(Image credit/Pixabay/ Werner Moser )Contentful has released results of the industry’s largest-ever survey of digital leaders and content creators. While 90% of respondents believe delivering digital experiences is important to business success, the survey found major differences in the digital capabilities of leaders and laggards.

Contentful surveyed more than 750 business and digital leaders, developers, and content creators. The research revealed that brands struggle to deliver the digital experiences customers demand. Slow time to market, high unit cost associated with creating new experiences plague the majority of business and digital leaders. For content creators and editors, the chief problems are controlling content across a host of channels and managing its consistency.

Disconnect between customer experience and brands

(Image credit/LinkedIn/Steve Sloan)
Steve Sloan, CEO of Contentful

The disconnect between the experiences customers want and what brands can deliver is caused by a gap in companies’ digital capabilities,” said Steve Sloan, CEO of Contentful. “One of the clear impediments is last-generation legacy content management systems (CMSes). They hamper rapid creation and iteration of compelling digital experiences. The time to deliver these, especially in this rapidly changing market, has a real impact on revenue. The companies that prioritise speed and flexibility are outpacing their competitors and will be the leaders in the digital-first era.

The survey also found a significant disconnect between the perceptions of digital leaders and content creators. For example, 72% of digital leaders believe their CMS is capable of managing omnichannel content. However, only 34% of content creators agree.

This survey confirms what we hear from customers every day. That what got you here won’t lead to success in the future,” Sloan added. “Digital native companies such as direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are upending traditional business models. By the same token, companies that adopt digital-first competency, fast, are disrupting companies moving slowly toward digital transformation. To accelerate, digital leaders need to empower builders in their organisations — developers, content creators, and teams across every business unit. This entails giving them the tools and processes they need to quickly create compelling digital conversations at scale.

The widening gap

The report, The Digital Innovation Gap, provides insight into the widening gap between brands with digital-first capabilities and those trying to keep up. It reveals dissatisfaction with traditional CMS’s, and points to the need for next-generation tools that enable teams to work faster and deliver value sooner. With these tools, teams can close the gap by accelerating speed to build, speed to market and time to value.

Key survey findings:

  • Having a digital strategy and presence is no longer a differentiator; it’s an expectation. Ninety percent of survey respondents say building digital experiences is important to business success. Eighty-two percent of business leaders tying digital capabilities directly to revenue.
  • More channels, more digital challenges. Seventy percent of business leaders plan to increase the number of digital products or channels they deliver. However, they need API-first integrated tools and systems to deliver those experiences faster.
  • Fragmented and fractured conversations. Eighty percent of business leaders plan to invest more in personalisation, localisation/translation, segmentation and other adaptations to content. Half say they’re already spending too much time maintaining their existing content, and not enough developing new content.
  • Editing is too hard. The survey found 93% must manage content across multiple digital products. But 66% can’t control their content without developer assistance. Forty-one percent are updating content individually in each CMS, and 35% can’t reuse content across multiple digital channels.

“Traditional web CMSes hamper digital efforts, because they don’t support agile, omnichannel delivery,” said Bridget Perry, CMO of Contentful. “We’re seeing companies reach the limit of what their legacy CMSes can deliver. Digital leaders are adopting next-generation content platforms that connect with older systems and pull existing content into new digital experiences. This lets companies move faster in digital and prove out the value of a content platform, while leaving some of the entrenched, legacy systems intact … for now.

Contentful funded the survey, which included users of all types of CMS’s and across all industries, with independent research analysis by Grail Insights.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business

Since March 2020, much of the world has been in lockdown. As a result, digital engagement and interaction has soared as a large percentage of employees are working from home. Students have had to embrace online learning and people have suddenly have more free time than planned. This has meant more people looking at online content than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for an effective content management infrastructure to support digital engagement. Until recently, CMS’s only had to be concerned with website content. With the rise of social media, CMS now need the flexibility to incorporate and integrate with user generated content. This report is quite interesting because it identifies digital innovation gap between leaders and laggards. The findings reveal increased trend toward “digital first, digital fast.” Anyone responsible for managing content cannot afford to ignore this particular trend.



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