Digital Experience Platform
Last Updated: Feb 24, 2023
In today’s digital-first world, a marketer has endless channels to engage with customers. The problem? The world is an increasingly noisy place and the status quo no longer cuts it.
In addition to crowded channels, marketers face other challenges as well. Marketers are held to incredibly high standards and are expected to produce a high return on investment (ROI) extremely quickly. Despite having high expectations, marketers are also asked to do more with fewer resources.
So how can marketers be expected to drive results for their business, while being cost–effective and moving quickly? Enter digital experience platforms (DXPs).
Digital Experience Platforms 101
We’ve seen how companies that fail to keep up with rising consumer expectations due to gaps in their digital strategy fair - their competition which is forward-thinking in terms of a digital strategy are the beneficiaries of their oversight.
A forward-thinking digital strategy means that marketers are constantly thinking about ways they can engage with customers throughout the various stages of the customer journey.
The stages of the customer journey include:
Despite these stages, the customer journey is anything but linear. Because of this, marketers need to obsess over ways they can interject their brands into these stages to provide personalized and helpful content that ensures their customers remain loyal to their brand.
Easier said than done, right? Wrong. Digital experience platforms are revolutionizing the way marketers engage with their customers digitally.
What Is a DXP?
What is a digital experience platform, otherwise known as a DXP? DXPs are the new way marketers engage and communicate with their customers.
Without a digital experience platform, a marketer would often run into several hurdles if they wanted to create a website, microsite, landing page, or mobile app. First, building a digital experience like a mobile app or website can take several months or even longer. Marketers would likely have to go through an agency or use internal resources such as their IT Department to accomplish it. The second hurdle a marketer would face if they wanted to create an engaging digital experience without the use of an affordable DXP would be the cost. When using an agency to build out a website or mobile app, it typically costs thousands of dollars for the project to be completed. And if there were any iterations on the digital experience after it was launched (which should be the case since marketers should always be iterating!), that would be costly too.
This brings us to the need for marketers to have access to a digital experience platform. The best DXPs are affordable and enable business users like marketers to move at the speed at which consumer behavior flows…which is fast.
Using a digital experience platform drastically reduces the speed-to-market for an experience like a mobile app or a website to be created, especially if the DXP has designed pre-existing templates. When using a digital experience platform such as Lumavate that has pre-existing templates to kick start one’s digital experience creation, it can take only 20 minutes for a marketer to fully customize the template. Seriously. We’re talking about building and launching a full digital experience in less than an hour compared to the months it would take using the traditional ways of having your agency or IT department write custom code.
Digital Experience Types
Think of a digital experience as any interaction a consumer has with a brand or business using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Your target audience, business goal, and use case are three factors that will help determine what type of digital experience you will want to build for your brand.
Take one’s target audience as an example. According to Pew Research Center, 61 percent of people over the age of 65 own a smartphone. This demographic may prefer to engage with a landing page or website to be accessed via a link on a computer rather than using a QR code activation on their smartphone.
Here are a few experience types that can be built on a DXP:
- Commerce - Design an engaging buying experience for your customers that drives revenue, reduces cart abandonment, and increases repeat orders.
- Connected Products - Enable your customers to control your products directly from the device of their choice.
- Field Services - Drive efficiencies with your customer support and field service teams with customized digital experiences to streamline their work.
- Landing Pages - Promote campaigns, product launches, and events, generate leads, provide product recommendations, and more.
- Microsites - For when your digital project needs more than a landing page and less than a website such as a product guide, ABM experience, sales enablement, and more.
- Mobile Apps - Build a mobile app that earns a place on the home screen to provide easy access to product information, events, and more.
- Portals - Give your customers, partners, and employees easy and secure access to content and data curated just for them.
- Websites - Combine content, data, and personalization to deliver a website experience for your brand that stands out from the competition.
What Is an Example of a DXP?
Lumavate is an innovative digital experience platform empowering some of the world’s most well-known brands to create engaging and personalized digital experiences for customers, partners, and employees.
Digital Experience Platforms for Enterprise Organizations
Companies of all sizes can benefit from a DXP, especially within the enterprise. When the enterprise is looking at various digital experience platforms, there are a few considerations. The first is obviously security. The best DXP for enterprise brands allow administrators to create roles with varying degrees of authentication to ensure their digital experiences are always secure. The second is scalable architecture. An enterprise brand typically deals with thousands if not millions of customers. That brand needs to know if the digital experience platform will be able to handle that type of traffic.
How Do I Choose a Digital Experience Platform?
Investing in a digital experience platform can help connect your brand to your customers. Here are some tips for how your business can get started evaluating digital experience platforms.
Identify Your Business Goals
One of the first steps in choosing a digital experience platform is to identify what your key business goals are. Some DXPs are limited to the business challenges they can solve.
When identifying your business challenges, it might be helpful to perform a SWOT analysis or review your customer journey. After narrowing down what key goals your business is trying to solve, then your team should be able to make a decision on what DXP to use.
Below are some examples of business goals a DXP like Lumavate can help your brand achieve:
- Drive Revenue
- Decrease Costs
- Personalize the Experience
- Stand Out in Aisle
- Bridge Offline and Online
- Capture Zero-party Data
- Delight Partners
- Increase Brand Loyalty
- Engage Your Employees
While both of these options are a great way to begin your research on evaluating software, getting into a specific platform to test out its functionality is extremely beneficial. With product-led growth (PLG) taking off, more and more companies are offering either a free trial or a free subscription level of their product to entice business users to fall in love with their software and ultimately invest in them.
Research DXP Solutions
Once you’ve identified your business goals, then you can start narrowing the options available to you in the digital experience platform market. Let’s take a quick look the list of digital experience companies you can choose from:
Many business users choose to use G2, TechRadius, or a different type of company directory listing to evaluate software and read reviews from their customers. After looking at reviews of a company directory, many businesses find it beneficial to expand their research further and explore how analysts position the type of software they are interested in purchasing. This involves looking at reports from Gartner’s Magic Quadrant or Forrester’s Wave.
Looking at the most recent DXP Gartner report, the digital experience platform Adobe, Optimizely, and Salesforce are highly ranked within the Magic Quadrant. Adobe and Salesforce are household names, but what is Optimizely? Optimizely is another example of a DXP. Optimizely pricing does include a free trial for its content management system (CMS), however, its other plans do require an individual to request more information. Additionally, the DXP requirements Optimizely lists on their website include several important notes about what is compatible and what is not when using their DXP solution.
Despite this report, there are other factors marketers need to consider when selecting the DXP that best suits the needs of their business. Ease of use and pricing are both important factors to consider when evaluating a digital experience platform, which is why many marketers prefer to create a free account or view a live demo before investing in a solution.
Request a Demo or Create a Free Account
Getting access to a free trial can be the deciding factor for many businesses when deciding what DXP to invest in. Several of the DXP examples listed above do not offer transparent pricing nor do they offer the ability for someone to create a free account or trial to evaluate their platform.
Getting in and exploring a specific company’s digital experience platform can also help businesses verify if the platform can integrate to your tech stack. Some DXPs limit customers to using specific integrations.
Creating a free account or trial will also provide a holistic picture of how fast a digital experience can be created within the platform as well as the breadth of design elements, integrations, and even templates available for customers to use. Lumavate offers multiple options for businesses to explore its platform, including a free account, live demo, and even a self-guided product tour.
Who Uses a DXP?
While nearly any department within an organization can benefit from and build digital experiences, marketers tend to be the most common department that is interested in this type of software because they are the ones tasked with building brand awareness and loyalty.
Essentially any function within marketing can benefit from incorporating a digital experience platform into its tech stack. Here are just a few ways how the below marketing roles can benefit from using a digital experience platform:
- Brand Management - Elevate your brand with engaging digital experiences on product packaging, in-store, online, and more to stand out from the competition.
- Channel Marketing- Increase sales and strengthen your channel partner relationships with in-aisle promotions, co-branded experiences, personalized communications, and more.
- Customer Experience - Ensure your customers turn into brand advocates by providing multiple ways to engage with your customer support team or access self-service resources.
- Digital Marketing - Deliver a digital customer experience that delights, engages, and drives revenue and loyalty for your business.
- Event Management - Turn your investment in events into a pipeline that converts by simplifying lead registration, providing an interactive booth experience for attendees, and more.
- Product Marketing - Create digital experiences that capture your customer’s attention, collect zero-party data, drive revenue, and increase brand loyalty.
- Shopper Marketing - Take your shopper marketing efforts to the next level with interactive digital elements that drive sales, social media engagement, brand awareness, and loyalty.
Marketers aren’t the only ones who can reap the rewards produced by a DXP. Sales teams can utilize a DXP to create highly personalized account-based marketing (ABM) experiences tailored to each target account. A business development representative for instance can record a personalized video using a video platform like Vidyard or Loom and embed it within the digital experience to further capture the target account’s attention.
Human Resources can create a portal on a DXP to give a personalized internal communications app to each of their employees. HR teams can designate specific authors and reviewers within the organization to write articles and feature upcoming internal events. Employees can further personalize their internal communications apps by subscribing to the content that’s relevant to them.
The list is endless with ways a business can work cross-functionally using a DXP.
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What Is a Content Management System?
A content management system, otherwise known as a CMS, is a platform where organizations can store various types of digital assets.
Below is a list of the various digital assets marketers can store within a CMS:
This list can get pretty long, especially if a marketing team has hundreds of images, forms, etc. Organizing these assets can be overwhelming and complicated to update if your business does not already have a way to manage your brand’s content. That’s where having a well-organized CMS is crucial to being effective and efficient.
The benefit of a well-organized CMS is apparent when searching for a specific headshot, tutorial video, or product manual. No one wants to be searching for hours within nested folders to find a singular piece of content.
Nearly any team within a business can take advantage of the benefits that a CMS provides. Here are some ways various team members can utilize a CMS.
- A member of the HR department can insert a personalized video from the CEO into an employee onboarding experience.
- A brand marketer can pull product images and descriptions into unique experiences for an entire product line.
- An event marketer can reuse the same registration form for each conference.
When discussing DXPs, content management systems are often brought up in conversation. Because digital experiences consist of images, videos, documents, and more, these digital assets are needed to be pulled from some sort of content management system.
What Is a DXP CMS?
It’s important to note that a DXP and a CMS are two separate products. A DXP is a solution used to create digital experiences within the customer journey. A CMS is a repository for all of a brand’s content that often gets used within a digital experience.
Another term that pops up when talking about DXPs is something called a Headless CMS. A Headless CMS is essentially a backend to store an organization’s content. However, it needs a front end to display the content. By connecting a Headless CMS and DXP, a brand can have an organized solution to store all of its content, while visually displaying these visual assets.
When looking at different digital experience platforms, it’s important to have an understanding of how the solution thinks about content management. Some DXPs have strict guidelines of what CMS a customer can use - which, let’s be honest, is frustrating if your business uses a CMS that is not supported by the DXP.
Other DXPs have their own CMS that pairs well with their digital experience capabilities that are available for an additional cost.
Finally, there are brands that don’t limit their customers to using a specific CMS, nor do they charge extra for using the CMS solution they’ve created. Take a brand like Lumavate, for example. This DXP enables its customers to use whatever CMS solution they prefer. The benefit of using Lumavate’s CMS is that when a digital asset like an image is updated, the changes are immediately reflected within the experience it’s used in. This ensures marketing teams’ digital experiences are always up-to-date and never reflect outdated content.
What Is Salesforce Experience Cloud?
The Salesforce platform can be used for a variety of things, including email, communicating with customers and prospects, or even creating digital experiences. Before we take a look into the Salesforce Experience Cloud architecture, let’s first cover the basics of what the Salesforce platform does.
What Is the Salesforce Platform Used for?
Salesforce has a long history of being a trusted customer relationship management (CRM) platform for businesses. A CRM is a powerful tool for businesses as it is often the single source of truth for any communication employees have with customers and prospects.
Using a CRM can also help businesses analyze and track their sales pipeline. It’s an incredibly helpful tool for sales and marketing teams to use in their day-to-day so they can be on track to hit all of their business goals. Salesforce is not only just a CRM, but they also have the capabilities for business teams to build digital experiences as well.
What Is the Salesforce Digital Experience Platform?
The Salesforce Experience Cloud (sometimes called a Salesforce DXP) features the ability for business users to create online experiences for their target audience. Brands use the Salesforce Experience Cloud to build stronger relationships with their customers. When first getting started with the SaaS platform, it’s beneficial to know that Salesforce has a Salesforce Experience Cloud developer page that includes many resources including a Salesforce Experience Cloud Implementation guide.
It’s worth noting Salesforce has many products, each differing from the Salesforce Experience Cloud. Because of that, it can be costly for some businesses to use both products, especially if you’re part of a larger organization and need several Salesforce licenses.
Lumavate differs from Salesforce in that our pricing is transparent and customers have the ability to create a free account. Lumavate’s pricing model is based on the number of end users, not the number of platform users, making Lumavate a more cost-effective DXP solution.
The Power of Lumavate and Salesforce
We strongly believe that we’re all better when tech works together. That’s why Lumavate’s digital experience platform has an integration directly to Salesforce. When using Lumavate, businesses can actually decrease their number of Salesforce licenses.
Below is a list of the various Templates Lumavate has that can be used as a front-end for Salesforce.
- Lead Registration
- Rebate Submission
- Product Registration
- Rebate Management
- Warranty Registration
- Product Maintenance Tracking
- Event Registration
What Is the Best DXP Software for Marketers?
Lumavate is built by marketers for marketers. We're on a mission to democratize digital by making it easy for everyone to build powerful digital experiences for every moment in the customer journey.
Start creating digital experiences for every touchpoint in the customer journey from product packaging to product registration to onboarding to customer support and so much more. You can get started for free on Lumavate’s DXP or book a demo to learn more.
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