Many business owners and executives have only recently began hearing terms like ‘Web Experience Platform’, or ‘Enterprise Web Content Management’. These platforms allow businesses to build and manage their websites and mobile apps in a central location and make content edits/updates. They also provide robust digital marketing, lead capture, automated email marketing, site analytics, e-Commerce, amongst other features and functionality.
Maybe you have no idea what a “CMS” is. Maybe “Digital Experience” means nothing to you. It’s probably because your web development or ad agency – or whoever manages your online presence – doesn’t want you to know. Why not? Because they want you to continue believing that only they can do what they do.
It’s difficult to explain web content management to people who are so used to having little to no control over their online presence. It’s like explaining the concept of the telephone to a 19th century Western Union messenger. It's commonplace that if an employee wants to edit content their website they would have to call corporate and the IT department’s turnaround time can range from that day of to several months. With a CMS or it's more evolved counterpart, the Web Experience Platform, you can login yourself, make content edits, build applications, web pages, and mobile apps, all on a permission-based system. This is such a relatively new concept in the mind of businesses that despite this offering, they still hold onto the legacy vendors they’ve used for so long, even though a CMS or Web Experience Platform negates the needs for all of those vendors.
That’s because it sounds too good to be true but in this rare case — it’s not. The irony is this, whatever you’re going to pay those other vendors for can be built or integrated with a single CMS platform. Once you have a robust CMS platform, you don’t need any more vendors or agencies.
So let’s break it down to its most elementary level:
- Hand coded websites which need to be manually updated by developers and graphic designers
- Use of multiple agencies (website agency, design agency, SEO agency, ad agency, print agency, email marketing vendor, video agency, etc.) to maintain your online presence
- Multiple websites to update one at a time
- Poor mobile experiences on phones or tablets
- Huge expenses to multiple vendors to maintain online presence
- Mobile responsive beautifully designed websites
- Multi-site management through a single login and interface
- Direct content edits and updates without the need for the IT department
- Singular expense for CMS that handles websites, digital marketing, and ecommerce and all that encompasses
- Ability to serve up different content to different customer segments (web experience platform only)
In the traditional model, there was much more money to be had in our industry as software vendors could charge based on list items, services, huge annual license costs, private label offerings with inflated margins, misquoted hours, all of which piled up when there are dozens of vendors you barely know who don’t communicate with one another. Just to maintain your online presence you’d pay a dozen vendors a fortune every year without any way to track your return on investment. Agencies told you what you “needed” and then charged you for it month in and month out, year in and year out. When you wanted to swap out a logo you'd have to call someone and wait weeks for it to happen, let alone getting the logo made in the first place and paying the price for a color change. So many vendors carrying so many different responsibilities made it nearly impossible to accurately track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
The traditional model made it very difficult to maintain a strong online presence with a unified and powerful digital brand behind it using the traditional model as many companies do, some out of complacency, some because of lack of understanding and most for fear of change. The new model is a dream for executives, middle management, marketers, content authors, and the foot soldiers of Corporate America. With a Content Management System, your company can now have control over their entire online digital experience from A to Z without dozens of vendors. Imagine the possibilities.
About the Author
Shawn Moore is the founder & CTO of Solodev and the driving force behind the Solodev Web Experience Platform. A visionary leader, Shawn has strategically grown Solodev from inception to a successful company that services clients across the nation and has been named to the Inc. 5000’s fastest growing private companies for the past two years in a row.
Winner of several industry awards for Best CTO and CIO, Shawn Moore is changing the content management landscape with Solodev. With over a decade of executive experience serving as CEO of Solodev and COO for software company Helium Flash, Shawn has the industry knowledge and product passion that continues to drive the development of the Solodev Platform. He is a graduate of Stetson University and often speaks on IT related trends and topics at conferences and universities across the state.