A digital experience (DX) ecosystem is the extended set of enterprise software solutions needed to satisfy the full digital customer journey experience. But before we explore the full DX ecosystem in depth, it is important to understand that the core of any DX ecosystem is the digital experience platform (DXP).
The digital experience platform is an integrated, centralized enterprise software framework intended to provide a unified customer experience across most digital touchpoints. The DXP is essentially a core set of software technologies that enables the creation, delivery and optimization of personalized, content-rich digital experiences in order to engage customers and drive them to a desired action.
The benefits of a DXP are numerous, but at the most basic level it gives a company the ability to differentiate from their competition and drive more customer engagement and ultimately more revenue. The need for a connected and consistent experience is also critical to building both customer satisfaction and loyalty during the full customer journey.
It is not a question of if your company gets a DXP, but when, since having one is quickly becoming a business imperative for companies in any phase of digital transformation; and relying on “yesterday’s” monolithic web content management system (WCM) is simply insufficient to deliver the experience that customers demand today.
How important is personalization to customer success?
"52 percent of consumers indicated that they are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t personalize communications to them."- Salesforce
What is in the DX Ecosystem?
There are three core components of any DXP, the core of any DX ecosystem:
- The CMS (Content Management System) or WCM (Web Content Management) - A CMS is a software application that enables the creation and management of digital content by multiple users in a connected environment. WCM typically refers to a CMS that specifically has the capability to manage all the content on web pages, including images, photos, video, audio and more.
- An AI-driven content personalization engine - Personalization engines allow the user experience to be personalized for micro-segments of users based on behavioral, contextual and user-specific data.
- Omnichannel Content Delivery (e.g. Content-as-a-service (CaaS) ) - Omnichannel is an integrated cross-channel content strategy in which channels and related customer interactions are managed to enable a unified customer experience. CaaS enables delivery of content to any channel, not only web interfaces, via a RESTful API, separating content from presentation to design the perfect digital experience for any customer.
Beyond the three core components that make up the main DXP, there are an assortment of technology packages and platforms that supplement the DXP. As mentioned before, we call this group of extended software technologies the DX Ecosystem. While not all of these technologies will make up every company DX ecosystem, many would play a critical part in any DX and are core to most businesses.
These are the software components that potentially make up a DX Ecosystem:
- An e-commerce engine
- A digital asset management (DAM) platform
- Translation and localization software
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
- Marketing Automation Tools (e.g. Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua)
- Social Media Platforms and Tools (e.g. Sprinklr, Buffer, Hootsuite)
- Analytics (e.g. Google Analytics)
- Data Management Platforms
- Video Management Solutions
How Does it All Connect?
With any dispersed set of software solutions, integration is key and a critical part of success and utility of any DXP and ecosystem. Your platform needs to provide built-in and lightweight services that allow the ecosystem to interact in real-time. Some key success factors of DXP integration include:
- Extensive, stable and comprehensive application programming interfaces (APIs)
- Business level enablement – A DXP needs to be usable from the business users-side without a ton of IT involvement or oversight
- Microservices-based architecture – The architecture must be scalable and support extension when needed
The Benefits of a DXP and a DX Ecosystem?
As mentioned earlier, broad business benefits include competitive differentiation and driving revenue, but how does that break down to marketing strategies and tactics that DX software can assist with? Some of the main benefits of your DX ecosystem include:
- The ability to retain and upsell customers by rewarding high value customers and getting customers to engage with personalized content marketing programs
- Education of customers by providing DIY material, and product information content
- Engagement with the audience and community engagement
- Personalized content to help improve average order value (AOV)
- Increased brand value
- Improved productivity and time to market
- Reduction of technology costs
DXP and DX Ecosystem Challenges
One of the main factors that limit the utility and efficiency of a DX ecosystem is poor integration. This lack of full and seamless integration across such a wide array of software creates many issues users can get frustrated by, including managing multiple software packages, having to use multiple dashboards, non-integrated reporting, and version control concerns. This is one of the main reasons why only 16% of companies find it easy to add new software applications to their DX ecosystem.
Digital experience software and DXPs overall are an emerging category of integrated software that is gaining popularity due to the need of more unified and centralized solutions to aid in digital transformation efforts in many types of businesses. While digital transformation should be on the top of any company’s list of priorities, many are approaching it in a haphazard manner bringing on software in stand-alone pieces.
Before you start to purchase and integrate a WCM or CMS, first think about the overall digital experience your customers will engage with, and maybe a DXP or planning for a full DX ecosystem is a good way to engage your customers across the entire digital journey, not just a piece of it.