If there’s one thing we as marketers have to admit we’re guilty of at times, it’s the use of buzzwords. Especially in the CMS world, acronyms (WCM, CXM, DXM) abound, and the latest terminology can feel like nothing more than the current fad. It’s true, the industry has a terminology overload, but it’s for this reason especially that, when they come around, game-changing concepts need to be explored and identified. Content-as-a-Service, or CaaS, is one such game-changer.
Regardless of how many [Word]-as-a-Service terms you’ve come across in the past year, you should be paying attention. CaaS is more than just a buzzword. It’s time to take Content-as-a-Service seriously. Here are five reasons why:
1. Channels are proliferating
We’re currently witnessing a rapid proliferation of channels, and there are no signs of it slowing. As customers expect to interact with businesses in a seamless customer journey across devices, businesses need more than a multichannel web presence for the current landscape: they need to be ready for what’s next. Stop just thinking web and mobile when you hear multichannel - start thinking displays in stores, wearable gadgets, the interactive fridge and car information systems and of course all those channels run by partners that you would like to share content with. Businesses cannot and, importantly,will not be able to edit individual channels in a consistent and efficient way. Brand consistency and reputation will increasingly depend on Content-as-a-Service, and the ability to manage content (rather than pages) in a centralized way.
2. You’ll always have multiple ways of editing content
Whether it’s one CMS, a blogging tool and CMS (plus a mobile app, plus intranet, etc.), whatever permutation of interfaces your teams use to edit content, they’ll always be different and role specific. Content-as-a-Service offers a way to normalize content (and its editing) throughout an enterprise increasing internal efficiency.
3. The option of different models
The complete separation of the management of content from the way it is displayed enables organizations to move infrastructure between install, Software-as-a-Service (cloud) and hybrid, even at site level or project level. Some project can be install, some can be SaaS depending on the business’ choices for optimization based on needs.
For example: if marketing wants to set up a network of microsites, it can choose to do so in SaaS—cloud is fast, doesn’t require any install, and allows for collaboration between offices, in various parts of the world. Marketing might also be using an intranet for other purposes, when certain content needs to be locked down. A separate repository allows marketing to decide which content belongs where, and allows for that content’s movement. Marketing can move content from cloud to an internal infrastructure—and vice versa—as necessary.
4. Personalization when appropriate
Making content available as a service enables the dynamic assembly of web pages, giving businesses full control over which content should be personalized, and to what degree. With CaaS, a repository is created of content which can be personalized when appropriate. Rather than making an entire CMS deal with personalization for one specific project (which is difficult and tedious), all marketing has to do is handle personalization at the expression level—setting up the skin and business rules for personalization across that project.
5. Key insights
Centralized Content-as-a-Service allows your business to examine content consumption across the digital landscape. Not only does the business avoid duplicating its efforts and content when posting to microsites, international sites or apps, it can also measure the use of that content by looking at the API connections used to deliver that content, and tracking where the content is going. Beyond the confines of the digital properties you manage yourself.
When we talk about Content-as-a-Service, what we’re really talking about is a separation of concerns: separating the concern of managing and editing content from its display. At the core of CaaS is the idea that content really is just like any other API based service—it’s an information service, and should be able to be consumed as such. When we’re managing a repository of content, we’re putting content into a pool without regard with how it’s actually going to be presented, creating the space and flexibility to build interfaces on top of that. This approach gives organizations the freedom to leverage and reuse their content in limitless ways. That ultimately means, you are ready to publish to any new device and in any new format that comes along next. Now, that's content power.
By Sonja Wraith, VP Marketing at Hippo
This article appears originally on Hippo's blog.