24. May 2022 By Dominique Kompch
CaaS – Dynamic content management across all channels
CaaS in a nutshell
CaaS has been used for a long time by marketers to supply any number of channels with digital content. These channels can be shops, websites, apps or others. The central feature of CaaS is that the content is requested via API interface and delivered to the respective frontend regardless of structure, layout or content. Conversely, this means that content is no longer prepared specifically for one channel; instead, it can be managed centrally for various output channels. The associated streamlining of corporate communication is but one of the advantages that I will examine in more detail in this blog post. It also represents one of many features that distinguish this technology from the traditional approach.
Which business models benefit from CaaS, and what can be achieved?
CaaS can be relevant for business models where users interact with your company on different channels and switch between them frequently. At this point, you should have the appropriate analytical tools at your disposal to find out exactly which channels are to be supplied with content.
Now imagine that this content had to be managed separately for each channel, and it’s easy to see that the burden on marketing and supporting teams would be immense. Moreover, it is not enough to just provide content as a one-off task. Content must be updated constantly and across all channels. This is where CaaS enters the stage. As I said before, with CaaS, editorial content only needs to be produced and updated once and can be used across many channels. But what other advantages does CaaS bring to the table, and who benefits from it? Here’s an overview to illustrate the point:
Marketing and IT
The goal of marketers is to keep up with the times and, ideally, to create, predict or react quickly to trends. The pace at which information is consumed is changing rapidly. CaaS allows marketers to add new content to any touchpoint using agile content management. In addition to the need to publish content that is up to date, consistency is also of the essence, because it has a strong impact on the perception of a brand and the message associated with it. It boils down to this: consistent communication creates trust among customers.
Improved stability and security
Not only marketers stand to benefit from CaaS. CaaS further mitigates a conflict of objectives with your IT. This is because IT is responsible for ensuring that the content provided is published in a stable and secure manner. The more standardised the process is, the easier it is for IT to ensure this stability and security. Media such as videos and images, editorial texts and many more can be provided from a CaaS repository. This makes it even easier for your IT to ensure the necessary stability and security. Another advantage of CaaS is that you can give third parties access to selected data. This allows partners, service providers or internal stakeholders to build their own applications around CaaS. In this way, IT can perfectly play out its core strengths.
Time to market
Existing advertising channels are refined and entirely new ones are added at a rapid pace. To keep up, companies must have the ability to respond very quickly. International companies, in particular, struggle with this challenge. This makes the ability to add new channels without time-consuming integrations all the more important. Let’s look at the introduction of a local sales app in one of your markets as an example of how you can achieve a rapid time to market. To speed up things, your on-site team could collaborate with a local app development service provider, who in turn could draw on the content that comes from the CaaS. In the best case, the independence gained by your local teams will lead to a more rapid implementation of requirements.
The possibility of personalising content
Content variation can be used to play out content to specific target groups to increase personalisation. The arrangement of individual content building blocks gives you increased flexibility and results in a targeted presentation. Since it is practically impossible to manage a vast number of content variations manually, (partial) automation is needed. This can be achieved on the basis of a suitable CaaS architecture. With the help of artificial intelligence and predefined rules, the process can be partially automated.
In which IT infrastructures is CaaS commonly used?
Let’s first take a look at traditional CMS. In a traditional CMS, content is developed and provided with styling and layouts in the backend. The pieces of content are prepared accordingly in the backend. HTML, css. and Java, in particular, are used here. From there, the produced and styled content is distributed to the individual channels. If we now consider the large number of different channels, this approach is complex and costly. Things are different when using CaaS. In this context, the term hybrid CMS is often used. The hybrid CMS separates the frontend and backend side and provides content via an API. This makes it possible to integrate additional touchpoints into the systems at any time with a manageable development effort.
You may now wonder how hybrid CMSs differ from a pure headless approach. One of the key differences is that a pure headless CMS provides few backend features for editors. Not so when taking a hybrid approach: In this case, editors and other content managers can make changes to the layout, assign permissions, control release processes and so on. Accordingly, the hybrid CMS offers features that might be missing when opting for a pure headless approach.
How can we summarise the findings? CaaS is still a useful tool for using content not only on your own website, but across all touchpoints. APIs can be used to make content available to third parties or enable its further processing from a central location without redundant data maintenance. In this way, adjacent systems that contribute to the customer experience – such as PIM and DAM – can also benefit from CaaS. However, it is also true that CaaS is particularly suitable for hybrid CMSs and can have an impact here. If your company is taking this hybrid approach, or is considering it, you can effectively bolster your multichannel strategy with CaaS.
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