By Heidi Joy Tretheway, on May 7, 2020

Calling all content wranglers: Get first dibs on data and a chance to win $500

Hands grabbing at content management systems survey data

Whether you’ve been part of a team creating digital experiences for two years or 20, you’ve probably developed some pretty strong opinions about your content management system — the good, the bad and the ugly. We want to hear your thoughts, so we’re offering a chance to win a $500 gift card in exchange for ten minutes of your time to answer our CMS user survey. You’ll also get first access to our survey results.

Why bother collecting all that data? Let me tell you a story.

When good content produces bad results

A few months ago, my friend wanted to buy a mid-century bar cart. This should have been simple. 

She found the perfect cart on a home furnishing company’s website, where it was full price with free shipping. On the mobile app, the company offered a different promotion that discounted the cart but didn’t include free shipping — the first of several inconsistencies. 

My friend decided to go to the store to see the cart. It was even better in person! But when she tried to purchase it with a coupon from the mobile website, the store wouldn’t honor it. Their in-store promotion excluded furniture. She left without buying the bar cart. 

A few weeks later she received an email offer for seasonal items, which included the bar cart. By then it was out of stock. 

She never bought that perfect bar cart.

If you’re a content wrangler like me — that’s what I like to call folks who orchestrate content across digital channels — this story probably makes your heart hurt. If you’re a content wrangler in ecommerce, it might have even broken your heart. 

This kind of thing happens too easily when the folks who choose software are out of touch with the teams responsible for operating it. When teams and systems don’t communicate, the human workarounds require reworking and cut-and-paste drudgery — and small mistakes can ruin the results.

Software is strategy. The technical choices a business makes impacts other aspects of the business, including team structure, operating costs and the pace at which teams develop digital products. 

In the case of the bar cart, the software that managed that company’s product and promotional content isolated one commerce team from another. These silos caused a total breakdown in customer experience. 

It’s time to change that: introducing the CMS user survey

In the race to develop digital experiences, software can accelerate or hamper a team. Many companies have invested in building digital experiences, but they’re still not getting ahead. The question is — why? 

We need more information from CMS users — especially content wranglers — to answer that question.

User feedback is essential to developing effective products. The product team at Contentful relies on user feedback to guide our development, and that’s probably the case at other CMSes. But it’s always behind closed doors. No single company can paint a complete picture of the CMS user experience. 

People in different roles use content management systems in dramatically different ways. A business leader might think a CMS is fine, while a content wrangler struggles to complete daily tasks with it. Or a content wrangler loves the interface, and a developer can’t easily scale the infrastructure. We even wrote a whole report on how digital builders, both developers and content creators, can identify and work to change a CMS that’s holding them back in their tasks and careers.  

What we hear from digital leaders is markedly different from what we hear from digital builders. The two groups aren’t always talking to each other. One solution engineer recently told me that technical teams often actively exclude marketing and content teams from conversations about software, because they think content wranglers create extra hurdles when exploring whether the new technology would empower content teams. 

We want to hear from those content teams.

Survey participants get first dibs on the data

Our user survey is the first study of CMS users across all systems and platforms, including traditional and headless options. It’s also the first to focus on content wranglers and their unique experiences, such as:

  • Omnichannel demand and delivery.

  • The value of mobile, direct-to-consumer and other trends.

  • Struggles with content operations, from maintenance to reuse across channels.

  • Future plans to increase the number of digital products.

  • Integrations with key tools to accomplish personalization, localization, messaging and experimentation.

This data might be the thing you need to convince digital leaders that digital builders deserve better. It will also shed light on whether you’re ahead of the curve or lagging behind in your team’s capacity to produce and maintain digital experiences. 

Fundamentally, it’s not about selling software — it’s about reflecting back to the industry what content wranglers really need to do our best work. It’s about having a larger and louder voice, and no longer being excluded from the decision-making process. 

Answer the survey for a chance to win $500 

Thanks for giving me a few minutes to share why this content management user survey really matters. Can you spare a few more minutes to answer the survey? The questions are almost all multiple choice. I’ll relish drawing a name and emailing one or more winners a $500 gift card (odds are 200:1 to 500:1). 

If you’d like to learn more about how to evaluate (or cope better with) your current CMS, read our free resources: 7 signs you’ve outgrown your CMS and Is an outdated CMS making you look bad at work? 

Heidi Joy Tretheway
Ridgefield, WA, USA

Heidi Joy is Director of Brand & Marketing Communications for Contentful, where she champions the editorial and design functions and takes gleeful delight in sharing the successes of our customers. With a background in mobile SaaS software and cloud platform infrastructure, Heidi Joy loves connecting with both developers and marketing leaders to share the power of leading-edge technology to transform digital products and teams.