By: Elizabeth Scavnicky Yaekle

Content ManagementWould you engage a financial services advisor without exploring the average rate of return, risks and his or her track record?  So when choosing a new content management system (CMS), be sure to thoroughly assess your company’s needs and comprehensively evaluate whether or not the CMS offers the tools and features required for a successful content strategy. 

Be sure to ask:

1. Who?  When rolling out any new policy, process or procedure, the user groups’ capabilities and needs are always considered.  The same principle applies when assessing CMS’s. 

For example, if your intent is to enable a marketing coordinator to blog on your website, but he or she is technologically inept, then the CMS must not only offer that functionality, but be as easy as Microsoft Word to use.

If you are a small business owner, it is highly likely that you will want to provision the CMS’s user base.  Perhaps you’ve hired an intern to input new product spec’s and other company info into your newly developed website.   You may not want to grant her access to customer data or the administrative ability to modify existing content on your website.  As such, it is critical that the CMS include permissions functionality.

2. What?  Consider your content strategy and marketing goals, and how they will ultimately support your value proposition.  Is the ability to alternate videos, images, content and tier marketing messages important?  Is your intent to slice and dice your customer database so that you can deliver custom content such as unique offers?

Let’s say that the owner of an existing hair salon is launching her own signature hair product line.  She hopes to generate awareness and capture new customers by hosting monthly beauty nights wherein she can demonstrate her hair care products to existing clients, and also cross-sell her hair styling services to early adopters of her hair care line.

It is critical that this small business owner choose a CMS that enables her to track leads and registrants from customers and prospects completing forms on the site. Furthermore, it is helpful to have the ability to separate and segment customers which complete different forms on the website.

3. Where and When?  Ponder if it is important to modify content, offers, etc. on an ad hoc basis and on various devices.  Ideally, a web-based CMS built on a responsive platform should be selected if it is important to view metrics and modify content in real-time regardless of the device.

A few CMS’s include a CRM component, such as MYCE™ 2.0, which enables the user to view new leads, purchases, email subscriptions and more 24/7 on any device.  If you are like most small business owners, you wear the marketing hat and need a system you can access from your mobile phone when you are out and about on service calls vs. waiting until you return to your office and hunkering down on your computer.

4. What levels of security, scalability and support are available?  Often times, sales professionals use technical terms or state claims as opposed to actual facts.  If you don’t understand the response to this question, ask that it be stated in layman’s terms. 

Be sure to ask the questions posed and take time to evaluate the answers.  Most importantly, ask specific questions based on the unique needs of your user groups, goals, employee base, etc.   Bottom line—your SEO and content strategies are only as good as your CMS.