A List Apart: Articles: Strategic Content Management

Content strategy is shaking up the CMS industry

The rise of content strategy is dealing the content management industry a huge kick up the backside. In the web’s Wild West era, the CMS was run by the IT department—or sometimes a lone webmaster who knew HTML—so CMS choices were based on features, price, and cultural fit, rather than web or content strategy. It was the classic IT drill: selection committees, feature matrices, and business lunches with men wearing neckties.

The times they are a-changin’. According to Lisa Welchman, the web is now “the organization’s primary communications, sales, marketing, and transactional vehicle.” A CMS vendor’s target audience used to be the IT Director, and a successful outcome meant each department could easily update their content silo. Now, the target audience is an organization’s internal editorial infrastructure; and a successful outcome is a complex mix of achieving business objectives, implementing a content strategy, and crafting a user experience. The game just got more serious.

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