27th February 2015

Drupal 8, what's in it for me?

Simon Wakeman
Managing Director

The open source content management framework Drupal is at the heart of our work here at Deeson. We use it every day, contribute code and enjoy participating in the global Drupal community.

With the new Drupal 8 release on the horizon and a few of our dedicated Drupalers participating in this weekend's DrupalCamp London, we thought it was a good time to look at the benefits of using Drupal 8 for both marketers and technologists

So as the ever so polite marketer that I am, we'll let the technologists go first. Read on further to find out more about Drupal 8 and marketing.

I'm an IT or technical specialist. Hit me with Drupal 8. 

How would you sell Drupal 8 to me in one sentence? 

"Use Drupal for the developer experience."

Drupal 8 is built using the Symfony framework which makes use of best practice object orientated paradigms.

This allows for easier code completion and better integration into development environments - put simply, programming is less stress and more fun.

What makes it different to the CMS I'm currently (and successfully) using? 

There are several major changes to Drupal 8 which address some of the shortcomings of previous versions of Drupal.

A clear winner here is the ability for developers to track changes in configuration using version control, The means there's a much more reliable process to update a production site cleanly.  

Drupal 8 drops some of the custom built libraries used in previous Drupal versions for best-of-breed industry standard alternatives from beyond the Drupal ecosystem.  

Drupal exposes its data in a RESTful manner using web services - making it much easier to create and maintain integrations with other systems.

The language translation systems have been completely rewritten making multi lingual websites a pleasure to build - compared to some of the pain that developers have experienced building multi-lingual sites on previous Drupal versions.

What benefits could I bring to my company from adopting Drupal 8? 

For the developers, Drupal 8 is better architected. This means it just makes more sense to developers and technologists.

There's less need for what is known as "tribal knowledge" - specialist knowledge about Drupal itself.

For the business this means less need to employ Drupal specialists. Employers can look to recruit and develop good computer programmers who will get up to speed with Drupal 8 faster than they would have done with Drupal 7.

Enough tech talk. I'm a Marketing Manager​. What's in it for me?

Why should I be bothered about Drupal 8?

In the past marketers have too often seen the choice of website content management system (CMS) as a technology decision that belongs in the IT department. 

But reaching the multichannel consumer needs multichannel marketing. And that means that the CMS needs to play an active role in delivering an effective marketing mix.

The right CMS can enable sophisticated personalisation and integration with wider digital marketing infrastructure.

The wrong CMS can lead to ineffective campaign workarounds, problems with handling customer data and unnecessary complexity.

Drupal 8 has been created with marketers in mind. It allows you to easily integrate your choice of CRM, email marketing and marketing automation systems with your Drupal 8 website. It enables marketing teams to easily deliver segmented campaigns by audience, language and device type.

How can I align Drupal 8 with the everyday demands of my job? Can it actually be part of campaign planning and strategy work? 

In modern digital marketing content doesn’t just sit on a website. It’s at the heart of effective marketing across every digital channel.

Drupal 8 is built to combine power with flexibility for marketers. This potential doesn’t come at the expense of user complexity though.

Common administrative features that marketers will use every day have been redesigned with easy of use in mind in Drupal 8.

Content can be edited in-situ, easily previewed so you can see what users will see and a new drag and drop image upload feature makes image management easy.

This power to effectively manage content combined with the integration of Drupal 8 with other parts of your marketing infrastructure means marketing teams can deliver better campaigns with Drupal 8 at the heart of their day-to-day marketing planning and execution. 

How do I sell the idea of using Drupal 8 to my boss? 

A good question. I think the answer is that selling Drupal 8 to your boss is the wrong move.

Understanding the limitations your current CMS places on your marketing is probably a good starting point. 

Once you’ve worked this out, you’ll find that many of them will probably be solved in Drupal 8.

Allowing you to deliver better and more effective campaigns is where the business benefit of a move to Drupal 8 comes from - and so that’s the basis on which you can build a business case.

Don’t forget that the benefits of Drupal 8 are wider than just marketing. So your business case needs to make sure it takes account of the technology and management benefits for your organisation too. 
 

Whille we've only covered a few of the many reasons to use Drupal as a CMS, it's important to understand how it can align with your goals as a marketer or an IT specialist within your business.

If you're attending DrupalCamp London and you'd like to have a coffee or simply spy on us as we investigate each talk, follow and tweet us @deesonlabs