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A campaign management system (CMS) is a software solution designed to handle the various components of a marketing campaign.
Although it uses the same acronym as content management system (CMS), and their designs may be similar in some ways, they are conceptually different. A content management system identifies and tags individual pieces of marketing content on their way through the creation, design and distribution process. In contrast, a campaign management system is designed to measure the elements and individual components of a marketing campaign.
A campaign management system usually provides a user-friendly dashboard that allows business/marketing leaders to see vital data and to identify the key outcomes in various marketing efforts. For instance, a typical campaign management system splits out different screens and presentations for social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and others, showing at a glance how each one of these campaign parts is different.
Many campaign management systems address the issue of "tabulated return on investment (ROI)" for marketing campaigns — the idea is that business/marketing leaders should be able to see how each part of a campaign is making money and whether it can pay for itself or not. Marketers are quick to point out that marketing ROI is fairly abstract and ambiguous by nature, but using more advanced technology, businesses are able to pinpoint more of the details on how much they are getting for their investments in marketing.
A campaign management system must be designed on top of an existing business IT architecture. The system therefore should be built to be compatible with legacy systems including call centers, data warehouses, servers and mainframe systems, or with any other part of a hardware or network design that streams data from one node or point to another. This can require some fairly advanced brainstorming around implementation and ongoing maintenance to make sure that systems are working correctly.