The key to successful omnichannel digital content delivery
Why modern marketers require more than just a web CMS
Great customer experiences begin long before a purchase is made. Today’s customers, whether purchasing for themselves or for a business, are consuming large amounts of content prior to making a decision. Regardless of the medium (articles, product reviews, how-to videos or influencer posts), they’re consuming it on every channel. According to a recent Google study, over 80% of consumers surveyed mixed channels during the buyer journey, either researching online and purchasing offline or researching offline and purchasing online.1
Many companies are delivering great content and experiences on their website, app, Facebook page and in stores — a solid multichannel strategy. But the companies finding the most success are the ones who ensure that every interaction is consistent online and offline, creating a holistic, omnichannel customer experience.2
An omnichannel strategy keeps customers in the driver’s seat and lets them determine their preferred channels of engagement. The creation, management and delivery of content to multiple marketing channels becomes an integrated experience, aligning messaging, goals, objectives and design across each channel and device.
Why customers expect an omnichannel experience
Customer experience affects spending. Salesforce reports that 80% of customers in a recent survey said the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services. Additionally, more than half of shoppers stopped buying from a company because a competitor provided a better experience.3
Customers now expect connected processes and experiences. In the same Salesforce survey, 70% of respondents said connected processes are very important to win their business. Customers now expect seamless handoffs between departments and channels, and contextualized engagement based on earlier interactions.
B2B customers expect personalized experiences just as much as their B2C counterparts. When B2B companies provide a personalized, seamless experience, they generate average revenue growth of 8.1%, twice the rate of competitors using legacy digital technologies. In some industries, converting a single-channel customer into an omnichannel buyer increases the buyer’s average spend by 21%.4
Headless CMS is the key to a successful omnichannel content strategy
It’s not possible to deliver in-the-moment, integrated and holistic content experiences across every channel using outdated legacy CMSes. The first step to unlocking the potential of omnichannel is a headless CMS that decouples the frontend (content presentation) from the backend (content organization and storage) and uses APIs to deliver content to any digital channel. This enables companies to seamlessly and quickly publish and manage content across channels from one central command hub.
Limitations of legacy CMSes include:
- Content is developed for a single channel. Each brand, channel or product typically requires its own unique CMS setup. Content must be completely reproduced, optimized and managed separately for each individual platform — a slow and cumbersome process.
- One-to-one approach. Content silos lead to brand inconsistencies across products, channels and markets as changes are made manually in dozens of places. Synchronizing simple updates becomes a tedious, time-consuming process.
- Workflows are rigid and linear. Each CMS has different rigid templates and workflows, making it difficult to streamline content operations across channels and products. What’s more, workflows are linear, forcing teams to wait for each step to be completed before they can start on the next one, slowing down the process.
- Lack of integration with other tech. Monolithic platforms are not inherently compatible with other martech tools and many only integrate well with a short list of preferred vendors. Decisions are made based on what works best with the CMS, rather than what works best from a holistic omnichannel strategy standpoint.
Omnichannel is about personalizing the customer experience, no matter their location. A headless CMS simplifies and streamlines operations by allowing a business to manage content for all of their digital products — website, app, social channel, mall kiosk, etc. — from a single, centralized content hub. Content can be optimized and quickly delivered to many different channels at once to support new product launches, in-person events, holidays, sales, and even real-life events.
Among API-first, cloud-native headless CMS vendors, Contentful stands out with our flexible content infrastructure. Content infrastructure unifies content and delivers it to any digital platform, and organizes content into reusable elements that make it easy to spin up new products and features. Contentful's customizable platform seamlessly integrates content with other supporting technologies, such as personalization, automation and AI tools.
Content infrastructure can take your omnichannel strategy to the next level. By streamlining content operations, your team will find it easier to manage content consistently as they expand into new channels. And since content infrastructure scales with the needs of the business, the possibilities are limitless.
1Think with Google, “Study reveals the complexity of modern consumer paths to purchase and how brands can make inroads”, June 2018
2Agius, Aaron; Hubspot Blog, “12 Examples of Brands With Brilliant Omni-Channel Experiences”; July 2019
3Afshar, Vala; Salesforce blog, “New Research Uncovers Big Shifts in Customer Expectations and Trust”; June 2018
4Suketu Gandhi, Alanna Klassen Jamjoum, and Conrad Heider; MIT Sloan Management Review, “Why Customer Experience Matters for B2B”; February 2019