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How Headless CMS is delivering better web content to your audience

There’s a saying when it comes to the web: content is king. That is true enough, but it’s also true that many association websites have volumes of content that is obsolete or content that is wholly irrelevant to large swaths of their visiting audience.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if the content being provided was custom tailored to each individual visitor as they arrived based upon their interest, their demographic, device used, and appeared or disappeared based on a schedule? It’s here now, and it has a name: the headless CMS.

It’s a terrible name. Why throw in a word that conjures scary thoughts for something that is actually very cool? That’s what happens when tech people make marketing decisions!


What is a headless CMS (content management system)?

If you’ve used WordPress, Drupal, DNN or other similar tools before, you already know what a traditional CMS is. Those types of CMS’s have two parts:


  • Part 1: the back-end content. This is the text, documents, images and stuff you create.


  • Part 2: the front-end display. This is the page or screen where your content is displayed.



A traditional CMS manages both parts, controlling the content and the display.

In contrast, a Headless CMS deals with only Part 1, the actual creation and management of the content. With headless CMS, you just create and manage the content, set the rules of who should see versions of the content and from there, it’s sent to display wherever you want it to whether that’s a mobile app, a website, an application, a smart watch/speaker, VR or other devices and platforms.

Here’s some advantages of a headless CMS:


  • Create content once and have it automatically distributed across a wide number of devices, platforms and applications. Saves administration time.


  • Assign rules to content. For example: display tailored content if the visitor is a registered member, lives in a certain location, has visited certain pages, and is signed up for an upcoming event! If need be, you can get incredibly granular in how custom the content is. This definitely helps to better engage and talk directly to members.


  • Because you’re just managing content (instead of content and the entire website), it’s easier to delegate content administration with less training required.


  • Content can be scheduled to automatically appear or disappear, decluttering your website and apps.


As organizations increasingly look to use analytics and segmented marketing to better acquire and retain members, headless CMS is a potentially powerful new tool to place content as king once more.

Want more info on what a Headless CMS can do for you? i2Integration is happy to assist in strategic discussions, or the implementation of a new CMS for your organization. Call us at 517.371.3931 or email Lisa, Director of Business Development, at lpowers@i2Integration for details.




Lisa Powers joins i2 as Director of Business Development

Lisa N. Powers has joined our team as our new Director of Business Development. While new to our staff, Lisa comes with considerable experience in the Association industry having most recently served as the Manager of Superintendent and Business Services with the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB). Prior to her tenure at MASB, Lisa served as the Director of Development for the Michigan Restaurant Association (MRA) and has spent the better part of the last decade listening to the needs of association members, and businesses alike, to craft custom solutions to best serve their needs. She brings this expertise with her, and is excited to serve our business partners and clients with the same passion she brought to her Association career. Lisa is here to help you and your organization and fully understands the unique challenges business professionals deal with daily.


Over the next few weeks, Lisa will be personally contacting you to introduce herself. If you’d like to reach out, feel free to contact her at and join us in welcoming her to the team!


i2 Develops New Mobile App for Ford

i2Integration has been helping mobile developers create and deploy apps to Ford vehicles for years. Now i2Integration is using the same Ford Developer Program tools and resources they created to build an in-car app for Ford. With it, the Ford App Catalog will soon allow millions of customers with Ford SYNC3 vehicles to discover, download and install new apps through their Ford infotainment system.


According to Technical Solutions Manager Deb Babbitt, Ford drivers will be able to use voice commands to find out which of their mobile apps work with SYNC. Better yet, the Ford App Catalog will be able to tell them proactively, highlighting available apps with customizable in-car push notifications.


Babbitt said the new App of the Month feature in the Ford App Catalog will give Ford the ability to promote different partner apps on different mobile platforms and in different countries—so iOS users in Germany could see a different promoted app than German Android users, or French iOS users.


This new visibility adds great value for developers, for Ford and for users themselves. But drivers' eyes should be on the road, so there's another new feature that keeps drivers' focus where it needs to be.


"Ford safety guidelines won't allow you to download an app while you're driving, so there's a safety concept we created called the Wish List," Babbitt said. "So, if you're notified of the App of the Month and you like it but you're driving, it won't allow you to download it—but it will put it in your Wish List. When you leave the vehicle, it will remind you that you liked this app and you may want to download it."


Enabling the App Catalog inside the vehicle has long been a goal of the Ford Developer Program. With the capability of SYNC3 and the rapidly increasing number of Ford vehicles equipped with them, the time was right for i2Integration to fully integrate (pun intended!) themselves into the connected car.


"For years now, we’ve been building the tools to allow developers to build apps that operate in Ford vehicles," i2Integration CEO John Forsberg said. "With our latest project of allowing the Ford App Catalog to operate in the Ford vehicle, we’re now in the very cool and unique position of being on the other side of the fence–of being the very developers we support. Or maybe a better way of saying it is that we’re now on both sides of the fence, which will give us the ideal insight to make both sides even better."



Analytics Reveal ORGPRO 2017 Mobile App Successfully Engaged Participants.

The results are in for the ORGPRO 2017 mobile app! i2Integration - the creator of the event mobile app found:


  • 69%: of event attendees registered on the mobile app

  • 12,882: mobile app views during ORGPRO 2017

  • Exhibitor Bingo: The #2 most viewed featured on the app (even ahead of the Agenda listing!)

  • 63%: the percentage of iOS users versus Android users


"Our members were comfortable using the app to select their sessions, locate the rooms for those sessions, and use the gamification feature to meet sponsors. As an added benefit, we were able to reduce the amount of paper distributed and wasted during the event. Thank you i2Ingegration for creating an app that made MSAE shine. I know you will do so for our members too."
- Cheryl Ronk, CAE, CMP, President, Michigan Society of Association Executives


From a laptop in the lobby or a cell phone in the coat room - quite literally the day of the event - you can modify content that will be instantly distributed out to your apps for Apple and Android phones using with the recent release of i2Integration's new generation of mobile apps for associations. Just as important: you don't need to be a computer geek. If you know how to use Microsoft Word, you're set. 

For more information about i2Integration's mobile event app, click here.




If you want to inspire developers to innovate on your platform, an SDK isn't enough.

Hardware without software is an expensive rock, and an application platform without developers isn't much more useful. But it's difficult to attract and maintain robust developer support when today's connected world is flooded with opportunities to create apps.


No matter how compelling the technology, an SDK just isn't enough.


Scott Burnell recently talked with i2Integration about the importance of a developer ecosystem. The Global Lead, Business Development & Partner Management for the Ford Developer Program explained why the i2Integration-supported Developer Portal, App Catalog and other features have been crucial to his team's success.


"A developer ecosystem is really a true ecosystem," he said, "in that it has a number of different components that all hold together different areas of developer needs. It gives them that ability to take an idea all the way through fruition, into an actual product."


Burnell cited the strong tool set as a key feature for developer empowerment; members of the Ford Developer Program have access to information, personnel, traditional assets such as SDKs and developer guides, and extensive support.


A lot of the feedback he hears from developers is how helpful the ecosystem is for getting started.


"Whether you're building software, enabling things to talk to each other over IoT, or just brainstorming and creating brand new products," Burnell said, the big question is, what's Step One? "So, really having a good base and a good jumping-off point, where you can give the background to developers, they're very appreciative of that."


Better yet, developers tell his team that they love being able to count on information and resources being continuously updated and maintained.


They don't want to go looking for an answer for an issue that they're having, or a hurdle that they can't quite get over, and see material that was placed on the website three or four years ago," Burnell said. "They want to have the most up-to-date and pertinent information so they can actually get the answer they're looking for."


One of the most important drivers of developer engagement is the human component. When support and guidance is available via phone, email, Slack, blog posts or even in-person events, the trust factor is much stronger.


But how important can a developer ecosystem be to actually attracting developers and maintaining their engagement? Can i2Integration's services really be a powerful driver of third-party application support?


"It's been the backbone of the Ford Developer Program," Burnell said. "A commercial-facing, end-user facing asset like a developer site is invaluable. One of the whole reasons we spun up the developer site and made it a big component is simply the number of man-hours it takes. I mean, the world's a big place, and we don't have a really big team."


For Burnell, overseeing platform developments across several continents means it's vital that developer resources—tools, downloads, support systems that aren't just based out of one office—are available worldwide, 24/7, to cater to the needs of all developers.


"The impact is obviously seen on the number of developers we have who are still joining the program, and those who have stayed around and are still active," Burnell said. "The fact that we have about 20,000 developers inside the ecosystem that i2Integration has helped Ford build is a good testament that the material we provide, the resources we provide are what the developers are looking for."


Of course, the end goal is application support—and Burnell is more than pleased with the ideas and products inspired and supported by the developer ecosystem, which currently has launched about 120 apps around the world.


"In the automotive world, if you combine all of the apps that have been launched from all the other OEMs globally, it doesn't even come close to what we've done," he said.


And, Burnell said, there's more to come. "I think the updates that we've been working on, to the tools, and the developer site itself, are really going to impress the developer community. It's going to make things easier for them, actually increase their capability to get content directly into Ford—and we're also expanding that across into the world of SDL and the open source connectivity system that we're a part of. i2Integration is integral in pulling that together so we can have those systems talk to each other as well." 


Burnell believes the impact of i2Integration's services and features can be felt all the way inside the vehicle—in user experience itself.


"I think because we've stayed on top of the tools and the messaging, and really because we've stayed in front of the developers, as we've grown the capabilities in-vehicle—from the original SYNC with the two-line dot-matrix display, to SYNC3 now with the nice color display, with touchscreen, pinch-and-zoom capabilities, with the voice capabilities that we've got now—we've had a pretty good seamless evolution inside the vehicle."


Updates, changes and new features have been rolled out to developers, sometimes even before their commercial launch. The smooth rollout of the SYNC3 platform is a prime example.


"As the vehicles roll off, there were apps that were already capable of working with that new interface," Burnell said. "It's been a very important tool to be able to make sure our owners have the best applications and components that are working with the new hardware and software that we're putting in the vehicles."



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