I had recently held a webinar session where I shared the 5 biggest mistakes companies make when they revamp their content management platforms. For those of you who have missed out on the webinar (or even for those who attended), here is a brief summary of what was discussed:
1) Forgetting about Interdependencies
The first one is actually a combination of 3 similar mistakes people make, that I have grouped together. The first one is spending too much on technology and not enough on people, skill or allowing enough time. The Ying to that mistake’s Yang, is companies that don’t spend anywhere near what they should on technology, and expect developers and services to make up for it. The third of these is when designers have no sense of how the Content Management platform works, or developers of things like template on the system have no idea what the design is/will be.
What does it look like when it’s happening? Well, the first symptom based on the lack of investment in time & skills, is that what you saw in the demo and what you get are wildly different. If the balance has gone too far the other way, and you haven’t bought a robust enough platform, every time you want something change, it requires new development. When this happens – you know you’ve made this mistake. If you hear anyone in the team say ‘that design is not supported’, or if small design changes cause a lot of development effort, you know you have made mistake number 1.
What can go wrong? You have a great tool but it’s not going anywhere and you’re not getting a return on our investment. You might have initially gone for lower cost solution, but years down the line you end up spending more than if you bought the premium product at the beginning due to development cost. In addition, you get an unmanaged part of customer experience where your design is compromised as well as usability. Businesses units start rolling out lots of little sites, hosted elsewhere, because your platform slows them down. What’s wrong with that ? The biggest challenges are around customer experience consistency, gaps in marketing data and unnecessary cost.
How do you avoid it? Scope out the market and understand which solutions are best suited to you. The platform that you have is important to your business like it never has been before. Look again about the business case. Invest more technology, in the people and skills and don’t forget to include the agency and design right from the start.
A lot of companies recognise that Mobile is important but have built mobile and ‘web’ sites independently from each other.
What does it look like when it’s happening? You end up having different projects for the mobile site and vendors for mobile apps which end up working in silos. When we think about mobile, most people think of responsive design however this is not enough as there needs to be more thought on mobile user’s situation – what are the majority of people doing on their mobile vs laptop vs tablet etc.
What can go wrong? Customers end up having a bad mobile experience which leads to missed opportunities and low conversion rates. Mobile traffic in the digital space is growing tremendously and companies need to get it right in order to capitalise on it. In addition, if you happen to have built your mobile and website separately, it can mean double the cost of maintenance as well as black spots in your marketing intelligence as you will have two sets of data that are not unified.
How do you avoid it? Have a workflow that automates mobile friendly content. Go beyond just responsive design and think about customer usage and situation.
Lots of revamps tend to happen without enough data to back up decisions. This mean there is a poor understanding of customer attitudes and a lack of knowledge of the customer behaviour. Companies are then in dark, not knowing what content is important to their customers and what isn’t.
What does it look like when it’s happening? Many decisions are based overly on design or gut feeling. This on its own is not good enough; basing a revamp purely on design will not allow you to know what content to migrate to your sites. Do not just let the HiPPO (Highest Paid Person Opinion) make a lot of decisions, gather and understand your data and facts to base your decision on.
What can go wrong? You end up with a pretty site that looks nice but is not what your customer want or need. This might initially lead to positive reviews but followed by flat or lower engagement and conversion. In the end you have wasted effort and useless content that don’t resonate with your customers.
How do you avoid it? The main key is to understand the customer through multiple sources of data – behaviour, attitudes, how they interact with your content and services. This includes running A/B and MVT tests on relevant experience that you currently have or are considering as part of the revamp. It is straightforward, very powerful to understand your content effectiveness – which content is making your customers convert (see webinar).
4) Usability for Your Users
Companies expect users to bend their business to the requirement of the system – this is frankly, not going to happen. Furthermore users might find it painful to manoeuvre through your web properties which in turn mean they end up having a bad user experience. Another thing is not considering the agency’s role in the experience production cycle.
What does it look like when it’s happening? When describing how to use the system, it requires you and the team to do things differently – log into multiple screens, change processes. If you only see only IT people gather all the requirements, it’s time to stop and think about who else can be involved in the project and decision making.
What can go wrong? One of the most common things that we see is that content doesn’t get managed which leads to stale content and spiralling agency cost for simple tasks. Another challenge you might get is that non content owners are writing the content which again leads to bland content.
How do you avoid it? Spend time to understand and document the workflow including: content production, approvals, agency, developer, digital assets and apps. Make the experience as seamless as possible, remove every intermediate step that is not necessary. In addition, invest in SSO (Single Sign On), in Custom e-mails for approvals, in Automated Translation Workflows and in Wizards and Forms that help the user. The rule of thumb is keep going until building it in the platform is easier than writing a work document to get someone else to buy it.
This is really about companies that think one size fits all. You end up having an experience that is not personalised to the customer or personalised in one dimension.
What does it look like when it’s happening? When there is no data discussed during any of the design decisions, there will be no personalisation as there are no facts on customer behaviour etc. Then, when you require personalisation, there is a requirement to do development for any targeting.
If you are told there is a release cycle for segments takes a long time, there is no talk of offline data and there is no link to advertising – this is a problem. Most technologies today should be able to provide you with such requests.
What can go wrong? You might lose marketing share/high support volumes or by a slow decline, where it will take you longer to release it has gone wrong. Your competitors are already doing personalisation and you are missing out on converting customers.
How can you avoid it? First thing is to get the data, this includes offline data and advertising performance data. Then consolidate the audience persona. You need to understand your customer in order to better inform your marketing efforts and enable better servicing of your customer. Second is to think about customer segments and designing content for each segment/persona. Lastly, don’t forget about advertising – audience management is a well-established to drive better targeting of ads – it’s a simple step to bring that capability to your owned media. However, it’s something that is only just being started to be done.
This is just a brief summary of what was covered; to find out more on what was discussed (including a bonus mistake) listen to the webinar and download the presentation via the links below:
Click here to listen to the recorded webinar.
Click here to download the presentation slides.
Click here to download the Forrester Wave Report & other Whitepapers.
Join us at our next webinar, ‘Measuring the Success of Your Mobile Sites and Apps’ taking place on 10th Oct. Click here to register now!