Drupal 8: what's in it for digital experience management?

    Drupal 8 focuses on marketers: integration for third parties, mobile-first development, content authoring, targeted content and multilingual websites.

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    Drupal is a high-quality open source content management system. The software owes its quality to the large community of developers supporting it: contributing modules and maintaining existing ones. 

    New in Drupal 8 is that the CMS now explicitly focuses on (enterprise) marketers. Five bundles of features make that focus very clear:

    • Easier integration for third parties
    • Mobile-first development
    • More convenient content authoring
    • Targeted content and personalization features
    • Multilingual websites

    In this series of blog posts, the AMPLEXOR Drupal team will examine those features in detail. Today, we will start with a quick introduction to the five reasons that will make enterprise marketers to love Drupal 8 (if they haven’t already fallen in love with one of the previous versions).


    #1: Marketing integration: third party tools (CRM, automation, emailing...)

    Drupal 8 encourages marketers to keep using their favorite marketing tools as a complement to the Drupal CMS. They get to pick which tools they want to work with - be it a CRM such as Salesforce or Sugar, or an inbound marketing platform such as HubSpot - and experience the seamless integration Drupal offers.

    Note that Drupal clearly goes in a different direction than some content management systems here. Other companies are putting increasing efforts into unifying their content management platforms with analytics tools, automatization tools, mailing and personalization - offering a marketing suite instead of a toolkit with separate components.

    Drupal indicated that, while it is still a content management system at heart, it is slowly evolving into something else: a web experience management system, delivering content across a range of devices and third party systems.


    #2: Mobile-first development

    We have said it before: our world has gone mobile. The number of mobile web users keeps increasing, and now Google has also started taking the mobile friendliness of websites into account for its search results.

    The mobile trend has a profound effect on marketers: not only do they have to make sure their website is accessible for mobile users, they have to be able to set up campaigns targeted at mobile users as well.

    Drupal 8 caters to this need, as the platform embraces mobile technology. It will offer out-of-the-box mobile theming and administrators will be able to access the back-end from their mobile device.


    #3: Optimized content authoring

    During the work on the new Drupal 8, Dries Buytaert created the Spark initiative to ensure that enough attention was paid to content authoring. A lot of time and energy went into discussing and developing this enhanced experience within Drupal 8.

    With great results: the new in-place editing feature, for example, will make managing content a lot easier. It allows editors to click into any field within a piece of content and edit it right on the front-end of the site, without ever visiting the back-end form.


    #4: Personalization

    In #2, we mentioned that making content accessible for mobile users is increasingly important in digital marketing. But offering personalized, targeted content is a significant concern for marketers as well.

    It is critical for marketers to have a digital strategy that encompasses both trends. Drupal 8 makes it possible to segment content and target certain audiences or locations, but also to show different information based on the mobile device someone is using.


    #5: Multilingual websites

    International organizations will benefit from the last bundle of features that's new in Drupal 8. Up until Drupal 7, there was no out-of-the-box support for translated content (you had to install at least 6 contributed modules). The Drupal 8 Multilingual Initiative helped getting rid of that inconvenience.

    In Drupal 8, it is possible to use multilingual interfaces and use localization for the front-end of the website as well. A field based content translation solution makes translation of web pages easier.

    This opens up possibilities for marketers in organizations with customers around the world, as well as for multinational teams.

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    Published on    Last updated on 16/07/2018

    #Drupal, #Digital Marketing, #Digital Strategy

    About the author

    Joachim Willems is Consultant at Amplexor, specialized in Drupal. He also works as a HR Development Consultant. Joachim is based in Belgium.