The Contentstack Team
Posts by The Contentstack Team
How to create a 5-star content strategy: Tips from Juliette Olah of Booking.com
When it comes to content strategy, Juliette Olah knows that a key part of reaching a vision is planning a smooth journey to get there. As senior manager, Editorial at Booking.com, she skillfully blends the needs of customers, technologies and creative teams to define the editorial roadmap for the global travel brand. Olah recently spoke with us about creating high-value content, getting organization-wide support for change, and the advice she has for other leaders driving editorial strategy. Keep the focus on the customer When Olah joined Booking.com in 2020, the editorial content was mainly used for paid social media ads. She quickly saw an opportunity to use these long-form articles in a much broader way to support the brand’s own social, organic and email channels.“I wanted to show that potential but, at the same time, keep focus so that it didn’t seem like I was trying to solve all content challenges through editorial,” Olah said. “If you go too broad, too quickly your message can start to become lost.”A key part of defining and keeping a focused content strategy is taking a customer-first approach — creating a roadmap and choosing themes based on what is most valuable for your audience and then figuring out how to tightly weave business objectives and marketing goals into the plan instead of the other way around. “A customer-first approach is essential; otherwise you lose relevance and value very quickly,” Olah said. “Audiences are incredibly sensitive and perceptive to anything that is slightly off or slightly irrelevant. If your content and your messaging isn’t coming across seamlessly you’ll lose attention immediately, and you’ll also lose trust.” Maximize the value of each piece “Editorial content does take a lot of resources to produce,” Olah said, discussing the research, writing, visuals and translation work required. “So if we’re going to do this, we need to make each and every story work to serve needs and fill gaps so that we’re supporting the brand rather than just adding more content.” Maximizing the value of content starts in the planning phase. For Olah and her team, this includes working with in-house researchers to identify travel trends, with localization specialists to make sure ideas are culturally relevant and with the social and email teams to create pieces that can serve the strategies of multiple channels. It’s also key to set up content for long-term value. This can include structuring content on the back end in a way that makes it easy to reuse across different channels, or enhancing the tagging and taxonomy of your archive to get more out of the content you’ve already invested in. “Editorial at Booking.com has been going on for many years, so we have thousands of pieces of content,” Olah said. “Surfacing that content in a relevant way, being able to curate it, to search through it and filter it efficiently is now really important for audiences to be able to get the most value out of it.” Build a 360 business case for technology change To reach their multichannel ambitions, Olah knew the editorial team needed a technology solution that would let them create, curate and optimize content more efficiently than would be possible with their incumbent, homegrown platform. Having worked with a headless content management system (CMS) in previous roles, Olah started exploring if this approach was a right fit for Booking.com. Through many discussions with tech and product leaders, as well as the creatives on her team, she built a business case that looked at the technology justification and functionality needs, as well as the impact on efficiency and editorial strategy. “The business case is part showing a comprehensive, 360 view of the technical benefits of the platform and part showing that you’ve done your homework on a robust content strategy,” Olah said. “From examples of execution, to tying in brand storytelling and campaign amplification, to details around distribution and channel use cases of the content.” Presenting an aligned, measurable plan for change was key to getting different stakeholders to understand the potential of editorial content and to get the buy-in needed to make the change successful. “Advocacy is needed at all levels and functions, from a leadership level that signs off to the people that are actually involved in using the products and the systems day-to-day,” Olah said. “They need to be happy and settled and feel confident that this is going to make their jobs easier and more efficient.” Don’t change for change’s sake To ensure the move to the new content solution went smoothly, Olah was careful to avoid a common stumbling block she’d seen at other organizations. “When companies launch a new platform, there’s a tendency to launch 10 other things at the same time— a new platform plus new brand guidelines, or an entirely new content strategy, or a refresh of everything that’s associated with the particular platform,” Olah explained. “I was very conscious of not doing that because that is extremely stressful and, in my opinion, unnecessary.” Instead, change was rolled out in stages and, where possible, tied in existing ways of working to make people feel comfortable during the transition. For example, the editorial team was very happy with the workflow that was created around the previous content platform. While a headless CMS might be able to support more efficient processes, Olah decided it was best for the team to first roll out the new platform in a way that worked with the existing workflow. “Don’t try to change everything under the sun at the same time,” Olah advised. “If something is working, keep it, and keep the business case focused on the current challenges that need to be solved.” Plan for potential Breaking transformation into independent steps, rather than a big-bang approach, is also an opportunity to create a content and technology framework that supports continuous change. “Once we launch, there’s still a lot of potential for editorial at Booking.com, and what we’ve been able to do with this platform is build for that potential so that the structures are in place,” Olah explained. For instance, with an API-first approach Booking.com is able to structure content so that it isn’t locked into only being presented as a static long-form article on the site. As the team explores new channels, third party syndication, testing tools and further optimization for local markets they can adapt existing content and processes to meet new needs. “This is a huge benefit of headless,” Olah said. “We don’t know what we will necessarily need in another five years, but we absolutely need something that is flexible and adaptable enough to accommodate that.”“There’s only so far ahead that you can possibly plan for,” she continued. “You need a system that helps you to flex and change in this environment.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Watch ‘Contentstack LIVE!’ for latest in composable tech
Are you looking for ways to maximize your business outcomes through composable technology? Join us every Friday for our new webinar series, “Contentstack LIVE!” to explore the latest in composable tech strategies, innovative practices and insights from industry leaders.In our first episode, Contentstack VP of Product Conor Egan joins hosts Jeff Baher and Austen Chen to talk about the power of generative AI and how Contentstack’s AI Assistant leverages ChatGPT in a composable digital experience platform. Their 19-minute conversation covers:How generative AI works, its uses and limitationsHow content editors can use a ChatGPT integrationWhat’s on the horizon for AI technology and composable DXPsThis week, Contentstack CMO Susan Beermann joins Jeff and Austin to talk about digital-first marketing. Tune in to catch Beermann’s expert take on:The critical ingredients for going digital-firstAdvice she gives to her peers about going composableMarketing technology trends she’s most excited aboutVisit our website to watch these episodes of “Contentstack LIVE!” and see new episodes every Friday. Join the Contentstack LIVE community to connect with Jeff, our guests and the rest of the Contentstack community. Schedule a free demo to talk to an expert about how going composable can help you reach your business goals.
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.
CMO shares expert strategies for digital-first marketing
As a three-time CMO with more than 25 years in software marketing, Susan Beermann knows first-hand just how vital it is for businesses to keep up with shifting customer preferences. In a recent CMSWire webinar, “Adopt a Digital-first Marketing Strategy,” Contentstack’s CMO shared her expert tips for ensuring your company leads the way when it comes to capitalizing on today's (and tomorrow's) digital opportunities.Read on for highlights, or watch the webinar to get all of the insights from Beermann and fellow guest Erica Heald, founder of Erica Heald Marketing Consulting, on these topics and more.What is digital first?Defining digital-first marketing, Beerman said: “It's really a digital strategy that is focused on engagement — engagement with your audience, whether your audience is your customers, your prospects, maybe it's even your employees or your partners — and how can we use digital technologies to really reach many people in a very effective and efficient manner and give a really great digital experience across whatever device they're using, whether it's their laptop, their their mobile phone, their watch, digital signage, and buildings or at events, digital billboards, the list goes on and on.” Why adopt a digital-first strategy?Customer expectations are the driver behind the rapid transformation to digital-first marketing, Beermann said. “We all want to have a great digital experience … and our customers are demanding really great experiences, and they will vote with their feet and move to a different provider if they have a better digital experience than you're providing.”What to consider before embracing a digital strategyWhen approaching a digital-first strategy, organizations need to consider both their people and the technology, Beermann said. On the people side, that means asking whether your teams have the right mindset and the right skill sets for new technologies. If not, you will need to decide whether to hire someone who specializes in the new technology or train existing staff.On the technology side, the first thing to consider is what you’re trying to achieve and then which technologies will help you get there as easily, quickly and cost effectively as possible.“And the great thing about the modern composable approach is you can pick components based on your unique business requirements that are easily integrated together and can operate as a whole, and just really get a tech stack that's very unique to what you're trying to achieve and not be locked into something that's very monolithic and difficult to change,” Beermann said.Choosing the right vendor is another important factor when considering technology.“You want that vendor to or that partner I'll say to meet you where you are today, but also take you to where you want to go in the future,” Beermann said. “So don't choose something that just solves today's problem, think ahead a couple of steps and ask them where are they evolving their product?” Beermann said it’s also important to consider return on investment is also an important thing to consider. “You need to really think through, how is this going to make money or save money or hopefully, both, and have a cost justification that you can give to your CFO.”Learn moreLearn how composable technology can help your marketing team keep pace with ever-changing content needs in our guide, “The ultimate marketer’s guide to composable DXPs.”Schedule a free demo to see how Contentstack can help you navigate your digital transformation and achieve your digital marketing goals.
Contentstack Marketplace: Bringing together best-in-class experiences
Contentstack Marketplace is the one-stop shop for ready-made extensions and one-click integrations with the industry's leading technology and service providers. Discover an extensive ecosystem of features, services, apps, and accelerators and combine the best technologies to achieve your desired business outcomes.The team behind Contentstack Marketplace is constantly working hard to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of applications and services. They are continually researching, creating and integrating new technologies and solutions to ensure our customers have access to the best tools and services available.Here are the latest innovations from the Marketplace team:Release Preview AppView your releases in a calendar and timeline view within our new full-page extension location. Preview your content prior to a scheduled release and compare changes scheduled for your stack with upcoming releases or content you have already published. View other release details such as entries or assets that are added to a release with their titles, content types and versions within your Contentstack environment.Interstack Reference AppReference entries between stacks, similar to referring entries between content types within a stack. Easily fetch the referenced entry across your Contentstack stacks without ever leaving your current one, ensuring the availability of content across the entire enterprise and reducing manual maintenance of managing duplicate data.At Contentstack, our team is dedicated to providing the highest level of customer service by continuously creating and integrating new technologies. With Release Preview, Interstack References and more available in our Marketplace, we make it easy to explore different solutions for your projects. Whether you’re looking for a comprehensive solution or just trying something out, Contentstack ensures that your digital experiences are tailored to your needs with its vast selection of integrations and add-ons. So go ahead — start exploring!Get started todayVisit Contentstack Marketplace today to learn more about how these new integrations can help you unlock the potential of your digital experiences.
How composable technology improves experiences in healthcare
The healthcare sector is in a period of rapid transformation, and many healthcare organizations have struggled to keep pace. This is understandable; healthcare organizations are governed by strict regulatory and patient safety guidelines, and they are cautious about adopting new technology. However, an inability to adapt doesn’t just make it harder to effectively leverage patient data; it can also lead to a poor patient experience and even jeopardize care delivery. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how composable digital experience platforms (DXPs) can benefit patients, providers and staff in healthcare organizations.What is a composable DXP?Most healthcare software — such as Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Electronic Health Records (EHR), E-Prescribing, Hospital Management Systems and Healthcare CRMs — is built using monolithic or legacy architecture. With a monolithic architecture, applications are designed as a single unit: Functions are packaged as a suite and they’re all handled by one codebase. Take, for example, EHRs. Most EHRs offer a variety of features and functions, so in theory, healthcare organizations can leverage all those in-built features to handle all their patient care needs, from patient portals to ordering labs. Unfortunately, each function is designed to be used in a very specific way, and there isn’t much room for flexibility. Updating one function requires changes to the codebase, which is usually a resource-intensive effort that involves system downtime. And if those changes are not made properly, it can affect how the rest of the EHR functions. That can lead to lower-quality care and even pose a risk to patient safety.Composable architecture, on the other hand, takes those large and complex functions and breaks them down into smaller pieces that are easier to manage and update depending on the organization’s needs. Each function is its own self-contained unit; APIs connect all these smaller pieces, allowing them to communicate and transfer information more efficiently. And with composable architecture, the front-end — i.e., what the provider, staff member or patient sees — and back-end layers are decoupled, so changes can be made to the front end without involving the back end. When all these best-of-breed functions are combined, the result is a composable digital experience platform (DXP). Benefits of going composable for providers and staff One of the main benefits of composable architecture is flexibility. With legacy architecture, organizations in the healthcare industry have to adjust their operations based on their software’s capabilities. Composable DXPs allow organizations to find the best application or function for their unique needs, so they can put patients, providers and staff first.Many healthcare organizations resist updating or tweaking their technology because there is just too much at stake: One coding error can cause cascading issues across the system that can make it difficult to effectively deliver patient care, and finding and fixing that error can take days or weeks. For healthcare organizations, improving the digital experience is simply not worth the risk, so providers and staff are often asked to incorporate clunky workarounds and inefficient processes into their workflows. Individually, these issues might not seem like much, but together they can slow down the patient care process — or, worse, increase burnout rates among providers and staff.With a composable architecture, a healthcare organization can easily swap a function that isn’t the right fit for one that is, without the risk of the whole system going offline. Organizations can feel more empowered to update their software, which allows them to be more responsive to the needs of providers and staff. Over time, these improvements add up to a better digital experience for users, and that means happier staff and providers. How composable DXPs can improve the patient experiencePatient satisfaction is at the core of all healthcare services, and patient engagement is a key driver of patient satisfaction. Composable DXPs can play a major role in reshaping how patients interact with healthcare organizations. Improving digital patient engagementDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth and virtual patient visits became a key focus for healthcare organizations. The worst of the pandemic is behind us, but that shift in the way patient care is delivered is here to stay. Patients expect a convenient and accessible way to stay in touch with their healthcare providers, and a robust digital patient engagement program is crucial to meeting those expectations. With a composable DXP, a healthcare organization can supercharge its digital experience and go above and beyond for their patients. AI-powered chatbots can be incorporated into patient portals to answer general questions about care facilities and appointments. As “smart” medical equipment like inhalers, glucometers, thermometers and scales become more widely used, healthcare organizations can also utilize APIs to incorporate data from these devices into patient charts and medical records. This leads to more robust patient health data and it can also be used to enhance the quality of providers’ patient education and outreach efforts. Enhancing data securityEnsuring data security is essential for healthcare organizations. A data breach that leads to patient information being exposed can have major regulatory and financial repercussions for healthcare organizations — and the damage to their reputation can be even worse. Healthcare organizations are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks. Researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health recently found that the frequency of cyberattacks more than doubled between 2016 and 2021, with more than 44% of those attacks leading to disruptions in care delivery. In addition, the Protected Health Information (PHI) of nearly 42 million patients has been exposed as a result of security breaches. Legacy healthcare platforms offer security that meets industry standards, but monolithic architecture is not nearly as agile as composable. The process of updating the security protocols for monolithic DXPs can be lengthy, and with new threats constantly arising, that’s a lot of time the system is vulnerable to cyberattacks. In some cases, vendors update the protocols and push updates to clients, but installing the updates doesn’t always happen right away, especially in large organizations with multiple locations and a high patient volume. With a composable DXP, it’s easier to implement and roll out important security updates quickly, efficiently and with minimal disruption to providers, staff and patients.Streamlining complex processesComposable DXPs are built by assembling the best and most efficient individual components. That means healthcare organizations don’t have to be stuck with a legacy system that does a few things well at the expense of other processes. Healthcare processes like eligibility verification and health insurance billing reconciliation are complex enough on their own. With a composable DXP, healthcare organizations can find the right programs for each workflow and minimize unnecessary complexity. Improving clinical workflows and minimizing burnoutHealthcare providers strive to deliver positive patient outcomes. Unfortunately, clinical workflows have become increasingly complex over the years, and technology plays a major role in the increased workload for providers. A recent study found that 50% of physicians work at least 60 hours a week, which is a recipe for provider burnout and poor patient outcomes. Composable architecture can go a long way toward improving operational efficiency, particularly when it comes to clinical workflows for providers and staff. With a composable DXP, healthcare organizations can integrate multiple systems to simplify workflows, so staff and providers can spend less time wrestling with outdated technology and more time focusing on patients. The agility and flexibility of composable DXPs can be used to create smoother clinical workflows, which reduces the tech burden on providers and staff and helps minimize the potential for adverse events or poor patient outcomes. Creating an engaging patient portalThe patient experience can be a deciding factor in the overall success of a healthcare organization. It’s easier than ever for patients to receive healthcare services at an organization that meets their expectations — which also means it’s easier than ever for patients to move their care elsewhere if they feel their needs aren’t being met.Nearly all major healthcare organizations use some type of patient portal, but few (if any) of those portals deliver what could be considered a cutting-edge user experience. A robust digital experience is a great way for healthcare organizations to demonstrate their value to their patients, and a composable approach helps simplify the process of designing patient portals. A composable DXP allows healthcare organizations to build patient portals that go beyond a simple web app or mobile-optimized site. Composable DXPs can be configured to work with all digital channels, from desktop to social media, so patients can access healthcare services and interact with organizations in a way that best suits them. Not only does that flexibility improve the overall patient experience, it also helps healthcare organizations reach their patient satisfaction objectives. Learn moreLearn more about the advantages of composable DXPs over monolithic systems in our article, “Composable vs. monolithic: Which is right for you?”Schedule a free demo to see how Contentstack’s composable digital experience platform can help your organization transform the patient experience.
How switching to a composable DXP will affect security
The top priority for any business is protecting sensitive information from cyberattacks, and the effectiveness of your cybersecurity measures largely depends on your tech stack. There are a number of benefits of going composable, and a key one is that composable DXPs can offer better security than monolithic solutions. Read on to learn: How going composable can improve your organization’s cybersecurity What you need to know to make your composable tech stack as secure as possible What is composable architecture? Composable architecture breaks down the large and complex functions found in monolithic solutions into smaller, more manageable pieces. An API acts as the go-between for these smaller pieces, allowing them to communicate and transfer information more efficiently. In a composable CMS, the front-end and back-end layers are decoupled, so changes can be made to the front end independent of back-end functions. There are a variety of benefits of moving to a composable DXP, including reduced IT costs, more streamlined processes and functions, easier updates and, when properly implemented, better security. What are the biggest threats businesses face? Cyberattacks have always posed a risk to businesses, but that threat has grown in the past decade. Businesses have beefed up their cybersecurity measures when it comes to some of the more common threats like phishing and malware; unfortunately, hackers have responded by developing more sophisticated cyberattacks that are harder to spot — and more difficult to guard against. Today, businesses face a slew of cybersecurity threats. Ransomware attacks hold entire networks hostage. Endpoint attacks are on the rise, thanks to the shift toward remote work and, in turn, the number of off-site Internet of Things (IoT) devices connected to business systems. Supply chain attacks exploit security weaknesses in third-party vendors or providers to gain access to their partners’ systems. And even though we are better trained to spot phishing attempts and avoid malware, these strategies still work often enough that hackers continue to use them. Composable DXPs provide the flexibility to employ cutting-edge cybersecurity measures to protect against cyber attacks and data breaches. The security benefits of going composable A strong cybersecurity strategy is especially important with composable DXPs. As noted above, a composable approach offers the ability to break the large, single-suite functions of monolithic platforms into smaller components. This allows for more customization options, as organizations can pick and choose the specific programs and functions they need to deliver a top-tier digital experience. But each individual piece has its own security requirements and vulnerabilities, and your cybersecurity strategy needs to account for all these differences so there are no holes to exploit. When moving to a composable DXP, a key first step is to define your security needs and identify the security tech stack that best meets those needs. This will serve as the foundation of your cybersecurity framework, and all the functionality that follows needs to fit within it. The benefit is that it makes it much easier to identify and isolate any vulnerabilities in your security. With monolithic systems, spotting security risks or finding the source of a breach means combing through the entire system. With a composable DXP, it’s much faster and easier to go through each individual function and make the necessary adjustments to secure your system. How to properly secure your composable tech stack Breaking out functions into individual components with a composable DXP solution creates more endpoints that can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. But even though there are more potential points of access, there are also more ways to secure your systems. API management platforms make it easy to track API usage and integrate up-to-date security protocols like OAuth and OpenID. That allows you to control who can access and use critical applications and data stored in cloud services, and with authentication processes to verify user IDs, you can catch any security threats before a breach occurs. To secure your composable DXP, these functions are essential: End-to-end encryption Access controls Authentication: Encryption keys; 2FA; securing IoT devices Data protection Detailed monitoring Implementing these functions and tailoring them to the unique needs of your composable DXP helps ensure that the sensitive data in your platform is protected from cyberattacks. Data security in your composable DXP When it comes to brand interactions, today’s consumer expects a personalized experience, but in order to create a robust customer journey, you need to gather data about your customers. Consumers are willing to provide that data if it means a better digital experience — but they also expect that their sensitive information will be safe in your hands. The financial cost of a data breach can be massive, but it’s nothing compared to the damage your organization’s reputation will suffer if your customer data is exposed due to a security breach. Fortunately, your composable DXP strategies can help provide better data security. With a monolithic system, if your critical infrastructure is breached, all your customer data is exposed. A composable DXP allows you to create modular data pipelines that connect to each individual component and the relevant data, rather than a single large block that contains all your data, as is the case with legacy systems. With composable, you can scale up or down and implement or remove components based on your security needs. And if a data breach does occur in one component, the scope of the data exposure is usually limited. Securely meeting consumer demands The customer experience is delivered across different parts of your composable DXP, from your headless CMS to your marketing stack — and it all needs to be supported by a robust cybersecurity strategy that meets or exceeds industry standards. Cybersecurity threats come in all shapes and sizes, and cyberattacks can come from anywhere. To combat those threats and protect your system, your cybersecurity strategy needs to address all the potential risks. Your technology also needs to be flexible and adaptable in order to guard against new threats as they arise. Going composable allows you to build your tech stack to match your security strategy, and vice versa. It’s important to remember that ensuring a safe and secure experience goes beyond adding security protocols to your tech stack. Rather, it’s about deploying the right technologies and data protection programs and practices for the unique needs of your organization. Learn more Learn more about composable architecture in our blog post, “Why composable architecture is the future of digital experience.” Schedule a free demo to learn how Contentstack can help you create a secure composable DXP solution that best suits your organization’s needs.
How to transform your content creation with generative AI
Content marketing is a key part of an effective marketing strategy. Unfortunately, content creation can be tedious, time-intensive and difficult to scale alongside your business. Generative artificial intelligence (AI) offers an alternative approach: Artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT and other AI chatbots can create pieces of content based on patterns observed in existing data resources.By leveraging the power of generative AI, businesses can produce high-quality, personalized content quickly and efficiently, without having to invest significant resources into its creation. In this blog post, we'll explore how generative AI works and the ways it can help transform your marketing initiatives.Benefits of using generative AI for content creationGenerative AI has the potential to revolutionize content creation. Using natural language processing (NLP), generative AI can create large amounts of content quickly and accurately, allowing businesses to scale up their content creation faster than ever before. In addition to saving time and money, generative AI opens up new content marketing possibilities for brands. Content creators can use machine learning to develop a better understanding of their target audiences and how best to reach and connect with them, then hone their content to align with the audiences’ needs.Content also plays an essential role in the customer experience. Your content is your opportunity to demonstrate to customers that you are listening to what they want and what’s most important to them. That means being able to react quickly to trends and news events, and with AI generated content, it’s easier to incorporate new information and developments more quickly, accurately and effectively to maintain a positive customer experience.Generative AI can also use its understanding of your customers to ensure the content is relevant to them. This kind of precisely targeted content would normally take content creators days or weeks to create; with generative AI tools, that process can be shortened to a few hours or less.How to get startedDefine your content strategyBefore you can begin using generative AI to create content, it’s important to establish a content strategy, and that starts with defining your vision for your content. What do you hope to achieve with your content, and what types of content are best to achieve it? What topics do you want to cover? What tone and style of writing are you looking for?The more information and guidance you can provide, the more efficient the generative AI can be in creating the content — and the more effective that content will be. Once you have a good understanding of your needs and a solid content strategy, you can start the search for the right tool to execute it.Find the right tool for the jobThere are a number of different AI tools on the market that can be used for content generation, and some tools are better suited for certain tasks than others. For example, Writesonic and Jasper are better suited to creating written content; Type Studio is more geared towards podcasts, streams, and interviews; for more design- or visually-focused content, Designs.ai may be a better solution. You’ll need to do some research on generative AI tools to find the option that best suits your content marketing needs.Train the AI toolWhat makes ChatGPT such an effective AI chatbot? Training. Using reams of text from the open internet, ChatGPT’s developers assigned the program a simple directive: Predict the next word in a text string, over and over. Over the course of trillions of predictions, the large language model (LLM) learned not just how to predict the next word but also learned to apply its training data to answer questions and complete tasks assigned to it. In other words, ChatGPT wasn’t always as advanced as it is today — it had to be trained.The same concept applies to other generative AI tools. You will need to train your AI tool on the finer points (such as your brand voice and the types of content you want it to generate) before it can start generating pieces of content that resonate with your customers. And the more data you can provide, the better the results will be.Generate, edit and publish your contentOnce you have trained your AI tool, you can begin using it to generate content. Depending on the tool you are using and your content needs, you may be able to generate large amounts of content very quickly.It’s important to remember that once you have generated your content, it will need to be edited and formatted before publishing. This is particularly important in the early stages of using generative AI tools: The editing process will help you determine if the AI needs more training on tone or your brand voice.Improving the quality of your AI contentUse high-quality dataTo ensure high-quality AI-generated content, you need to start with data that is complete, accurate and free of errors. If your data is of poor quality or contains errors, your AI-generated content will likely reflect that.Choose the right algorithmThere are a variety of AI algorithms that can be used for content generation. Some are better suited for generating short pieces of content like social media posts and blurbs, while others are designed with longer pieces of content in mind, so it's vital that you choose the right algorithm for your specific needs.Evaluate and improve your AI modelAfter you've trained your AI model, it's important to evaluate it to see how well it's performing. This can be done by having humans read and rate the AI generated content and suggest areas of improvement. Those refinements can then be fed back into the generative AI and used as additional training data, which helps the tool avoid similar missteps in future content.Keep an eye on future developmentsAI technology is constantly evolving and improving, and the AI landscape might look drastically different a year from now. It's important to keep an eye on where AI is going to ensure that you can capitalize on future developments and continue producing high-quality AI generated content.Potential challenges of using generative AI solutionsGenerative AI tools have the potential to revolutionize content creation, but there are still potential challenges you should be aware of.Generative AI is still in its early stages of development, which means there are limited data sets available to train generative AI models — and as a result, these models are often biased toward the training data set. If your data doesn’t align with the training data set, the generative AI tool might choose to ignore that data at first. It may take a few tries to get the model to accept your data and incorporate it into its learning.Generative AI models can also be expensive to develop and train, both in terms of money and IT resources. And even though they are a great tool for quickly creating robust and effective content, there may be a ceiling on the quality of AI generated content. If high-quality — i.e., exceptionally well-written and thoroughly researched — articles and blog posts are a priority for your brand, generative AI may not be able to produce the kind of content that meets your standards. (At least, not yet.)There is also the question of authenticity. As consumers become more exposed to AI generated content, will they develop an ability to tell the difference between content written by a human and content written using artificial intelligence? And if they do, will that affect how they view that content? It’s unclear if that will be the case, but organizations that use AI-generated content should keep a close eye on how those pieces of content are received by their audience.Generative AI is an ambitious and exciting technology that offers endless possibilities for content creation, from increasing efficiency to creating entirely new forms of visual and written content. But before you go all-in on generative AI, it’s essential to understand the complexities of generative AI tools so you can overcome any potential challenges you may encounter during implementation. With the right tools and planning, generative AI can play an invaluable role in transforming your content marketing.Learn moreWatch this episode of "Contentstack LIVE" with Contenstack VP of Product Conor Egan to learn more about the power of generative AI and how Contentstack leverages ChatGPT in our AI Assistant.Schedule a free demo to learn how you can scale content creation and elevate your digital experience using AI Assistant and our composable DXP.
How to drive people-centric technology change
Andreas Westendörpf knows that successful digital transformation is people-centric. From his early days as a software developer to leading transformative teams in retail and real estate, to his current role as chief technology officer at Emma Sleep, he’s learned that the most radical technology changes happen alongside a shift in company culture. “The role of the CTO is 50% knowing the technology and 50% being an evangelist,” Westendörpf said. “It’s important to make your business peers understand what is so special about software, what is different from other real world examples of work and of collaboration.”Westendörpf recently spoke with us about how to structure tech and teams for hypergrowth, creating an environment that fosters motivation, and advice for other enterprise leaders at scale-up organizations. Break the bottlenecks Westendörpf didn’t come into Emma Sleep set on overhauling the company's technical architecture. His early agenda was to understand where the business stood, which levers moved it, what the ambition of the organization was and what needed to be done to get there. “I realized quite quickly that this company is on a really exceptional trajectory and growth path, essentially doubling its business every one or two years,” Westendörpf said. “It became clear that with the intensive scaling of the business, the platform and the teams that are running the platform did not scale as well.” At that time, the team was working with a tightly integrated, monolithic e-commerce platform. While this worked well for them in the startup phase, as the business became more complex the platform had become highly extended and customized to meet their needs. Making changes meant dealing with a waterfall of dependencies and long timelines. “It’s a problem that a lot of CTOs in commerce and other industries experience, that their teams are becoming the bottleneck of business development in the company,” Westendörpf said. “In order to avoid that you need to take the leap and really rethink the entire technical and organizational architecture, as they have so much influence on each other. ” “For us, that meant going to a setup where we can design teams and technology in a way that is less dependent on other parts of the organization or the technology landscape,” Westendörpf said, explaining that Emma Sleep now works in a model where empowered product teams take ownership of different business domains such as pricing or order fulfillment. “Looking forward, there’s so much innovation that we can apply, and apply faster, with the setup we now have,” Westendörpf said. Make change a part of the plan “There’s a lot of misconceptions in the business world about software, one being that software is finished,” Westendörpf said. “Software is never finished until it’s being decommissioned.”This is especially true as businesses turn to technology to solve new problems and create new value, and as companies increasingly adopt a composable approach to do so. “If you’re replatforming to a composable architecture you’re essentially rearchitecting your entire landscape and building it in a way that allows you to easily attach and detach things. Making the effort of replatforming not a big thing you need to do every couple of years but something you do on a daily basis,” Westendörpf said. This gives complex organizations the flexibility to solve problems quickly. “That’s the difference,” Westendörpf said. “The amount of work it takes to change in a composable architecture is way less than in a highly integrated one.” Challenge what’s possibleWhile most commerce companies now see digital as a core part of the business, many of the large software vendors still operate like they did when technology was seen as a behind-the-scenes utility that was outsourced to a network of consultants. “There’s some resistance to be overcome from business models that are rooted in 1980s and 1990s sales behavior,” Westendörpf said. “It’s not a technical requirement; the systems are ready for that. It’s now the commercial collaboration we need to change.” For instance, Emma Sleep uses a Microsoft platform for finance and operations. In many companies this platform would be the integral, central source of truth, but for Emma Sleep it’s just another component in their stack and the internal product team wanted to work with it in the same agile way they work with other components. “Fortunately, we convinced Microsoft this was an important case to unlock a different characteristic of company,” Westendörpf said. “A company that wants to take ownership, wants to take care of their core processes and also wants to build the capabilities and the know-how internally.” Ultimately, this created a strong partnership between the two companies and allowed the Emma Sleep team to work with the platform in a more agile, faster and cost-effective way. In five months they were able to launch the first country on the new platform, where the original project plan had projected a simple sandbox in that timeframe. “You can have business value after weeks and months; you don’t need to wait years for these kinds of things anymore,” Westendörpf said. Put in the work to build cultureMoving to a model where innovation happens in-house, and across parallel parts of business, takes a culture where teams are empowered to work independently and at full speed. “It’s OK to not always be 100% aligned. If you get consent from everybody all the time, you’re blocking the organization,” Westendörpf said. “You need to trust your people to make smart decisions.” Trusting your people also means clearly framing responsibilities and expectations.“You need to make sure that you’re running the right metaphor for your culture,” Westendörpf said. “For us, the metaphor is not family, it’s a sports team.” Like a sports team, at Emma Sleep it’s a given that everyone was brought on because they are smart, capable, and enthusiastic — and while everyone is oriented towards high performance, it’s important for people to enjoy their work and enjoy working together.“If you enter a room at Emma Sleep and throw a ball it won’t touch the ground, somebody will play it,” Westendörpf said. “There’s so much ambition and energy in the room and there’s definitely going to be a lot of fun.” A high performance culture comes from both hiring the right people and setting up an environment where they can thrive. Westendörpf recommends the three principles of motivation laid out in the book "Drive" by Daniel Pink: autonomy, purpose and mastery. As a leader, Westendörpf works to create this environment by giving people autonomy to follow their own creative process, finding a shared goal that requires a collective team effort to succeed and encouraging mastery by finding opportunities for team members to grow their talents.“If you combine those three things — the autonomy, the purpose, the mastery — and create an environment that fosters them, then you’ve done a great job already,” Westendörpf said. “It’s a hard thing to do, to be honest, but it’s very much my ambition to create such a workplace.”