Customers today expect digital experiences that are consistent and highly relevant across all touchpoints.

In the past, marketers have used content management systems (CMS) and other web management systems to take control of and execute online campaigns. However, limitations in this technology, coupled with the rising expectations of consumers, has resulted in the need for more complex and innovative software solutions.

This now comes in the form of the DXP, or digital experience platform.

So, what is exactly is a DXP and why might you need one? Here’s a rundown of this new technology and how it can help marketers.

The importance of experience

Currently, customer experience is believed to be the key competitive differentiator for brands, above other factors including price or product. Digitisation is also becoming a top priority for businesses, with many now using an omnichannel approach to reach consumers in contextually relevant moments.

For businesses undergoing digital transformation, digital experience platforms can help them to create compelling customer experiences.

Gartner defines the DXP as “an integrated set of core technologies that support the composition, management, delivery and optimisation of contextualised digital experiences. DXPs entail a high degree of emphasis on interoperability and cross-channel continuity across the entire customer journey.”

Businesses have typically used a CMS to create, manage, and publish digital content to desktop and mobile websites. However, the limited personalisation (as well as the creation of organisational silos) offered by CMS eventually gave rise to the WEM, or web experience management platform.

The WEM involves more advanced analytics to determine user behaviour, define profiles, and serve up content that meets the user and their needs in the right moment. The WEM also affords greater collaboration between organisational departments, with a more centralised system.

This leads us to the DXP, which builds on the personalisation features of the WEM, but on a much larger scale. The main difference is the DXP’s ability to unify content across digital touchpoints beyond the web. This includes digital billboards, IoT devices, in-store kiosks, and more.

Digital transformation graphic depicting a plant growing onto a tablet screen

What are the benefits of a DXP?

There is no standardised DXP, with different vendors offering different integrations. According to Gartner, “through 2021, 85% of effort and cost in a DXP program will be spent on integrations with internal and external systems, including the DXP’s own, built-in capabilities. By 2021, 90% of global organisations will rely on system integrators (SIs), agencies and channel partners to design, build and implement their digital experience strategies.”

As it stands, however, digital experience platforms offer organisations a number of similar features and benefits.

Control over every touchpoint

Companies now communicate with customers in a variety of ways. DXPs allows for the optimisation of the customer experience across multiple points of interaction, not just a brand’s website.

This means that whether the customer is interacting via social media, mobile apps, or in-store, the DXP can customise and roll out content to reach them here.

Deeper and more contextual personalisation

DXP allows organisations to bring a deeper level of personalisation to omnichannel campaigns. Again, this is due to centralised data, and the ability to roll out content or creative based on the individual customer’s specific needs or context.

One example could be if a customer complains on social media, the DXP can help to identify this person (and their previous customer behaviour), allowing the organisation to then create content that specifically appeals to the individual.

A unified data source

A DXP not only delivers content across touchpoints, but it also collects and analyses customer behaviour, unifying data to create a centralised view. This means that a DXP can also combat organisational silos (that a CMS typically generated), leading to better and more informed decision-making.

Improved internal productivity

Further to this, a DXP can streamline employee productivity, taking away silos and enabling people to access data or information at any given time. This type of software is also particularly valuable for multi-lingual organisations, or companies that require the creation of content or marketing campaigns in different languages.

Cost-effective over time

Finally, while a DXP is a hefty investment to make, the flexible nature of the technology means that it can be more cost-effective over time. Digital experience platforms typically involve an API-first CMS, or a headless CMS (a backend-only component, which can push content to any IoT device). This also means existing systems can be easily integrated, as well as allow for easy upgrades and future integrations.

A Guide to Customer Experience Management (CXM)