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How to use a composable stack to drive digital marketing innovation

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Auden Hinton, Contentstack Director of Digital Experience, reveals how our headless CMS and composable architecture has enabled different teams at Contentstack to quickly deliver at scale on innovative and collaborative initiatives. 


  • Contentstack’s tech stack
  • How headless CMS and composable help our operation and enhance innovation
  • Some initiatives currently underway
  • Benefits of automation
  • Future of ChatGPT
  • Benefits of composable over monolithic DXP
  • Addressing localization

Key Takeaways

Contentstack’s tech stack

Automation improves and speeds up innovation.

Our CMS is core to everything that we do. On the front end, we're using some Next.js and doing some front-end hosting with Vercel. But, the Vercel and Netlify and now the Contentstack launches of the world really helped us get away from the AWS side of the house and really automated a lot of what we are dependent on from a DevOps team to get new features into production. ... Having the CMS side of things, the automation, the front end hosting, and how that connects into our ecosystem, is something that really helps us iterate and innovate a lot faster than we would have before.

How headless CMS and composable help our operation and enhance innovation

We spend less time worrying about our technology and more time creating.

I love to say automate the automatable. We see a lot of operational efficiencies, and we spend less time on the how—how are we going to do something—and we spend a lot more time on the what. So we spend less time worrying about our technology. And we spend more time on creating. One way that I look at this is it, from an operations perspective, is more than just a CMS. It's really a creative engine. ... Not only are you empowering business users internally, via the CMS, to manage their own content and avoid the development tickets that come with that. But now you're empowering the dev team even further to where they can do a push, and it goes through an automated process to do quality checks to make sure that everything is as it should be to meet standards for something to go into production.

Some initiatives currently underway

This year it's about being efficient and about capturing people's attention with new innovative ideas.

Recent innovations with AI are really expediting the amount of content people are having to consume or that gets put in front of them. It's getting a lot harder to get people's attention, with so much information in their face every day. So focusing on micro-moments in our digital experiences, getting people to their content faster, or getting the right content for the right people at the right time is the core of what our digital organization does. ... So this year, it's about being efficient. It's about how we capture people's attention with new innovative ideas. And it's how we worry about our technology less while pushing the current technology that we have as far as we can. And with composable DXP, we're not even close to hitting the limit.

Benefits of automation

By automating the more trivial parts of my job, I become a better resource for the organization.

I have a kind of a running joke that it's my goal to automate my way out of a job. It's a half-joke because I really want my teams to have automation at the front of every task so we're not repeating ourselves. If we can find a way to help others be self-serving, it takes a lot of the burden off our technical resources. Automation is really at the core of how we operate. ... I think any automation that we can do internally has a downstream impact on our customers and our end users. And there's nothing but value there. I say that I want to automate myself out of a job, and that is somewhat provocative. But I also want to lead by example, on being efficient everywhere I can. So if I can automate the more trivial parts of my job, I will become a better resource for the organization. I can tackle more complex challenges, and I want to help my teammates be able to do that as well. A big way we do that is we spend less time on technology with this new composable setup. And we spend more time on how we can be more efficient.

Future of ChatGPT

ChatGPT will help people move a lot faster, especially in developing code.

I am so excited by it. I'm actually using it daily—just as a writing assistant. It's a great proofreader. And I think a lot of marketing teams are looking at ChatGPT and AI as a way to focus on more content. It'll create some challenges, and it'll create new opportunities, but I think it's going to help people move a lot faster. For us specifically, in a digital organization, where we're really getting a lot of value out of ChatGPT, is on the code side. Specifically with QA to help break through some more of the complex code challenges.

Benefits of composable over monolithic DXP

Composable is the fast track to pushing your organization forward.

I'm a firm believer that where there's a will, there's a way. And so if you're on WordPress, or on Drupal, or on any traditional monolithic type system or DXP, you can still do a lot of what we discussed, but the feedback that I give folks is 'how hard do you want to make it for yourself?' Going composable is the fast track to pushing your organization forward. You'll spend more time focusing on the what versus the how you're going to do it. So you can, with the traditional monolith, tackle a lot of the same challenges, but you're gonna have a much more challenging time doing it than you would with a composable DXP.

Addressing localization

Having a localization dimension for your content is critical to scale efficiently.

Localization is becoming more popular, especially as organizations become more virtual. Localization is an interesting challenge. It is not just translation. But it's also what you are doing in different regions from a messaging perspective, legal perspective, or even a cultural perspective. I think where composable really comes in with localization, specifically with our CMS, Contentstack, is being able to have different dimensions on your content, which is critical to being able to move forward in an efficient way and to scale it out. Being able to have an English version of an entry but also have French, German, or whatever it may be, whatever region you are going into, right out of the box is definitely a big plus.

Talk to an expert

Interested in talking to a Contentstack expert about this episode?

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