Marketing professionals are responsible for the overall communication of products, services and brands. Because your Web site is such an integral part of your communication strategy, doesn't it make sense to put more content control into the hands of marketing experts?

Increasingly, companies are realizing that to maximize marketing effectiveness, it's mandatory to give some level of control of Web applications to marketing professionals. The rise of new job titles is one indication that many companies are getting it; directors of interactive marketing, directors of Web content and other professionals are bridging the divide between marketing strategy and technology.

Content management solutions (CMS) are simplifying online marketing and information strategies for thousands of companies and marketing professionals. A CMS ensures that Web sites are in sync with marketing goals by putting the power to manage information into the hands of the right people—the individuals who are creating it.

Interactive agencies are also rapidly learning that embedding an easy-to-use commercial CMS inside their Web designs helps them to win more client engagements and satisfy their customers.

Here are five reasons why marketing professionals should have the power to manage content on Web sites:

1. Control online brand and message

With a content management system, marketing staff can take an active role in managing the full spectrum of content that supports your brand—text, images, logos, calendars and even Web forms that give you critical insight about your visitors and their needs. With a CMS, marketing controls the message and ensures that it's in sync with business goals.

A CMS makes it easy to maintain centralized control of brand assets while decentralizing content management to marketing pros. Distributed marketing teams can collaborate to produce and run interactive Web sites that reflect the latest brand identity and message—updating them immediately, not next week.

Built-in checks and balances, like automated workflows, support collaboration and ensure message accuracy. Intuitive user interfaces eliminate training barriers and guarantee that sites remain in sync with marketing.

2. Satisfy site visitors more effectively

Many marketing teams still rely on clunky, inefficient steps to maintain Web sites. Is your marketing team still emailing content among your team for review and approval before getting in line for the webmaster/gatekeeper?

A CMS makes marketing teams more agile and Web sites more responsive, and it satisfies visitors more effectively. A CMS automates Web site processes. Browser-based editing tools make changing Web information as easy as typing, and they can be accessed from home, on the road, even on vacation. Collaboration capabilities smooth out revision processes. Task assignment tools let marketing managers manage their resources and ensure accountability for Web site updates and fixes.

A CMS makes everyone in the content chain more productive and efficient while speeding up the “time-to-Web.” At the end of the day, an efficient process results in a better Web site and more satisfied visitors, letting you drive business and enhance your brand.

3. Distribute responsibilities to the right people

A CMS lifts the burden from webmasters and IT staff. They no longer get bombarded with requests to add content, fix typos, create forms and manage calendars. All of this can be managed and controlled by the marketing users who are creating and approving the content in the first place.

By giving marketers the power to “own” sections of a Web site—whether product pages, PR, promotions or corporate bios—they take responsibility and ultimately control what's on the site. Meanwhile, webmasters can focus on adding custom features to the Web site, conducting strategic application development and controlling the site's architecture and look.

Distributing content responsibilities to the right people maximizes everyone's contributions and leverages everyone's expertise.

4. Leverage knowledge of the customer

Marketing professionals know their customers better than anyone else. You know what makes them tick, how they think and how to pull them to your Web site and prompt them take an action.

When marketing and communications pros interact directly with Web sites, they can quickly alter the site when they learn what's working and what's not. With a CMS, it's easy to make adjust messages and change information, build a new form to capture feedback and support a new campaign—without involving IT.

A CMS gives marketers the best of both worlds—the ability to leverage their deep knowledge of their customer and make instant adjustments without needing to involve technical staff to make it happen.

5. Enable marketing to drive ROI

A well-run Web site can deliver rapid ROI. A CMS gets you there by enabling marketing pros to control the full spectrum of online activity—reducing costs, strengthening brand, driving sales and building better relationships. When marketing pros control of areas of your Web site, ideas can go from their creative minds right to the site—resulting in rapid time-to-Web for new messages and strategies, depending on market and competitive conditions.

A CMS generates ROI in many other ways. Your marketing team can work with colleagues around the world, easily and seamlessly, via the CMS—saving time and money. With a CMS, marketers can create content once and reuse it across multiple channels, such as sharing content with other sites or delivering it to other communication devices.

When marketing pros have the opportunity to manage Web content, they can easily create sites that are customer-centric, thus satisfying visitors and building relationships 24/7.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Aponovich is Director of Marketing at Ektron, Inc. (www.ektron.com).