8th January 2015

Drupal for marketers in 2015

Simon Wakeman
Chief Executive Officer

It’s clear from working with our clients and keeping an ear to the ground that big data, open source, content marketing, personalisation and online communities are just a few of the trends that are high on the agenda for this year.

Providing the backbone of a good content management system (CMS) allows marketers to develop and deploy innovative digital campaigns and initiatives, empowering them with instant control and flexibility,

All too often we meet clients and companies who are struggling with quite the opposite, engaged in a hand-to-hand battle with their CMS, a tool designed to make their lives easier. In a horrible turn of events, the content management system has become an obstacle to getting the job done.

Too much energy goes into finding ways around content management systems that have failed to keep pace with the needs of the contemporary marketer. So how can you avoid these issues?

The first step is to make sure that in the crowded world of content management systems you choose the one that best meets the needs of your business. Our particular choice is the open source Drupal CMS, built specifically for managing online content, communities and commerce.

If you’re not familiar with it, here are my five reasons why you should consider Drupal as a CMS for 2015.

Integration with social media

We all know that the right social media can be a great platform for reaching your audience. We work with Robbie Williams and his management team to develop and run Robbie’s official website (www.robbiewilliams.com). The site is designed with social content at its core, featuring heavyweight social integrations to give a seamless cross-channel experience for Robbie’s fans. Using Drupal we’ve made sure it’s resilient to the traffic spikes that are inevitable on a website for a global pop legend .

Targeted to the right audience

Another very clever thing that we can do with Drupal is to flexibly personalise the content of a website according to the users visiting the site regardless of whether a user is logged in. We can use clickstream data to power this personalisation or can pull in data from other sources to deliver a great personalised experience that increases user engagement and encourages repeat visits. Drupal’s open source code means personalisation can be customised far more flexibly than with proprietary content management systems.

Device and language flexibility

When planning a global marketing campaign, it’s vital to have a CMS that can handle translation and multi-language support. Drupal has the flexibility to allow users to switch languages as well as see your content in multiple languages. This means you can reach a large demographic with the least amount of fuss.

Enabling big data through integrations

It’s inevitable that you need your CMS to integrate effectively with other third party systems like CRM systems, video platforms and payment gateways to use big data in your marketing. We’ve worked with companies like Johnson & Johnson and ITV to develop websites that integrate mission-critical back office systems with Drupal.

Being part of a large open-source development community using Drupal you can be confident that the platform will continue to expand its functionality and cross-platform support in 2015.

Developing owned communities

As organic reach through popular social media platforms declines, marketers are focussing more on owned communities. Drupal’s power and flexibility is ideal for marketers seeking to develop engaging communities around brands. We’ve used Drupal to build a worldwide learning community for surgeons, to connect professionals in membership organisations and to build communities around big brands.

As an open source system Drupal has no upfront or ongoing licensing costs meaning you can get better value from your existing digital and marketing budgets as well.

So, if the thought of using your current CMS brings you out in a cold sweat, maybe it’s time to check out whether it’s really up to the job. With major websites including the Brit Awards, MTV and Lush now using Drupal it’s clear that the marketing and digital community is waking up to the potential of open source content management. In 2015, Drupal is the content management platform to beat.  

(Also seen in The Drum)