Magnolia 6.2: Headless for Marketers

Meet the headless digital experience hub that marketers love!

by Antti Hietala, Product Manager at Magnolia
Mar 27, 2020 | 6 MIN

Brands today are expected to deliver personalized customer experiences across ever-changing touchpoints. Customers want content that is relevant to them and delivered at just the right moment no matter where they choose to interact with their favourite brands. However, there are a few problems that marketers need to overcome first.

In the quest to deliver personalized omnichannel experiences, many marketers get stuck with siloed content. Integrations to get content out of those silos are cumbersome. Practitioners also lack tools to curate and target content to emerging channels such as wearables. Each of these obstacles can pose tremendous challenges.

Lately, a new breed of headless content management solutions promised a more agile way. They made it straightforward to store and access content programmatically. But in doing so they are alienating marketers and content authors whose job it is to craft experiences - not just manage content. Marketers need the autonomy to apply a creative touch, create layouts, experiment with content, combine content from multiple tools and data sources, and they need in-context previews to see the experiences they create.

With Magnolia 6.2, marketers finally get the headless CMS they’ve been waiting for. A CMS that provides them with a wealth of marketer-friendly features to create the personalized omnichannel experiences that customers crave.

Vision: a Headless Digital Experience Hub Built for Marketers

Headless content management systems were initially created to deal with the growing number of IoT devices and the need of developers for easier CMS platforms to work with. Unlike a legacy CMS that works with one channel, such as a website, and only delivers content to that one channel, a headless CMS can connect and deliver content to multiple channels. In a typical headless scenario, a back-end repository stores the content. The content is then delivered through an API to various front ends such as single-page apps, digital signage and other devices.

A headless CMS makes things much easier for developers because they don’t need to manage each channel separately, nor do they need to learn the intricacies of various front ends as content is available through a clean predictable API. A headless CMS is perfect for creating omnichannel experiences since delivering content to multiple channels is easy. But there are a few cases where a pure headless CMS falls short.

A pure headless CMS lacks the marketer-friendly features and drag-and-drop templates that made traditional CMS platforms easy to use for less technical team members. The task of developing a different front-end layout necessary for each channel falls on the developer, when it ideally should be a job for the marketer. These limitations mean that a headless content management system isn’t enough to create the best omnichannel experience for a brand. The solution is a digital experience hub.

Our vision for Magnolia as a headless digital experience hub is everything a pure headless solution provides plus marketer-friendly tooling. In Magnolia, you can assemble experiences instead of just entering content. Use all available data and content for personalization, no matter where it lives. Publish to any digital touchpoint - with full preview to ensure content parity. All with the speed of a modern, lightweight and API-centric platform, deployed wherever you need - this is the power of Magnolia 6.2.

Rich Authoring Experience for SPA

Single-page applications (SPAs) provide tremendous benefits to the overall user experience but they have drawbacks for marketers. A basic headless CMS doesn’t give marketers the same ability to manage content for SPAs as for traditional websites, and that can leave marketers handicapped.

With single-page apps, marketers can create compelling frontend experiences that increase visitor retention and engagement. But in a typical headless CMS marketers work in forms, disconnected from the actual experience they are supposed to be creating. Magnolia’s Visual SPA Editor gives marketers autonomy to create and edit all layout and content in an SPA and preview the experience in-context while reusing content across channels and digital touchpoints.

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Curate Content from Multiple Sources

Marketers can also curate collections of content and data from external sources - no programming required. Typical headless solutions act as a single content repository. More than a headless content hub, Magnolia’s Multisource feature allows for dynamic integration of multiple content repositories, breaking the content silos and giving marketers a single access point to all available content and data so much needed for personalization.

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Accelerate Your Digital Experience with Connector Packs

At Magnolia, we believe that the one-size-fits-all approach of suite vendors limits marketers’ ability to build digital platforms that are fit for purpose and fully tailored to their needs. With our open platform, we let customers choose the exact systems they need and help integrate them quickly via Connector Packs. New connectors to Salesforce, Marketo, Adobe Analytics and more enable marketers to get out-of-the-box integrations to industry-leading marketing technology and create the personal experiences their customers expect, with seamless workflows across these connected tools.

Everything In One Place With An Integrated User Experience

While a CMS platform can help to house and organize all of the content for marketers, they still need to rely on several different tools as part of their tech stacks. These tools provide relevant data that can help drive campaigns forward and pinpoint areas where more attention is needed.

Whether you need to gather more content or data from another source or connect a specific service, you may need to integrate Magnolia with another application. With Magnolia’s integrated user experience (IUX), you can view everything together in one user interface inside the CMS. View trends from connected analytics, translate content into another language or gather contact information from a connected CRM. Marketers can improve their workflows and avoid switching between tools with one view.

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Take Advantage of Cloud Self-Service and LTS Release

We provide our Magnolia customers with the option of deploying custom Java code via our cloud self-service platform. You can benefit from a streamlined and reduced deployment cycle and upgrade whenever you wish. Customers also benefit from long-term supported release, as starting from Magnolia 6, releases are classified into LongTerm Support (LTS) and Feature releases. This approach allows us to innovate faster while keeping the same control over the stability of the platform.

Magnolia 6.2: Headless for Marketers

Headless CMS solutions were meant to deliver the personalized omnichannel experiences that customers needed from brands. However, many fall short as they don’t provide the marketers that create the content with the features they need to get the job done. Magnolia 6.2 is a digital experience hub that works with marketers instead of against them. A way to create experiences for now and the future.

It’s here. It’s exciting. It’s finally headless that is great for marketers.

Antti Hietala

About the Author

Antti is in charge of articulating Magnolia's value propositions to sales, marketing and professional services. In constant contact with users, he feeds the product roadmap with front-line input. Antti's key responsibilities include internal communication, product roadmap and feature specifications. Follow him on Twitter @antarctic74.

See all posts by Antti Hietala