How to build a successful business case for a new CMS

New Year, New Digital Strategy. And where better to start than with a new Content Management System?

A new CMS is a big investment and getting the budget for a new CMS approved by the person who holds the purse strings can be a challenge. Therefore, it’s essential to build a strong business case for your CMS. But don’t worry, we’ve got some ideas to get the finance team on side.

A powerful CMS which provides memorable digital experiences for your customers is key to success in an ever more competitive digital landscape. You know this, but not everybody in your organization understands just how significant it is. So it’s up to you to explain the benefits of a new CMS and provide a reliable and realistic return of investment (ROI) so that the CFO couldn’t possibly say no.

Obviously, we know how much better some CMSs are compared to others, but to people outside of digital marketing, it’s all much of a likeness. Showing them some snazzy personalisation or marketing-automation and some nice site designs isn’t going to cut it, unfortunately. You need to clearly demonstrate how investing in a new CMS will provide a ROI to persuade them to to get onside with your digital marketing strategy.

Financial impact

1. Start with the obvious. Explain how you’d go about implementing the new CMS, how big the investment will be and for what outcome. Then explain in detail how the new CMS will contribute to the business by creating more customers and more revenue. You might want to describe the benefits of providing personalised, relevant digital experiences to your customers. But keep it brief – the financiers don’t really care too much.

2. Come with projected numbers. The budget holders always love tangible digits. Work out roughly how much it’s going to cost to implement a new CMS and then work out the projected increased revenue from such an investment over a certain number of years. For example, if it’s going to cost £100,000 to build a new website on a new CMS, but the increased revenue per year is going to be around £30k, it’s going to take just over 3 years to start making a profit on that investment. In financial terms, that’s a reasonable venture.

3. Don’t forget to remind them of the negative business impacts of falling behind with technology. Cite your competitors who are already using a better CMS than you and go on to stress how detrimental it could be to business if you don’t invest to stay ahead of the crowd.

Practical Impact

Addressing the practical impact of a new CMS on the business will likely persuade the fiscal department. They tend to be, after all, practical people. If you can demonstrate how the new CMS is more efficient than the current system, your business case becomes even more alluring.

Show them how your digital strategy saves the company time, money or resources.

Have a think about whether your new CMS will affect these and factor them into your business case. There are a few questions below to get you rolling…

  • Does the new CMS allow content editors to manage the site without the need to pester IT for help every couple of hours?

  • Does a better CMS with better tools allow the marketing team to do their jobs better with less work, allowing them to spend time on other things?

  • Will the new CMS enable your customers to improve their relationship with you – either by feeling more up to date, more loved or on a simpler journey?

  • Does the new CMS improve the buying experience?

  • Will the new CMS enable personalisation that matches the long term strategy of your marketing team?

  • Will the new CMS enable the business to expand its digital reach with less investment than the current system?

  • Will the new CMS allow the business to cut spending on other marketing investments, such as AdWords?

  • Does the new CMS allow the business to move to a Cloud based infrastructure model? This is always appealing because it can save money and improve security

Any positive practical outcomes from changing to a new CMS, add to your business case.


Next Steps

Now that you’ve read our brief guide to building a business case for a new CMS, you need to go do some research of your own. Here’s a few questions to get you started:

  • What CMS are you going to propose?

  • If you haven’t yet chosen a CMS, be sure to check out our pages on Sitecore and Umbraco. They could be ideal for your business.

  • What are the main benefits of this new CMS as opposed to the one you’re already on? How is it going to improve the business?

  • How much is it going to cost? If you’d like some rough costs from ClerksWell, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

  • What is the ROI based on? Increased sales? More efficient working patterns? Really stress these in your reports.


Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re well on the way to creating a strong business case! If you’re successful, you’ll make real changes to the way your business markets itself within the digital world.

Check out Sitecore’s e-book on choosing a content management system: 

Or just ask us how we have helped our clients revolutionise the digital experience for their members or customers.

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