CMS Search is not an Insight Engine

Insight Engines provide clarity

Taxonomy is great, but your users do not want to browse

A core feature of any digital experience is “search.” Users find the specific content they are looking for quickly. Elevating search to an insight engine yield significant benefits and measurable results. Unfortunately, the search feature embedded in Content Management System (CMS) software packages is not an insight engine and marketers and customers often overestimate their CMS capabilities to provide relevancy.

Remember, the purpose of the content you are creating and publishing in your CMS serves a purpose beyond render pages to fill out a taxonomy the represents your org chart. It should function as a well thought out journey of engagement. Further, the implementation team for the CMS did not take it out of a box and simply lite it up. You developed a strategy for deployment. Designers and business stakeholders spent time choosing images. Often, attempts are made to personalize the site visitor’s journey through your site.

Contrary to your efforts, users are driven by outcomes, and they are trained to search. It is often the single most used feature of your site. Given that, it’s puzzling that many times our customers leave the search experience to something out of the box only to regret that choice. Search technology capabilities have expanded significantly in the past few years. Gone are the days of simple keyword matching to an inverted index with a synonym dictionary. More significant AI and Cognitive based capabilities make it possible to understand the user’s intent better and therefore direct outcomes which is the whole key to marketing.

Why should you add an Insight Engine onto your existing CMS? A few reasons actually:

  • An Insight Engine can shorten the customer’s journey and provide efficient self-service
  • An Insight Engine can increase content utilization, identify gaps and least valuable content
  • An Insight Engine can instantaneously provide a personalized experience
  • An Insight Engine can address many use cases beyond generating a list of results (“related articles,” autocomplete, recommendations, etc.)

“Insight engines apply relevancy methods to describe, discover, organize and analyze data. This allows existing or synthesized information to be delivered proactively or interactively, and in the context of digital workers, customers or constituents at timely business moments.

Insight engines gather content from a broad spectrum of sources, including those relevant to the immediate needs of digital workers outside of your CMS. They also extend beyond traditional enterprise search by providing the capability to engage with content and extract insights without touching the source of that content.

Natural language and rich context are used in such interactions, which will come to rely less on a search box and a button and more on proactivity over time.”

– Gartner Magic Quadrant Report

These are powerful capabilities that you will not find with of the box feature that can just be turned on. However, while this technology should be at the center of interactions with a user, the path to implementation is often debated.

The benefits of deploying an Insight Engine for these experiences often is overlooked by companies implementing a CMS. Strangely by focusing on the publishing platform and content delivery they often neglect to deliver on the feature users rely on the most. Engaged users search. You should encourage it.

Companies don’t choose their CMS because of search. It’s the truth. When they evaluated their CMS choices, they didn’t have their content in it. Additionally, many companies have an incorrect belief that the technology is embedded in their Liferay, Interwoven or Sitecore CMS already. Every CMS has search technology, but as we pointed out, the embedded technology isn’t the same technology that Gartner is calling “Insight Engines” or Forrester calling “Cognitive Search.” And the differences between what is and what can be is significant.