The Four-Point Checklist for Identifying the Right CMS

October 05, 2018

By Kirsten Oelrich

Selecting a CMS is a big decision. The market is flooded with hundreds of content management systems, all with their own unique features and benefits. Identifying the most suitable option is a multi-step process, layered with numerous considerations and strategic outcomes. A wrong selection can have a huge impact on your brand, business, and bottom line.

Many organizations often get caught up in the nitty-gritties and nuances, losing sight of the overall objectives of their CMS platform. It is therefore important to step back and ask a few important questions. What should you look for when choosing a CMS? What features should you prioritize? Should you opt for a SaaS or a hosted solution? What stakeholders should be part of the decision-making process?

The list of questions is endless. This four-point checklist is a good place to start, and will help you narrow down your options when it comes to choosing the right CMS and vendor for your business and needs.

1. Integration

This is perhaps the most important consideration when identifying the right CMS. For any platform, the flexibility to integrate with complementary business technologies is likely to be a key success factor. You’re your time to explore how seamlessly your prospective CMS can connect with other technologies such as marketing automation and ecommerce platforms, and whether there are standard APIs or more complicated customization requirements. As with all key decisions, make sure to consult your technology chief and CIO when defining your needs.

2. Personalization

This one’s a no-brainer. Personalization is an absolute imperative that underpins all brand-customer engagements. As consumers demand experiences that are tailored to their interests and preferences, organizations are beginning to increasingly focus on delivering personalized, targeted, and relevant content. This is where a CMS with advanced personalization capabilities can play a key role. An ideal CMS must support personalization through the creation of user personas and the ability to segment users based on data such as purchase history and CRM data to referral and search keyword information.

3. Community and Support

Community support plays a big role in implementing and managing a CMS. The level of active and ongoing support you receive from a community is critical in not just resolving general queries, but also in addressing bigger concerns such as migration. If the need arises to migrate to a new platform, active community support can help in streamlining and simplifying the whole process in case there’s inadequate customer support. If you’re using an open source platform, community is integral to efficiently running your CMS as it provides easy access to source code and other necessary information.

4. Functionality and Usability

Certain factors you should keep in mind are to find out the number of users required to access the platform, whether they are developers or marketers and the level of technical expertise. You must get inputs and feedbacks from all the users examining and utilizing the platform. It is pointless when they choose a CMS which is too complex to operate or is not customizable to their business needs. It is advisable to always go for a company that can be trusted. Their product should also be reliable. See that the company assures the quality of the product. One of the most important parts of selecting a CMS is its features. You must also examine various issues like security, training, licensing, support and so on. Keep your requirements to the minimum and do not stick only to this list. Look out for your future requirements as well.

Where should you start?

All other considerations aside, the moot question is this – where should you begin? We believe the first step in identifying your CMS is evaluating your probable usage scenarios. Examining the likely usage scenarios beforehand aids in addressing the fundamental user requirements and provides an insight into the usability, productive outcomes, foreseeable issues, and overall technicalities. It is also helpful in making head-to-head comparisons between various platforms.

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