Just in case you’re not familiar, the Magic Quadrant is the most respected assessment of content management systems (CMS) in existence. It organizes technologies into 4 categories (Challengers, Leaders, Niche Players, and Visionaries) according to their “ability to execute,” and their “completeness of vision.”
Most of the names in the Leader category are well known. Adobe. Oracle. IBM. Sitecore. Their sales teams have no doubt found you and apprised you of their capabilities at some point. If a brand can afford to invest in one of those, then they likely have a big IT department that uses the annual Gartner report as more of a confirmation than a revelation. “We purchased a Leader. Good.”
But for enterprise brands that haven’t made that kind of heavy CMS commitment, other areas within the Gartner Magic Quadrant can be the best places to spot the up-and-comers with the most potential. When Authentic recommends a CMS for a client, we look at its core functionality, configurability, speed to develop, affordability, features, support, and a host of other characteristics, and compare that to the company’s business and marketing needs. In many cases, a CMS “Leader” just doesn’t make sense. Instead, a Visionary CMS might be the right solution when a business wants to dream big for the near future (things like user personalization, automation, and customization) while tackling the must-haves in the present (things like multi-website support and multi-lingual support).
Let Marketers Market
Last year we predicted that Hippo would disrupt the CMS landscape due to a shift in the industry from the IT-heavy “all lines of business” tradition to a “digital marketing platform” mindset. CMS technologies in this latter category can handle a large organization’s multiple web properties, while also allowing each channel to be as similar or as different as their marketing initiatives require. But above all, these platforms are incredibly lightweight and agile in terms of both technical implementation and how easy they are for marketers to use.
So far, our prediction seems to be coming true. We see more and more of our clients coming to us with marketing needs—not IT considerations—top-of-mind when approaching potential CMS investments. Right now, Hippo is arguably the best option for companies with this marketing-first mindset, and their move into the Visionaries quadrant only confirms that.
The Best CMS Is the One You Can Make Your Own
Think of choosing a CMS like buying a house. Let’s say you’re looking for an affordable four-bedroom house for your family. You discover that it’s nearly impossible to find the perfect house, but you quickly realize that it’s possible to customize one to suit all of your needs. And sure, that eight-bedroom mansion looks really nice, but it’s also way more house than you need, and the resources and effort to integrate it into your long term goals are hard to stomach.
We’ve repeatedly seen Hippo be that adaptable four-bedroom house with the rock solid foundation that clients turn into their dream home. In this case, it’s an open source Java foundation, which means expert “contractors” can easily build it out and configure it to the needs of a client.
Buying the CMS is Only the First Step
Big, heavy CMS implementations make sense for certain types of enterprise businesses. But lightweight, open source CMS platforms like Hippo are increasingly popular because they allow marketing teams to get moving sooner rather than later.
Quadrant Leaders come with a price: The majority of CMS quadrant Leaders have hefty price tags to the tune of seven or eight figures per year once you factor in add-on technologies and implementation expenses. This poses high barriers to entry for many businesses. And that price just unlocks the door; it doesn’t include the cost of actually maintaining and upgrading the platform.
Nimble CMS platforms for the win: Not every business has the time to go through the long processes for implementation and upgrades that the bigger CMS platforms require. And to get the full value out of a CMS like Adobe Experience Manager, Marketing and IT have to be in lockstep, which isn’t always realistic. Meanwhile, Hippo is built on the same Java foundation as Adobe Experience Manager, and is open source. That means it’s faster to develop, making it highly adaptable to a fast-paced marketing environment, and it is able to easily integrate at scale across many lines of business.
Finding the Best CMS Partner
While we work on a variety of CMS platforms, we’ve found that Hippo is a great fit for many clients because of the flexibility of the technology. And Authentic is now the #1 Hippo partner in the world in terms of the number of successful implementations.
Case study after case study proves it: Just take a look at what we’ve been able to do with Hippo for brands like Mailchimp, Kohler, and Couchbase.
We’re official Hippo thought-leaders: Every year we’re sponsors, presenters, and attendees of the annual Hippo Connect conference. Attendees look forward to the case studies we share, as well as the unique knowledge and experience we bring to the table.
Our goal is to enable marketing clients to focus on marketing, not software. We’ve been able to use Hippo to make that happen repeatedly, which is why we’re both happy and unsurprised to see them named as a Visionary CMS in the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant report.
Are you interested in knowing more about how Authentic can make Hippo work for your marketing objectives? Contact us!
Hippo is now BloomReach Experience. Learn more about the acquisition here.