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When is it Time for a New CMS?

Discounts and extra time actually make the pandemic era perfect for trying new tools. Social media journalist for Associations Now Ernie Smith made a compelling argument on why now is the right time to invest in new technology in the “Daily Buzz: Why You Should Experiment with New Technology.”

Ernie is spot-on about technology vendors offering discounts. In Brightfind’s quest to help associations during Covid-19, we reduced our hourly rates and offered rapid deployments. Our CMS partners stepped up as well. They have lowered license prices, produced complimentary training, and even offered free products. (Check out Episerver’s Content Diagnostics tool, which is free for 90 days.)

Our clients want to move forward with their web technology projects, despite the pandemic. Some say it’s more important than ever to quickly disseminate critical communications. Others feel that such a project gives staff a much needed positive to focus on right now.

Perhaps the mere thought of deep discounts has put a new content management system (CMS) on your radar. Maybe not (yet). Pricing isn’t the only reason to make a jump. It’s definitely time to begin your search for a new CMS if any of these clues apply.


Clue 1: It’s Not Personal


If your CMS does not allow for personalization, it may be time to look at an alternative solution. (Side note: If you’re holding off with personalization because you find it creepy, check out the Balancing Personalization and Privacy Webinar.) Personalization allows organizations to meet the needs and wants of individual web visitors. It drives engagement and conversions. It’s no longer just a nice-to-have; it should be a critical component of your content strategy.

Most enterprise systems use pre-built machine learning algorithms to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. This means teams can spend time writing valuable content instead of manual rules. Choose a CMS that easily allows you to showcase product and content recommendations throughout your entire website, not just in your online store.


Clue 2: Processes Aren’t Streamlined


If a webinar time changes, do you have to update it in four different places? Do campaigns ever sit in limbo waiting for approvals? A new CMS can significantly reduce redundancy, mistakes, and delays.

A modern CMS allows editors to use, and reuse, individual content components, including images, videos and documents. These content blocks save time and ensure your website delivers a consistent brand and message.

Also, look for a CMS that offers team workspaces to give content writers a single location to edit and collaborate.  Notification alerts, reminders, and approval links are small but important workflow features that eliminate bottlenecks.


Clue 3: Website Updates Require IT


I’m a huge proponent of marketing and IT teams joining forces on marketing campaigns. However, if IT is needed for website updates, that’s a major clue it’s time for a new CMS. Content management systems are now designed with the non-technical user in mind. Choose a CMS with drag and drop layouts, rich text editing, A/B testing, marketing automation, and SEO tools. The right CMS will empower marketers and minimize IT overhead.


Clue 4: Your CMS Stands Alone


Can your CMS easily integrate with your AMS? LMS? Community site? If not, imagine life without double-entry. Envision data consolidated into one system of record. Think about seamless website experiences. I’m happy to report, these dreams can come true. Choosing a CMS with robust APIs allows you to extend the platform as your organization changes and grows. Be sure to ask your potential vendor about the depth of its partner ecosystem.


Clue 5: Your CMS has Caused Your Mental or Physical Harm


Have slow load times ever caused you to bang your head on your desk? Has trying to publish content caused you yelled at it loud enough to wake up your snoring dog? Has deciphering analytics ever forced you to mutter the words, I quit? If you’re guilty of any of these things, it’s time to get a new CMS…and maybe a new desk.


So Many Clues


There are countless reasons to upgrade your content management system. Simply put, if your technology is prohibiting you from meeting your strategic goals, it’s time to start a search. Luckily, now is a good time to buy an enterprise-level system at an incredible rate.

Lauren Janik

Topics: CMS

Written by Lauren Janik