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Leonie Mercedes
Leonie Mercedes 1 September 2017

8 questions every digital marketer should ask before investing in a WMP

A good Website Management Platform makes it easy to manage content across different channels and launch new projects in double-quick time. But as every company is different, and with a wealth of different systems on the market, how can digital marketers ensure they invest in the right one?

Customers expect great website experiences. With website management platforms (WMPs), digital marketers can design, develop and deploy website experiences that drive revenue and delight their users.

A good WMP makes it easy to manage content across different channels and launch new projects in double-quick time. But as every company is different, and with a wealth of different systems on the market, how can digital marketers ensure they invest in the right one?

According to Crownpeak, a provider of cloud-based website management platforms, the success of a website launch hinges on the research that is done before selecting a vendor. In its new report “89 Essential Questions To Ask When Selecting A New Website Management Platform”, Crownpeak isolates the most important questions marketers should ask their vendor before investing in a new WMP.

In this article, we’ll take a look at eight of these questions in a bit more detail.

How does your platform support personalising content based on the actions a user takes within the site?

With so many brands competing for the online customer’s attention, for many businesses – and retailers in particular – the ability to serve up a personalised experience isn’t just a nice-to-have feature. Customers are starting to expect it. Find out from the vendor whether it’s possible to create behavioural profiles of your website users based on their actions on the site. Not only will this grant you a greater understanding of your customer, but it will also make it possible to serve up the content or calls to action they’re most interested in, and likely to engage with.

Describe your version control and archival functionality within the CMS.

It’s likely you have a team of creatives who are all working on several different projects at the same time. Version control is a safeguard against two or more different people unknowingly working on the same item at the same time, and may also allow editors to revert to a previous version of the content if it is mistakenly amended. Version control can also let you recover lost content.

Describe the cross-channel support. How is content published across digital channels such as web, mobile, social, email?

For cross-channel campaigns to be successful, your channels need the ability to talk to each other, or the data you collect on different channels has to join up so that you can recognise individuals. Does your prospective solution allow this? Also, how does it ensure your brand is represented consistently across channels?

Can digital assets be tagged with additional metadata? Please describe how.

Digital assets are the media files, PDFs, content assets and other documents you keep on your website management platform. The metadata attached to these assets lets you and any WMP user search, categorise and organise your files, and any additional metadata you can tag your assets with only makes this easier. With all your assets in the same place, and mere seconds away from being found when needed, you’ll have more time to concentrate on more important things.

How does your platform minimise the need for coding in all phases of digital experience creation/management (i.e. template configuration, template management, testing, targeting and personalisation)?

For a creative business, being able to make website changes on the fly is important, and it helps if your content teams can fix or update things on the site without the need to involve developers, who are already pressed for time.

Describe how you support disaster recovery.

How will your new web management system cope in the event of a catastrophic server failure? Will services still operate as normal? What redundancies are in place? Will the data on the platform be safe? Does the system conduct regular, automatic backups? These are the questions you will be glad you asked if the worst does happen.

How do you set up environments to comply with various international data privacy regulations, such as the EU Data Protection Directive?

The latest amendment to the EU Data Protection Directive, which comes into force in May 2018, updates the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive for the digital age, extending the definition of “personal data” to location and IP address, among other factors, and applying higher penalties for mishandling personal data – up to 4% of the company’s global revenue or €20 million, whichever is higher. Any business that handles customer data should be aware of it, and have a strategy for compliance. For your own peace of mind, don’t forget to ask this question.

Given the size of our website, please describe a typical migration plan. How long would it take us to migrate our existing site content to the proposed solution?

So you’re satisfied with what the vendor has told you so far. What are the next steps? Before making any final agreements with the vendor, make sure you understand how long the migration is going to take, the level of disruption to be expected for each of your teams, and any resources, software or technology the business might need to allow for a smooth migration. Will any further training of staff be required? This question also gives you the opportunity to gauge whether the vendor has understood the unique challenges of your business.

For the full list of questions, download Crownpeak’s report 89 Essential Questions To Ask When Selecting A New Website Management Platform” now.

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