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Your Company Can't Embrace Agile Marketing Until You Have an Agile CMS

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Jun 12, 2020 | Brent Heslop

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With an ever-growing number of digital marketing channels, more consumers using connected devices, and new competitors launching products and services into the global market — businesses can no longer afford to use inefficient, legacy, siloed marketing platforms.

Slow and steady will not win the race when it comes to capturing customers today. You need agile marketing!

This article explains what agile marketing looks like, why you need to care, and how to make it happen in your organization with some of the most modern and marketer-friendly business technology available today.

What is Agile Marketing?

You might have heard the term “agile” a great deal lately, but it’s more than the latest marketing buzzword. What began in the world of software development as a way for developers to quickly move from idea to execution, rollout, and revision has become a secret weapon applicable in business areas such as marketing.

In traditional marketing, first, a project is proposed. Next, a rigid timeline is imposed, and the outcome, which is inevitably late due to the unforeseen hiccups that always happen during a project, is a finished campaign or content that probably lost relevancy during the time it took to create it. It’s an arduous process that often yields disappointing results.

That’s why marketing is going agile. With an agile marketing methodology, multi-faceted teams (think copywriters, designers, paid advertising specialists, etc.) collaborate on smaller projects over shorter intervals called “sprints.” Instead of launching a finished and static project, it’s more important to launch something quickly that can be measured and improved upon over time.

An agile approach to blog creation

Agile marketing isn’t rigid, and it is more important than ever in today’s changing business atmosphere. 

Why Does Agile Marketing Matter Today?

The term “Internet of Things” describes a web of “smart devices” (smartphones, wearables, smart speakers, etc.) that are connected to the internet. Before 2020 is over, more than 30 billion IoT devices will be online. By 2030, the average person is expected to own at least 15 different connected devices.

Fifteen years ago, consumers used an average of just two touchpoints when making a purchase. Today’s shoppers use almost six touchpoints on average. Across all these touchpoints, research shows that 63% of consumers are annoyed by generic messaging. It’s no surprise that 80% of customers say they’re more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences. And, more than half are fine with providing their personal information to power these custom experiences.

Traditional marketing has tried and failed to keep up with these modern demands. Modern marketing needs the agility to provide highly-customized experiences across all the channels where your customers shop for your brand.

How to Implement an Agile Marketing Plan

Now that we’ve covered the ins and outs of agile marketing and why the modern marketing organization should care, let’s dive into what it takes to implement an agile marketing plan.

Gain Executive Buy-In

Because an agile marketing plan is always evolving, success depends on unwavering executive support even when things don’t go according to traditional plans. To gain executive buy-in, carefully and regularly communicate about your plans and goals. Maybe even host agile training to help facilitate cultural shifts.

Create an Agile Roadmap

With buy-in won, you can finally put some of your marketing plans down on paper. Of course, a hard-and-fast schedule goes against the agile mindset, but you can still define milestones for your most important goals — such as launch dates. The agile methodology encourages projects to be broken into at least biweekly increments to motivate forward motion, testing, iteration, and team-wide check-ins.

Communicate High-Level Objectives

Communicate about high-level conceptual, strategic, and business objectives to keep your team in the loop and your executives bought-in. Breaking these objectives down into short, actionable tasks can help inform what you work on in each sprint.

63% of marketers are implementing agile marketing processes

Gather Tools and Training Resources

Small marketing teams can often implement agile marketing methods using little more than a whiteboard and a few post-it notes to design a workable visual project management “system.” But the right tools, including the agile content management system, can take an agile marketing program to the next level and all but guarantee success.

Run a Pilot Project

When you’re ready to launch into your first agile marketing campaign, we recommend starting with a small pilot project to help your team develop a solid comprehension of agile marketing practices. Expect the first agile marketing pilot project that you run to be a little bumpy — especially if you still haven’t transitioned away from traditional, monolithic content management tools that don’t enable collaboration or continuous updates.

Scale When Ready

Focusing on working out the obstacles you uncovered in your pilot project, begin scaling up to bigger and better agile marketing projects. Demonstrating agile’s effectiveness at increasing efficiency and improving marketing results will go a long way toward building trust across the organization.

Now, let’s learn more about the technology platform which has proven to be especially helpful for building new agile marketing campaigns.

Build Your New Agile Marketing Program on Agile CMS

To create an agile marketing team that moves with flexibility and speed, you need an agile content management system (CMS) that can do the same.

The problem is that with the traditional, monolithic CMS platforms (like WordPress and Drupal) that are still all too common, the frontend presentation layer is tied to the backend layer where content is created and managed. This coupling of content and format means that content must be developed, designed, and delivered in the specific format of the CMS. Often, the default delivery channel is either a static website or web-based application. A traditional CMS is not agile enough for organizations that need to develop and deliver marketing messaging for various audiences and channels. 

A headless CMS separates content creation and management in the backend from the frontend where the content is formatted and distributed. Application programming interface (API) technology makes it possible to deliver content stored in the backend repository to any device or channel. This API-first approach makes headless architecture ideal for agile brands that need to deliver personalized experiences across different consumer touchpoints.

Headless CMS hub architecture and touchpoints

An agile CMS also means less downtime because design, development, and content creation can all happen in the same platform, simultaneously, and with full autonomy.

And thanks to the modularity of an API-first headless CMS, content can be created just once, optimized using any variety of integrations (think personalization, translation, A/B testing), and used (and re-used) for different channels and consumer segments.

Embrace Agile CMS Today and Embrace an Agile Marketing Future

As the saying goes, the only thing that remains constant is change. Perhaps now more than ever, the business environment feels like it’s changing quickly. The good news is that with the right agile CMS to power your agile marketing campaigns, you’ll be better equipped to produce remarkable experiences as fast as possible while successfully meeting ever-changing customer needs and challenges.

Contentstack is proud to be recognized as a leading agile headless CMS in Forrester’s new report, “Now Tech: Agile Content Management Systems.” We’re pleased to offer you a free, 30-day test drive of our headless CMS to determine if Contentstack is a good fit for your agile marketing program. 

If you want to keep learning how to make agile content marketing work for you, you can watch our free webinar “Modern Content Marketing in Practice: How to Make Content Marketing Work for You.”


How to make content marketing work for you webinar

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This allows companies to connect with customers at scale and respond quickly to market opportunities. The latest technology in the evolution of content management systems is the content experience platform (CXP), not to be confused with a digital experience platform (DXP) — which, according to Gartner, is “an integrated set of core technologies that support the composition, management, delivery and optimization of contextualized digital experiences.” Aragon Research defines the content experience platform as the “next-generation offering to address the age-old enterprise need to create and deliver dynamic experiences to users on any device” — including content experiences — in a multichannel world.” The key difference with other CMSes lies in the “content experience,” and this is where it widens the scope and introduces new possibilities. A CXP must by nature be omnichannel and must be quick, flexible and able to adapt to new channels quickly. It must sync with touchless, voice-driven and extended reality experiences. It must be possible to integrate it with any tools and technologies to empower analytics, personalization and localization. And it must be easy to use for both content creators and end users so the process of creating content is seamless right from the first idea, through testing and on to publishing. In summary, it offers much more to make composable much easier. What Can a CXP Do? With any kind of technological development it pays to be at the forefront — always surprising the customer and inviting them to engage, convert and remain loyal. Getting ahead of the competition is vital and with a CXP the world is limitless. Anything can be built, published, delivered and distributed. Based on the principles of MACH (Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS, Headless), the CXP is a diverse and ever-changing ecosystem that allows innovation and integration. Creativity can flourish without limits. Take the example of Gatorade: Gatorade Tracks Users’ Sweat Gatorade’s Gx platform tests and analyzes how high-level athletes sweat to deliver personalized sports fuel recommendations. Users apply the Gx Sweat Patch before a workout, then scan it afterward to get their unique sweat profile, including how much fluid and sodium was lost and how quickly compared to other athletes. That information creates personalized recommendations for sports refueling to reach their optimal performance and nutrition. A CXP enables you to:Self publish within minutesBuild personalized experiences fastIntegrate with third-party content platforms, such as RSS, YouTube and morePersonalize content into campaign destinationsDeliver real-time, dynamic personalization Leverage the power of AI to predict content recommendationsDrive and capture leads seamlesslyIntegrate with marketing automation platforms such as Eloqua, Marketo, Pardot and HubspotConnect customer behavior with content performanceGet insights that show what content drives the most salesHow to Choose a CXP Now we know a CXP is vital to the success of creating content and retaining customer engagement and loyalty — but how to go about choosing the right one? The important elements to consider are: Integration with legacy software: Does the CXP integrate well with all the marketing, sales or design software your business is using? And can it push content out to your social media channels? Scalability: How much content does your business produce and can the CXP meet the needs of your content creators, marketing and sales departments? Customer support: Does the CXP have a good rating on review websites such as Trust Radius and G2? Is there good collaborative support during integration and continued support for your admins? (i.e., solution-focused vs. vendor finger-pointing) Cost comparison: Does the CXP charge on a monthly or yearly basis, and are the number of licenses restricted? Costs can vary enormously so it is worth researching and comparing vendors.Take the Next Step Today Ready to level up your omnichannel marketing? Schedule a free, two-week trial of Contentstack platform and see why top brands are choosing our content experience platform.

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