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Let's talk MACH: Simple checklist for MACH readiness

Kerrigan Baron

At Kin+Carta I find myself fielding a lot of questions about MACH. What is it? How is it different from CMS or DXP? Is it right for my business? Let's jump into these questions and review a simple checklist for MACH readiness.

What is MACH?

Standing for Microservices API-first Cloud-native and Headless, MACH is a different approach to online journeys that are scalable, lightweight, and lightning fast.

How is MACH different from CMS or a DXP?

Over the last few years there has been a shift in the way we evaluate our digital presence. Up until around 2015 you would pick a CMS, build a site, and effectively set and forget it. The digital footprint was there, and with good SEO you were easily findable for your customer base. However, if you wanted to do more, you either had to integrate marketing tools or run them separately from your website. Essentially, CMS provides an entrée but nothing more.

In the mid-2010s, the industry standard shifted focus from CMS to Digital Experience Platforms (DXP).This has a more holistic approach by supporting various marketing channels, digital assets, and allowing iterations from one technology stack. A strong DXP can manage everything from testing, automation, marketing, and more within a full editor experience. The DXPs power comes from staying in one stack; that puts pressure on the decision of which one fits the needs of the organization as a totality. Think of this as a full fixed menu; everything is packaged together as an experience.

In the midst of the pandemic and the heavy influx of people and businesses suddenly working remotely, a tidal wave of digital needs emerged. This is where MACH stepped in. The API-first approach decoupled the front-end user experience from the back-end content authoring, allowing more caching through CDNs and quicker response times. The major differences between these systems are, the separation of the content authoring from the visual use experience, and the interconnected universe of best-in-breed MarTech solutions instead of an all-in-one monolithic approach it offers. MACH is your à la carte experience where you have more freedom of choice to create the experience that works best for you.

In short:

  • A CMS is a system that allows for content to be easily managed for a website but has limited marketing integration and data connectedness.
  • A DXP is a bigger system that manages your website and other marketing needs in an all-in-one structure but is limited to what is offered by the DXP provider
  • MACH is a system where content is fully separated from the visual representation, allowing the website, marketing platforms, and all user experience to be driven by the top platforms through an interconnected ecosystem

Is MACH right for your business?

With MACH representing the latest in digital innovation, the question stands: is it right for your business? Go through the checklist below to find out!

Check if the answer is yes:

  • Are there pain points or limitations on your current solution?
  • Are there multiple stakeholders in your solution, and do they generally agree with that list of limitations?
  • Do you know who the major IT stakeholders are in your organization?
  • Do you have a list of the marketing technology solutions currently utilized in your organization?
  • Will change of the system be welcomed by the organizational stakeholders discussed above?
  • Will your content authors understand the separation of content entry from the visual representation

If you answered yes to at least 3 of these questions it is worth investigating if MACH makes sense for your organization. Kin + Carta is a leader in MACH implementations and can provide both the technical expertise as well as the strategic change adoption to ensure a smooth and successful switchover. Reach out and let’s talk MACH.

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