On Content Management

Relying on content management, and the implementation of a content management system, to drive engagement with users is a good example of backwards thinking. A CMS provides you with the tools to create and distribute content, without helping you determine what content would actually be worth distributing, and how this could possibly further your business goals.

At this point, it must be understood that a CMS begins its life cycle in the domain of IT, and IT is not a discipline concerned with strategic brand building, particularly if we as an example examine the governing principles of content management systems. In fact, the process of CMS development and implementation is fundamentally very often on a direct collision course with strategic branding goals. Whether intentional or not, the mechanics of most content management systems are by necessity geared towards convenience, simplicity, speed and standardization. A CMS does not in itself encourage a brand-oriented outlook, where the aim would be to find a viable brand position, and set yourself apart from the competition.

Instead, a CMS acts as a proverbial meat grinder which molds all communicative content in the same generic form. A CMS, by proxy of the principle of least resistance, rewards adherence to pre-defined, generic design directives. And, conversely, by being a standardized tool of templates, it does not facilitate out-of-the-box thinking or the pursuit of the communicatively unique.

A CMS is essentially just an administrative tool; a technical facilitator that has no inherent value in marketing terms. It does not refine or process whatever communicative raw material goes in and, sadly, there is usually no compensation for any lack of brand awareness or guidance in this process. It places administrative people in a precarious broadcasting position, where quite commonly, insufficient attention is given to company core values and the brand essence. Consequently, the corporate identity that is being projected through the prism of a CMS is very often vague and uncoordinated at best, or distorted and outright inappropriate at worst.

The end result is a diluted brand, as well as a waste of marketing money and opportunity.

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