Is a Headless CMS Right for You?

Spire Digital
Spire Digital
Dec 9, 2020

This is a snippet from the article, Should you go headless?, first published by our parent company, Kin+Carta.

Headless has come of age

Customers are increasingly using mobile apps, chat, voice-controlled digital assistants, smart wearables, and various other IoT-enabled devices.

To connect with them, a new type of CMS is needed which is built for omnichannel content management and delivery from the very beginning: headless.

Our CTO Martin Paton and Growth Partner Joanna Hinchliffe sat down with Christie Cleveland, Senior Product Manager at Freeletics, and Gal Oppenheimer, Manager Solutions Architect at Contentstack to discuss ‘Why Go Headless. The Impact on Marketing Agility and Cost Effectiveness’.

Building only what’s needed

Cost-effectiveness and the ability to maximize investment was cited as a key benefit of Headless – the fact that you only buy what you need.

A lot of firms will buy a full DXP, use 20% of it, find it’s not what they need then integrate with other best in class tools anyway. DXPs are an approximation. They’re never out of the box, and you can get stuck in an upgrade/decay cycle cost loop.

A Headless approach allows a focus on building what’s needed, integrating best of breed solutions when required, and reducing the total cost of ownership.

Multichannel capability

Content is now being consumed by diverse audiences with different needs on any number of devices. Businesses need to go where their audience is spending time rather than pulling them into one channel.

A Headless CMS approach provides much greater flexibility in structuring, organizing, managing, and presenting content allowing each audience and channel to be served in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

“For Freeletics, the choice of CMS has been a game changer. Amongst other advantages, Headless allows us to distribute content easily to multiple channels and communicate with those interested in our brand and products. In anyone’s eyes that’s got to be a competitive advantage.”

– Christie Cleveland-Callanan – Senior Product Manager at Freeletics

Speed to value

Contentstack can create content types, connect to the APIs, and be ready for use within minutes. Updates via a monolithic CMS can take weeks to plan, schedule, and execute before marketing teams can access and realize the value.

Time is also saved on repetitive, editorial tasks without compromising quality Modular templates, allowing for ease of publishing and a high-quality front end outcome. The tool supports rather than hinders when dealing with high volume content.

The Headless architecture provides a CMS in a true SaaS model which offers the ability to quickly get started and continuously integrate and deploy new functionality. Ultimately it delivers a best-in-class customer experience to drive bottom-line revenue growth.

Ease of use

Previously a lack of WYSIWYG was cited as a reason not to go Headless because it’s too difficult for non-technical users. This has now changed. Teams have matured digitally and are now embracing a more agile approach, seeing the benefits of not paying IT to implement things like WYSIWYG which creates a whole new cost.

WYSIWYG is from an era of web authoring. There are so many more important challenges now such as omnichannel, accessibility, and machine consumption. Getting content well structured and published is more important.  Automated tools can plug into the workflow and preview the content, accessibility just isn’t a valid argument anymore.

Time to decide

While a role for more traditional CMS still remains, Headless seems to be the right choice for a time of unpredictable change. Rather than being locked into a system for 3 to 5 years, it introduces a more agile and nimble framework to react to changing customer and business needs and requirements

This is also a great time to look at Headless and MACH approaches in general. The beauty is you can prove the benefits in parallel to your incumbent platform at low cost and risk.

Create a thin vertical slice of end-to-end functionality and A/B test it. Show rather than tell and the chances are many of your colleagues will understand why they should be going Headless.

See the full webinar, view Contentstack in action, and hear how Freeletics have implemented and quantified the value of implementing Contentstack to secure senior leadership buy-in here.


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