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One for All? Why Your CMS Should Support More Than Martech

A headless CMS that is flexible enough and can output content in different channels enables this type of digital strategy. 

For a long time CMS has been widely limited to the confines of the martech department and the ‘tech savvy’. But this is changing. Today content isn’t just king, it plays a key role in nearly every business function in the face of minimized real-life contact and a digital-first consumer. But what does this mean for the future of CMS?

The Digital-First Consumer

Although online expectations were already on the rise before the pandemic, it has raised the innovation stakes even further as a new breed of digital-first consumers demand much more. 

Today, it’s about hyper-personalization and customer-centricity, anticipating and addressing their individual needs, inspiring demand, and providing products that are simple to purchase and supported with flexible after-care for a seamless digital transaction. 

And it’s not just about e-commerce either. Given that today a typical user spends almost 7 hours per day on the internet, businesses have been quick to realize the benefits of migrating key business functions, such as customer service and recruitment, online.

A good example can be found in the evolution of the traditional call center operation to include an omnichannel experience with email, chat, and instant messaging to improve the ease with which customers can contact businesses. In fact, 73% of customers see live chat as the most ‘satisfying’ way of interacting with a business, pointing to the importance of staying ahead of the curve with digital innovations to maintain customer satisfaction. 

Another case in point is the recent shift towards online recruitment as a faster, easier, and more cost-effective way to hire compared with traditional outsourced recruiters. 

In this vein, it is no surprise that 60% of senior executives believe that digital transformation will be critical for business growth in 2022. 

And this isn’t a trend that shows any sign of abating soon. Ever since Mark Zuckerberg captivated the world by announcing Meta and his vision for ‘the next iteration of the web’, businesses have started seriously considering and investing in that future world. Years from now we might be shopping, accessing our finances or hiring people in virtual reality.

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So, as the digital net widens to include more business functions than ever before – what is the impact on the CMS requirement? 

CMS for All

It is not surprising that CMS is now being used more widely outside of the confines of the traditional martech department. In fact, nearly half (43%) of CMS use is now with Finance, HR, and Operations – according to our new report The State of Content Management 2022. 

With this comes a greater onus on ensuring CMS is as user-friendly, flexible and easy to use as possible, particularly when it comes to those employees who may not necessarily be overly ‘digital-minded.’

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Yet our report also reveals that almost half (48%) of enterprises use 2-3 content management systems at the same time, leaving themselves open to unnecessary complexities and scope for inconsistency. This is seen as almost 63% state their workflow isn’t easy when it comes to using CMS.

But with businesses stating future plans to introduce mobile applications (22.9%), eCommerce platforms (13.9%), voice-activated speakers (7.2%), AR/VR ( 6.6%) and smartwatches (3.7%), it becomes even more important to ensure a more flexible and agile approach to CMS.

Headless CMS 

The good news is that transitioning to a more future-fit CMS doesn’t need to be overly complex or expensive.


A big mistake many companies make is in thinking that getting a big tech stack from a well-known brand is the best and easiest way to enable a successful output. Not only is this usually an expensive approach, but it may also mean being locked into using products that don’t fit your business’ changing needs.

There are now solutions that are flexible, adaptable, scalable and that can be easily integrated with other applications that your business uses. This means you have the freedom to build a suite of tools that work for your business. In addition, you also have the flexibility to swap out different solutions not only as your martech develops but other business functions and needs.

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For your CMS needs, I would recommend a headless CMS solution. This is a back-end-only CMS consisting of structured content storage, an administration interface for content creators, and an API that allows different systems to consume the content. Thanks to this approach your business gains the freedom of having your content accessed on different platforms across the digital world — something which a traditional (monolithic) CMS would not be capable of. 

Identifying just what you need comes down to how you think about the future of your business and its digital journey across all departments. As consumers continue to crave personalisation, creating a suite of tools that enables you to amend content quickly and easily is essential. So too is the ability to leverage existing customer data and other information streams to provide tailored and relevant information.

A headless CMS that is flexible enough and can output content in different channels enables this type of digital strategy. 

Everything from delivering dynamic content on your website through to post-conversion follow-up to timely customer service responses needs to happen. This requires having a business that is multidisciplinary and cross-functional. The users of your CMS need to have data, development, commercial, and marketing skills, and, critically, ensuring a regular flow of information between departments is essential. For example, data gleaned from marketing can inform product development and data gathered from areas such as customer service are needed to enable a truly personal experience. This becomes even more useful as CMS use widens and organizational cross-collaboration happens more.

Sure, this may seem like a lot of work to set up, but the rewards are clearly substantial. Our recent survey revealed that 82.91% of businesses have seen improvements in ROI, budget, and performance since making the switch to a headless CMS. 

As the world continues to embrace digital transformation and new innovations, businesses need to futureproof their CMS from a technical aspect, but also need to ensure that it can be easily used by any employee. In this way, going headless can ensure they remain ahead. 

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