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What Is A Digital Experience Platform (DXP)?

As we navigate deeper into the digital era, the competitive landscape is witnessing a significant shift. Businesses today don’t solely compete based on the quality of their products or services. Instead, they are increasingly focusing on delivering a seamless, personalized, and holistic digital customer experience. It’s here that Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs) come into play.

What Are Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs)?

Digital Experience Platforms or DXPs are integrated software frameworks designed to engage users across a wide array of digital touchpoints. The ultimate goal of a DXP is to place the customer at the center, delivering an exceptional and personalized customer experience.

What is a DXP? System Diagram
Credit: Royal Cyber

A Digital Experience Platform can integrate with or potentially replace various systems, depending on the specific needs of a business. These systems include:

  1. Content Management System (CMS): A CMS is used to create, manage, and modify digital content. While a DXP can include a CMS, it goes beyond simple content management by enabling personalized and consistent experiences across various touchpoints.
  2. Web Experience Management (WEM): Similar to a CMS but with added personalization capabilities, WEMs help manage digital content across multiple web channels. A DXP, however, offers broader integration capabilities and the ability to manage customer experiences across all digital touchpoints.
  3. Digital Asset Management (DAM): DAMs organize and store digital assets like images and videos. While a DXP can integrate with DAM systems for enhanced asset management, it also offers more comprehensive customer interaction capabilities.
  4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM): CRMs track and manage customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. A DXP can be integrated with a CRM system to utilize this data and create personalized customer experiences.
  5. E-Commerce Platforms: These platforms handle online sales transactions and related processes. DXPs can integrate with e-commerce systems to provide a seamless customer journey from discovery to purchase.
  6. Data Management Platforms (DMP): DMPs collect and analyze large amounts of data. DXPs can work with DMPs to use this data to deliver more personalized experiences.
  7. Marketing Automation Tools: These tools automate repetitive marketing tasks. By integrating with marketing automation tools, a DXP can help ensure consistent messaging across all channels.
  8. Analytics Tools: Analytics tools collect and analyze data about users’ behavior. A DXP can use this data to optimize the user experience.

It’s worth noting that the goal of a DXP isn’t to replace all these systems, but rather to bring them together to provide a unified and seamless digital experience. The specific integrations will depend on the organization’s needs and existing infrastructure.

What Types of DXPs Are There?

DXPs come in different forms, each designed to serve a specific purpose and meet varying business needs. Here’s an explanation of the differences and purposes behind each type:

  1. CMS DXP: A Content Management System (CMS) based DXP is primarily designed to manage, create, and deliver digital content across various channels. The purpose of this type of DXP is to improve the content creation and distribution process, with a focus on delivering consistent and personalized content to the audience. CMS-based DXPs often offer capabilities for managing a variety of content forms (e.g., text, video, images), enabling content versioning and workflow, facilitating SEO, and integrating with other systems like marketing automation or CRM.
  2. Portal DXP: A portal-based DXP emphasizes secure, role-based access to information and services, often within a company or organization. These platforms are designed to provide a single point of access to multiple sources of information, facilitating internal communication and collaboration, information sharing, and workflow management. Portal-based DXPs are often used by businesses to create intranets, extranets, or customer/partner portals. They provide features like user authentication, personalization, search, integration with enterprise systems, and more.
  3. Commerce DXP: A Commerce-based DXP integrates eCommerce capabilities with content management and other functionalities. The main purpose of this type of DXP is to support online sales and provide an enhanced shopping experience to customers. Commerce-based DXPs offer capabilities like product catalog management, shopping cart and checkout functionalities, payment gateway integration, and customer account management. These platforms also integrate with other systems such as inventory management, order management, and CRM to provide a seamless eCommerce experience.

While the types differ in their core functionality, a comprehensive DXP can integrate all these features – content, portal, and commerce – to offer an all-in-one solution for delivering digital experiences. The choice of DXP type largely depends on an organization’s specific needs and objectives.

Key Benefits of Implementing a DXP

The heart of DXPs lies in their ability to leverage data to create highly personalized and contextual experiences. 

  1. Personalized Customer Experience: DXPs enable businesses to create highly personalized customer experiences by collecting and analyzing user data from multiple touchpoints. This comprehensive understanding of the customer’s journey allows businesses to tailor their offerings and align their strategies accordingly.
  2. Unified View of Customer Journey: DXPs provide a 360-degree view of the customer journey, enabling businesses to understand their customer’s preferences, behaviors, and interactions across various channels. This, in turn, aids in delivering a cohesive and seamless customer experience.
  3. Boosts Operational Efficiency: By centralizing content management, data analytics, and other essential functions, DXPs help businesses enhance operational efficiency and reduce redundant tasks.
  4. Scalability: DXPs provide the scalability businesses need to grow and adapt to evolving customer expectations and market trends. They enable brands to seamlessly integrate new technologies and digital touchpoints, ensuring a future-proof customer experience strategy.

For example, a sports enthusiast browsing through an e-commerce website might receive personalized content or promotions related to new sports products. Similarly, a user regularly purchasing baby products could be served with relevant content, such as parenting tips or baby care advice. These targeted interactions not only add value for the customer but also enhance brand loyalty and engagement.

Zero Party and Data Privacy

In a world where data privacy concerns are paramount, DXPs also provide businesses with robust data management capabilities. They support compliance with various data privacy regulations, ensuring that customer data is securely managed and privacy preferences are respected. 

DXPs can use zero-party (0p) data to create highly personalized and customer-centric digital experiences while maintaining compliance with data privacy regulations and standards. For example, if a customer indicates they are interested in a specific product category, the DXP can tailor content, promotions, and recommendations around this interest. Similarly, if a customer provides feedback about a service or product, companies can use this information to improve their offerings.

Zero-party data is especially important in the era of increased data privacy regulations and consumer concerns about privacy. As it’s willingly provided by the customer, it allows businesses to maintain personalized interactions while respecting privacy boundaries.

How Do Companies Deploy Content For DXPs?

Creating customer journey content with a DXP is a multi-step process that requires understanding the customer, planning the content, and then using the DXP’s capabilities to implement the plan. Here’s a general outline of how businesses can develop content for customer journeys using a DXP:

  1. Understanding the Customer Journey: The first step involves creating a comprehensive understanding of your customer journey. This involves identifying key touchpoints, understanding customer needs and behaviors at each stage, and identifying opportunities to engage with them.
  2. Persona Development: The next step is to develop detailed personas representing different segments of your target audience. These personas should include information about demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.
  3. Content Mapping: With the personas and customer journey stages in mind, develop a content map. This should detail the type of content required at each stage for each persona, aligned with their unique needs and preferences.
  4. Content Creation: Create content tailored to the specific needs of each persona at each stage of the journey. The content should be engaging, valuable, and relevant, aiming to guide the customer through their journey smoothly.
  5. Implementation with DXP: Use your DXP to manage and deliver the content. DXPs provide tools for content management, personalization, analytics, and more, allowing you to target your content effectively, track its performance, and make necessary adjustments over time.
  6. Testing & Optimization: Regularly test and analyze the effectiveness of your content at each stage of the customer journey. Use the insights gained from analytics to tweak and optimize the content. This could involve changing the content itself, adjusting when and where it is delivered, or altering the personalization parameters.
  7. Continuous Improvement (CI): Customer journeys aren’t static – they evolve over time. Hence, businesses should continually revisit and revise their customer journey maps, personas, and content strategy to ensure they stay aligned with customer behavior and preferences.

A DXP is the tool that helps you manage, deliver, and optimize your content across the customer journey but it’s the quality and relevance of the content, combined with the insights gained from customer behavior and preferences, that truly drive an exceptional digital customer experience.

Leading DXP Platforms

  • Acquia: Known as a leader in DXPs, Acquia combines Drupal’s flexibility with Open Marketing Cloud to offer unique customer experiences. It helps businesses drive their sites with relevant content and simplifies multi-channel delivery​.
  • Bloomreach: Bloomreach is a DXP that focuses on powerful content, product delivery, and customer engagement. It offers personalization and integrates various commerce functionalities into one platform, enabling marketers to better understand their customers and provide relevant content​.
  • Core dna: Core dna is a modern eCommerce and hybrid CMS platform that simplifies your online presence by integrating CMS, marketing, and commerce into one platform. It offers complete control of your content creation process, helping you design, deploy, and collaborate with speed​.
  • Liferay: Liferay is a flexible DXP solution that works with your business requirements, technologies, and processes to create a custom solution. It helps businesses engage their audience, enhance operational efficiency, and increase online revenue​.
  • Neptune: Neptune DXP is a platform for building custom applications based on reusable, modular app building blocks. It offers a unified and intuitive user interface for all your applications and sites across various touchpoints, making enterprise-grade app development faster​.
  • Progress: Progress is a DXP that helps businesses manage their online brand presence and improve operational efficiency. It offers multi-channel deployments on mobile apps and the web, and comes with a cloud-enabled platform that provides high scalability and low complexity​.
  • Salesforce Experience Cloud: Built on the Customer 360 framework, Salesforce’s DXP enables businesses to quickly deliver connected digital experiences, reinvent customer interactions, and accelerate growth across various industries using data-driven sites, portals, and mobile applications.
  • Sitecore: Sitecore is a DXP that offers integration with your tech stack and comprehensive digital marketing capabilities. It provides customer data analysis, AI, marketing automation, and analytics tools to drive conversions and foster customer loyalty​.
  • SiteGlide: An award-winning DXP platform for small businesses, SiteGlide offers a data-driven approach to creating and managing sites, marketplaces, and customer portals. It provides flexibility for SaaS tools and allows businesses to manage processes, data, and customer experiences in a single system​.
  • Xperience by Kentico: This platform offers content and site management for excellent customer experiences. Xperience integrates various functionalities such as automation, email marketing, and personalization, allowing businesses to drive revenue and boost engagement​.
  • Zesty: Zesty is a powerful DXP that allows teams to build, optimize, and distribute web content. It focuses on reducing development and maintenance time, making it an ideal choice for growing businesses and non-techies​.

Digital Experience Platforms are rapidly becoming a vital tool for businesses seeking to provide a superior digital customer experience. By facilitating personalized, seamless interactions across various touchpoints, DXPs not only enhance customer satisfaction but also contribute to business growth and success in the digital age.

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is CMO of OpenINSIGHTS and the founder of the Martech Zone. Douglas has helped dozens of successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to assist companies in implementing and automating their sales and marketing strategies. Douglas is an internationally recognized digital transformation and MarTech expert and speaker. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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