t afraid of a pivot. Ten years into a career in retail, he decided to take a coding boot camp and forge a new career path that aligned with his childhood fascination with computers. Now, as the director of software engineering at Brad’s Deals, Mazanec is leading the company’s transition to a modern content architecture. He recently spoke with us about the retail lessons that can be applied to software development, why building trust is so important to transformation and the advice he has for other technology leaders driving enterprise change. Expand the definition of customer service The catalyst to Mazanec’s career pivot? A spreadsheet. As a customer relationship manager at a major department store, he was tasked with filling out and sending a certain Excel sheet to corporate each month and it felt maddening that such a giant retailer was operating with such a tedious approach. “That really drove me to look back at technology and how it actually impacts people in the workplace day in and day out,” said Mazanec. “In particular, when technology is neglected and how that can have a really negative impact.” Coming from the very service-oriented retail space, Mazanec has developed a keen sense of awareness for how his work affects other people and has carried that across to his engineering career. “It’s all about service,” Mazanec said. “Who is the customer in my role now? At a department store it’s clear it’s the person walking in the door, but it’s also my fellow employees there. In a software role the customer is often other people on your team.” Fortunately, technologies that serve internal teams tend to have a knock-on effect on the end-customer experience.  For example, setting up an automation system that saves the editorial team hours of rote data entry gives editors more time to curate interesting offers and write informative content for shoppers.   “Customer service transcends retail or customer experience,” explained Mazanec. “It’s about who you are supporting in your activities day in and day out.” Build trust“Honestly, the technology is almost always the easy part,” Mazanec said when asked about the most important factors of a successful transformation. “It’s the people, and the processes, and the relationships, and the inner workings of teams that really is everything.” Mazanec attributes his interpersonal skills, which have been key to navigating the human side of business transformation, to his early career in retail.  “In many ways it was my business school,” said Mazanec “It was my HR training. I learned how to manage people, I learned how to lead, how to coach and mentor, and I learned how to deal with difficult situations and have difficult conversations.”Ultimately, he learned that getting things done often came down to building relationships, whether with a customer that just walked in the door or a person you work with every day. “Retail, and sales in general, is a lot about trust, and working on a team of developers is also a lot about trust,” said Mazanec. “When there are issues that come up, or disagreements about how to solve a particular problem, if you have that trust amongst each other then you’re going to be able to overcome those things.” Even when the business value and risks of transformation have been calculated, the change can still feel scary to the people affected by it. Taking the time to understand people’s concerns and build up the trust that decisions are being made in good faith pays off by creating a culture that embraces change. “That mindset of we’re in this together, we’re going all in, we’re taking a leap of faith,” Mazanec said about the team culture at Brad’s Deals. “The sense that we’re linking arms and we’re doing this together.” Start at the end After looking into what drew return shoppers to Brad’s Deals, and what didn’t, the company realized the main way to improve the customer experience was to publish long-lived content more frequently. To do this, they needed to transform their existing content process that had editors moving between different legacy systems that were hard to maintain. Mazanec and his team wanted to make sure that the new solution was guided by the priorities of the people using it, and not by the capabilities of any particular tool. So they created a conceptual content model before even starting to look at technologies. “We started with the end in mind,” said Mazanec. “Where do we want our content model to be? Where do we want our site, apps, platform? What kind of capabilities do we want for the editorial teams that are finding and curating great deals? What kind of opportunities do we want to create for our partner teams to work with merchant partners better than we have in the past?” This big-picture model informs all technology and architecture decisions. From what parts to build in-house, when to bring in vendors, what legacy tools to sunset and how to break up the transformation into stages and avoid a big-bang replatform. Being guided by a long-term vision also helps the engineering team create a foundation that has the flexibility to adapt to each stage, as well as future needs. “Regardless of the conceptual model that we created, we knew that business was going to change,” said Mazanec. “The world would continue to change, retail would continue to change, publishing would continue to change, and so we needed to have a system that could change too, so that the model we came up with in 2021 could be iterated on and evolve for the next decade to come.” Expect a relay race Just as important as the flexibility of the technology, is the flexibility of the team. Transformation is often a multi-year process and, as people move in and out of the company, teams need to be able to adapt and progress. “You need to plan for business continuity regardless of how the team is going to grow and shift and change and shrink over time,” Mazanec said. “How do you keep momentum when it’s ceased to be a single race and it’s become a relay race?”As new team members were being brought on that weren’t around for the early decisions and beta tests, Mazanec realized that a lot of key information about the transformation happening at Brad’s Deals was living inside people’s heads. So the team quickly put in place processes to improve communication such as documentation, training and onboarding. “It really comes down to having a great culture of writing, a great culture of open communication and ultimately building and rebuilding trust,” Mazanec said, explaining that this culture makes the team more resilient to change and also makes it easier to incorporate the insights that new people bring. “A silver lining of going through some of these challenges is that you wind up on the other side with fresh perspectives,” Mazanec said. “We’ve come out the other side a stronger team overall. With better processes, better communication, and, most importantly, a better foundation to build on top of for the next decade.”Listen to the podcastListen to this episode of the “People Changing Enterprises” podcast to learn more about Mazanac’s career leap of faith and what customer experience lessons he learned while working in retail.

Apr 27, 2023 | 5 min. read

Composable or poseur? What to look for in a DXP

As customer needs and expectations continue to evolve, organizations need to be able to respond quickly in order to remain competitive. A composable digital experience platform (DXP) offers speed and flexibility while delivering the personalized experiences today’s consumers expect. This has prompted a growing number of organizations to make the switch to a composable DXP. Unfortunately, it has led to a growing number of composable DXP offerings that are not quite the real thing. In this article, we’ll show you how to spot these and how to avoid what we call composable poseurs.What is a composable digital experience platform (DXP)?In a traditional, monolithic (or “legacy”) architecture,  an all-in-one suite of software from a single vendor. Functions are built into the software by the vendor, and users can seamlessly incorporate whatever functions they need to deliver their customer experience — in theory, anyway. In practice, monolithic architecture is often complex and difficult to maintain.Let’s say you want to add a function that isn’t included in your legacy suite. To do so, you’ll need to add a vendor-approved third-party plug-in, but the ones available may not be quite what you’re looking for. Or, you can update your CMS to include that function, but that’s a time-consuming and complex process that requires significant updates to back-end code. Plus, monolithic platforms are sold as a suite, which means you often wind up paying for features and functions you’ll never use.Composable architecture is a way of separating the front end (what you see on the display) and the back-end code (development) of a website, making development faster and easier. Users can fully customize any combination of functions according to their specific business needs.A composable DXP is assembled from a series of best-of-breed solutions. These solutions work together via APIs to deliver content and digital experiences to customers in a more agile and flexible way than a single, integrated and monolithic platform.Why this matters for your businessA composable digital experience platform offers many advantages for users, such as the ability to push content to multiple channels quickly, make changes with little to no coding skills, or update specific modules or blocks incrementally over time as business needs evolve. In addition to making life easier for your organization’s teams, a composable DXP approach can make it easier to future-proof your marketing tech stack, deliver a robust and personalized customer journey, and even save your organization money.What makes a DXP composable?So you’ve decided to move to a composable DXP. What features should you be looking for in your new, future-proof architecture? And what does a true composable digital experience platform look like in practice?Headless CMSIn the early days of the internet, CMSes were designed to store and present content on web pages. A traditional CMS stores all its content in one big repository — but because that content is only intended to be displayed in a specific way for one specific medium (websites), it can’t be repurposed or reused for different channels. With a true composable DXP, content is still stored in a CMS; however, the CMS is headless, so content can be deployed via APIs across any digital touchpoint. The content in the CMS can also be structured so that if you need to edit site copy or an image, you don’t need to update it on each channel. Just edit it in one place and it will automatically update anywhere that content is located. A true headless CMS also does not include a presentation layer, so you have full control over how your content will be displayed to customers.Open architectureMany DXPs that claim to be composable also tout all the pre-built functions that come with their composable DXP. They seem to think that’s a strong selling point — but in reality, it’s a clear sign that their DXP offerings aren’t truly composable at all. The benefit of a composable DXP is the flexibility to assemble a technology stack that works best for the digital experience you want to create for your audience. If most of that tech stack is being supplied by a single vendor, then the architecture isn’t truly open. What you get will likely have more in common with monolithic DXPs than a true composable DXP solution.ScalabilityA growing user base for your site or application is a good thing, but if you want to maintain that growth, you have to scale. A true composable DXP allows you to quickly and efficiently scale individual functions according to demand, often in a low- or no-code environment. How to tell if a DXP is composable (or just ‘composable’)The difference between a composable DXP and a “composable” DXP can be difficult to spot. If you’re not sure which is which, ask yourself the following questions:Will your teams feel empowered?With a true composable DXP, content and marketing teams can make changes to the front end or publish new content without the need for IT involvement. And by spending less time on tedious tasks, your IT team can spend more time on bigger-picture projects. In addition, composable DXPs enable developers to make changes quickly and efficiently when necessary. If the solution doesn’t seem like it will make a big difference in the way your teams work, it might not be truly composable after all. Are all the functions independent and separated?In a monolithic DXP, all the functions are contained within a single CMS, which means they are not independent or separated from one another. Some vendors use a “decoupled” approach, in which the front end and back end are separated. Content can be delivered via an API or via an integrated front end, but you are still limited in how the whole system can be structured. In a truly composable DXP, all your content and applications operate from a single CMS, much like in a monolithic solution; the difference is that the headless CMS holds the content, and APIs connect each operation and function, so everything is kept independent and separate for maximum flexibility and speed.Do you have a true variety of options?A composable DXP should have the ability to incorporate the following:Personalization optionsCustomer relationship management (CRM) softwareCustomer data platform (CDP) solutionsDigital asset management (DAM)Customer experience management (CEM) software (chatbots, automation, etc.)In a “composable” DXP, these features will either be automatically included out of the box, or the vendor will only allow you to pick from a handful of third-party vendors if you want to add these features into your tech stack. Composable poseurs may use terms like “headless” to try and capitalize on the shift to composable architecture, but their offerings aren’t intended to be used as part of an open architecture. A truly composable DXP will offer greater flexibility, increased ease of use, and a much wider range of options, so you can choose whatever software works best for your marketing stack.Learn moreLearn more about composable DXPs and the benefits they offer in our article, “Why composable architecture is the future of digital experience.” To see the difference between “composable” solutions and a truly composable DXP, schedule a free demo with us today.

Apr 20, 2023 | 3 min. read

How to implement personalization in a composable DXP

Personalization is an essential aspect of modern marketing. Today's customers expect personalized experiences that resonate with their interests and values. According to research, businesses that prioritize personalization can see significant benefits, including improved customer engagement, loyalty and higher conversion rates.In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of personalization, why a composable digital experience platform (DXP) is the best platform to achieve successful results and practical tips for implementing personalization in a composable DXP.Benefits of personalizationPersonalization offers various benefits to businesses that implement it effectively. Here are some of the key benefits of personalization:Improved customer engagementPersonalization helps businesses improve customer engagement by creating experiences that resonate with their interests and preferences. Customized experiences can improve a customer's perception of a brand and their likelihood of engaging with them in the future.Higher conversion ratesPersonalization can convert website visitors into customers by providing them with more relevant content and offers. When customers feel understood and catered to, they are more likely to make a purchase or become a repeat customer.Increased customer loyaltyPersonalization also improves customer loyalty by creating a connection between the customer and the brand. Personalized experiences can make customers feel appreciated and valued, leading to higher customer retention rates.Advantages of a composable DXP BlueWeave Consulting recently reported that the demand for quality customer experiences is driving demand in the global digital experience platform market, which it predicts will grow from  $10.75 billion to $26.93 billion by 2028. According to Blueweave, “Companies’ focus on delivering personalized, optimized, and integrated user engagement and experience across marketing channels fuels the demand for platforms to comprehend customers’ immediate needs.” Composable DXPs provide the speed and agility to make all this possible. While making the transition to composable may seem daunting, it’s well worth the effort. With a composable DXP, businesses can integrate best-of-breed technologies that work together to seamlessly create a cohesive and personalized user experience. It also allows for easier testing and QA, better API integrations and improved data analytics. How to implement personalizationHere are some practical steps to implement personalization in a composable DXP:Identify and segment target audiences: The first step to personalizing your digital experiences with a composable DXP is identifying and segmenting your target audiences. By determining your audiences' preferences and interests, you can personalize the user experience and improve engagement rates.Determine your criteria: Once you have identified your target audience, you need to determine the criteria for personalization. Consider a customer's behavior, location and purchase history to create personalized experiences tailored to their needs.Leverage data and analytics tools: To personalize the customer journey, you need to leverage data and analytics tools to understand their behavior and preferences. By using data-driven insights, you can create relevant and personalized experiences that improve customer engagement and conversion rates.API Integrations: Integrating the right APIs with your composable DXP can improve personalization efforts. By connecting your DXP with your customer relationship management (CRM) or email marketing software, you can create personalized experiences that align with a customer's preferences.Testing and QA: Lastly, the testing and QA phase is critical in creating an excellent user experience. Ensure that any changes made during the personalization process do not have any adverse effects on the user experience.Learn moreLearn more about digital experience platforms in our guide, “The ultimate guide to digital experience platforms.”Schedule a free demo to learn how you can create personalized experiences that will delight your customers with Contentstack’s composable DXP.