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Hospitality Insights

Content Management Beyond 2019

06 February 2019


The steady marketing mantra of “content is king” has been recycled as a trade show presentation for too long but the fact still stands that it is content that largely governs the success of our digital presence. The point of this little post is not to go into why creating good content is essential; that much will be assumed, but I want to quickly touch on the different ways we can manage content from a hospitality and travel tech standpoint.

What is a CMS?

CMS stands for content management system and is usually built into all modern websites in the form of an online dashboard with user accounts, login areas, pages, posts and other settings. They often support many different types of content management such as text, images, movies, sounds, formatting and more which makes them a very handy piece of kit when it comes to keeping a hotel or travel website up to date. Umi Digital typically work with WordPress which is currently used to manage over 30% of the known websites on the internet, the open sourced code along with oodles of documentation and plugins make it a popular choice for websites of all different types. Umi in fact goes further by customising the interface in a hospitality specific way.

What are the key limitations of most modern CMS?

However.. as much as they have their positives, they have some significant drawbacks. These drawbacks are not too costly now but looking ahead to the future of content management on the web, they certainly become most become more important.

What is a decoupled CMS?

Teed up by point four above, there is another option of content management. This can be seen more as ‘content infrastructure as a service’ as opposed to a CMS, because it goes a lot further than simply providing an area online to update copy. A decoupled CMS is a completely standalone service that holds content in structured ways so that it can be accessed from any service imaginable; anything with an internet connection anyway! These CMS options are API first, or headless, meaning that to engage (both publishing and fetching content) we need to make API calls from our website and it is given back to us. This is theoretically what WordPress is doing when we render a page but the decoupled CMS makes it possible from anywhere and doesn’t suffer the drawbacks mentioned above.

What does this all mean for Hotels and Travel

It might seem a bit conceptual at the moment but for our travel and property clients, this is something that has become immediately useful. For tours, activities and flight, the inventory is being distributed across many different channels in order to sell effectively, making the content infrastructure a nightmare if you are managing it in different places. To overcome this, we have implemented Contentful, a decoupled and API based CMS in order to both publish and consume content from any number of different applications. Going forward beyond 2019, we know that the content will be able to be consumed wherever necessary.

Map this onto hotels marketing, this is highly applicable to rooms as well. Currently, our content needs be managed separately across the website, apps, booking engines, PMS systems and there is no central repository for us to easily manage it all. I believe that this needs to change going forwards as integration becomes the name of the game. Having a decoupled CMS might require a bit of additional investment compared to a traditional open-source CMS like WordPress, however it will future-proof your content infrastructure as the industry pumps out new integrations and services to distribute your inventory.

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