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Salesforce Launches New Hybrid CMS Platform 'Salesforce CMS’

Demand owns content, and with the release of 'Salesforce CMS', it’s clear that Salesforce is putting the control squarely with demand, not to mention delighting the creative marketer with more power through additional tools for creating content that are expected to work well right out of the box (er… cloud).

Customers have become accustomed to consuming content across multiple channels and platforms which requires marketers to provide for seamless integration of their content. Enterprises have always been challenged by using multiple systems for their content management. Salesforce CMS addresses these common content challenges and promises more. 

 "This is less about a CMS and more about what our customers are trying to do. Companies are trying to create a consistent customer journey and keep content moving.

-Anna Rosenman, VP of product marketing for Community Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Salesforce CMS.

In other words, content is king within corporations. "Everyone is on a content team," she added.

Salesforce’s new CMS tool aims to provide a simple and singular platform that will enable teams to create, manage, and integrate content to any channel while being connected to customer data. The goal for the tool is to be as easy to use as possible, Salesforce claims the platform caters to technical novices as well as experts, indicating that marketers and sales professionals should be able to create and deliver content without getting IT involved.

Some of the main features of the Salesforce CMS include: 

  • Role-based access to content creation with specific contributor roles that don’t require administrative access to your communities. 
  • Share content across multiple communities at once by creating one or more workspaces.
  • Ability to reuse created content from other CMS workspaces. 
  • Curate content into collections that automatically refresh as content changes.
  • Reuse CRM data to provide personalized user content.
  • Connect to an external CMS to reuse content you already host elsewhere with CMS Connect

Integration with CRM and Other Salesforce Products

Rosenman says the standout feature with Salesforce CMS is the ability to connect to third-party systems. “A hybrid CMS provides a native experience channel or touchpoint, but also gives you the flexibility to present content to any touchpoint built on a third-party system,” she explains.

Salesforce CMS will be able to seamlessly integrate with other Salesforce products including Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Communities, and Commerce Cloud and will also allow content migration to third-party systems, mobile apps, web and commerce sites.

With the use of Experience Builder and Commerce Page Designer features CMS users can deliver their content right onto the website, portal, forum, or commerce pages, without any technical hassles. According to Salesforce, these features are called “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” (WYSIWYG) tools.

Why Should Marketers Care?

Salesforce is looking to fill the gap between content management and data. Marketers can use the CMS integration to their advantage by turning their data into content. Third-party integration ability will no longer restrict Salesforce CMS users to the Salesforce ecosystem. What this means is that marketers can use Salesforce’s CRM data and allow them to publish personalized content across various channels. As per Salesforce, marketing teams will gain an upper hand by curating content in a centralized location, and syndicating it to any digital touchpoint.

Andy Jones, product analyst from NOW TV, explains how seamless integration between CMS and customer data can provide an overall improved customer experience. “Content creators go from exposure to mastery quickly.” There is no need to wait six months for an IT or design team to create visual and beautiful content. “The advantages of connecting CRM and CMS were immediately clear. We saw an obvious path to a better experience.” Andy added. 

“If you want to deliver content onto a third-party site, experience, or mobile app, you can use our headless APIs to deliver content smoothly,” writes Salesforce Community Cloud and SVP Adi Kuruganti.

A Peek into the New Salesforce CMS Platform

Convincing the enterprises, that have already heavily invested in a CMS is not going to be a simple task. Salesforce is trying to invade a populated market of Content Management Systems which include Alfresco, Box, Google Drive, Microsoft SharePoint, and OneDrive.

"I'm excited for what this means for organizations new to the platform, with that said, the chances that an org will move from their trusted CMS to Salesforce's CMS is low. The cost to move is just too high and, frankly, a CMS is just a CMS” said Amber Boaz, a Salesforce MVP and solutions architect at Rapid7

Meanwhile, in September 2019 Salesforce had invested $300 million in Automattic - the company responsible for WordPress’ popular content publishing system. Also, this is not Salesforce’s first attempt at a CMS. Back in 2012, Salesforce was offering ‘site.com’ as the CMS web platform of the future. 

The current CMS tool is being showcased as an 'omnichannel' platform. This is an ambitious effort at content and data alignment, but will not be an easy problem to solve. Only time will tell if the new CMS will be able to soar above the competition and reach the top.

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