Why marketing goes rogue: 5 causes of CMS sprawl

26 Jul 2021
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Posted by Crownpeak

As the pace of digital accelerates, organizations are increasingly stymied by friction between marketing and IT teams. Conflict results as each team is driven by different agendas:

  • Marketers need to drive top-line growth by being agile and connecting with customers and prospects across a proliferation of online channels, and they need to do this yesterday.
  • IT must build safe, secure, and scalable platforms - which cannot be hurried.

The result? When an enterprise’s “global” CMS platform” isn’t fast or flexible enough to keep pace with business demand, marketers go rogue and simply bypass IT, employing agencies to build digital campaigns and experiences for them, on whatever platforms makes sense at the time. This is a major reason the majority of enterprises - over 60% - report resorting to multiple CMSs, rather than a single platform that delivers value across the organization.

Seemed like a promising idea at the time

Deploying a quick-fix solution often appears to be a great idea. These multi-CMS implementations enable marketers to get out from under IT, speed time-to-market, deliver across new channels and start driving immediate results. However, this multi-platform approach comes with some major downsides, laying up trouble for the organization down the line.

And for marketing specifically, the resulting CMS sprawl can actually constrain their agility further. External agencies typically end up managing up to 75% of organization’s content platforms, leaving marketers without direct control of their digital experiences, and rising costs to get anything done.

Here are three negative payoffs that typically result from this scenario:

  • Loss of control - Organizations no longer have central visibility and control across their now-siloed digital estates. It becomes impossible to implement consistent digital governance processes ensuring brand and business standards are maintained and regulatory requirements are adhered to. Erosion of standards reduces the marketing effectiveness and integrity of an organization’s digital offerings and can leave them vulnerable to legal challenges.
  • Increased security risk – While agencies are typically employed to build the initial digital experience on a platform, they are often not contracted to maintain it post-launch. Without oversight from central IT, platforms can rapidly deteriorate as software updates are not applied, integrations break, and SSL certificates expire, resulting in degraded user experiences and public distrust. In addition, as the global cyber threat landscape expands, so does the organizational exposure to attack, thanks to vulnerable, outdated, and un-patched platforms.
  • Inefficiency – As platforms multiply, gone are the efficiencies born of a single implementation and approach, creating increased costs, complexity and mounting technical debt.

Addressing the causes of CMS sprawl

For any organization to be digitally effective, harmony needs to exist between marketing and IT, and the right technology can be transformational. An important first step to addressing the issue is to review your current platform for points of friction.

Here are five common triggers for CMS sprawl, and how technology can resolve them.

  • Operational Deployment Model: Is your CMS or DXP delivered on-premises or SaaS (Software-as-a-Service)? SaaS means that upgrades are deployed regularly and seamlessly to the platform, so marketing always has the latest tools, features and capabilities at their fingertips, and does not have to wait for IT.

    Security patches are also routinely deployed - this means that your IT and Information Security teams can relax with the knowledge that you do not have ever-growing security exposure. In contrast, PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) or on-premises platforms push a significant amount of maintenance effort back to your teams, often resulting in a regular patching schedule lapsing, exposing your organization to security risk, and significant downtime and disruption to marketing initiatives whenever upgrades are finally made.
  • Architectural Capability: Does your current platform allow you to deploy any content, using any technology or framework, anywhere in the world? Or are you locked into a suite of packaged tools which may not be the right fit for your goals?

    With the rise of the Internet of Things, customers have more choice than ever about "how" and "when" they consume your content - you must therefore provide your marketers with the capabilities that let them run with their customers, not hundreds of yards behind.

    In addition, with merger and acquisition activities common within larger enterprises, the process of integrating technology teams into a central platform that empowers them to use whatever technology they choose is more efficient than one that requires a steep learning curve and potential "rip and replace".

    With a flexible, decoupled content delivery architecture, you get a future-proof delivery model ensuring marketers can generate and deliver omnichannel content seamlessly across a rapidly evolving digital landscape.
  • Integration - Does your platform empower the integration of a broad, best-of-breed digital landscape ?

    Chief Martec’s Scott Brinker reports a 13% year-on-year growth in the number of vendors occupying the digital technology landscape. As an organization that is continuously innovating in the way it wants to interact with customers and prospects, you should be able to choose and orchestrate the digital platforms that are right for your initiatives - whether it be in the realm of document management, CRM, CDP, marketing automation or analytics.
  • Digital governance - Is your platform capable of supporting your digital governance processes by providing a holistic view of all organizational content and highlighting areas of non-compliance, such as WCAG / ADA accessibility, regulatory compliance, brand standards, and SEO? Most organizations, especially those with highly siloed implementations, have little visibility or control of content or compliance across their digital estates.

    At Crownpeak, our enterprise DXM platform is designed to provide global corporate control while permitting local teams to tailor content and run marketing campaigns in their respective markets.With role-based access control, on-the-glass editing, drag-and-drop (presentation re-use), you can build a core set of "governed"content"components", which can be shared with your business units globally, allowing them to re-use where possible and extend (through their agencies) where necessary - and then fully control which team members can do what, and where.

    And with our unique enterprise quality assurance solution built in, all your digital policies and standards can be monitored, tested, and remediated from a single hub, and even deployed across legacy platforms providing a joined-up view across your digital properties.
  • Information Security - If using a cloud-based (SaaS or PaaS) platform, does the vendor maintain a robust set of information security certifications and operational control programs? Protecting your brand from security vulnerabilities or the reputational damage associated with public exposure is no longer only the role of the IT or Information Security teams but belongs to the entire business.

    Choosing a vendor that takes this responsibility seriously will help remove a serious worry from your groups, allowing them instead to focus on delivering outstanding customer experiences.

Harmonizing Marketing and IT

Reviewing your current technology platforms and eliminating the roadblocks to agility is the first step to unlocking your digital marketing potential and seizing strategic advantage.

To learn more about how technology can help you bridge the gap between teams, join us for a panel-style webinar with Amazon Web Services and Jefferson Frank to discuss the relationship between Marketing and IT decision-makers within digital experience technology.

I will be joined by Brian Stavis, Global Category Lead at AWS and Clifford Myatt, Senior Vice President at Jefferson Frank to discuss why the future of your customer digital experiences is flexible, agile, and composable.

What you will learn:

  • How has digital acceleration affected the relationship between IT and marketing and the research behind this
  • What trends are emerging in digital experience technology
  • How your organization can break down silos and reduce friction between these Marketing and IT stakeholders

Book your seat now →

Register for the Harmonizing Marketing and IT to Future-Proof  Your Digital Experiences webinar