Brandcast Ending HTM-Hell

Every web site is hand-made by an artisan. He must write intricate code to make anything happen. And the site must be interactive. One wrong line of code here renders an active page an inert display.

All this is compounded into chaos once you have multiple teams working on many different pages. There is no easy way to track large projects.

The downside of all this, especially for digital marketers, is that it takes too long to do things. Brandcast is seeking to change this with Brandcast Cloud. Three years in the making, the cloud-based content management system launched its service with simple point-and-click/drag-and-drop workflows to replace hand-written HTML, CSS and JavaScript coding.

“The current system was built before mobile, before social,” said Hayes Metzger, Brandcast co-founder. What started as a single company Web page has blossomed over the years to hundreds, if not thousands of web pages at a single corporate site; with pages crafted by different teams using different toolsets. At that level, things “go from inconvenient to impossible.” Metzger said.

“I need to get a huge corporate site out the door,” added Brandcast CEO Richard Yanowitch. The goal was to craft a toolset that could reduce Web design and development from weeks/months to hours/days. Brandcast’s platform supports the building of microsites, mobile sites, and landing pages too.

An ex-CMO, Yanowitch had to contend with “too many missing pieces” when it came to managing large, multi-web page sites. All applications were locked in silos. The teams were locked in silos. And there was no coordination or workflow across platforms, he recalled.

Brandcast built an automated process that could encompass design, technology and marketing, all delivered via the cloud. “It helps to be a modestly experienced web designer,” Yanowitch said. “You can get up and running in an hour or two.”

Built-in tools allow the user to set up columns, import content and layout photos and text. The simple point-and-click/drag-and-drop approach generates its own code, and an advanced toolset is available for designers who need to do more advanced work.

“We really tried to attack workflow architecture,” Yanowitch said. “We suppressed enormous complexity in the user interface.”

For CMOs, there is a “brand command center” where one can view all Brandcast-built web pages with one-click access. Any portion of the Web portfolio can be accessed, copied, updated and published.

One can build a team by “inviting” staff to work on the project. Assigning each staffer a role—marketer, designer, editor, owner, support, administrator —grants access to role-specific portions of the project, while all work is collaborative and transparent.

While some analytics is built into BrandcastCloud, the app does come with APIs for other cloud-based apps, like Salesforce, Google analytics or Facebook, so that Brandcast can be integrated to work in collaboration. APIs link the two with a single click.

In the end, the objective was to deliver an easy-to use system that “can make every user a hero” Yanowitch said. “We’re not reinventing the wheel,” said Metzger. “We’re making it round,” quipped Yanowitch.

Pricing for Brandcast Cloud has not been finalized yet, but the aim is to reduce web-site building costs by an order of magnitude, down to thousands of dollars for a small company, hundreds of thousands of dollars for a large corporation.

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