Delivering CaaS with Acquia Content Cloud

Posted by Nilanjana on Oct 22, 2019 3:29:00 PM

The website is no longer the sole arena of your brand’s digital experiences. We’ve transcended that and now a customer’s interaction with your brand is fragmented across multiple different channels - from the tiny smartwatch on their wrist to giant digital displays, from their mobile application to their in-flight screens. So your content needs to be on all these channels as well. 

But short of hiring numerous content writers and editors to write and reformat content for all these different channels, how do you play this game? The answer is Content as a Service.

Drupal has already proved its mettle when it comes to managing a huge volume of content at the backend. And now Drupal is channeling it’s decoupled capabilities to deliver a streamlined platform for CaaS - the Acquia Content Cloud.

What is Acquia Content Cloud


Acquia Content Cloud is a platform that allows content creators to write, edit, and review content independent of the channel where it will be published. The content created here can be pushed to multiple different channels simultaneously or at different times, and will be automatically formatted to best fit the channel. 

In essence, Acquia Content Cloud enables headless content creation and management for delivering multichannel digital experiences.

Though built on Drupal 8.7, the Content Cloud is a CaaS solution that can be used irrespective of whether you website and other display applications run on Drupal. You also do not have to worry about setting up Drupal (or upgrading to a new version of Drupal) to be able to fully leverage Acquia Content Cloud. Because it’s being made available as a software, you will have everything you need enabled out of the box.

Why use Acquia Content Cloud?


The whole challenge with delivering a multichannel digital experience is the fact that different channels have different ways of consuming and displaying content. And that can lead to some significant challenges:

Tedious Content Reformatting


Publishing content on different channels means copying and pasting the same content into the editing platforms for each of these channels. 

Let’s say you are a news outlet publishing a particular article. Your content team will upload it on the website with a headline, byline, images, text etc, on the CMS. TO send out the same news in an email newsletter, your team will have to go into your emailing platform and enter the headline and maybe some text, depending upon the design and structure of your email. To showcase the same image on the large digital displays you have in the office lobby, the team has to log into a different interface, reenter the content, maybe the headline, the byline and the image this time. 

All of this is just your team repeating the same bunch of things in different display system backends. Time they could have spent is getting more stories out. This repetition also creates room for more errors and confusion at the last updated versions, and even more work when there are real-time developments in a story.

Difficult Authoring Interfaces


While your CMS maybe editor-friendly (it likely is, if it’s on Drupal) but not all your display channels are easy to use at the backend. The more complex they are, the more time you content team spends on publishing content on them. The lack of efficiency can quickly get in the way of effective and impactful digital experience.

Content Silos


When you are reformatting content and separately publishing on each platform, your content begins to exist in silos. There is no one single place where you can view all content, or check on exactly which display channels a particular content piece has been published on. You can also not track revisions, or know if a particular content has been updates on all the display channels it was published on.

Basically, what you have is a whole lot of confusion and very limited visibility into your content.

The Acquia Content Cloud eliminates these problems by being a centralized platform for content creation and editing, which can then push it out to different channels. Here, you can enter all your content into a well structured template, where it can be stored, managed, approved and revised. Different channels can consume this content via APIs, and display it as needed, with no need for reformatting. 

How does the Acquia Content Cloud work?


With Acquia Content Cloud, the content team can create each content piece to include complete information and different media formats without worrying about how it would look when displayed on a particular channel. 

The solution is designed on the concept of flexible or atomic content. The platform breaks down any content piece into different smaller parts, with each being entered in a different field. 

For example, you have your headline, by line, summary, rich media, and body text entered into different fields. All of these are now reusable components that can be picked up on the basis of which display channel we want to push the content to. 

So for the website, all the components of the content piece get pushed out. For the digital banner, only the headline, byline, and image component get pulled for display. All other channels similarly pull in the component they require to most effectively display that piece of content. 

The general content publishing workflow on the Acquia Content Cloud platform goes something like this:


  • The content writer starts with creating a project. Choosing the type of content they are creating - blog/promotional/case study etc, and choosing the different channels where they want the content to be displayed
  • Next, they create a complete content piece by filling out the different fields, including rich media like videos, gifs, animations and more
  • They can schedule a publish time, to the piece to be available on all channels simultaneously
  • The platform send review notification to the editor, who can review the content, make changes, or trigger a revision workflow if needed
  • All changes happen on the base version of the content, making it easier to track changes and keep all channel updated
  • Once okayed, the content is pulled to different applications via APIs. Multiple API formats like GraphQL, JSON etc are supported
  • Once published, content writers and editors can also go in to make display changes to any channel if needed

And that’s it. That all your content team has to do to ensure content is displayed well across multiple channels. You create your content once and publish everywhere. You content team is free to do actual content creation, rather than copy-paste to different channels. And your marketing team can rest assured that every brand interaction, on every channel, in optimized, updated, and immediate. 

Acquia Content Cloud is currently available for private beta testing and you can sign up for it to test it out yourself. 

Meanwhile, if you are looking to decoupled Drupal solutions to enable advanced digital experiences at your enterprise, Srijan’s experts Drupal teams can help. We are also Acquia implementation partners, helping brands leverage Acquia’s suite to personalization, customer journey orchestration, digital asset management and cloud hosting offerings. 


Tell a bit about your project and let's explore how our Drupal experts can help.

Topics: Drupal, Planet Drupal, Omnichannel, Acquia

New Retail Landscape: Aligning Trade with Customer Experience

Posted by Akshita Rawat on Sep 2, 2019 4:45:00 PM

The retail industry is experiencing exponential disruption. With new technologies coming in and transforming the way consumers interact and feel about a brand, retailers must respond by engaging customers seamlessly across all touchpoints with dynamic supply chain and agile operations.

According to a CNNMoney report, more than 7000 stores were closed, and 662 retailers filed for bankruptcy in the US alone, in 2017. Ever since Amazon began its pervasive dominance of the online retail market, the battle has always been perceived as ‘eCommerce vs brick and mortar stores.’ And for a while, that was indeed true. However, that clear dichotomy might no longer hold, as we take a closer look at customer behaviour.

Customers’ inclination towards eCommerce and the availability of mobile phones are continually evolving their behaviour and expectations.

The answer lies in the rising phenomenon of a new retail landscape, with changing consumer behaviour, which is a blend of online and offline retail experience bringing in a whole new level of convenience for customers.

The New Retail Landscape

Every retailer has a unique business situation, challenges, resources and strengths, and advantages to the marketplace. Before understanding the universal aspect that every retailer must get right, let’s look at the changing trends in the preference of the consumer.

Modern consumers prefer to buy through channel of their choice per their convenience. A PWC Study shows that 24% of consumers regularly used mobile to shop in 2019, compared with 11% in 2014.

a line graph with two lines in orange and grey

Early analysis from Internet Retailer show online retail sales in the U.S. crossed $517 billion in 2018, a 15.0% jump compared with 2017. The growth in retail sales in physical stores reached 3.7% last year.

This means that eCommerce now accounts for 14.3% of total retail sales when factoring out the sale of items not normally purchased online, such as fuel, automobiles and sales in restaurants. And it also means that in only a decade, the web has more than doubled its share of retail sales. Ten short years ago, eCommerce was at 5.1% of total retail purchases.

three hollow pie chart with numbers and text
In order to achieve great results, retailers must focus on some imperatives.

  • Customer convenience: Engaging them seamlessly across all touchpoints
  • Customer preference: Differentiate through superior and personalized offerings with dynamic supply chain
  • Agile operations: Innovate for agile operations, profitable business models and empowered employees


New technology capabilities help retailers achieve these imperatives.

Mobile and social engagement technologies allow contextual and relevant connections with consumers, employees and suppliers.

New capabilities such as machine learning, cognitive technology, and advanced analytics can decode patterns, preferences and trends that enable better and quicker marketing, increased operating efficiencies, transparent processes and agility in retail, to deliver the products and services consumers expect.

Businesses across industries, including retail, are increasingly looking to leverage cognitive technologies to innovate and position themselves for accelerated and sustainable success in the digital world.

Five colored blocks arranged in a puzzle like manner with text and

In retail, this presents an opportunity to understand things more deeply, faster, to become more relevant to consumers and to run businesses more strategically and more efficiently.

Retail Challenges and Solutions

Despite significant investments and efforts by retailers to drive digital transformation and exceptional customer experience over the last decade, challenges continue to abound across omnichannel strategy and operations functions, such as:

  • Moving away from traditional planning process to automated trading with newer technologies
  • Engaging customers in real time to deliver excellent experience and consistently stand out
  • Productize business and IT to improve operational efficiency

Addressing these omnichannel retail strategy and operations challenges calls for innovative use cases driven by cognitive abilities such as dynamic pricing, virtual product trial, and on the go notification.

Srijan can help retailers respond to challenges and influencing decisions.


  Retailer’s Priority Retailer’s Efforts/Initiative Challenges where Srijan can help
Customer Acquisition
  • Brand positioning
  • In-store footfall/ Online traffic
  • Increase customer base
  • Advertising Campaigns
  • Introductory offers
  • KYC information, segmentation
  • How to reduce acquisition cost?
  • How to optimize conversion rate
  • Incomplete customer persona
  • Delivering memorable customer experience
Upsell & Cross-Sell
  • Drive revenue
  • Increase basket size and share of wallet
  • Seamless personalized customer experience
  • Expensive digital transformation program
  • Data and insight-driven planning and marketing
  • Investment in digital solutions for context-driven offerings
  • Increasing basket size, reduce returns
  • Real-time personalized upsell/ cross-sell push
  • How to address cart abandonment effectively?
  • How to deal with real-time price changes
  • Consolidating omnichannel customer behaviour
Engagement & Retention
  • ROI from reward and loyalty programs
  • Revenue forecasting
  • Optimize ROI & customer experience
  • Drive improvements in digital systems for the desired output
  • How to identify factors that deliver conversion/ customer experience at scale
  • How to mitigate the risks of wrong actions?

 

Such challenges span both business and IT, and may have varying degrees of impact on customer experience, operational excellence, revenue growth, and cost reduction

All of this aligns perfectly with today’s business demands—to do ‘more with less’ at speed and scale, and sustain growth within the constraints of business, technology, and human capabilities.

These challenges have a direct impact on customer experience and therefore should likely be early adoption approach. These include delivering a personalized and frictionless experience, identifying factors that deliver conversion, reduce acquisition cost, break-free operations, and optimizing supply chain and fulfillment.

Solving these challenges and realizing their benefits is no longer the stuff of fiction. Consumers are already using cognitive technology enabled products and services in their daily chores.

How Srijan Can Help

These challenges and solutions are driven by the context to foresee and solve problems, simplifying and managing complexities, predicting the future, and responding to changes in real-time.

Some of the common new models to explore are:

  1. Virtual product try-on: AR-enabled virtual try on lets buyers experience the product look on them with just screens in front of them. Eyeglasses, lipstick, eye shadow, nail colour, jewellery, even clothes - customers can try and buy entire collections without leaving the try-on screen. That’s where the idea of ‘new retail’ comes in, bringing in a whole new level of experience for the customers by blending the digital and in-store retail experience.
  2. Digital price tags: Merging a brand’s online shopping app and its physical store can help offer variable pricing to customers based on their purchase intent and behaviour. As databases gather more data on buying patterns, frequently bought items or items lying in the cart for a long time can get highlighted with available offers and discounts at real time, as the customer passes by them on a store aisle. This could be helpful in inducing an on-the-spot purchase.
  3. Digital signage: An old marketing practice of drawing customers with interactive and engaging digital signage solutions. It can be used in a distinct way by fusing it physical shopping to create a cohesive multichannel experience. Digital signage at brick and mortar store in fact open up a myriad of new options increase sales, operational efficiency and brand awareness.
  4. On-the-go-notification: Similar to dynamic pricing, shoppers can receive pop-up notifications on their phones as they cross certain stores in a mall or even products within a store. This could be information on new collections, new products, deals and offers, all based on past behaviour - browsing patterns on a shopping app, time spent and aisles visited in a particular store, frequency of visits etc.
  5. Just-in-time-inventory stocking: While virtual product trials are one way to reduce logistics expenses, retail stores can also enable the just-in-time stocking to cut costs. So instead of having a huge stock of merchandise, they can selectively have pieces that customers have booked for an in-store trial. This could be especially applicable for merchandise like footwear, accessories, cosmetics, electronics, and apparel.

However, established supply chain processes will also need to change for retail enterprises to truly benefit from the just-in-time stocking. A combination of digital warehouse management, automated delivery scheduling, and adoption of low-volume, low-cost delivery methods will need to be incorporated into supply chain management.

The time for debating retail vs. in-store investments is over. The smart choice is to merge the two into a tightly integrated platform that offers an enhanced customer experience. Contact our experts today to get in touch.

Topics: Omnichannel, MarTech, Digital Experience

5 Questions To Ask To Win Your Mobile Strategy

Posted by Piyush on Jul 8, 2019 3:29:00 PM

There are 54% chances that you are reading this blog from a mobile device. With people constantly reaching out to their phones, micro-moments are filling in the consumer experience journey. 

It shouldn’t be surprising that 62% of people are less likely to convert in future if they have a negative experience than a positive one on a mobile website. 

Despite this, enterprises experiencing lower conversions on mobile than that of the desktop can not decipher this simple math. Your data-driven marketing campaigns are important, so is your mobile strategy for better conversion and value of money. Here're 5 questions you need to ask to win your mobile strategy.

5 Questions You Need to Ask

A look at the 5 questions you need to ask for an effective mobile-first strategy.

1. What is the larger goal?

Visualizing the goals and desired outcome help lay an effective foundation.
Enhancing the customer experience has to be everyone’s responsibility.

Being mobile-friendly or mobile-first?

When the bigger picture is identified, organizations can effectively invest in the right technologies, teams, and KPIs. It gives better scope to internal teams to measure and optimize for new revenue opportunities.

Design team will keep itself updated with the best UI/UX solutions, developers would be aware of the latest tools and techniques required, and the marketing team on possible opportunities.

2. What do the customers’ want?

Experiencing the product the way customers would reveal their pain points far more effectively than simply poring over data.

This also brings to point, access to the latest browser updates and high-speed mobile internet connection among other concerns. This can bring up effective solution such as lazy load for poor connection customer to keep them engaged.

With more options than ever, people demand a mobile experience that’s fast, intuitive, and friction-free. Ensure you’re meeting customer expectations — and your mobile growth goals — by leaning into these principles and investing where it counts.

3. Is it fast enough?

54% of people say that their frustration increases as the load time for a brand’s mobile site increases.

The average mobile user waits for 3 seconds at most, after which he/she chooses to leave those websites which fail to load quickly. If you don’t have a team dedicated to optimizing your customers’ experience, you could be driving users to faster competitors.

Keeping mobile pages AMP friendly and using tools like Pingdom and PageSpeed Insight - free to use website speed tools - can help keep your website fast.

4. Is it the best solution?

Is your website in tune with the latest technologies available today? The fewer steps your customers need to complete, the closer you are towards landing another successful purchase.

By integrating your website with seamless and secure payment options, you eliminate a lot of text input and therefore make it easier for your customers to buy what they need.

With the help of modern web technologies such as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Progressive Web Apps (PWA), you can create web pages which load quickly and appeal to your customers right away! Such technologies are easy to adapt to and can be implemented effortlessly.

5. Is important information prioritized?

Squeezing in the desktop version for mobile is not a good value proposition. Above-the-fold space is at a premium on mobile devices, making it critical to feature only what is most important to the user.

Mobile landing pages should be as effective and solving customer problem as on any screen. Case studies, awards, clients, feature, a CTA - whatever is your deal is, it needs to be highlighted.

Wrapping it Up!

You need to ask yourself these questions because they serve as a constant reminder, helping you assess your customer-oriented approach. Given the switch in internet browsing trends from desktops to laptops and now, the smartphone, you need these questions to keep your teams on their toes.

How customer-centric you are, and how much of a priority your mobile strategy is, goes a long way. After all, if you’re not thinking mobile, what are you thinking?

Topics: Omnichannel, MarTech

Customer Experience is Your Defining Micro moment. Brace Yourself

Posted by Akshita Rawat on Jun 18, 2019 5:27:00 PM

The attention span is getting shorter. Reaching out to acquire new customers is good, but retention gives better ROI. Getting to know your customers and building relationships with them is easier. As per Hubspot, the cost to acquire new customers has increased by over 50%, in the last five years.

With consumer expectations and behavior continually evolving this shouldn't be surprising. Micro moments filling in the consumer experience journey, they want to discover, resolve their problems, watch, buy, ‘now’.

These are intent-rich moments (for businesses), exactly where the decision is made. You miss out on the important intent signals, and they move ahead.

How do you plan to acquire and retain your customers before running out of patience?

Uncovering Concept and Some Stats, First

People today reach out to their smartphones before anything. The behavioural changes and expectations for speed, driven by smartphones, has fractured the consumer journey into hundreds of smaller decision making, impressive moments.

The predominance of social media and importance of speed can be an enormous barrier or an effective tool.

Click, swipe, check, exit.

Repeat.

In these smaller moments of discovery, 64% of people find customer experience more important than price. Since customer experience is not static, micro-moments, as Google calls it, have truly changed the way decision journey is driven.

It is an overall impression you leave with your customer, resulting in how they think of your brand, across every stage of the customer journey. Multiple touch points factor into the customer experience, and these touch points occur on a cross-functional basis. 

The predominance of social media and importance of speed can be an enormous barrier or an effective tool.

Here’s why you should care about your customer experience strategy:

  • Customers who have had an unpleasant experience on a brand website are 88% less likely to return
  • 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing, and 40% visitors end up visiting a competitor’s site instead
  • After one negative experience, 51% of customers will never do business with that company again.
  • 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for great customer experience. In fact, by the year 2020, customer experience is expected to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.


In all this, 

  • It is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.

Everything is not just about new acquisitions.

What Do Your Customers Want?

The #1 reason customers switch to a new brand is feeling unappreciated.

Daunting as it may feel now after reading the statistics, it’s really no different from your overall business strategy. Foremost, understand that you need to listen and empathize with your customer.

Because “..when customers share their story, they’re not just sharing pain points. They’re actually teaching you how to make your product, service, and business better” (Kristin Smaby, Being Human is Good Business).

If you can understand what makes your customer feel the way it does and why, it would be easy for you to find a solution between your brand and their needs — providing meaningful service.

Another important part of the strategy is to ensure, it is not limited to the customer-facing roles. Sharing the feedback and solution across the organization helps you improve overall customer experience and relationship.

How to Prepare Yourself?

#Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price

Your relation with your customer starts the moment they discover your brand but it doesn’t end with the sale. It sums up any and every interaction they have with your business, both pre- and post-sale across different marketing channels.

What you sell bothers least, if you don’t know how to sell it, therefore start with:

  1. Understanding your consumers’ need

    While customer trust is quite hard to earn, things can be sorted with knowledge. Know about you customer -- their problem, goals, demographic, and so on -- the better chance you have to create meaningful experiences.

    Google identifies the micro-moments into four stages.
    “I-want-to-know” moments
    “I-want-to-go” moments
    “I-want-to-do” moments
    “I-want-to-buy” moments

    These can be leveraged by analyzing the data and working on the prospective ideas. A person searching for ‘Drupal 8.7 upgrade features’ on Google is provided with an awesome feature list blog on your website, you capture them in their I-want-to-know moment.

    That’s when they come back to your website again.

    A customer-first email communication strategy with appropriate CTA, later, should be able to help them to turn into their ‘i-want-to-buy’ moment.

    Ultimately, showing up gets your brand in the game to be chosen, not just seen.

    Make it easier to map out content and services, allocate your team’s time and resources, and achieve. 
  2. Listen them out. Patiently

    Other than assuming and translating data into perspective, the more accurate way is to listen and not speak!

    As it has been pointed out earlier, how when customers share their story, it is rather an opportunity instead of looking at it as a problem.

    Learn to listen.

    Because you know your opinion and needs well, except you don’t know theirs.

    Remember that even if your happiest customer will go about appreciating your service, bad word-of-mouth will travel faster and reaches more people.

    Americans tell an average of 15 people about a poor service experience, versus the 11 people they’ll tell about a good experience.

    The best way to get started is through asking your customers to be part of an honest customer satisfaction survey. It can help you gauge how your customers feel about your
    company, where you need to improve, what are your strong points.
  3. Share meaningful and real-time information

    The attention span is getting shorter. Reaching out to people is important but creating the right kind of messaging, all the more important. It’s important that you don’t allow automation to compromise personalized service.

    The predominance of social media and the importance of speed can be an enormous barrier or an effective tool. Whichever you choose to proceed with.

    Look what people are searching for - terms they are using, their key areas of interest – and create content and provide solutions that help for different channels of communication.

    Customers expect businesses to respond to their emails within an hour. And on social media it is even lesser. Simply, put, being there as part of the micro moments just isn’t enough.

    A delayed response can signal to the customer that you’re avoiding responsibility or you’re unprepared to fulfil their request.

    At the end of the day, people want to know that they are not only being helped by other people, but rather, that they are being helped by other people that understand their needs.
  4. Be Ubiquitous

    #Only 9% of customers will stay on the mobile site/ app if it doesn’t satisfy their needs.

    New smart devices are emerging, and consumers are embracing new ways to interact with them, like voice commands. As a result, the micro-moment behaviors kick-started by mobile will only multiply.

    50% of internet users looked for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store.

    Mobile quickly delivers results when they’re impatient, provides inspiration at their fingertips when they’re curious, and gives them a personalized experience when they’re demanding one. And customers overwhelmingly show appreciation for great service with their wallets.

The ROI of Customer Lifetime Value

Offering outstanding customer services is easier with proven better ROI. Lifetime customers also mean an increase in referrals, so you definitely understand the importance of customer loyalty. Turning the customers into the advocates for your business gives out better returns  

And the way to create advocates is to offer superior customer service.

  • Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increase profits anywhere from 25% to 95%.
  • A moderate increase in customer experience generates an average revenue increase of $823 million over three years for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues.
  • After having a positive experience with a company, 77% of customers would recommend it to a friend.
  • When it comes to making a purchase, 64% of people find customer experience more important than price.

Businesses should invest heavily in measuring customer satisfaction over time and work to consistently give better service

In this day and age, customers are making purchase decisions based on more than just the best price — they're making buying decisions based on shared values, engagement, and the emotional connection they share with a brand.

Be Genuine

Customer perception is one of the most valuable aspects of a company. Managing that perception in all its forms should be a top priority and is the responsibility of every single person in the organization. Keeping customer a priority should be a part of company culture.

Topics: Omnichannel, MarTech, Digital Experience

The Modern Guide to Building the Right Content Strategy with Drupal

Posted by Akshita Rawat on May 21, 2019 12:00:00 AM

To keep up with consumer demand, businesses need to tactically rethink and reform the way they produce and manage content. 

What you need is a way to stand out in the consistent content chaos. To make that happen, you need a strategy that can help:

  • push out content intuitively
  • transform disorganized assets into a comprehensive manner
  • manage real-time collaboration effectively

And that’s where the role of a CMS is important.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to building the right content strategy with Drupal, focusing primarily on the technological aspect, which will help you build and establish the right notes with your audience.

You Need to Have a Content Strategy. But Why?

With an increase in the number of content dissemination channels, it is easy to lose consistency and easier to lose track of the larger goal.

“Pushing out content without being focused on the goal, its relevance, distribution, or the target audience is a waste of time and money – even if your content is amazing!”

The 2018 Demand Gen Report revealed that buyers are becoming more discerning and selective in the content they decide to consume. 88% agree that content producers need to focus less on product specifics and more on the value that can be brought to their business.

Infographic with three hexagons and text on it on a blue background

 

These key findings from the audience can be harnessed only with a well-designed content strategy. Which means by doing as little as creating a persona you get ahead of 58% of your competition (2018, CMI Report).

According to the same study, a whopping 97% of top performing B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy, while 32% of (overall) B2B marketers do not have a documented plan. In most cases, this means that they really have no clue what they’re doing.

Some of the benefits of a digital content strategy are:

  • Aligns your team with the organization’s mission/goals
  • Helps you figure out which types of content to develop and which will work
  • Keeps your team focused on priorities
  • Helps you allocate resources for better results
  • Clarifies your target audience/s

Building Content Strategy With Drupal

Traditionally, the content strategy involves planning, creation, and governance of content. However, with an explosion of channels and proliferation of new devices, content strategy can not be limited to just website content.

One of the challenges is to remain engaging yet relevant on different channels.

This can be solved by bringing uniformity and consistency across the various touch points from which a user can access information and engage with the content.

“The goal of the content strategy must be to strategically fit the reader into the marketing funnel”

Drupal’s dynamic features at the core make it a perfect fit to cater to the needs of creating great digital experiences. Here’s how:

Unifying the Content Strategy Across Channels with Drupal

Content Governance

Often neglected, content governance is a detailed framework of content delivery and management which ensures consistent brand storytelling across all media.

Implementing a content governance framework requires different users (from the same or different teams) to collaborate with a distinct workflow and audit trail effectively. In the face of exponential growth in the variety and volume of content,  Drupal helps manage, organize, and secure the content with Workflow and Staging.

Since editing the content on live site can also result in accidental publishing, Drupal’s Workflow module provides a separate staging environment . Drupal has an easy staging and preview of content in different environments anchoring full content staging capabilities.

You can define multiple workspaces such as "staging" and "live" which are copies of your site, to create content (or modify) and the changes are visible only within that workspace. Once the changes have been verified, you can "deploy" the content to another workspace.

User, roles, and permission: Security is important and that is why not every user can have permission to access the system of the website. Drupal offers a number of security modules which help manage and secure backend access. 

With User Access Control, site administrators on Drupal can work to provide unique user experiences and different access rights to writers, editors, marketers, and site visitors.

The Workflow module helps in creating arbitrary workflows and assigning them to entities. That's  important from a security perspective too. Workflow with the states like Draft, Review and Published can be assigned to Story node type.

Thus, only the users with ‘Editor’ permissions can set stories to the published state.

Some of the other Drupal modules which can be used are:

  • Workbench Access module: helps in creating editorial access control. Admin can grant access to the users and their content which can be found at My Workbench on Homepage. It harnesses content-focused features in one unified user interface.
  • Domain Access module: allows you to share users, content, and configurations across a group of sites.

Enterprise-wide password control systems

Password security is even more crucial and needs the right kind of strategic perspective with strong policies.Default password management could be considered good, but of course, it can be improved. Here’re some of the Drupal security modules that can be used to provide additional controls for password management:

  1. Password Strength: provides realistic password strength measurement and server-side enforcement for Drupal sites using pattern-matching and entropy calculation.
  2. Password Policy: provides a way to enforce constraints which must be met before a user password change will be accepted.
  3. Restrict Password Change: Adds a new permission 'change other users password'. When the user_profile_form is loaded it checks to see if the current user has the proper permission or if they are editing their own account, otherwise, it removes the password change option.
  4. Login Security: Login Security module improves the security options in the login operation of a Drupal site. By default, Drupal introduces only basic access control denying IP access to the full content of the site.
  5. Shibboleth Authentication: Provides user authentication as well as some authorisation features.
  6. Flood Control: Add an administration interface for hidden flood control variables in Drupal 7, like the login attempt limiters and future hidden variables.
  7. Secure Login: Ensures that the user login and other forms are submitted securely via HTTPS, thus preventing passwords and other private user data from being transmitted in the clear.

Digital Asset Management System: An important part of the governance is business workflow and common identity, which is significant for the smooth functioning of marketing. The CMS needs to provide the ability as a solid repository while also able to modify uploaded digital assets.

It should give editors the ability to make iterative changes to assets to enable promotion of products and brand across channels and devices. Digital Asset Management (DAM) smartly strategizes the way enterprises handle their digital assets.

The Acquia DAM Connector can sync your digital assets with your Drupal website, allowing editors to seamlessly use content from within all the websites you maintain. In order to ensure that the site is using the latest version of an asset stored, it periodically syncs assets from Acquia DAM via a cron job.

It also empowers editors to select Acquia DAM assets directly through a media field or through the WYSIWYG integration. Further, it enables the user to view asset metadata directly in the entity browser without importing the asset and provides a usage report of assets within Drupal.

“In the digital landscape, the creation of digital assets in large numbers is almost inevitable.”

Backup: Writing content is an intensive exercise. And so you need to have a backup to save yourself in case the website system crashes or is hacked.

Backup and Migrate: Back up and restore your Drupal MySQL database, code, and files or migrate a site between environments. Backup and Migrate supports gzip, bzip and zip compression as well as automatic scheduled backups.

Content Modelling with Drupal

Before you start building the site it is important to consider your content as a whole and work out a model that will guide you and the user to smoothly navigate through the website.

It entails detailed definitions of each content type’s elements and their relationships to each other. It also helps to identify the organization’s requirements, develop relevant taxonomy that meets those requirements, and consider where the content blocks and fields should be allowed or required. 

Content modelling is a critical starting point for website content.

Drupal is an incredible CMS for building a content-rich website. Built on its entity system and the variety of field types, Drupal can support a wide range of content models.

At core, it is built on View which can help sort out the default taxonomy/term view however you want. Let’s you want a way to display a block with the X most recent posts of some particular type.

It can be used for anything that handles the display of views, and the core Views UI module permits you to create and edit them in the administrative interface. When you define views, you are interested in taking data from your website and displaying it to the user.

Breaking content types into fields, it allows you to build structured content as well.

Modules like Paragraphs and Stacks let you build rich and dynamic content.

Layout Builder, a stabilized module, in Drupal 8.7, empowers you to build layouts with ready-to-use multi-column layouts and Drupal blocks without the intervention of a developer.

It is unique since it can support multiple and different use cases from templated layouts applied to dozens of pieces of structured content, to designing custom one-off pages with unstructured content.

Here’s how it can be used in three different use cases:

  1. Layouts for templated content: The creation of ‘layout templates’ can be used for a specific content type. Example, blog posts.
  2. Customizations to templated layouts: Can customize the layout templates on a case-by-case basis. Example, to override the layout of a standardized product page.
  3. Custom pages: The creation of custom landing pages which are not in sync to any particular content type or structured content. Example, a single ‘About us’ page.

The Layout Builder is more powerful when used with Drupal's other out-of-the-box features such as revisioning, content moderation, and translations.

Omnichannel Content Strategy with Drupal

Users are always at the centre. Therefore, the content strategy needs to be as dynamic as your user experiences across different channels, if it is to succeed. Omnichannel content strategy is a way to unify the experience across all the channels and touchpoints.

Irrespective of how and where the content/ products are being first consumed at, complete consistency and unified experience is expected.

API First Publishing with Drupal


Drupal 8 is API-first which means, it can power ambitious applications of all kinds, from behind-the-scenes systems written in languages like Python, Java or Go to rendered experiences using the latest frontend frameworks, like React, Vue and Ember.

Content touchpoints are proliferating at a fast clip. You now have conversational UI, digital signage, medical and healthcare devices, and it lets you integrate with other systems, use your content anywhere, display it as you please. API-First Drupal is well positioned for entire digital ecosystems.

 

 

The JSON:API module, which is also now in core with Drupal 8.7, is meant for creating high-performance APIs to expose Drupal data in JSON. It works by creating API endpoints and requires no configuration and the module instantly accesses all Drupal entities.

It not only provides a great authoring experience but also a powerful, standards-compliant, web service API to pull that content into JavaScript applications, digital kiosks, chatbots, voice assistants and more.

This makes it easier for Drupal’s core ecosystem, of web services responsible for third-party content and application, to integrate.

Mobile-first and Out of the Box Responsive


Accessibility via any device needs to be useable too. Drupal 8 has been designed with a mobile-first strategy. The responsive design ensures that content and layout are scaled based on the viewport size available.

With  Breakpoint and Responsive Image, out-of-the-box Drupal 8 ships with two modules that ensure mobile-first behaviour .

Responsive content needs to be modular and readable so readers can easily consume it.

Drupal for mobile lets you easily define different pieces of content for different devices. Each field in the backend can be uniquely styled and prioritized according to its content type.

Personalization with Drupal

No matter how good your content is, no one will bother to read it if it doesn’t talk to them, in their own language. Every content piece needs to communicate with your audience and increase the relevance of product proposition, by addressing their unique fears, needs and desires.

This orchestrates customer experience and drive engagement.

Personalization brings familiarity, which brings strength to customer loyalty to your brand, helps track demographics and behavioural patterns and convert an anonymous user into a potential customer.

Acquia Lift solves the challenges for digital teams, by bringing together content and user profile data from any source to personalize the customer journey in ways not previously possible. More than a headline swap or banner choice, Lift presents wholly targeted experiences based on broadly observed visitor behaviors as well as specific user preferences and interactions in real time with the very first engagement across any device or channel.

“And 81% of B2B Marketers (2018, CMI Report) believe that building a content strategy makes it easier to determine which types of content to develop.”

Drupal in Other Marketing Technology

New technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) among others are reshaping how users consume content. It’s a big opportunity for companies to produce and recycle the same content through different channels and mediums. All the while keeping people engaged.

Virtual Reality

Immersive experiences created by virtual reality is the “Next Big Thing” happening. Virtual reality has seen a surge lately, with constantly emerging in Gartner Hype Cycle. While it is rapidly approaching a much more mature stage, in the enterprise sector, virtual reality has already lots of scenarios where it gets employed with success.

For instance, educational purposes. VR can enable a lot of more experiences that in reality are not possible or too dangerous.

Here’s a demo video of a high school student, Jordan who explores Massachusetts State University (a fictional university, built on Drupal) from the comfort of his couch. Jordan is able to take a virtual tour directly from the university's website.

 
Augmented Reality

Another part of the futuristic technology, AR can be used to superimpose useful information in a shopping experience.


The demonstration shown in this video displayed a shopper interacting with the AR application. The mobile application of Freshland Market (a fictional grocery store), built on Drupal 8, guided the shopper through her shopping list.

Wrapping Up

Often, it can be a virtual nightmare for content producers and marketers trying to find the right piece at the right time. Even so, if the content is all in one place, time-consuming complicated systems can mess up really bad.

Drupal 8 provides a perfect foundation for the incorporation of technologies to enable a smart strategy for your brand, content, and digital marketing needs. Your organization might be at infancy or already up with your content strategy, you can always reach out to our experts who can help you deliver quality results with personalized experiences.

Topics: Drupal, Security, Omnichannel

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