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Strategic Marketing for Growing Companies
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Over the next two years, how will your budget change for social media marketing (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace)?
Increase significantly
Increase somwhat
No change
Decrease somewhat
Decrease significantly
No budget for social media marketing

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Over the next two years, how will your budget change for social media marketing (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace)?
Increase significantly
Increase somwhat
No change
Decrease somewhat
Decrease significantly
No budget for social media marketing

Content Management System Software, Hosting Services, and Resources

Content management system (CMS) software products are used to make it easy to create Web sites without having to format each page individually.

When using a CMS, the material on a page that is the same on a group of pages is placed in a template containing "placeholders." These placeholders tell the system where to place content that is different from page to page.

For example, content sites have a headline at the top of the page in large bold text, followed by the byline telling who wrote the article, which is followed by the body of the article. The format is the same, so a template can be used to store code for bolding, centering, and so forth. These formatting codes are around the placeholders that tell the system where to insert the changing content.

Dynamic vs. Static Content Management

Content management system software products are generally grouped into two categories, "static" and "dynamic."

Static systems manage the production of content through the writing, editing, and the approval stage. Then, they save fixed (i.e., static) HTML files that are served by traditional Web server software.

Dynamic systems perform the same functions as static content management systems, except they don't save fixed HTML files. Instead, they create pages "on the fly" each time a Web visitor requests a page.

It's sometimes hard to tell if a site uses a static or dynamic CMS, especially when banner ads or other material is brought into a page from other servers. In other words, a page may have dynamically changing ads, news headlines, and other material that originates from codes in a static HTML page.

In general, if you want to personalize the content on a site you will want to use a content management system that creates dynamic pages - and has the ability to tailor content based on each person's profile. Not all dynamic CMS software can personalize Web pages "on the fly" - it depends on whether it can easily store and use individual profile data while a page is being created.

The question of whether you should look for a static content management system or one that creates dynamic pages (i.e., has personalization) frequently comes down to which type of site you're operating:

  • Static Content - Content sites, especially those with high traffic, normally have a complex production and approval process that lends itself to using a static content management system. After stories, graphics, and other content elements have been created, edited, reviewed, and approved, it's essential to move the entire updated site from the staging server to the live, production server, and using static pages helps ensure that all elements work as intended.
  • Dynamic/Personalized Content - Marketing sites normally present product information, generate leads, and may have product catalogs. The content creation process for a marketing site is usually very different from a content site. Fewer pages are updated at once and the content development team is smaller. In addition, a marketing site frequently needs a content management system that includes personalization that tailors marketing content to the needs and interests of each visitor. This means the workflow and approval functions of the content management system need to be more relaxed than for a content site.

Software vs. Hosted Solution

Recently, content management systems have become available as a hosted service from application service providers. The use of a hosted content management solution reduces the implementation time and costs, and reduces (or eliminates) the IT resources needed to maintain a site. A hosted content solution is especially good for a mid-sized company that doesn't have the IT resources of a large company.

However, a hosted content solution may not be appropriate for a large company or a large content site. In these situations the solution is to purchase a license, ongoing support, IT staff, and the servers needed to run the site.

Solution Matrix

There are many content management system products on the market today, and a growing number of application service providers offering content management. To make the evaluation process a little easier, consider using a matrix to group solutions by these main attributes.

Size of Company
Application Mid-Sized (Hosted) Large (Licensed)
Marketing (Dynamic) Coravue BroadVision
Publishing (Static) Atomz Vignette

Content Management System Resources

 
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