Digital Experience Platform DXP
What Is the Digital Experience?
Marketing, in the past, was generally synonymous with outbound experiences. Companies would advertise as best they could, whether through newspapers, billboards, radio ads, or direct mail. Marketing teams would work to eventually drive consumers toward a purchase.
While these forms of marketing were the best options available to these businesses, there was one missing element — two-way interaction. How could a company be sure that their billboard purchase drove sales? There was no way to tell. So, while it’s possible that a given marketing investment was wise, it was impossible to determine just how effective it was.
The digital experience changes all of that, turning printed marketing materials into a truly interactive medium. In digital marketing, advertising actions are met with a reaction by the consumer. Businesses can take note of this immediate feedback and act accordingly. It’s a far cry from what marketing was before the Internet age.
What are examples of a digital experience? The digital experience comprises every interaction between a brand and a customer of a digital nature. This includes emails, website visits, social media engagement, e-commerce, landing pages, and anything else that occurs in an electronic medium.
The digital experience is more than just the sale that occurs at the end of the buyer’s journey. It’s every touchpoint leading up to the purchase, as well as everything that happens after the sale. That’s why the digital experience is so much more powerful than the offline marketing of yesteryear. Instead of guessing the impact of a particular advertisement, marketers can now track every interaction by a consumer and determine exactly what happens in the aftermath of that interaction. By using the data in conjunction with an established marketing plan, a business can fine-tune its digital experience strategy to meet the demonstrated actions of its audience.
Digital Experience Platforms
To facilitate this management of the digital experience, software exists that enables businesses to administer strategies and track results. Digital Experience Platforms (DXP for short) help companies with the creation of websites, landing pages, microsites, digital product guides, and much more. With DXP tools like Lumavate, marketers can create the entire front-end of the digital experience, without any coding knowledge on the back end.
DXP software also comes with the ability to incorporate data into the digital experience. As discussed earlier, data is central to the digital experience. Without data, the digital experience is not dissimilar to the offline product experience, with companies merely guessing at what customers want. With a data-driven approach aided by DXP technologies, marketers can truly see what each customer responds to. As a result, businesses can deploy individualized marketing strategies to each customer, depending on what works for that individual consumer.
What does a DXP do? In short, it does everything necessary to give a business every chance to succeed at the digital experience. It lets companies utilize digital assets, understand customers, and use data as a means to further improve the digital experience for customers.
In addition to customer-facing functions, digital experience platform DXP software typically comes bundled with additional features. Here are some of the benefits of digital platforms that may be available to businesses after purchasing a DXP.
Digital Asset Management (DAM). A vital component of any marketing operation, digital asset management allows companies to store all of its product marketing information in a centralized location. The DAM allows for the organization of these materials, but also makes this content shareable, so that anyone who needs a particular item can access it at any time, even if someone else is using it. Lastly, DAMs come with user security, which means that the company can specify who has access to which materials, ensuring that no system files are compromised.
Content Management System (CMS). A staple of marketing, a content management system enables marketers to monitor and distribute their advertising content. Most CMS systems allow businesses to create a content calendar and schedule the use of its materials for the duration of their campaigns. Additionally, through most CMS programs, marketers can post to all of their platforms -- social media, website providers, email marketing and more -- from one place.
Customer Data Platform (CDP). A customer data platform is used by marketers to collect and manage customer data. This data is then used to inform the duration of the digital experience. It’s important to note that the CDP offerings bundled with DXP software can vary significantly from product to product. If a CDP is important to you when purchasing your DXP, be sure to look at the CDP included with the software and make sure it meets your company’s needs.
Product Information Management (PIM). Product information management is its own industry of marketing software, but it’s sometimes included with DXP software. Most PIMs are cloud-based and integrate with digital asset management, which allows employees to access crucial files at any time. The combination of PIM and DXP gives marketers the ultimate insight into the digital experience, resulting in a business that’s truly ready to react to customer desires at a moment’s notice.
Additional Features. Digital Experience Platforms may also include tools like form builders, integrations, eCommerce functionality, and the ability to send text messages. Additionally, since companies are always striving to improve their products to stay ahead of the competition, additional perks are frequently added to DXP software solutions. Lumavate, for instance, offers biweekly product releases to ensure its customers always have the latest technological developments at their fingertips.
What Is an Example of a DXP Platform?
The DXP marketplace is a crowded one, with several companies offering products that promise to help customers with their digital experiences. But which is the best DXP? Let’s take a look at the prominent DXP examples on the market and highlight a few features of the biggest DXP companies.
Sitecore. Sitecore DXP offers businesses two options: a cloud-based SaaS platform; or a locally hosted version that exists as on-premises software. Sitecore includes a customer data platform and digital asset management in its SaaS offering, along with AI-based functionality to assist with personalized marketing.
Acquia. Acquia DXP brands itself as an omnichannel tool that allows businesses to market on a variety of platforms. The DXP allows businesses to send many kinds of communication from one place, with PIM functionality fully incorporated so that customers can get the information they need in a timely fashion.
Optimizely. Optimizely DXP features a fully functional Content Management System that includes A/B testing, a form builder, and eCommerce capabilities. Optimizely also promises marketing automation and support for user-generated content.
Liferay. Liferay offers a DXP that features a streamlined approach to eCommerce, making complex transactions simpler on the back end. In addition, Liferay aims for personalized marketing, using data to further the digital experience and make the experience unique for each consumer.
Lumavate. Lumavate DXP combines the best features of all of the top digital platforms on the market. While the other digital experience platform examples include some additional functionality, Lumavate offers everything in one program. Marketers get more than just a full-fledged DXP, they also get a top-of-the-line PIM solution, a form builder, text messaging capabilities, and much more. Best of all, Lumavate can be fully integrated with an already existing tech stack within your organization, with more than 40 integrations available right out of the box and more on the way.
Salesforce and WordPress
Salesforce and WordPress are two of the biggest names out there in web design and content management. However, special mention is being made of these two programs, not because of what they offer, but because of what they don’t provide.
Is Salesforce a DXP? Is WordPress a DXP? The answer to both questions is no.
Salesforce brands itself as a DXP solution, and some brands try to use WordPress as a DXP of sorts. However, neither of these are true Digital Experience Platforms. Salesforce does have a content management system, but its functionality pales in comparison to that of the top DXP solutions. WordPress, on the other hand, is a true CMS, but it is not a DXP tool.
Though Salesforce and WordPress do serve their respective purposes, they are not DXP solutions that should be relied upon by growing businesses. By using WordPress or Salesforce as a DXP, you limit your marketing capabilities, and your digital experience will suffer. Customers will surely take notice and will move on to other businesses that offer a more robust digital experience. Companies that currently use (or are thinking about using) either WordPress or Salesforce as a DXP should instead look to solutions like Lumavate or the list of digital platforms discussed above.
DXP vs CMS
With all of the different systems and acronyms in the landscape, it’s easy to get confused by all of the software offerings available. While many marketers understand why a CMS is important, they may not fully grasp what makes a digital experience platform such an essential piece of any successful marketing strategy.
What is the difference between CMS and DXP? The difference is simple. As the name suggests, a Content Management System is solely tasked with managing content. It can schedule content, and it can even post that content to its destination from one central location. But it doesn’t carry out any additional functionality. A Digital Experience Platform, on the other hand, goes beyond the limitations of a CMS.
What is the role of DXP? With a DXP, marketers can truly become immersed in the online activity of their customers. DXPs can touch every aspect of the digital experience, going far more in-depth than a standalone CMS ever could. Additionally, a DXP captures the data gleaned from online consumer activity, allowing marketers to use that data to further refine the digital experience. It’s a much more comprehensive approach from a digital perspective than a CMS can provide. After all, what does DXP stand for? It’s not just content management -- it’s the entire digital experience, in one program.
Furthermore, DXP software solutions also come bundled with a CMS. By going with a DXP, you can get the best of both worlds — a CMS to manage and organize your content, and a DXP to analyze the online performance of that content. These are the best uses of digital platforms. And with a DXP, you get both.
Do You Need a DXP?
As the world becomes more digital, it’s essential for marketers to manage the digital experience at all levels. Even modern solutions like a CMS only get you so far. It’s fine to distribute content, but then what happens afterward?
Digital experience platforms allow marketers to fully dive in and understand customers where they are. Today’s consumer conducts research online, browses social media, consults product websites, and buys via the Internet. Your marketing has to be there at every touchpoint. Moreover, your marketing must be agile enough to respond to whatever the customer wants at that particular moment in time. If you lose the customer at any point, they’re more likely to go to the competition to get what they need.
That, in a nutshell, is why you need a DXP. If you can’t track online interactions, and if you can’t deploy materials in a timely manner to meet the expectations of shoppers, you’ll lose business to more well-equipped competitors. On the other hand, if you can meet those expectations, customers will be more likely to consider purchasing from your brand.
The great thing about DXP software is that it can be implemented virtually instantly. A cloud-based DXP like Lumavate, with its ability to integrate with already existing programs, can be installed and fully operational in short order. A DXP with the added functionality of digital asset management and customer data platforms, as offered by Lumavate, is the perfect solution for any business that wants to master the digital experience.
Although digital eCommerce will continue to evolve, so too will the best DXPs. Lumavate, for example, offers biweekly updates. Therefore, if you use Lumavate, you’ll always be at the forefront of emerging trends in the eCommerce space. It’s a great opportunity to not only enhance the digital experience for your customers but also to get a leg up on the competition.
A Digital Experience Platform is necessary for any business that takes the digital experience seriously. The added bonuses of getting a DXP — CMS functionality, digital asset management, and much more — make it a no-brainer for the forward-thinking organization.
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