How to Choose the Best Partner to Transition Your Technology to MACH
While many digital transformation projects can be made more successful with the support of a qualified implementation partner, it will be almost essential for businesses that want to pursue a MACH technology architecture.
In this article, we pull from a history of MACH implementations shared by Contentstack and Valtech to share the top evaluation criteria that businesses must consider when selecting a MACH implementation partner.
What is MACH?
MACH is a new breed of technology built on four key principles: It’s microservices-based, API-first, cloud-native, and headless.
This kind of technology architecture enables businesses to build ever-evolving digital experiences with tools that are always modular, pluggable, and scalable.
Why Go MACH?
MACH technology allows you to create an enterprise technology stack made up of exactly the tools you need, when you need them — and replace them once they no longer meet your needs. Microservices help cut development lead times by 75%.
MACH technology is, by definition, easily extendable. That means, with MACH, your business can use robust APIs to quickly integrate all of your technologies with any new tools (like personalization engines) or new channels where your customers might be found (like augmented reality applications).
And because cloud-based MACH Is always up-to-date, it never requires costly, time-sucking upgrades; ultimately reducing your total cost of ownership. In fact, cloud deployments deliver 3.2X the ROI of on-premise ones.
Why It’s Important to Have a Partner for Your MACH Transformation
Moving to MACH architecture requires specific expertise both for the initial shift as well as the ongoing, business-wide transformation that switching to MACH can incite.
For this reason, it makes sense for businesses to partner with professional services providers that have MACH implementation and operation experience.
Not only will the best MACH partner have the right staff on-site (or the ability to source the talent needed) to get your implementation off the ground, but they’ll also be able to help design and implement a solid foundation for your business and provide ongoing guidance for your team.
Tips for Choosing the Right Technology Partner for Your MACH Implementation
Remember these 6 tips when you’re evaluating for the best technology partner to implement MACH within your organization.
Look for Outcomes, Not Time Spent
First things first, you want a MACH implementation partner that prioritizes a results-focused engagement — not just a package of hours for a one-dimensional technology implementation and an ongoing support agreement.
To find out how likely a potential partner is to deliver actionable outcomes for you and your customers, you can start by taking a look at their past MACH technology implementations.
First, ask for case studies, which will give you an introduction into their track record for producing results. Consider contacting past clients and finding reviews across blogs, review platforms, and even social media.
Pursue Ancillary Skills That Power the Entire Engagement
Beyond the technical skills that go into a MACH implementation, there are ancillary skills a partner should also have to make your entire transformation a success.
“In my opinion, one of Valtech’s strengths is both the technical delivery of the services related directly to Contentstack, but also what I call the ‘soft skills’ critical to the overall engagement: Customer experience strategy, data science, content, etc.,” said Peter Fogelsanger, Contentstack’s Global Head of Partnerships.
“When you’re moving to MACH there’s a lot more to it than just replacing your CMS. It needs to be strategic and it needs to be agile and it needs to fit with the rest of the stack.
“It’s like building a house. You can learn how to do it yourself, but it’s nice to have a partner who can actually guide you through things like getting your internal teams spun up to support MACH.”
When transitioning to MACH, it’s best to do it alongside an implementation specialist that can support your digital transition every step of the way, even through the less technical tasks.
Find Cultural Alignment
Working with an implementation partner that aligns with your culture should be a priority when it comes time to transition to MACH.
For example, Contentstack and Valtech’s MACH implementation projects have always gone over so well because both organizations are culturally aligned — both are members of the MACH Alliance, both feel passionate about helping enterprises achieve a MACH future, and the end-user experience is a top priority for both businesses.
“One of the things that has made our partnership strong is that both organizations are customer experience-oriented,” said Matthew Morey, Senior Vice President Of Technology at Valtech.
“It may sound cliché, but a lot of service providers are only billable hours-focused and many software companies are only results-focused. We’re both interested in the end-user achieving a desired KPI or improving their ability to do a specific task.”
When you’re aligned with your professional services provider, you’re more likely to be on the same page when it comes to setting and achieving goals throughout your MACH transformation. That’s a recipe for a happy team and, eventually, happy customers.
Engage in a Paid Proof-of-Concept Project
Boilerplate demos of individual MACH solutions won’t give you the full picture of how an organization-wide implementation will go for your business. And simply talking to an agency or watching their pitch won’t be the same as actually working with them.
Consider instead embarking on a small but paid proof-of-concept project when choosing a MACH implementation partner. This monetary investment means your own stakeholders will be more engaged and will give you a more accurate idea of what it’s like to work with your implementation partner of choice when real results (and funds) are on the line. Your investment in a paid proof-of-concept project doesn’t necessarily have to be a loss. If chosen well — and your partner can help with this! — you may end up with a useful chunk of code or even a start to a product that you can develop for customer use.
Another reason to invest in a paid proof-of-concept project is that you’re likely to work with the team with which you’ll be paired when it comes to instrumenting a full MACH implementation — giving you another chance to experience how your cultures align.
Luckily, with MACH, building out a paid proof-of-concept project doesn’t have to be an arduous process. Thanks to the ease of composability of MACH technology, projects can be spun up in a matter of weeks — not quarters — when teams are aligned on goals and priorities.
On-premise, monolithic systems don’t give you this opportunity the way cloud-based, modern solutions do. Take advantage of that.
Seek Out the Boundary Pushers
The Valtech + Contentstack partnership works because both parties are boundary pushers.
Valtech is always excited to implement emerging experiences using Contentstack’s platform — which is pushing boundaries in its own right in the world of headless content management.
Recently, we worked together to take something for which there was no blueprint (a content-rich augmented reality experience) and push the boundaries to charter our own. The augmented reality demo that we built in under four weeks — Project Spyglass — was only possible because of MACH principles and because both partners were willing to challenge the status quo.
Partner on Prioritizing Innovation
As parting wisdom often is, our final bit of advice is a bit philosophical.
In the words of Pascal Lagarde, Valtech’s Vice President of Commerce in Europe, “ … don’t focus on features. Focus on vision; direction.”
Instead of honing in on the specific features or solutions a potential partner is currently working with, look at whether they have the same overall philosophical vision as your organization.
MACH technology is ever-evolving and ever-improving. Businesses and implementation specialists that don’t have a philosophy that prioritizes innovation will never make it in a MACH future.
You must make sure you’re on the same page as your implementation partner about the fact that composable architecture is the future of enterprise technology. And you must be sure they’re willing to go on a journey of continuous innovation with you, not just sell you a one-time solution.
Get the Guide from Valtech and Contentstack
Learn more about MACH technology implementation and how to make it work for your business in our new in-depth ebook from Valtech and Contentstack: Break the Replatform Cycle With MACH Architecture
Is Artificial Intelligence Replacing Jobs in Marketing?
As AI develops, many people in the workforce have been concerned about how technology may affect their job security. However, this concern is likely misplaced. According to While it may seem that more tasks being handled by AI will lead to workers losing their jobs or careers, the reality is that as AI handles more work processes, employees will have more time and bandwidth for tasks that require a more human touch. This may allow companies to focus more time and effort on innovation and collaboration.According to the World Economic Forum, AI is expected to fuel long-term job growth due to economic expansion related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution — developments prompted by technologies such as AI. Technologies such as AI and AR are expected to provide valuable support to human employees in industries such as marketing, rather than pushing employees aside. Where AI Can’t Completely Replace HumansAlthough AI can help develop certain industries, there are some areas where AI cannot compete effectively with humans. These jobs typically require interpersonal skills and involve creativity and innovation. Customer PreferenceUnlike AI, humans can better understand variations in tone and nuances in human language. They can also more easily identify where miscommunications are taking place and how to properly field them. And although AI typically has a large pool of resources to offer suggestions for common customer issues, human employees can offer an empathetic response, which may improve a customer’s experience. Nuanced RequestsBecause AI adapts based on previous information that it has collected, it may be less effective when it comes to fielding less common requests — particularly if the request is complex. AI's difficulties fielding requests may be further exacerbated by the unique ways people voice them. Human employees may not only be better equipped to correctly honor requests in this situation, but they may also provide more seamless interactions that reduce a customer’s frustration. Human-Level QualityHumans are better equipped to provide high-quality results in creative pursuits such as writing, story-building and developing marketing strategies. This is particularly relevant if your business has specific guidelines for quality such as style guides and company-specific goals. Many AI applications are built for more generalized purposes to serve a wide variety of businesses and may not be suited to highly unique task specifications. The cookie-cutter and sometimes awkward outcomes provided by AI-generated writing applications could not only read as awkward to consumers but also result in your content being flagged as spam by Google . Therefore, although AI-generated content is possible, you must be strategic about it.Where AI Can Replace or Augment HumansOn the other hand, there are many areas where AI and automation can very effectively replace human efforts for business tasks or otherwise offer substantial assistance. Largely, these areas have to do with highly repetitive tasks.Task AutomationSimple, repetitive tasks are typically those that are most well-suited to being managed by AI. There are fewer variables the application needs to account for, and the necessary data will be easier to collect and process. Simple content management tasks and email outreach and follow-up are ideal for AI-driven automation. These applications are only becoming more sophisticated with the development of technologies such as headless CMS which do not require a highly static structure. ChatbotsAI can effectively manage chatbots because they typically process common, simple requests. For example, someone may use a chatbot to ask the price of an item or to ask where they can find information about a service or product. The limited nature of these interactions means that companies can have a high level of confidence in the AI’s ability to accurately respond to these questions. How AI Can Help Human MarketersAlthough AI stands to improve several industries and departments within a company, marketing should witness the most changes because of AI. AI can improve marketing outcomes and ultimately lead to success for both the company and the individual. As in other fields, AI can provide support by automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks such as email outreach and follow-ups and potentially even some aspects of content creation. AI can also allow marketers to keep many of their processes in-house. For example, automated software updates can reduce or eliminate the need to outsource IT efforts. Why Marketers Should Learn to Leverage AIAI is quickly becoming the norm, and marketers who fail to familiarize themselves with AI applications may find themselves behind the pack in their industry. AI can help speed up the process of producing large quantities of marketing materials and digital content so human marketers can focus on the more important tasks.Rather than threatening your job security, AI can improve your productivity and benefit your company as a whole by allowing you to focus on what matters most in your job.
Automated Content Management: How Technology Can Make Life Easier
What Is Content Automation? Content automation is a digital marketing strategy that replaces human intervention in the content lifecycle with an automated alternative, saving time and money and freeing up resources. Sounds vital, right? In content marketing there are many opportunities to program or automate repetitive processes, allowing marketing agents to focus on more important tasks such as strategy and planning. Here are some examples of tasks a content marketing automation platform can perform: Publishing blog posts and distributing content on social media sites Tracking and monitoring user behavior and engagementProofreading content for grammar and spelling mistakesCreating and sending automated emails to a targeted audience, based on behavior and triggersTranslating text into other languages and natural language processing (NLP)Writing content that does not need human interventionWhat Is Automated Content Management and How Does It Work? Automated content management is the human element required to set up and manage automated content. Before any automation can occur there needs to be a well-planned strategy that defines the goals and the method of achieving those goals. There are a wide range of content automation tools available, so step one is for the executive marketing team to agree which tools are necessary and which tools will justify themselves in time and money saved in the long run. Once the tools are in place, users need to be thoroughly trained to ensure that your organization can reach the full potential of the automation tools. Once the training is complete, the creative work, the fun stuff, begins. Creating written, video or audio content to push out to the audience, in a way that keeps them engaged and results in conversions, is at the core of marketing. Using automation, content can be personalized to a degree that would never be possible if an individual had to carry out the work, but it takes a human to design the process and set up the triggers and options that will keep on delighting your customers. What a human can do when managing content automation: Identify the optimal tools to use for the organization.Establish goals and a timeframe for measuring success of the tools.Train the individuals or teams who use the automation tools.Map out the touchpoints of the customer journey.Create the assets the automation tools will publish.Analyze reports generated by the automation tools and make data-driven business decisions. Push the automation tools to do more and achieve more.The Benefits of Automated Content Management The benefits of automated content management are multiple and can be clearly measured: Save Time Content automation is the answer to those repetitive but time-consuming tasks. Rather than asking your team to laboriously set up individual email newsletters, publish individual social media posts and search for qualified leads, item by item, they can focus on what they do best: creating dynamic content. Leave the machines to the automation and the humans to high-level thinking that will grow the business.Save Money With saving on time comes a saving of money — and less need to have an ever-expanding team. Now the business can employ the right people to manage the tools but will save on a wide team of employees doing the time-consuming tasks. Time will be saved, productivity will increase and as a result the organization will save money.Boost Creativity Relieve your team from the mind-numbing boredom of repetitive tasks and ask them to bring creative ideas to the table. This will inspire and empower workers to engage and will boost creative energy and morale. This can help reduce turnover and the associated costs of replacing staff.Improve Workflow When the individuals in the team know their roles and responsibilities and are free of mundane and time-consuming tasks they can work faster and more efficiently. Ideas can flow, the process of marketing campaign creation can speed up and client relationships can flourish.Nurture Leads Never miss an opportunity again with automated tools that can score new customers and send out handy reminders and timely communications. Automation tools can curate, manage and nurture high volumes of potential leads before they even hit the inboxes of the sales team. No more sifting through a mountain of emails or paperwork; sales teams can focus on the cream of the crop, presented to them clutter-free. How to Get Started With Automated Content Management The first step is to identify the task that best suits automation. It should be a task that is time-consuming, possible to automate and will bring faster and cheaper results. Once you identify the task and goals, you will need to map out a workflow and create any assets that are required. It is key that the results of the automation are measurable so the programs can be constantly updated, monitored and improved upon.Examples of Automated Content Marketing Tools Vendors in the content automation space have two basic business models. The first is to create simple tools with a single functionality, such as Grammarly for editing and proofreading written work. Another popular choice among vendors provides entire platforms where users are able customize every aspect of their website, such as Marketo, which also includes marketing automation, email marketing, lead management and revenue attribution. Hubspot, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, has all the tools and integrations required for marketing, sales, content management and customer service. The Future of Automated Content Management Artificial Intelligence (AI) is taking the world by storm and the potential it brings is evolving all the time. The combination of automated content management and artificial intelligence is a great tool for giving workers back the time they need to perform more complex tasks that still require a human brain. Here are some examples of ways automation can make life easier: Machine learning: A machine automatically learns new things without being programmed. Interaction between AI tools: A voice-activated smart speaker to control household appliances is one example. Automated content creation: AI can now create content from scratch, such as writing articles, reports and transcriptions. Natural language processing and generation: A machine reads or speaks in a human language. On-the-spot SEO improvements: AI enabled CMSes are able to identify real-time SEO improvements Content gap identification: AI can spot gaps in content and alert the business to fill the gap Customer service automations: Chatbots are already commonplace, but they are advancing to the point where they can provide around-the-clock support without routing back to human agents.Conclusion When automation is used intelligently it can engage and retain customers and lead them down the funnel with almost no human assistance. The savings in time and human resources are undisputed and the real win comes from being able to do more with less. With automation, the blue-sky thinking can really take flight. Get started with automated content management and AI with Contentstack. Your organization can push boundaries by adopting a composable CMS that’s built to integrate with AI-enabled content management tools. Contentstack is an agile CMS that’s part of the MACH revolution. It’s microservices-based, API-connected, cloud-native, and is built on headless architecture from the ground up. Contact us today to schedule a demo.
The Benefits of an Enterprise CMS
If you're a marketer, you know how important it is to have an enterprise content management system that can handle all of your content needs. But what makes it an enterprise CMS (eCMS) instead of just a CMS? The main difference is that an eCMS can manage multiple websites and large volumes of web content, through a single interface and a single sign-on. Enterprise CMSes provide organizations with a tool to capture, organize, store and deliver an ever-increasing volume of digital information — documents, images, emails, rich media and other types of valuable business content.An effective eCMS should allow you to manage your website's content easily and efficiently, without having to go through a web developer every time you want to make a change. Training people to use the eCMS effectively is vital for the success of your website, and when done properly it will save time and money in the long term. Should you invest in an enterprise CMS? With so many different CMS options available, how do you know which one is right for your business? Here are the top 10 benefits of using an eCMS for your company website. 1. Increases efficiency. An enterprise CMS can automate many tasks related to managing and distributing content, which leads to faster turnaround times and fewer errors. The more critical information there is in the business, the more time it takes to keep it organized and accessible. An enterprise CMS efficiently organizes content, making it easy to locate and access, which in turn means you can save time, increase productivity and focus on more important tasks.2. Keeps track of all your information. Enterprises keep track of a large amount of information. There needs to be a way to store and file this information that prevents lost man-hours, shuffling through paperwork or searching for missing or misplaced items. An enterprise CMS offers efficient, accessible and secure document management, giving all stakeholders a smoother experience. Here are some examples:A marketer working on a new campaign can find and take lessons from previous campaigns.A software designer can access customer problem reports before working on solutions.Purchasing agents can access previous purchase orders.Customer support staff can view customer records quickly to offer better customer service. 3. Reduces costs. Investing in an enterprise-class CMS can help you save money long term by streamlining content management processes and eliminating the need for multiple third-party software applications. With the vast amount of digital content created and maintained, it is important to keep track of storage costs and know your cold from your hot data. An eCMS gives fast access to this data, allowing you to save money by storing cold data at a lower cost. An eCMS can also save time for your team by reducing man-hours spent on projects. As fewer people are required to manage the system once it is set up and running smoothly, your teams are free to focus on more productive tasks.Having an efficient eCMS can also create the environment for a paperless office — saving money on physical storage and reducing your organization’s environmental impact. 4. Allows document version control. With an eCMS your organization can experience seamless teamwork and you’ll have more control over important documents. Your team can track notes and comments simultaneously while collaborating on documents. You will be able to access previous, time-stamped versions and revert back to them if necessary. 5. Improves collaboration. An eCMS gives teams the platform they need to be more productive, with tools that allow them easily organize and track projects and collaborate efficiently from any location.6. Offers greater security. An eCMS can help protect your company's confidential data by implementing strict access controls and tracking user activity, as well as providing reporting and auditing capabilities. Strict access control will ensure that only authorized individuals can create, edit or delete sensitive assets, and tracking user behavior gives an additional level of security by reinforcing accountability.7. Improves regulatory compliance. Compliance regulations are constantly evolving and the penalties for failure to comply can be huge. An enterprise CMS gives the tools and framework to instill data management policies that control the creation, retention and destruction of sensitive information. 8. Improves customer service. Getting real-time visibility into the status of customer enquiries, requests and transactions allows you to respond quickly to their needs. Online forms and requests speed up interactions, and with trackability comes useful insights for improving the customer experience. 9. Helps with sustainability. In the current climate all organizations need to consider the effect of their impact on the environment. Cutting paper usage, reducing the carbon footprint of storage facilities, printed goods and transportation all help toward a greener future.10. Allows automation. One of the great advances of modern technology is automation, which gives organizations the ability to save time and resources by removing repetitive manual processes. This can be anything from simple document routing and document approvals to workflows and email customer journeys. What Can an Enterprise CMS Do?Capture: Capture content as it enters the systemManage: File and categorize the content Store: Keep active, hot data and content readily available Preserve: Archive cold dataDeliver: Present the right content to the right user at the right timeWhat Should You Look For in an Enterprise CMS?The question remains: How do you choose an enterprise content management system? How does what you currently have in place compare to what’s new on the market? And if you choose to invest in something new, how can you be sure it will be worth it?2-minute guide on how to choose an Enterprise CMS A cloud-Based SaaS solution: Content Management is constantly evolving and you shouldn’t have to replatform every few years just to keep up. Enterprise CMSes needs to stay cutting edge right into the future and with a cloud-based SaaS solution your enterprise CMS will frequently and automatically be improved and updated without disrupting your workflow - so no more expensive upgrades.Customer support that actually cares: You shouldn’t have to fight for your provider’s attention — you need to find a CMS that has qualified people available to answer your questions quickly.Sky’s the limit scalability: With so many customers relying on your CMS, you need a platform you can rely on to run smoothly as your business grows. Why Choose an Agile, Headless CMS for Your Business?Assuming your business has multiple websites and a high volume of content that needs constant updating, monitoring, editing and refreshing, you should be looking at the most flexible and future-proofed eCMS. Opting for an agile headless CMS you get the benefits listed above, plus more:Integrations with extensions and apps via API: The beauty of headless is the flexibility to integrate with third party platforms and tools. Omnichannel for all: Have one central content hub with a unified user experience across the marketing stack.MACH: (Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native Saas and Headless) is a set of principles behind futureproof best-of-breed software. Agile, nimble, always up-to-date technology that you can add, replace and combine for your evolving business and customer experience.Speak to us at Contentstack about how using an agile headless CMS can help your organization. Book a demo today.More About Enterprise Content Management SystemsTo learn more about enterprise content management systems, see these articles: What is the Best CMS for Your BusinessWhy Every Enterprise Should Choose a Headless CMS
Agile CMS: The Best of Headless
If you're a marketer or developer who's been searching for the best of both worlds, then look no further: An agile CMS is the perfect solution for you. An agile CMS gives you all the power of a traditional CMS while also offering the benefits of a headless setup. Whether you need to manage a large website or simply want more flexibility and control over your content, an agile CMS is the perfect choice. What is a Headless Agile CMS?A headless agile content management system (CMS) is a decoupled CMS that delivers content through APIs instead of rendering it on the server side. This API-first approach makes headless architecture ideal for agile brands that need to deliver personalized experiences across different consumer touchpoints.The agile CMS is well suited for digital experiences that are built using modern front-end frameworks such as React, Angular and Vue.js. Headless agile CMSes provide a flexible and scalable approach to delivering content, and they allow developers and marketers to create unique and engaging digital experiences. In addition, headless agile CMSes are often more affordable and easier to maintain than traditional server-side CMSes. As a result, headless agile CMSes are becoming increasingly popular among organizations that are looking to build next-generation digital experiences.What Are the Benefits of a Headless Agile CMS Over Traditional CMSes?Agile CMS is a type of content management system that emphasizes speed and flexibility. Unlike traditional CMSes, which can be slow and inflexible, agile CMSes are designed to be quickly updated and easily customized. This makes agile CMSes ideal for businesses that need to frequently update their website content or make changes to their website design. Headless is a core principle of MACH, which is making major waves with its revolutionary approach on a microservices-based, API-first, cloud-native and headless architecture. As a result, agile CMSes offer several benefits over traditional CMSes.User-centered content hubBuilt-in planning and real-time collaboration toolsEase of use for marketers and developers alikeTime savings on projects Content delivery flexibilityIntegration to existing development stack via APIWhat Industries Are Best Suited to Agile?In the world of software development, agile methodology has become widely adopted as the preferred approach for designing and building new applications. Agile CMS is a relatively new approach that combines the benefits of agile methodology with the flexibility of a headless content management system. This makes headless agile CMS well-suited for industries where speed and flexibility are essential, such as media and publishing, e-commerce and marketing. With a headless agile CMS, developers can quickly and easily make changes to the front end of an application without affecting the back end, and vice versa. This allows for a more agile development process that can respond quickly to changing needs and requirements. In addition, headless agile CMS provides greater flexibility for hosting and deploying applications. This makes it an attractive option for companies that want to avoid the hassle and expense of maintaining their own infrastructure. Headless Agile CMS Case StudiesCovea InsuranceCovéa Insurance offers commercial and personal insurance products to customers across the UK. They needed a CMS to consolidate multiple CMSes, integrate with their chatbot, and support the launch of their insurance-as-a-service platform.What did they achieve?Enabled developers to release code within one sprintReduced call center costs through chatbot integration with IBM WatsonOffered a customizable white-label solution platform for individual clientsShaw Academy Online EducationShaw Academy experienced a massive influx of new learners, educators, and course materials due to COVID and desperately needed to upgrade their traditional CMS from the homegrown solution they were using.What did they achieve?50% faster course publishing time; releasing 90 courses in 9 months5 new languages launchedAbility to release content 2x per weekHealth KarmaA fast-growing startup that was mired in the ticket-based content publishing quagmire of legacy CMSes. They needed a content solution that would empower their teams to scale up personalization, allow marketers and developers to work together efficiently, and lay the foundation for sustainable future growth.What did they achieve?Reusable templates that let marketers directly publish contentEasy to create and test variations for personalizationModular infrastructure that strengthens data securityAre There Any Downsides to Using an Agile CMS?An agile CMS is a viable option for developers who are looking for a content management system that will allow them to move quickly and efficiently. It is also a good choice for developers who want to take advantage of the latest technology trends. However, there are some potential downsides to using an agile CMS: Not as widely adopted as other content management systems No built-in user interfaceMore expensive up front than traditional CMSes (but more flexible and future-proof)How Do You Get Started With an Agile CMS?We have a simple-to-integrate and agile CMS that can help bridge the growing divide between traditional and modern marketing management. Watch our agile CMS demonstration. Find out more about agile marketing from And learn the ins and outs of an agile CMS for enterprise businesses by reading See how easy and creative composable commerce can be, at enterprise scale. Using agile headless technology, watch Contentstack build a shop in real time during this webinar series "The ABCs of Composable Commerce."
What Is a Content Experience Platform?
As more companies pursue the best approach to create better digital experiences, content experience platforms are on the rise. Today’s consumer expects the research and purchasing journey to be seamless between devices, channels and content. They expect to be recognized and have their loyalty rewarded. Using artificial intelligence, content experience platforms (CXPs) deliver an omnichannel experience, taking customers to next-level interaction. A CXP focuses on the individual user, tracking the unique journey through web, mobile and other forms of customer experience. So now we have a new acronym to add to the multiple-choice as listed by CMSWire: WCM, WEM, CMS, DXP, agile CMS and CSPs. CXP replaces older approaches such as traditional CMS and connects audience interaction across devices and rich content. Businesses can’t afford to stand still. They need a CXP that rises to the challenge and recognizes that no two customers are the same. What is a Content Experience Platform?The CXP is the latest in content management technology: a CMS, but taken to the next level. A content experience platform has speed at its heart and allows companies to create personalized experiences that are designed to retain and engage customers — across multiple channels. In its listing of Top 20 Most Compelling Examples of Personalization Forbes cites Grammarly in the number one position: Grammarly, an app that helps catch grammar mistakes and improve writing, sends weekly reports to users on how their writing has improved. The reports include how many words the user wrote that week, how many mistakes they made and mistakes they made frequently. The report also highlights potential areas for improvement, which helps customers better use the product and improve their communication. A CXP is a centralized tool that organizes assets based on tagging, segmenting, categorizing, individuals, audiences or use cases. When content is organized effectively, personalization can provide custom experiences for audiences. Content can be created and distributed with the aim of capturing leads and driving users to a defined call to action. What Types of Content Can Be Managed With a CXP?VideoAudioImagesArticlesE-books & white papersInfographicsNews feedsInteractive content (e.g., quizzes, surveys, polls, calculators)ChatbotsE-commerce product recommendationsWebsites or blogsHow Is a CXP Different From a CMS? To answer this question we need to take a look at the various types of content management systems that exist today. First, we have the traditional CMS, a low-barrier solution for simple websites. These monoliths deliver editorial content, reporting, customer data, security and administration. The basic CMS provides the software that is the foundation for digital identity, strategy and engagement. However, setting up a traditional in-house CMS, such as Adobe Experience Manager, OpenText TeamSite, Drupal or SDL Tridion, is time-consuming and costly, and these systems can limit creativity by being restrictive and slow. Headless CMS is a different approach using microservices — single-service applications — that you can add, remove or rearrange in a composable ecosystem. This frees you to choose best-of-breed applications that suit your business instead of being limited to solutions prepackaged by a vendor. The headless CMS uses application programming interfaces (APIs) to distribute content to anywhere and everywhere you need it, such as your website, mobile app, email marketing or customer relationship management system. Headless CMSes are easy to use for both IT and business users and streamline content operations to enforce consistency while remaining agile — hence the coining of the term agile CMS or agile headless CMS. 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.