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Choosing a Content Management System: key stakeholders

While technology decisions used to be placed solely on CIOs, CMOs are spending more and more time on IT than the actual IT departments. The rise of roles like the Chief Marketing Technologist and Chief Digital Officer only come to prove this increasing emphasis of technology in marketing. In the majority of cases, once a CMS is chosen, the day-to-day work falls on the shoulders of a broad team, from marketers and editors to bloggers and webmasters. In addition, a CMS typically integrates with several other business platforms such as marketing automation tools or CRM systems.

Image: Glenn Carstens Peters

With such a broad impact on the organization, a collaborative approach is the ideal scenario to get a new CMS project on the right track. Rather than working in silos or acting independently, having all stakeholders provide expertise and share know-how with each other will reap most benefits for everyone. So who should be involved?


Creating a positive and engaging customer experience has never been more important than it is now. The CMS is going to have a major impact on your website visitor experiences, but also on your own content managers, marketers, editors and administrators.

Their concerns might lie with content creation workflows, support for multilingual content or integration with other digital marketing tools, such as CRM, advanced analytics and social media. Including your marketing team in the discussion is essential to understand what features will be the most useful to meet their goals and how to ensure that as the marketing strategy evolves, the CMS can keep up.

Content authors

Sometimes more operational oriented team members are excluded from the decision-making process. However, it should go without saying that including them will bring you greater expertise and knowledge. Those who will work day-to-day with the platform know the tasks best, know where improvements can be made and understand the key pain points when it comes to managing content. Sure, features are important, but what good are they if no one can use them?

Ease-of-use for your content authors is critical for the adoption and success of your CMS. A tool that has a lot of great features, but has a steep learning curve might frustrate your content authors and slow down adoption of your CMS. Involving your content authors ensures that they understand which skill set is needed (can it for example be easy managed by non-technical users) to be operational and successful in the CMS. If you get them excited about the new tool, they will be more than happy to help you draft the requirements at implementation stage later down the road.


The CIO carries the end-responsibility of the technology and your IT teams are the experts when it comes to integration and customization possibilities. They will typically be less focused on the customer experience, and far more focused on internal matters like cost reduction, IT efficiency, reliability over time, along with security and stability.

Including them will give them the opportunity to gather more in-depth information about the system, see how it can be integrated with other business platforms (e.g. CRM, marketing automation, ecommerce, or others). Also, often IT have internal procurement teams or they work in close partnership with procurement departments, so having them involved from the start will certainly help the purchasing decision-making process to move forward more smoothly.


Close integration between the CRM and CMS will have an effect on customer conversion, acquisition and retention. So, sales teams will be interested in understanding how easily the integration is, what additional information on prospects will be available. Including them in your demo will allow them to better understand how the CMS will support the customer journey and can help improve sales efficiency and effectiveness.

Final thoughts

The success or failure of your CMS initiative will largely depend on the technology you choose, so a strong partnership between marketing, content authors, IT and sales teams will create more value for your business, in the end.

This cross-functional collaboration will enable a shared view of the customer with all stakeholders and create opportunities for efficiencies, improved workflows and even cost reductions. By eliminating internal barriers you’ll facilitate better engagement within all teams, which will translate into a better engagement between your brand and target audiences.