How Your Web CMS Should Enable a Digital Experience

entrepreneur-working-on-his-macbook-2-picjumbo-com(1)

Web content management is no longer about managing pages on a website; instead, it’s now at the center of where marketing activities and customer engagement is carried out. Once holding a focus on publishing and management of web content, marketers can now expect CMSs to improve the development and management of entire digital customer experiences. Digital experiences that are driven by content, optimized with data, and delivered across all online channels. Additionally, a modern web CMS will utilize and manage data from CRM, ERP and other applications to deliver unique, personalized experiences.

Consumers expect a seamless digital experience. The following are just a few of the ways your web CMS should be helping to make this a possibility:

Personalized Digital Experiences

Modern CMSs are making it easier than ever for small businesses to go beyond personalized emails to engage customers. They are able to design and content elements across websites, portals, mobile apps and more, create various user personas or user segments, display targeted and contextual content to these different user segments, and personalize the design on the basis of various criteria that has proven to work via analytics. Although it delivers profoundly better results, it is still by no means “easy.” Marketing managers still have their work cut out for them as they test and iterate working with CTOs to outline the depth of personalization while creating a map content to specific user groups and scenarios.

Multi-Channel

Instead of multiple marketing teams taking on efforts to globally promote an array of products and services on a single website, this should be done across various digital properties – microsites, mobile apps, social media, augmented and virtual reality, and more. A modern CMS natively supports an API-first approach to content management that enables multi-channel content authoring, publishing and delivery. Additionally, complete separation of presentation from content and data, and support for any type of UI development framework, combined simplify the task of delivering a wide variety of digital experiences across multiple platforms.

Data-driven

Everything a customer does on your web properties yields insights. This data can then be used to optimize the customer experience.  Because of this, you’ll want to look for CMSs equipped with full support for A/B testing, customer journey tracking, customer engagement analysis, predictions and recommendations, goal tracking, campaign tracking and other actions related to analyzing customer data. It’s in your best interest to go above and beyond and use CMS that offers intuitive backend interfaces with integrated BI insights along with the administrative capability to take swift actions on these insights by just a few clicks.

Ease of Integration

Your customers view your digital experiences as one entity. Because of this, if you do not integrate with siloed platforms like CRM, Portals, BI, analytics and other key systems and applications, then you’re just spinning your wheels. Your goal of reaching a 360-degree customer view will be in vain.

Modern CMSs enable easy integration by offering out-of-the-box connectors for major CRMs, search platforms, e-commerce, language translation, databases, publishing platforms, analytics, etc. Additionally, you need to be able to easily integrate with existing systems and web applications through APIs.

Next Steps

It is necessary for every company or organization to identify their own unique challenges, marketing objectives as well as their desired business outcomes, goals and expectations. This should be done prior to beginning the journey of selecting and implementing a web CMS. The key is knowing how to use your choice of tools. If you have any questions about how a modern web CMS can support your enterprise’s digital experience, drop us a line at Crafter. One of our professionals will be happy to discuss a solution with you.

Top 5 Capabilities Your Web CMS Needs

Website SEO and analytics icons
Marketers expect much more from web CMS solutions now than they did five years ago. Today, web content management is much more about customer engagement and marketing activities than the publishing and content management it was a few years ago.

Because of this transformation, CMS platforms are becoming the central point for everything such as managing data from CRM, ERP, Marketing Automation and other applications, delivering personalized experiences, analyzing customer data and optimizing strategy, and even improving management of organization-wide digital assets. As customers come to expect, and often demand, a perfect experience every time, it’s as important as ever for enterprises to explore how today’s advanced web CMS solutions can help them achieve their goals. The following are 5 essential ways that CMS supports the digital experience.

1.  Efficient Management of Digital Assets
The use and management of both text and visual digital assets are easily done with CMS platforms. Everything from editing to resizing and previewing assets, as well as pushing media and documents to the web and social channels is simplified through the use of web content management. WCM allows enterprises the vital role of smoothly and efficiently delivering customized digital experiences.

2. Utilizing All Web Properties to Publish Content
At one point having multiple marketing teams for a wide range of products and global services may have worked, it just isn’t feasible now. That approach only causes redundancy of efforts, unwanted licensing and maintenance expenses from websites built on varying platforms, and outrageous marketing team sizes.

Ideally, with the right web CMS platform content will be automatically pushed to social media, public facing sites, internal intranets and any other channel that makes sense. This smoother process is not only more streamlined and efficient, but it also keeps the brand voice consistent across multiple platforms.

3. Optimize The Use of All Data
Once you have streamlined your ability to publish content, you will want to get a better handle on how you optimize the use of all that content and the user’s experience. CMS platforms that are equipped with full support for A/B Testing, customer engagement analysis, predictions and recommendations, goal tracking, campaign tracking and other actions related to analyzing customer data and customer journey tracking will significantly improve this optimization.

Additionally, CMS platforms offering intuitive backend interfaces with integrated BI insights as well as administrative ability to utilize the insights quickly will substantially enhance the process and raise the bar even higher.

4. Integrated CMS Platforms
To your customers, your online presence is not segregated into the web, social and other silos. To them, it is one entity. So failing to integrate CRM, portals, BI, analytics and other key applications will cause you to spin your wheels in your attempts to reach your customers from all angles in your CMS platform.

The task of integration is simplified with the use of out-of-the-box connectors while easily linking existing web applications through APIs. Everything from search platforms, e-commerce, language translation, major CRMs, analytics, databases and publishing platforms easily come together.

5. Personalized and Integrated Digital Experiences
Leveraging web CMS platforms is key for any enterprise managing multiple brands and/or products. Modern CMS solutions ease the ability to deliver personalized and contextual digital experiences by simplifying the process of personalizing the design and content for landing pages, making it easier to reuse code and display separate content to different user segments.

10 Things You Should Know About Crafter CMS

crafter-software-faqs-answered-v1.fw

Over the last year Crafter Software has collected the top ten FAQs we most commonly receive from enterprises looking to invest in a modern Web Content Management solution. Each question is essential for any enterprise looking into a new WCM solution and the answers below reveal how Crafter CMS works to enable highly personalized digital experiences.

Crafter CMS Top FAQs Answered

1. Where is content stored?

Crafter Software was built on the award winning Alfresco ECM platform as the first and only fully integrated WCM solution for Alfresco.

2. What types of page templates are supported, and how are templates created?

Crafter supports all types of templates. Templates are coded in Freemarker and are created and managed in the CMS. Crafter allows multiple templates for any given item.

3. Is the UI easy to use for non-technical content authors?

Crafter CMS makes it very easy for non-technical authors to create, edit and manage content with drag-and-drop site design, in-context editing and multi-channel preview.

4. Does the CMS support multi-channel publishing (web, mobile, tablet)?

Yes! Crafter supports multi-channel publishing and offers a multi-channel preview so you can view what content edits will look like in iOS and Android before publishing right out of the box! Crafter CMS supports responsive mobile, adaptive mobile, and native mobile app approaches.

5. Does the CMS integrate with back-end systems like CRM, analytics, eCommerce, and Social Media?

Yes! Crafter integrates seamlessly with most best of breed back-end business solutions like Salesforce.com, Marketo, Hubspot, Omniture, Google Analytics, along with multiple language translation & e-commerce platforms.  Crafter Social makes it very easy to add social capabilities to your website, such as user-generated comments, likes, ratings, blogs, discussion forums and more!  Crafter Profile supports user profiles, and integration with social login, and third-party single sign-on systems.

6. Can administrators configure different types of user accounts and permissions that will limit their ability to view/edit specific types of content or specific sections of a piece of content?

Yes! Crafter gives you full control to create specific roles with specific access at each level of the information architecture within each web project. User activity can be fully monitored, including each user sign-in and all content interactions. Also, user activity can be audited by date and time of activity, type of activity and activity targets.

7. What types of content are supported? (video, .pdf, audio files, xml and binary downloads)?

Crafter supports all types of content and can be integrated with any media player.

8. Does the CMS offer language translation? What languages are supported?

Crafter supports language translation model and workflow. Crafter integrates seamlessly with most translation platforms and supports all languages.

9. Does the CMS support both simple and complex workflow?

Yes! Crafter supports both simple and complex workflows. Complex workflows are modeled via a graphical interface and executed in the workflow engine.

10.  What is the difference between your open source Community Edition, your on-premise Enterprise Edition, and your SaaS-based Cloud Edition? Are there any limitations?

Crafter CMS is developed and licensed under an open source license (GPL v3). The software features for all Editions are exactly the same.  However, the Enterprise and Cloud Editions provide you with:

  • Commercial License

  • Production Support

  • Certified builds for the full set of supported stacks (Community is tested on a limited set of databases, browsers, etc.)

  • Access to upgrades and patches (security, etc.)

  • Ability to engage Crafter Certified Partners for implementation services

  • Fully managed service (Crafter Cloud Edition)

Looking to learn how Crafter CMS can help your enterprise? Email us at info@craftersoftware for details.

 

Crafter Software Announces Annual Global Partner Awards

crafter-partner-awards-2014

Crafter Software recently announce our first annual global partner awards.  These awards recognize outstanding performance of System Integrator and Technology Partners. Partners are selected based on demonstrated excellence in the areas of customer satisfaction, innovation and open source community involvement.

“Crafter Software experienced over 200% growth in sales in 2014, in large part due to our exceptional partner ecosystem,” said Russ Danner, VP of Products at Crafter Software. “Crafter CMS is chosen by many of the world’s top brands for building next generation customer experiences because of its ease of use and its unique architecture. Our partners are instrumental in helping our customers quickly identify and implement innovative solutions that drive great customer experiences and better bottom line results.”

The following companies are recipients of the Crafter Software Partner Awards for 2014.

North America Partner of the Year Award: Rivet Logic
“Today’s content, data and user experience challenges require a new approach,” said Alaaeldin El-Nattar, Executive Vice President of Client Services at Rivet Logic. “Crafter CMS is the most modern open source and SaaS platform of its kind. Crafter enables our team of experts to deliver truly engaging websites, sleek mobile applications, and rich multi-channel digital experiences for our clients.”

EMEA Partner of the Year Award: Sourcesense
“Crafter CMS enables Sourcesense to meet the need for a full suite of WCM and ECM capabilities for large, high profile organizations throughout Europe” said Massimo Massacesi, Partner & Alliances Director of Sourcesense.

Crafter Enterprise Innovator Award: Blue Fish Development Group
“Crafter’s WCM architecture and integration with enterprise content management makes it possible to deliver a wide range of content solutions to our clients – including traditional websites, e-commerce, portal and other content oriented applications on premise or in the cloud.” said Jeff Philipp, CEO, Blue Fish Development Group.

Crafter Cloud Innovator Award: Tribloom
“It is no secret that many CIOs are moving their business systems to the cloud. Crafter Software’s SaaS and hybrid solutions provide a high ROI and allow organizations to focus their resources on what matters most to their business. Crafter Cloud is leading the way for the future of web content management.” said Michael McCarthy, CTO, Tribloom.

Crafter CMS’s award-winning web content and experience management solution, paired with our partners’ specialized experience in modern open source and cloud implementations, has helped leading enterprises reclaim freedom over their websites, mobile applications and multi-channel digital experiences.

To learn more about our exceptional partners visit our Partner Page.

Content.gov 2015 Recap: Taking Back Control Over Content

content-2015-recap-taking-back-control-over-content

Content.gov 2015 brought together industry experts, IT leadership and developers with extensive implementation experience who gathered to exchange ideas and explore best practices on managing content and documents digitally. Attendees learned from experts with extensive practical experience garnered from large real-world enterprise content management implemented into the public sector.

“Document management done well can bring order to an increasing volume of electronic documents, help organizations meet legal and regulatory compliance requirements, and reduce paper documentation.” Apoorv Durga, Analyst, Real Story Group.

This event showcased the undeniable growth of content and how new opportunities can emerge, especially in the public sector. One example illustrating this is the large growing number of content, documents and processes moving online. The government has the perfect opportunity now to build a better work environment through a modern, user-friendly and collaborative multi-channel application that allows for faster, convenient access to the growing volume of content. This approach will enable the public sector to become more effective and efficient, in organizing, securing, processing, and locating all of their content.

Russ-Danner-VP-Products-Crafter

Russ Danner, VP, Products, Crafter Software

Each year Alfresco’s Content.gov conference attracts leading vendors in the enterprise content management  space.  Crafter Software sponsored the event to share our expert knowledge on Web Experience Management solutions, and to demo Crafter CMS – our modern award-winning Web CMS platform solution for Alfresco, that allows organizations to build and manage rich online experiences on the web, mobile, social, and all digital online channels.

At the start of the event, attendees sat and listened to the to the first talk on “Modernizing Today’s Business” by Doug Dennerline, CEO at Alfresco. During his speech, Mr. Dennerline pointed out how enterprises can benefit in a number of ways by having all of their content stored digitally and located in one centralized place.

Next up were keynote speeches from Directors, Senior Architects, Program Managers, CIOs and VPs, with one common mission in mind: to show how companies can gain control over their content with a digital solution.

Lisa Haralampus, Director of the Federal Records Management Policy Section, Office of the Chief Records Officer for the U.S. Government, NARA, was truly passionate about document management. Her talk emphasized how large the government can be and made a simple point to explain that a one size fits all approach does not fit all in the public sector. She also conveyed the need to archive and classify all of the nations important documents and communications within National Archives and Records Administration. This is where Alfresco helps to solve this issue with their simple, smart and secure technology allowing the NARA to enforce the policies of Managing Government Records Directive in a way that is secure and easy, allowing stakeholders to access information across all departments.

executive-panel-discussion

Candid shot of the Executive Panel Discussion

At the conclusion of keynote speeches, Alfresco and FedScoop held an executive panel discussion to answer questions and address key topics in the IT Government community related to solutions to manage all documents and content in a digital solution.

Event Summary: Intimate event hosted by Alfresco with ample time to talk with industry experts, IT leadership, developers and vendors, about enterprise content management in the public sector. Plus, the great location and food made for a relaxed learning environment.

Like to learn more about enterprise and web content management in the public sector? Check out Crafter CMS or email us at info@craftersoftware.

 

Three Reasons to Attend Content.gov 2015

cherry-blossom

Crafter Software is excited to announce our sponsorship of Alfresco’s Content.gov Conference in Washington DC on March 24th 2015!

Join us at Content.gov 2015 and meet with industry experts, IT leadership and developers with extensive implementation experience to exchange ideas and explore best practices for enterprise content management in the public sector.

Here are 3 Reasons why you need to be at Content.Gov 2015!

#1: Intimate Access to Industry Experts and IT Leaders

Content.gov boasts an exclusive list of speakers and vendors, offering attendees a perfect forum to network with one-another and industry leaders. Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity for face-to-face access to the industry’s best and brightest and a chance to learn about today’s best practices and emerging trends in enterprise and web content management.

#2: Leading Vendors and Product Exhibition

Each year Content.gov attracts leading vendors in the digital experience and enterprise content management space. The vendor exhibition is a  great resource for attendees to discover new solutions and meet technical experts.

While you are there, stop by the Crafter Software booth! Meet our team, see a demo of Crafter CMS, our award-winning web content management platform for Alfresco, and sign up to win a prize in our raffle!

#3: Fun Location

Content.gov 2015 will be hosted at the Newseum, positioned between the White House and the U.S. Capitol. This impressive museum invites visitors on an interactive journey to explore journalism’s history through historic artifacts, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs, hands-on exhibits and much more!

We look forward to meeting you in DC!

Click here to register for this event and meet top IT government leaders.

Optimizing the Customer Experience through Personalization and Behavioral Targeting

In today’s Digital Era, enterprises need to personalize their content in order to maximize customer engagement. Without compromising trust (and without being “creepy”), organizations should pay attention to their customer’s behavior to the greatest extent possible.

Content personalization enables the dynamic delivery of customized content—anticipating what the user will benefit from – and enhancing the overall visitor experience.

Without personalization, the Web is static – where the same content is presented for every web site visitor. That is so 1999.

Continue reading