What is an agile content management system (CMS)? What are its key components? And why is an Agile CMS essential for ensuring timely, seamless experiences across channels for B2B businesses?

B2B organizations are often strapped with disjointed content systems. As a result, they can struggle with redundant, old, or unsearchable content that can wreak havoc across their organizations. And that makes it extra-challenging for marketers to engage with customers and prospects across multiple touchpoints and channels in a timely fashion.

Though headless content management systems were designed to tackle those obstacles, in some cases they unfortunately made matters worse. Those CMSs addressed developer needs by separating the frontend experiences from the backend content repository; however, the marketing team then lost control of the experience-creation process as a consequence of newly introduced developer bottlenecks.

Luckily for B2B marketers, a new type of CMS is emerging that builds on top of, and removes the limitations of, the headless CMS.

Forrester coined the term "Agile CMS" to describe that type of CMS. It satisfies and aligns IT teams and marketing practitioners with a common set of tools and shared purpose.

Agile is now replacing headless.

What Does Agile Mean for B2B Marketers?

An Agile CMS shares many of the principles with Agile software development. It is designed to be used by multiple teams across an organization, and it allows for rapid iteration to adapt to content management needs in order to drive seamless customer and prospect experiences across all channels.

The need for such an agile approach is driven by quickly changing audience expectations and the requirement for internal tools that support and intensify the results of successful collaboration.

What Elements Should Your Agile CMS Contain?

An Agile CMS should include the following four parts, according to Forrester; each is important to B2B marketers' as well as developers' needs.

1. The Content Hub

The content hub is a single repository for those who work with normalized content, such as marketers, campaign managers, and content writers. It acts as the single location where the marketing team can find and manage all content.

An Agile CMS's content hub is designed with marketing end-users and their jobs in mind, unlike other CMS solutions, which are designed mostly for developers.

2. Collaboration and Planning Tools

Collaboration and communication are essential when adopting Agile methodologies, and that extends into the makeup of an Agile CMS. It capitalizes on opportunities and best-practices for feedback and communication among everyone involved, allowing planning collaboratively for new content and experience projects.

These flexible planning and collaboration tools, along with structured workflows, built-in best practices, and standards, accelerate time to market and improve ROI for B2B businesses.

3. Content Services

An Agile CMS adopts the fundamental principles of headless by providing API-first content services to create, manage, and track content at scale, powered by intelligence and governance.

That flexible API layer connects the content hub repository to customer and prospect experiences across all channels. The purpose of that isn't just to provide content for experiences now; it's also optimized to handle unknown contingencies and future use cases.

4. The Development Platform

The Agile CMS is still evolving, and so is the need to provide flexibility in the frontend technology choices and extendibility of the content management interface both for marketers and or developers. An Agile CMS is one that fits seamlessly into a B2B company's existing technology stack.

Takeaways for B2B Marketers

So, what should marketers keep in mind when considering an Agile CMS?

  • Determine whether the CMSs being evaluated include all four components listed above.
  • Consider a single content hub that is designed to streamline content collaboration, planning, and workflows to reduce time-to-market and time-to-benefit.
  • Confirm that the appropriate collaboration and planning tools are present to support smooth content production operations for the business.
  • Ensure the CMS is designed for—and caters to—content practitioners as well as developers.

Though it may be challenging to keep pace with the evolving terms and technologies in the CMS space, one thing remains the same: B2B marketers need to reach their customers and prospects wherever they are—at whatever time—with compelling content that drives business and customer loyalty.

Accordingly, a CMS that can effectively support those efforts is required; an Agile CMS is developed to do just that.

More Resources on Agile CMS

How Agile Can Help You Balance Content Quality and Quantity

Four Agile Practices for More Efficient Content Production

Beyond Content Marketing: 10 Steps to Real ROI With Content Operations

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image of Adam Sturrock

Adam Sturrock is VP of product marketing at Amplience, a modern commerce experience platform for retailers and brands. In 2013, Adam co-founded Moltin, one of the first headless eCommerce platforms.

LinkedIn: Adam Sturrock

Twitter: @AJSturrock