4 Ways CMS Will Impact Digital in 2020

Photo credit: iStockphoto/peshkov

As new technologies continuously enter the market, the content management system (CMS) is sometimes left as an afterthought, or worse, seen as a commodity.  To stand out in this sea-of-sameness, CMS vendors should evolve their approach by helping businesses engage in new and different ways with the empowered consumer.  As we approach 2020, we will see the following adaptations appear in modern CMS platforms:

  • Provide deeper insights into their visitors’ goals
  • Develop streamlined paths for visitors to accomplish their goals
  • Help marketing teams unify their content management strategies
  • Empower IT to manage their own infrastructure

Let’s face it. Data is the most powerful currency on the planet, propelling analysis and interpretation technology into a USD 190 Billion spend last year alone.  This type of spending provides a foothold for a new marketing technology platform to enter the mix, the customer data platform (CDP), which brings me to my first 2020 CMS prediction.

  1. Increased understanding of customers’ behaviors

The customer data platform (CDP) provides an in-depth look into the data for your customers' activities, history, engagements, demographics, etc. It applies machine learning algorithms to help unify the data and provide advanced insights into the customer journey.  According to the Customer Data Platform Institute industry report from July 2019, the CDP industry is exploding in growth and funding.  If CDPs have all these valuable customer insights, it’s very plausible to see a CMS both contributing to the CDP data and utilizing the content for better digital experiences.

Equipped with CDP insights, CMS should be able to utilize advanced analytics techniques that provide predictive and prescriptive activities to help our lean marketing teams engage, adapt, and understand customers' goals. In turn, it can help lean marketing teams to become more effective, and impact the health of any company.

  1. AI drives results

Along with the insights provided by CDPs, AI is well-positioned to assume a permanent role on the marketing team.  Knowing where, when, and how customers are ready to interact with businesses is key to unlocking high-converting digital experiences.  With CDPs, we know the "when" and "where," and we can use AI to understand the "how."  AI can sift through mountains of data and come up with keywords or even help create specific customer journeys to engage more effectively with customers. 

AI allows you to engage the customer where they are with the right message, at the right time, and with the right call to action. 

There are several AI-driven content marketing software packages in the martech stack, but what would it look like if a CMS integrated this technology into its platform?   You would be able to more effectually distribute content beyond your website and engage the customer where they are with the right message, at the right time, and with the right call to action.  Adding AI content management to CMS would truly influence the customer journey and help guide customers to quickly accomplish their goals.

  1. Making IT personal

As already uncovered in this article, there are technologies that help make content more effective and strategic. If we can dynamically generate personalized content on our website and share with other digital destinations, why can't we have a better solution for creating pdf documents?

Adding another destination for content distribution to the modern CMS would save hours a week. 

Content management does not stop at the website or digital destination; effective content management must cross over into the physical realm. For the most part, businesses are still publishing content from documents and slides; and the easiest, quickest way to distribute them is still a pdf.  The modern CMS already has the capability of managing personalized content and distribution of content. Adding another destination for content distribution would save marketers hours a week. 

In fact, this technology has existed for decades with Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA).  This XML-based tech allows writers to engage in a methodology for the creation of content blocks that are used to produce all types of literature. This brings us to another 2020 prediction: dynamically generated, personalized documents. CMS that adopt distributing content to physical marketing assets will help unify content management strategy across the marketing teams.

  1. Software portability

While all of these predictions have a direct impact on marketing teams, there is one more, which has a direct impact on IT.  Over the past several years, cloud applications have grown geometrically.  The value of cloud services is a simple, very low barrier of entry with measurable ROI.

Application containers allow developers to host applications in the cloud, or on their own infrastructure, with limited resources.

The maturity in this market has brought many technological advancements to the forefront, application containers arguably being the more impactful.  Application containers allow developers to host applications in the cloud, or on their own infrastructure, with limited resources.  This enables IT departments to separate out infrastructure from applications (without containers, some applications could not be supported on different infrastructure, which adds complexity).  

What does this have to do with CMS?  Most CMS platforms are not containerized; they still require specific hosting environments, which adds complexity to IT departments.  One technology, .net core -- which many modern CMS are built from – will allow the capability for CMS to be hosted in a container, drastically simplifying deployments, adoption, and increasing performance.  My last prediction for CMS in 2020 is to adopt a container development approach empowering IT to manage their environments the way they see fit.

Whether or not these predictions come true or not, the takeaway is this: CMS vendors must develop capabilities to differentiate themselves from their competition, or the sea-of-sameness, and empower marketing and IT teams to reach beyond their traditional capabilities and into the modern era.

Gregg Shupe, digital experience thought leader, Progress wrote this blog. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CDOTrends. Photo credit: iStockphoto/peshkov