Do we need another CMS?

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Most marketers are familiar with Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic – it has been updated every year for the last decade with the most recent to be shared in April at the annual Martech Conference. And if you haven’t seen it before now, I highly recommend viewing the 2011 graphic (where it all started) before the latest version so you can see how astronomically the marketing technology field has grown in 10 years.

Today, let’s focus on the orange CMS & Web Experience Management category only. If you zoom into the CMS (content management system) & Web Experience Management category from the 2019 graphic, you’ll count more than 100 brands. Scott Brinker and his team call out the major marketing suites as Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle, HubSpot, Shopify, Microsoft and G Suite.

Software review site, G2, in comparison, features 245 web content management software brands and highlights a top 10 (defined by the G2 Score collected from user reviews and aggregated online data) as Hubspot, Pantheon, Sitefinity, Sitecore, Contentful, Drupal, Bold, Kentico Kontent, Joomla and Solodev.

And this was before Salesforce introduced its own Content Management System product to the seemingly endless options.

Late last year, Salesforce announced they were bringing their own content management system for managing web content, allowing multiple contributors to create, edit and publish to market. Self-described as a ‘hybrid CMS designed to help you easily create and deliver content to any channel or device.’

What Salesforce CMS brings for marketers is five-fold:

  • Drag and drop interfaces
  • Headless APIs that can put content everywhere
  • Connections to external and internal sites and mobile apps
  • WYSIWYG tools are built-in meaning no technical or developer experience is required
  • But the part that is most important for marketers, is personalisation based on data stored in the CRM.

The Salesforce CMS claims to allow any user to deliver content on any channel, any time – all connected to customer data. Salesforce enables marketers to present its CRM data as content.

But what does Salesforce’s announcement mean for the industry?

I’ve been working in the web experience management space for almost 10 years – always on the client side as a marketer. I’ve heard the cleverly phrased pitches from sales, brought new features to market, seen best practice suggestions from designers, compared my brand to competitors and shared the implementation tales from customers.

Even being out of the game for the past 6 months, I still like to stay well read on the movers and shakers.

The launch of Salesforce Content Management System truly fascinates me. After all, with 245 content management platforms, do we really need another one? And just how is Salesforce CMS unique from the platforms that have been around for decades or even just a year or two?

For starters, I’m uncertain Salesforce as a standalone CMS does offer unique functionality. I didn’t see anything new in the Salesforce CMS description that, as a marketer, I wouldn’t expect in any CMS. It’s pretty much what I’d expect if I was to purchase a proprietary CMS: drop and drag feature, content where I want, WYSIWYG functionality and personalisation. And as a marketer, I want to spend as little time in the code as possible. I want to be marketing, not coding. Salesforce ticks those boxes, but then so too do many of their competitors.

But perhaps Salesforce can address a market need. Specifically, Salesforce CMS is offered free to all customers with a paid version likely to launch by February 2020. It works best with Salesforce’s Sales, Service, Commerce and Community Clouds. On this basis, it seems to be an ideal solution for clients already using the Salesforce CRM platform. Existing customers can tap straight into the advantages of connecting CRM and CMS: offer a better, more personalised experience.