Near the end of March, in the heat of the Covid-19 outbreak and social distancing regulations, LinkedIn’s marketing team found themselves in a predicament. Their team was dispersed and working from home proved distracting, meaning productivity levels were less than favourable. Matters were made worst by an unknown future, concern of an impending economic recession, as well as a constant concern for the health and safety of loved ones. Companies were halting spending, disbanding projects and stopped hiring altogether. All-in-all, marketing in March was pandemonium and, for a lack of a better word, a sh*tshow.

Despite all this ambiguity and fear, LinkedIn made a bold move; they transferred all their tech stack to HubSpot. Why? Because HubSpot's Content Management System (CMS) is an Agile one.


What does it means to be "Agile"?

"Agile" refers to a certain means of planning and implementation. Specifically, an agile approach is one that is flexible and responsive so you can meet new and emergent needs. This concept actually comes from the software development world; Developers in the 2000's wanted to move away from the mainstream “waterfall method”, which required long planning and tedious coding that often resulted in outdated or late-to-market outputs. Rather, they promoted the "Agile Method", a process requiring bite-size coding chunks that could easily be defined, built, tested and shipped in a short time span called a 'sprint'.  This meant developers could adapt their offerings based on real-time changes, rather than following a fixed plan that couldn't be adapted.


So, What does an Agile CMS Look like?

 According to DNN software, an agile CMS should be:

  • Stable and Reliable
    CMS software should be bug-free and high-performing, so it won't compromise your performance at the wrong moment.
  • Intuitive
    Meaning software is uncomplicated and makes logical sense, with an easily navigated interface that allows you and your team to be self-sufficient and productive.
  • Flexible and Scalable
    An agile CMS can publish rich media content, like images and videos, across all content formats. Also, it should be able to deliver a delightful experience on both mobile to desktop and handle complex workflow. Additionally, it needs to handle high levels of website visits or page views without negatively effecting performance.
  • Data Rich
    An agile CMS needs to deliver content analytics across all the channels your brand operates on, providing insights that help you and your team work.
  • Future-ready
    An agile CMS is adaptive- it allows you to customise your content when consumers' behaviours change or if new channels emerge.

On the hunt for a CMS? 6 benefits of using the HubSpot CMS!


Why is it important to have a CMS? 

People are going online to learn and find community:

With industry events and roundtables being cancelled, stores shutting their doors and social distancing increasing homebody counts, people are turning to the internet to be informed, entertained or stay sane. According to Marketing hub, Pantheon, 17% of their enterprise websites saw a 20% jump in number of site visits during March compared to the averages of prior months, while another 7% experienced an increase of 50% visitors in March also. These significant increases, all attributed to the rise of people working from home, purchasing online and settling into this new social distancing routine, confirms online activity is on the rise. For marketers, this indicates your content marketing game needs to be stronger than ever before so you can attract and keep your online audience (aka, the only audience you have right now). This means an Agile CMS that supports large traffic spikes and high-tempo publishing is the essential backbone to your content marketing strategy. Furthermore, you don't want your CMS to hold you back from responding to your consumers needs because it's too complicated to operate. Therefore, a CMS built upon the Agile method it key to optimising your content creation and promotion processes. 

"Marketers must act quickly and decisively to increase the impact, scope, reach and return of their content marketing investments in 2020... Research also shows there is a critical need for marketing organisations to bring more discipline and strategic thinking to content specification, delivery, and analytics."


- Donovan Neale-May, CMO Council executive director.

The Post-pandemic world will be different, and its going to be a fast-paced transformation

As we have witnessed first-hand, the way our world operates can change in a blink of an eye. And if this is what life is like during a pandemic, you can only imagine what life is going to be like post-pandemic - mayhem. As marketers, if we don't keep up with these dynamic shifts, we will fall behind and that ain't good for business.  Therefore, we need to have on-hand tools that consistently aids us in effectively and efficiently forging a delightful consumer experience, no matter what is going on outside of our marketing sphere. An agile designed CMS is crucial to make this happen because it equips marketers to respond better and quicker to our rapidly changing social, economic and political environment during and post Covid-19.

While over-hauling and completely swapping your tech stack for a platform that's more 'Agile' may seem stupid and reckless, especially while in the middle of a crisis, LinkedIn proves that it's possible and can lead to good business outcomes. So if you want to future-proof your company, a change in CMS for one with an agile flare is not out of the question. For B2B marketing, we recommend HubSpot 's CMS Hub.


An Ode to HubSpot's CMS Hub.

Unlike other CMS platforms, where time regresses their usability and capacity for brand innovation, HubSpot's CMS Hub evolves and scales in line with business growth and eliminates the need for continuous software upkeep. In other words, users can dedicate their energy and time to the important stuff- creating awesome content and remarkable website experiences for their customers. HubSpot recently relaunched their CMS Hub to include two tiers, Enterprise and Professional, meaning organisations can choose a CMS offering complimentary to their stage of growth. In other words, you've got yourself a match made in heaven. Additionally, CMS Hub is an all-in-one package, integrating and optimising every marketing tool known to man and allowing multiple stakeholders- IT teams, developers, sales, marketers- to work in tandem for anything from small content updates to major website renovations.


"Marketers at growing companies have a lot of things to think about — their CMS should not be one of them.. Most CMS platforms available today make website management more complicated and painful as time goes by. They put a limit on what's possible. They have a ceiling. But rapidly scaling companies don't... With CMS Hub, we're offering users a powerful system that removes unnecessary gatekeepers, democratises the web management process, and makes it easy for them to execute their boldest ideas."

Angela DeFranco, director of product management at HubSpot. 

We at Neighbourhood have used HubSpot's CMS Hub, specifically Enterprise CMS, for some time now, so we know what we are talking about when we say HubSpot is the bee's knees. Even though we can't advocate HubSpot enough (though we certainly try), it's not the only CMS designed on Agile principles out there and we encourage you to explore other alternatives to discover what's the best fit for you. For instance, from research, I found that Exponea is a great agile CMS for B2C businesses. For more options, check out G2, which gives you unbaised, real-time user reviews help you objectively assess which softwares are compatible with your business.

Final thoughts

So there you have it- a brief rundown on what an Agile CMS is, insight on why an Agile CMS is essential for you right now and CMS options for your consideration. Overall, this Pandemic sucks, but don't let it effect your ability to delivery delightful experiences to your audience. And who knows? A change in CMS might be the thing to get your team rallying together, strengthen camaraderie and boost spirits. In the meantime, stay safe, keep doing what you're doing and see you on the other side.