Why Your CMS Is Not Fit For Purpose
Five reasons why your content management system (CMS) is not fit for purpose.
The content management system (CMS) is now over 20 years old. First designed with the sole purpose of giving non-developers the tools to update a website viewable on a desktop computer, the CMS has managed to, at a stretch, also function to cater for tablets and mobile. However, fast-forward almost 20 years, and it is evident that the CMS is no longer fit for purpose - the original use cases of the platform no longer exist. Consumer behaviour has shifted beyond recognition, and the time has come to find a new and better solution.
Delivering the same content over different channels.The CMS thinks only about the website; however, with technological advancements, content needs to be shared across a much broader range of platforms. Consider apps, smartwatches, voice-activated devices, digital signage and other forms of IoT. It is not practical or desirable to have a different CMS for every communication channel and platform – this leads to duplication of content and data silos - which ultimately leads to poor customer experiences.
Instead, a platform is needed that allows schools to manage communications & content effectively and efficiently to create excellent omnichannel experiences. Take the school newsletter as an example – so few schools can rely on their CMS to deliver a simple school newsletter. Converting blog posts into email content via a CMS is cumbersome at best-- or in most cases, impossible. What if there was a system that could create the newsletter automatically while pushing the items into a newsletter app?
Might less be more in reaching your customers?With the emergence of so many channels, connecting with your customers has become more accessible. However, that poses an interesting question - Is the sheer volume of digital touchpoints improving or degrading the customer experience? With the CMS, the assumption has always been that creating more content will ultimately lead to greater engagement and conversion – 'content is king', after all. Schools have created social media accounts on mass (some individual schools have more than 50!), written more blog posts and 'school stories' than they know what to do with, and feel obliged to be taking photos and producing something 'new and engaging daily. The problem is that the CMS they rely on is not capable of intelligence – it cannot connect the dots between good and bad content or what is effective and what is not.
Today's schools need a platform to handle this analysis to determine whether less might lead them to more.
Future-proofing for a marketing strategy that doesn't yet exist.Almost the moment a new school website launches, it's out of date-- in some cases, it's out of date well before launch! Think about what happens when there's a new initiative like a summer camp, a capital campaign, or a campus opening. It's not uncommon for admission, alumni, development, foundation and fundraising to need different content and objectives from the main website. Solutions vary, from hosting microsites on other platforms (which means costs, inefficiencies and brand consistency escalate quickly) to using a single CMS that can't effectively manage multiple websites. It is also a slow process for implementation, as the school needs to re-engage with their supplier and 'build out' the new solutions.
Today's schools create and manage content regardless of the website, channel/platform. They require the ability to 'build an app' without the need to implement and understand a new solution to manage its content-- a platform that takes a 'content-first' approach.
Staying on brand, with brand assets, messaging and content.Schools often struggle to stay on brand – a problem the CMS can't entirely solve. Brand guidelines get ignored or 'interpreted' differently. Logos become altered and distorted over time. Messaging and tone of voice get lost in translation. Marketing loses track of how photos, documents, videos and images are used across various digital channels and departments. They can't respond to GDPR requests or view how images, videos or documents are used outside of the website.
Schools today need a way to effectively share, manage, and track communications assets over multiple channels.
Integration with other systems and platforms now and in the future.The CMS was not built to connect with other platforms or to address how data might be pushed into or pulled out of it. The function of the CMS was to easily update content on a website, so its architecture reflects that. Consequently, integrating a CMS with another system or platform is often painful, costly, and unsatisfactory. That's because developers from each side need to write the necessary code to make the two systems talk with one another-- no simple task.
What has long been needed here is a platform that separates content from its code, so that every asset held within the platform can be accessed externally and consumed easily, without the need for a developer.
NOW WE KNOW (SOME OF) THE PROBLEMS - WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
It would not be fair to write an article presenting all of the weaknesses and problems of a CMS without ending with a potential solution. Fortunately, we have just that in the AMAIS™ platform. AMAIS™ is the first of its kind in providing schools with a digital experience ecosystem (DXE) that overcomes all of the issues raised in this article and many more.
One of the marketing directors we recently demonstrated the platform to was kind enough to give us the following feedback (accompanied by a signed contract).
"Once we saw the AMAIS™ platform it quickly demonstrated how to solve problems we had long known existed, but couldn’t solve with our existing CMS provider. Perhaps more surprising though, was the number of problems and issues it solved that we didn’t know existed until we were shown there's a much better way of doing things. I can’t see how any school would consider a normal CMS once they’ve seen AMAIS™."
If your school is reviewing its website, please get in touch to arrange a demo of our platform and learn how Ubiq is changing the industry – one school website at a time.