Effective content is a matter of data management driven by demand
BY MATTHIAS KANT
Communicating across all channels is a challenge all companies face in times of cross-channel. But only those that provide high-quality information in their external communication while creating a personalised customer experience will have success in the long-term. Modern content management must effectively and accurately align with the business requirements.
No content - no client. Whether it be manufacturers, retailers, finance or public institutions, they all have one thing in common: if data management is unsuccessful, external communication addressing clients cannot result in success or sales in the long run. Although large ERP solutions deliver functionality that is rich in application, they are too rigid to match business processes with a user’s individual requirements and to process them in a customer-oriented manner. This remains a problem and hinders the implementation of the best-of-breed approach. At the same time, IT systems for data management need to meet the ever more diverse requirements of companies in order to ensure a fast performance coupled with an optimal customer experience. Because if data and information are not accurate or not effectively pushed into sales channels, customers will be lost to another company that scores with a better experience. This applies to websites, e-commerce channels, catalogues or distributors as well as to social media channels. Personalisation and up-to-date products play a key role at the point of sale.
As a market leader of content management systems for public sector applications, pirobase imperia GmbH has developed a vision for future-oriented innovations. In addition to imperia CMS, which is specifically designed for the requirements of banks and municipal institutions, the company offers another content management system made for SME and enterprise: pirobase CMS. But also in the sector of product information management, the developer has been present with pirobase imperia PIM since the 1990s and thus provides know-how for data management and content from a single source directly. Additionally, there is the professional service for clients. The Cologne-based software developer works closely with partners on all levels, i.e. the technological level to expand the system functions, features and tools, or to provide services on the level of consulting, training and implementation. With regard to individual customer projects, pirobase imperia has created the Suite solution, which is currently the only one available on the market, as a powerful combination of pirobase imperia PIM and pirobase CMS from one single source.
This solution intertwines PIM and CMS in one powerful system and has thus advanced best-of-breed in content management greatly. In the pirobase Suite, PIM data is not simply fed into a content management system, but two equivalent systems exist. For content generation, editors access the validated product data directly from the PIM, which means the data quality is significantly higher, and processing of incorrect or unauthorised data is prevented. With this data, editors further expand the information in the CMS by adding emotional content which also leads to search engine optimisation. Pirobase CMS includes design elements and templates for users to create emotional content and to present their products or content in the light desired. This results in a better user experience overall, as product information is provided for websites, online shops, catalogues and other channels. Consequently, a consistent information base is always available and all sales channels are up-to-date. Thanks to RESTful Services and Elasticsearch, all this happens in real-time. Channels can either be served one at a time or simultaneously as required - in times of personalisation and cross-channel marketing, this function is indispensable for targeted external communication that can keep up with fast, global markets.
In data management, each company has its own characteristics and requirements. These depend on the respective industry environment, the products, the company size but also different outlets in often different countries with different languages. Additionally, there are the sales channels which have become increasingly versatile in cross-channel communications. Up to now, the use of content management systems meant that sometimes additional implementations for individual applications provided by third-parties evoked high costs and made the system architecture more complex. Pirobase imperia has recognised this problem and developed an add-on programme that allows companies to flexibly expand their CMS as needed. Whether image editor, social media posting, predictive analytics, URL manager or workflow editor, the option of linking additional functions in the CMS individually improves online marketing and sales. At the same time, the software developer works according to customer requirements, identifies them at an early stage and applies new developments to customer-driven features directly. Only those software developers with an open ear for clients, who recognise future-oriented potentials and expand their expertise through synergies, can offer long-term solutions that further the best-of-breed approach.
However, demand-driven management of data and content also means creating the user interface according to requirements. Apart from power users like IT administrators, a CMS must be user-friendly for editors, marketing managers and other casual users. If this is not the case, for employees without a deep IT knowledge, using the system often entails a great deal of time and also time waste when creating new content for websites, social media, catalogues, flyers and other material. Furthermore, complex organisational structures, inadequate information on release procedures, or cumbersome format settings hinder the work flow and increase the risk of errors. Features, such as drag and drop, WYSIWYG editors, reusable generic components, and the clear organisation of rights and roles as well as transparency in all processes and search functions for working fast, simplify the management of even complex content and enable personalised marketing in print and online. To create an optimal customer experience in external communication, content management systems can only be useful if they offer flexibility through dynamics. This applies both to the system architecture, which should enable further integrations through interfaces, as well as to the holistic content distribution for cross-channels that meet requirements for personalised content and efficient parallel routing to touch points relevant to target groups.
As a software provider for content management and product information management with over 20 years of experience, pirobase imperia GmbH offers innovative solutions for enterprise, SME and public institutions with comprehensive services from a single source.
This article was published in The Produktkulturmagazin, issue Q4 2016. Picture credit © stilllifephotographer/Getty Images