Our clients are reaping the benefits of CMS implementations utilising a modular framework. This practice continues to build in previous development efforts, ends the wasteful cycle of ‘build & burn’ websites and encourages standardisation and creativity to rollout websites and campaigns at speed.
Enterprises with a tradition of custom-build websites and web pages find that updating and adding regular content is often dependent on expensive developer and IT resource. Quick fixes, content updates and major additions can all get stuck in development or software update blockers. Even simple content changes can take weeks to publish. In today’s fast moving digital environment, these bottlenecks to publishing are not acceptable - speed is paramount and customer expectations mean that they not only expect, but they need content on demand.
Consistent yet Flexible: The Chassis Analogy.
The need for standardisation while still maintaining creative flexibility isn't something new. It's a problem that has been solved in more mature industries, like in the Automotive sector. Car manufacturers have developed reusable chassis platforms to solve this particular set of challenges.
Chassis sharing used to be a secret in the automotive world, with car companies going to great lengths to conceal the obvious borrowing that went on when one of more models were built from the same basic platform. Today a modular toolkit strategy is the backbone of the entire industry as automakers strive to keep development costs down and recoup investment on existing technologies while improving efficiency and performance on the road and in their manufacturing.
Did you know, for example, that the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mercedes-Benz M-Class vehicles have the same chassis framework? The M-Class doesn’t offer the same level of off-road ability or four-wheel drive systems available with the Jeep, but the framework remains very much the same.
The Modularisation Methodology
"Modularisation enables standardisation with visible customisation," is the phrase coined by leading car brand, Volkswagen.
VW uses platform technology across several car models and argue that, “the platform is an entity that has no impact on the vehicle's outer skin.”
Applying this practice to the management of a CMS, manageable and clearly defined functional modules that can be developed, designed, and installed as small scale projects, which make for a more streamlined assembly process. A modular toolkit for your CMS allows standardisation, allowing consistency, yet the ability to adapt and customise for a refreshed look and feel.
A Modular Toolkit For Your CMS
Component Content Management Systems (CCMS) allow components (parts) to be built around a chassis (your CMS). This system allows the creation of agile and responsive content - all under the fuel of the marketing department.
Just like Red Bull’s Soapbox challenge, websites are judged on speed, creativity and showmanship - even the least discerning website visitor expects brands to meet this criteria when they consume a brand’s onsite content.
A well-engineered CMS puts marketing departments in the driving seat whilst a powerful system of intricate parts and components powers campaigns for delivery. The system uses the same language as the CMS itself, which means that content managers don’t notice it’s there. It just sits in the background, making campaign content work harder to deliver results.
Campaign marketers decide what size and shape template they want to use and which components they want to sit in it. They can create as many as they want, flexibly and at speed - without the need for a developer every step of the way.
This is exactly the approach marketing teams want to take when building their websites and campaigns - the ability to take components and functionality from a toolkit and leverage previous investments in technology and development as well as standardised approaches, whilst still having the flexibility to customise the customer experience and creative.
Modular Framework CMS in Practice
Building Blocks has adopted the component-based Modular Framework CMS methodology when finding solutions for our global enterprise clientbase. This approach supports marketing teams to take components and functionality from a toolkit and leverage previous investments in technology and development as well as standardised approaches. Importantly, this framework allows brands to maintain the flexibility to customise the customer experience and creative.
We worked with a client where historically 80% of campaigns were ‘build & burn’ based. Producing up to 100 microsites/pages per year with different creative approaches, each campaign was launched in multiple and languages using different technologies, integrations and analytics. Small changes took days or weeks through third party agencies and campaign managers had no direct control over their content. This was of working was slow, reactive, and very expensive.
Building Blocks turned this on its head. We proposed creating a Modular Framework CMS where the marketing team could use their CMS to self-serve the creation of new campaign pages/sites with little or no input from IT or external agencies.
This framework contains a core, mobile optimised, responsive HTML foundation with key integrations to backend systems. Web analytics and tracking platforms are pre-configured which is essential for reporting on ROI of individual campaigns.
We created a toolkit of over 30 reusable components which the team could place and position on pages in a drag and drop interface and introduced functionality to upload themes for each site to customise the look, feel and animations used - making each site seem unique.
The Benefits of IMPLEmenTING A Modular Framework WITH YOUR CMS
In our upcoming whitepaper ‘Digital Acceleration with Modular Framework CMS’, this methodology is underpinned with case studies, examples and benefits that this process offers for brands who are lacking ROI when managing multiple pages and sites with new campaigns.
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