Contentful partners on composability

Composability. When uttered, you can’t help but think…

Time-out. Is that a real word? Is it even spelled correctly? 

You might be tempted to scavenge your living space for a dictionary in search of a definition. It’s more likely, however, that you’ve opened a new browser tab and are halfway to consulting good old Merriam-Webster online. 

We’ll stop you there. Composability is one of our favorite words and we know the definition well. 

A byproduct of the recent digital shift from headless content and headless content platforms to composable content and composable content platforms, composability serves major benefits. 

As the ones actively using composable content to develop and optimize digital experiences, configure modular tech stacks, and streamline content operations on behalf of their clients, our partners have some perspective on the term. In fact, it ranks high in their lexicons as well. 

So in that spirit, we’re passing the mic to a handful of our solutions and technology partners. They’ll share what the term means to them, their organization, and their customers. 

Check out the testimonial video below, then read on for more detail on their comments.

Moving efficiently

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Despite questionable grammar, this proverb (or some version of it) is an unspoken principle among many organizations — and one Gavin Estey, VP of Technologies in America at Appnovation disagrees with. To him, there is always room for improvement and tools to shrink the “time and energy” needed to make them. The goal should always be to transform “good” into “great.”

In his role as a technology leader within the global, full-service digital partner that offers strategy, design, and engineering services, Estey believes the solution lies in the right technology — composable technology. Composability doesn’t necessarily mean you can do new things with your content (although you certainly can).

The power of composability, according to Estey, lies in its ability to help teams “do things better than they did before — be that creating content and sharing content at speed or driving velocity and internal efficiencies.” 

If we return to the proverb and inject Estey’s thoughts on composable content, it evolves into, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Rather, work to continually improve it.”

Moving efficiently

Combining the best of the best (content and tools)

Speaking of continuous improvements — as companies grow they often need to expand business capabilities, which means adopting new tools that enable them. In the past, legacy and monolithic solutions offered add-ons to address this. You might be wondering, “What’s the problem with that?” We’ll let Kelly Goetsch, Chief Strategy Officer at Commercetools tell you.  

“Organizations would pick the default add-on for these legacy tools and make them work. But everybody was unhappy with them. Then, this magical thing — the cloud — came along and changed it,” Goetsch said. With the introduction of the cloud, teams could swap the easy-to-connect tools they’d settled for with powerful apps, built to address specific business needs. 

“Now you have multiple teams across enterprises working with a custom-built stack. You can build whatever frontend you want with them — it’s great,” Goetsch detailed, weaving in the idea that composability supports omnichannel presence in addition to a more powerful tech stack.

Building blocks for better experiences

Emphasizing curation

Content is one of the most valuable commodities an organization has — which can be seen in the resources devoted to content creation and promotion. How can you reimagine the ways you use content? Curation. According to Chris Marsh, Executive Creative Director at TMWX, composability is placing new emphasis on this step in building digital experiences. 

“As a designer crafting experiences that are actually going to be used, I focus less on the technical aspects of composability and more on its user benefits,” Marsh said. “I think it’s less about the value of content and more about the value of the experience we create with it.”

With this framing, organizations would do well to consider not just the text, images, and videos they place on a page, but what pages these go on, where those pages exist within the larger site map, how these elements complement the overarching page and site designs, and other, arguable more visual, aspects. Composability allows teams to emphasize manipulation as they never have before. 

“How we manipulate content is actually where achievement stems from. Contentful allows us to organize and design content in multiple ways for multiple users,” Marsch concluded.

Emphasizing curation

Appealing to customer emotion

We humans are creatures of emotion. Even when it comes to buying a product or service in which logistical details such as pricing, specifications, and availability may be the most important consideration, emotive content can tip the scale when two brands are in close competition. 

Casper Rasmussen, Group SVP of Technology at Valtech explained this to us in detail. “No experience exists without content. If it were to, it would be extremely transactional, very flat, and non-emotional. If you want to drive retention and loyalty, content plays a very vital role in building substance that supports relationships.”

Understanding the importance of appealing to customer emotions is not difficult, but acting on this insight when you have a large, diversified customer–base is. It's impossible to create a single content experience capable of resonating with each individual and audience segment. Composability enables you to overcome this seemingly impossible task by making your content modular and customizable without excessive overhead in terms of time and technical support. 

“If you can look at composability from a customer's journey perspective, you’re able to reuse your content in multiple different permutations and manifestations,” Rasmussen pointed out. “There’s more opportunity to inject emotion — the essence of your brand, its story, and authenticity.”

Appealing to customer emotion

Wrapping up

These fresh takes leave us with a single question: What can’t composability do? If you’re wondering the same and are ready to take a deeper look into adopting a composable content platform, we have just the thing. Schedule a live demo — we’ll even customize it to speak to your unique use case.

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