Business-First: Choosing an Enterprise CMS

Selecting the software to manage content on your website as well as all other channels is neither a small nor simple task. Though it can often feel daunting to someone who doesn’t live and breathe Web Content Management on a daily basis, the difficulty should not be used as an excuse to make what feels like a quick and easy selection but may turn out to be problematic in the long run.

Because I work with our Customer Success and Sales teams, and because I often find myself advising both partners and customers, I can say with some confidence that a common pitfall is to focus on the technology first. This assumes that the business will just fall into step. After all, a hammer is a hammer, right?

The analogy I like to use here is photography, wherein the technology is the camera and the rest - composition, lighting, scene, etc. - is up to the photographer. When you boil it down, it’s not about the camera. A skilled and practiced photographer can take an off-the-shelf disposable camera and do more with it than any amateur taking family photos around the table. Want some proof? The following shot was taken with not just a disposable camera, but an expired disposable camera.

Photo taken by Ken Rockwell. Source: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm

Obviously, a camera can make a difference in the quality as well as in more specialized circumstances. The same is true for selecting a CMS. Any CMS can run a good website - there are many excellent sites running free Wordpress, for example. But that doesn’t mean Wordpress makes a site good. Just as a $5,000 camera with a $2,000 lens doesn’t suddenly make one a good photographer. It takes time, practice, and talent. Even then, the disposable camera - while it may pull off good shots - will still not bring about the same quality as a good Canon or Nikon DSLR.

Understanding which WCM platform is right for you is similar to understanding the composition and lighting in a photograph before you take the shot. It boils down to the need at hand. Because composition and lighting will change for portrait versus landscape photography in order to meet the needs of the contract.

Similarly, the right WCM platform is the one that meets the needs of your business, both now and in the future. If you don’t know what your business is doing - where you want to grow, what goals you want to achieve, which needles you need the website to move - then it almost doesn’t matter which vendor you choose. Not knowing where your business is going is a surefire way to never get there.

However, if you want to move the needle, sell more, sign up more, and do more with your audiences, then it’s not possible to overstate the importance of selecting the best platform - and team to support it - to help you meet those goals.

Join me as I dig into this topic in greater depth in our upcoming webinar. I’ll cover:

  • Why RFPs don’t matter as much as you think they do
  • What questions to ask the vendor and why
  • How to put your business needs at the forefront of the decision-making process
  • How to select and work with agencies
  • The advantages of connecting your various systems in order to maximize ROI

If you missed the webinar you can now watch the recording here.

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