Why a NoCode-first CMS is the Only Way to Support Your Digital Marketing

Stefan Schinkel

The challenge with many CMS solutions - and not just with monoliths - is that the IT involvement is too high for day-to-day digital marketing operations. And this is not just the initial setup, but for ongoing changes as well. Moreover (which is the killer), adoption to trends in markets based on actionable insights requires a level of agility and independence for the marketing team - meaning a continuous flow of changes that need to be made.   

This requirement of autonomy from the marketing team is why many organizations are looking for a NoCode-first CMS. What is a NoCode-first CMS? A CMS with these three fundamental characteristics:

#1 Fast Re-platforming

Selecting a new CMS for your enterprise is a meticulous and time-consuming process. Once the choice for the new vendor has been made, it’s crucial for enterprise-wide adoption to start the migration and go live. A decade ago, it would have been acceptable to have a roll-out that took 18 months (from start to first go-live). Today this is entirely unnecessary, regardless of the perceived or self-inflicted “complexity.” All mainstream business applications in the digital marketing stack (like Marketing Automation, Digital Asset Management, e-Commerce, CRM, and many others) have open APIs (in most cases, RESTful) that make integrations and interoperability seamless and a low effort. Particularly those applications with LowCode API Tooling.

Historically (ten years ago) this part of any CMS implementation had the highest level of effort, but this reductions of this effort by 60-80% with what is possible nowadays is not uncommon. Building the content model and page templates are typically supported by NoCode tools that one should expect in any modern CMS, making even 500 lines of code 500 lines too many. In the end, the re-platforming has the be ROI-friendly. An enterprise-grade CMS has an elaborate library of widgets/components to present content on pages or apps, along with business logic, and 95% of business requirements are standard for any enterprise. Which means there is still some level of coding involved, but compared to ten years ago, substantially less effort. Also, remember that NoCode is not just for marketing, it's also a blessing for technology teams!   

#2 Marketing Agility

The most significant shift that we have seen in the CMS space is what non-tech and / or marketing users can do in the CMS on a day-by-day basis without engaging technology resources. This demarcation of responsibilities and capabilities has changed significantly. Whereas you needed an editor (and sometimes a rocket-scientist) in the early days, marketing teams can do pretty much whatever they want after the initial implementation. However, there are still some vendors who require the involvement of developers for daily activities like changes to page templates, creating and changing content types, building complex multi-step content approval and publishing workflows and re-ordering navigational elements. These should all be core NoCode capabilities in your NoCode-first CMS as they drive marketing agility and reduce the overall time-to-value.

#3 Content and Experience Orchestration

Being able to create and leverage external content and assets to compose engaging customer experiences through a single and unified editor interface adds to the enterprise agility and time-to-value. A NoCode-first CMS supports seamless integrations that allow for browsing and selecting assets/content from external data stores (such as Digital Asset Management, PIM, eCommerce, Video Management Solutions, and many others) naturally and seamlessly as it's integrated into the overall editor experience. In today’s day and age, with all mainstream business applications supporting REST and GraphQL APIs, seamless integration should be a given and a no-brainer. 

It gets even more interesting when the CMS is operating headlessly and the marketing team still would like access to basic capabilities like preview,  in-line editing, making changes to page templates, composing pages in a drag & drop fashion, and personalizing experiences that their audiences are getting via a Single Page App, Multi-Page App, or Progressive Web App. This is something that cannot be currently done with most headless CMS solutions; however, dotCMS recently launched Edit Mode Anywhere that creates an undisrupted editing experience for marketers, further enhancing marketing agility and time-to-value. Trust me, a NoCode-first CMS combined with Edit Mode Anywhere creates an unstoppable force for your marketing team and will soon become your new best friend. For-evah.

Stefan Schinkel
Chief Revenue Officer
June 05, 2019

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