Are CMS vendors selling to marketers or building for marketers?
Folks in the world of web content management can likely agree that marketers are taking more ownership of the web – if not total ownership in many cases.
CMS vendors have largely made the shift to speak more directly to the needs of a marketer.This is happening with the website messaging, marketing-friendly feature lists and solution-selling scenarios developed within the sales teams.
This shift is both smart for business and absolutely necessary to meet the changing needs of the web-driven organization. However, it’s critical to take a closer look at specific vendor offerings to see if they can walk the walk that their marketing speak talks.
After all, CMS vendors have historically been very IT focused. It’s simply not in the DNA of most CMS product management types to think like a marketer. Some will be able to effectively turn the boat around and some will attempt to keep putting lipstick on a pig. We’re still in the early stages of determining the winners and losers.
While we’re not here to evaluate the marketing merits of individual CMS vendors (yet), we are noticing that the messaging is shifting faster than the product development. Extra features are being bolted on to satisfy a few tactical marketing needs, when in fact a more complete product overhaul is often needed. It’s unclear if this effort is truly underway behind the scenes.
This all poses a real risk for marketing-centric buyers that don’t understand the technical complexity of a CMS. Buyers need to deep dive into marketing specific scenarios during the evaluation process, ask more specific questions and talk to marketing focused references.
There is a difference between selling to marketers and building for marketers. My money is on the vendors that choose the later.