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5 signs your content management project is in trouble

Content is central to how you reach your customers. Avoid content management pitfalls and make sure your CMS is working for you the way it should.

November 14, 2018 | By Scott Beach

Woman leading a corporate meeting

Managing digital content for your website doesn’t have to give you grief. Today’s content management systems (CMS) make it easier for both technical and nontechnical users alike to handle web page content in an efficient way. The CMS puts you in the driver’s seat—no more relying on external vendors to perform simple tasks like design changes, adding functionality and adding tasks and roles. Smooth sailing, right? Not always.

Organizations can get into trouble and actually cause greater inefficiency if they don’t have all their ducks in a row. Here are five clues your CMS initiative may be struggling.

1. The team thinks content = page

Modern content marketing centers around the right content, in the right form, at the right time. To repurpose content or use it on different devices, it must be created and stored as fragments. This is a core capability of modern CMS platforms, and getting the information architecture right (before authoring) is critical for long-term success. If your team thinks that “page” and “content” are synonymous, it’s probably time for a team meeting.

2. You’re migrating all your old content

You wouldn’t move your household without first purging things you don’t use. So why would you migrate content that doesn’t add value to your organization? CMS projects should begin with a clear content strategy that aligns to user needs. You will inevitably uncover “zombie” content that not only isn’t helping users but is also adding cost to the organization. Along with this, you will also identify content that needs to be created to achieve the site’s business goals. Discarding low-value content will accelerate your CMS project and reduce your implementation budget.

3. You haven’t defined clear user personas

We don’t all read the same books, and the same holds true for your user’s content needs. User persona development and goal/journey mapping is a key planning activity that will shape your CMS implementation for success. Content supports the user journey through their life cycle of awareness to evaluation to decision to support. By modeling the journeys for each user type, you can identify supporting content that enhances the experience. That’s what I call some clear ROI for content.

4. Personalization? Targeted content? What is that?

Content that doesn’t align to a user’s need is just noise. Noise that wastes our time and diminishes our likelihood of seeing you as a valuable information source. We are drowning in content in our lives. Organizations that understand what I need to read gain my trust. If personalization and targeted content is not part of your phase 1 CMS release plan, you’re missing an opportunity to quickly build great customer relationships. And with modern digital experience content platforms like Adobe and Sitecore, personalization has never been easier.

5. IT is leading your content management project

We love IT teams, but if they are leading the content management charge, it is a clear sign that an organization is headed for trouble. Modern CMS implementations strive to reduce complexity and increase speed in the digital marketing space. This requires active leadership and marketing involvement in the design and buildout of the platform. Far too often we step into organizations and find IT supporting a tool that marketing doesn’t understand and that doesn’t fit their needs. If marketing can’t make time to get hands-on in the project, they’re not going to be ready to use the platform at go-live.

For more insights in how to get your content management program back on track, let’s talk.

Scott Beach is the solution director for TEKsystems Digital. He has spent the last 20 years designing customer experiences, developing platforms and leading technology transformation for Fortune 500 companies. He resides in Charlotte, North Carolina (when he’s not on a plane).