Posted: February 20, 2018

It's time. Your healthcare organization is on a drive to improve and expand digital consumer experiences. But your marketing team can't launch a compelling cross-channel digital campaign without five people from the IT department around to help create a landing page on your website to connect to your ads from Google and Facebook. Meanwhile, you're laboring so the same content can be published on your mobile apps, waiting room display screens, and all other digital channels. What's more, hosting and upgrades are costing you an arm and a leg, and the only person who knows how to use the new enterprise system is on a month-long sabbatical in Tibet. It's time — you need to replace your current web content management system (CMS).

As you begin to research, consider getting acquainted with the next generation of CMS systems, solutions equipped to help you reach your consumer experience goals. Modern CMS solutions are one-stop-shops for authoring, editing, and publishing content, handling and storing your digital assets, quality management for campaigns, and even marketing analytics. They allow your marketing team to create the personalized digital consumer experience you want across every media channel, while giving your IT team a break knowing that the data is secure across all of your provider's solutions.

Here, we look at some of the key features marketing and IT departments require in a modern CMS.

Your Marketing Team's Must-Haves

  • Easy authoring, editing, and publishing: If you're considering a CMS solution that doesn't allow you to create new content pages by yourself (and without extensive HTML knowledge) in minutes, move on. Your team should be able to get from ideation, through authoring, editing, and publishing on mobile, web and app channels quickly — without the IT team's help. Also, a good platform will provide previews of how your content looks across these channels.
  • Digital Quality Management: Broken links, misspelled words, metadata that cuts off in the middle of a word — all of these errors can count against your SEO rankings, or worse, trigger a phone call from your CEO asking why he noticed an error on your upcoming event page. Digital Quality Management (DQM) solutions help you find and correct these errors to avoid these headaches. Get a system that can notify you before you publish misspelled words, broken hyperlinks, or if content accidentally used a forbidden term. Your solution should also enable post-publishing auditing capabilities, so you can fix additional content usability and accessibility errors after publication.
  • Personalized, targeted content: Companies like Facebook and Google have raised personalization and targeted content to a whole new level. A platform that collects behavior data about both known and anonymous users, including user location, the kind of device used, what users do after visiting your content, and identifying information after a consumer fills out a form or signs up for a class or event is a valuable asset.
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM): With all the images, brand standards, videos, and other digital assets you're required to keep up with, a digital asset management (DAM) solution is absolutely essential to ensure consistency across all touch points you create. You can opt for a third-party solution, or you can find a CMS with built-in DAM capabilities.
    A DAM will help your teams maintain brand consistency by streamlining and simplifying the way they manage digital assets in a central, secure way across the enterprise. This means you can browse, search for, move and manipulate images, audio, and video, tag them by topic, and even create curated collections to share with specific groups.
  • Healthcare content and interactions: Pick a platform with healthcare-specific applications, such as a Provider Directory (Find-A-Doc) application with advanced filtering capabilities, or a pre-built appointment request form. Having these built in saves time and money.
  • Social Media Experiences: A truly useful CMS will help your marketing team tackle one of the most trying tasks of social media marketing — managing content sharing and presentation across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and various social channels du jour.
  • Dashboards & Analytics: If you have the capability of building landing pages or new content pages with ease, you want to know how those pages are performing, where people are going after they hit them, what else they might be searching for on your site, what page triggered them to enter contact information, and so on. Look for a CMS that lets you access those analytics right from your dashboard.

Your IT & Developer Must-Haves

  • Scalable & Performant: Your IT team's requirements may make or break a deal, so it's important to ensure the solution you're angling for addresses their needs as well. IT will want a solution that can scale with your business as it grows and considers consumer expectations for on-demand, mobile access and engagement with their health information and providers.

SaaS platforms use the cloud to offer a hosting advantage and flexibility and mobility for system and users. Deployment on web servers in multiple regions provides protection through redundancy. Systems that leverage Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) serve content based on geography, which makes your site load faster for your consumers.

  • Dependable Security: Because you are working with individual's personal information, IT will appreciate a solution that offers role-based permissions for viewing data as well as well as an advanced security framework to protect against hacks and outages. You are likely collecting information from your consumers through forms on your site. CMS-based form solutions should allow for the secure management of Protected Health Information (PHI).
  • Decoupled Architecture: Getting a platform with decoupled architecture that supports content as a service will make the marketing team happy but also free up IT for larger organizational concerns. When content is treated like any other information service it can flow more freely across platforms, and you can edit and author content for a variety of channels.
  • Parallel Development & Deployment: IT needs a CMS solution that offers an integrated development workbench, decoupled content deployment architecture, and enterprise-class real-time API familiar to any .NET, PHP, or Java programmer. Acronyms aside, these development options will allow everyone to move faster toward broad organization goals.
  • Proven, But Future-Proof: To be a sound investment, your solution needs to last and stay relevant for years. Evaluate where a solution you like falls on Gartner's Magic Quadrant, and pick a solution that is somewhere between safe and stale, but has a vision for the future.

Once you have evaluated CMS solutions, get all parties together — marketing and IT and any other stakeholders — to evaluate which option satisfies the most needs. By establishing a shared consumer experience vision and roadmap, money can be saved and progress accelerated.

To learn more about choosing the best CMS for your healthcare organization, read our white paper.