Kentico 11 Is Here!

By Karol Jarkovsky in Kentico
·8 min read

We live in the age where the quality of customer experience is what separates winning and losing brands. Customers use multiple channels and touchpoints to engage with their favorite brands, while content plays an essential role in delivering exceptional experiences. And it's not just about the content. Introducing Kentico 11...

Smart Marketing with Kentico 11

All areas of a business need to come together as content and customer experiences are spanning every system that is part of a broader digital marketing stack, whether that's CMS, CRM, PIM, ERP or other systems. In order to provide truly relevant, consistent experiences across every touchpoint, organizations need a unified platform capable of providing a central view of the customer. This is the basic principle and driving force behind the product strategy and development of the latest Kentico CMS/EMS release.

Every organization has a unique story to tell. But new digital trends and customer expectations are disrupting how those stories are shared with the consumers and  forcing organizations to redesign their customer experiences. To stand out from the crowd, you need to deliver exceptional digital experiences. You need to be personal and consistent across all channels, touchpoints, and devices. Companies that master this will build stronger customer connections with incredible brand loyalty and growth.

Kentico 11 is a new version of our flagship product Kentico EMS. It offers a fully-integrated set of high-quality solutions that put the power in the hands of marketers. Kentico 11 lets the creative spirits of marketing teams create and optimize experiences that differentiate their brands, and attract, connect, and engage with the customers across multiple channels.

Focusing on What Truly Matters

We are proud to present a solution focusing on usability for both IT professionals as well as marketers. Kentico 11 saves you time and resources so you can focus on what really matters. It helps you turn your vision and goals into reality relying on proven and secure technology to drive long-term growth and get immediate results. 

To make the most out of the 12 months we had to prepare the new version, we have narrowed down our focus onto the following three key areas:

  • Data protection and GDPR
  • Email marketing
  • Commerce

Many of the improvements in the above-mentioned areas are suggestions of the great Kentico community using the ideas.kentico.com channel to share recommendations and get the rest of the community to express their support. In fact, the majority of the most voted-for ideas have made it to the new release. That is the way we want to pay back our community for all those years of loyalty and support. 

Data Privacy and GDPR

The digital age we live in requires a different set of legislation and regulations to govern the processing of individuals' personal data. To protect our personal data and make sure personal data is treated as something that belongs to you and you decide which data, why, and with whom you want to share. And because data privacy and protection legislation in many countries are pretty outdated, a new fresh set of rules is being prepared all around the world. The most discussed one these days is definitely the new GDPR legislation with an impact on businesses all around the world.

The CMS is an integral part of the digital marketing technology stack in many organizations. It plays an essential role in delivering contextually relevant experiences, in part because CMS tracks, stores, and processes visitor personal and behavioral data. Our goal with the new version was to help organizations accomplish the GDPR compliance process easier, faster, and cheaper. Kentico 11 ships with tools that help organizations with their GDPR compliance efforts in a couple of ways: 

  1. The Data Flow Map, available for CMS and EMS editions, provides detailed information on how the personal data flows within the Kentico platform. It'll save organizations hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in data audit costs.
  2. The new Data Protection application available for all EMS editions is going to help organizations manage consents and fulfil the rights of data subjects (right to accessright to be forgotten, and portability).

Even though it's the ultimate responsibility of every organization to comply with the GDPR's requirements, we feel a responsibility to help digital agencies and their customers navigate the complicated topic of GDPR. That is why we started a blog focusing on topics related to GDPR full of practical information. Don't forget to check it out to learn about the role of digital agencies and end clients in regards to GDPR legislation and what are the responsibilities of each side. 

Next Generation Email Marketing

We have been told for years email is dead. The fact is the role of email has never been stronger, despite the fact social networks and messaging apps are growing in popularity. According to the Email Marketing & Marketing Automation Excellence 2017 report, email is top rated by marketers, with 53.6% of respondents rating it as excellent or good for the purpose of direct marketing. The report also states that 58% of the companies surveyed said that they are planning to increase their email marketing budget. Email continues to be a channel preferred by consumers to communicate with brands. And with over $44 ROI on every $1 spent, we can expect investments into email marketing to only grow further. 

To allow marketers to craft beautiful personalized and responsive emails and engaging customers to build loyalty, we completely overhauled the email marketing solution to put more power in the hands of marketers. The new Email Marketing Solution improves the way marketers build, manage, optimize, and run email feeds and campaigns. It provides all the bells and whistles you'd expect from modern email marketing. What is included? Pretty much everything—a widget-based visual Email Builder, Personalization, A/B Testing, Plaintext Support, CSS Inlining, Pre-header Support, Enhanced Reporting, and more.

The main benefit of the new integrated email marketing solution is that all the content and context stored within Kentico is available to use in emails. That allows marketers to render existing content within the emails and A/B test them based on total customer engagement values rather than an isolated clickthrough rate available in external email management platforms.

"I strongly believe that what our teams delivered with the new Email Builder is the perfect combination of an enjoyable and productive user interface with the top-notch engineering under the hood." – David Komarek, Product Owner – Content Management and Online Marketing.

E-commerce Renaissance

Today, Kentico's E-commerce solution is powering many successful e-commerce projects around the world. According to industry experts and analysts, 2018 is going to be a year when e-commerce personalization will become accessible for all sizes of business, from SME to ME, through products like Kentico EMS combining commerce and personalization. The majority of customers have been exposed to personalized experiences on Amazon, Alibaba, Wal-mart, eBay, Netflix, Spotify, and others, they simply expect the same level of personalization and customized offers from other retailers they interact with. In fact, as much as 88% of consumers reported they are more likely to shop with retailers that deliver personalized experiences—provide access to  unique content, product recommendations, and add-ons chosen based on their preferences, geographic location, demographic group, past purchases, and brand interactions. Organizations, therefore, need to move ahead  to develop highly targeted campaigns based on customer segments and previous online experiences. Given the 8-12% expected growth of online retail sales worldwide, there are plenty of opportunities to build and maintain a successful and sustainable e-commerce business.

To scale for the growth and to address the challenges of the existing solution, we decided to build a new e-commerce solution from the ground up, improving on every single aspect of it. No compromises. The following are a few highlights of the new E-commerce solution:

  1. A solid modular architecture that allows for easy customization and extensibility
  2. A new price and tax calculation model that allows picking whether the tax should be included in the price or not
  3. Product catalog categories including brands, collections, styles, sections, and sub-sections
  4. Support for gift cards and multiple discount coupons per order
  5. Integration with Google Analytics E-commerce Tracking capabilities
  6. Delayed capture payments

Just as with Email Marketing, organizations can greatly benefit from having the robust and flexible E-commerce solution tightly integrated with our Content Management solution. By having direct access to all of the content and context available in the EMS platform, this means organizations are able to provide a highly personalized customer experience

"We made tremendous progress in the E-commerce area with Kentico Stallion [note: Kentico 11]. We solved all the boogiemen from the past and added  modular framework, categorization, the payment upgrade, and the comprehensive discounting engine, including gift cards and support for multiple coupons. If that doesn't sound like Christmas, I don't know what does ." – Michal Kadak, Product Owner – Platform and E-commerce

But Wait, There's More

Besides the three major focus areas I discussed above, our teams got to work on several other important enhancements to the system to make Kentico 11 even more valuable, especially for marketers looking for a platform that allows them to get more done in less time:

As you can see, there are many reasons why we are all getting excited about Kentico 11. It is an important release. But don't take my word for it, and read what the community is saying about the new release:

How do you like what's new in Kentico 11? What is your favorite piece of functionality? How much is Kentico 11 going to help you take on digital business challenges on behalf of your customers? Is there anything you are missing on the list?

By Karol Jarkovsky in Kentico
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