What is a digital experience platform?

Thanks to numerous technological innovations and shifting trends, we are currently living in the age of the user. As customers, employees, and collaborators, we have all come to expect nuanced virtual services that streamline communication, boost knowledge sharing and reduce silos. Digital experience platforms are high-touch solutions that enterprises can utilize to optimize user experience across all perspectives. In this piece, we define digital experience platforms, discuss how they differ from a CMS, and highlight the unique benefits associated with implementing one within your enterprise.

Defining digital experience platforms

Digital experience platforms are designed to meet the unique needs of specific subsets of users, such as consumers or employees. Depending on the user in question, a digital experience platform can perform various functionalities and contain different features. Despite these variances, all digital experience platforms can be thought of as pathways that enable stakeholders to build meaningful applications for a specified audience. This sentiment is illustrated in Gartner’s definition of the term, which is as follows: “An integrated set of technologies based on a common platform that provide audiences with a consistent, secure, and personalized access to information and applications across digital touch points”.

As this definition indicates, a hallmark of digital experience platforms is their ability to provide an omnichannel experience that can sync and publish content across various media types such as websites, intranets, mobile sites, billboards, customer portals, and social media. Digital experience platforms can also be thought of as a progression from content management systems, which are also designed to create and manage written and visual content across a website. Below, we further explore the relationship between a DXP and a CMS, as well as investigating where Web Experience Management (WEM) comes into play.

CMS versus WEM versus DXP

When it comes to fully understanding how digital experience platforms operate, it can be helpful to place the term in the context of other platforms that emphasize communication with specified users, including content management systems and web experience management.

Content management systems

Content management systems enable stakeholders to disseminate relevant updates and stories, in turn allowing them to build a cohesive brand identity. Traditional content management systems live on the backend of a website and push content to the front end to maximize visibility and user engagement. These systems can enable users to efficiently connect with an audience, but they also come with some significant limitations. Alone, a content management system isn’t advanced enough to support omnichannel marketing. A content management system can also lead to silos when different departments within an organization fail to share information, leading to miscommunication and redundancy.

Website management systems

If digital is a driving force within your enterprise, it is likely that a CMS will not be enough to meet your customer personalization needs. In contrast, web experience management goes beyond a CMS by utilizing advanced analytics to determine user preferences and react to it. With these capabilities, stakeholders can create content targeted at specific users and utilize insights to maximize digital experience. Although the tailoring options with a website experience management far surpass those of a CMS, there are still some limitations within this platform, as it tends to create generalized audience types. Those looking for the highest level of customization may wish to turn to a digital experience platform, which is far more nuanced in this regard.

From CMS to WEM to DXP

Digital experience platforms address the limitations of a CMS and build on the personalization provided by web experience platforms to provide the ultimate, integrated experience. A digital experience platform can handle large-scale content creation and management across a multitude of channels with targeting abilities and analytics throughout. These platforms provide quality and quantity at the same time: organizations can reach more users through more channels while also improving how they communicate through enhanced personalization.

The importance of improving digital experience

Digital experience platforms are a powerful communications tool that can optimize how every user interacts with your brand or product. Below we break down three essential relationships and spotlight the ways in which a digital experience platform can optimize them

Business to consumer experiences

Consumer experience has emerged as the differentiator that sets top-tier organizations apart from mediocre brands. It has never been more important for businesses to prioritize their customer’s digital experience, as those that fail to will face consumer disengagement and loss of loyalty. Digital experience platforms pave the way for multi-channel customer communications that are targeted to unique subsets of users.

Business to business experiences

Virtually every brand needs to connect and collaborate in order to stay relevant. Digital experience platforms optimize business to business communications by fulfilling the specific needs of the partners engaging with your enterprise. A winning partnership will lead to positive word of mouth that can fuel future collaborations.

Business to employee experiences

Every employee is also a savvy consumer who has grown to expect the personalization they receive through brands to transfer into the office. A digital experience platform equipped with tools that relate to work functions will drive productivity, heighten efficiency, and boost morale throughout your workplace.

Key capabilities of a digital experience platform

As indicated above, digital experience platforms can optimize every relationship that is central to your enterprise. In order to make the most of this tool, your digital experience platform should posses the following key capabilities:

Reduce silos

While content management systems can disseminate information, they can also easily lead to silos. If different teams fail to distribute content with one another, knowledge sharing capabilities are diminished. Similarly, efficiency will likely drop as similar messages are repeated throughout multiple verticals. Digital experiences can cut through silos by fostering easy information sharing throughout your entire enterprise.

Personalized content

Whether it’s an email newsletter for customers or a blog targeted at employees, digital experience platforms can ensure relevant content reaches the right users at the right time. Any type of user appreciates receiving the information they are looking for immediately, without having to search or navigate through multiple pages. Personalization can lead to greater efficiency in the workplace and a sales boost on the consumer side.

Real-time analytics

One of the significant advantages of digital experience platforms is their ability to provide in-depth analytics data. Stakeholders can take advantage of this information to make informed decisions to boost performance and drive growth.

Ease of use

As the name indicates, digital experience platforms must put the user first in order to be successful. The best models reduce the need for IT support and provide users with a highly intuitive experience that is easy to navigate. This ease of use should extend to both consumers and employees for maximum engagement across both fronts.

Device flexibility

The number of digital touchpoints continues to increase and with this rise comes the demand for additional integration options. A digital experience platform must enable stakeholders to build out the components they need and control the presentation of these options, regardless of what device is being used to access the platform.

Benefits of a digital experience platform

Digital experience platforms that prioritize the user can in turn lead to a host of benefits for an enterprise. Some of the key advantages digital experience platforms can provide are as follows:

Build a direct relationship with customers

Deploying an effective digital experience platform can differentiate an organization from its competitors by providing a better user experience that drives engagement and leads to revenue gains. Content is king when it comes to building a unique brand identity that stands out in a crowded field. Digital experience platforms empower organizations to deploy an omnichannel marketing strategy that reaches consumers through a variety of mediums. The addition of targeting capabilities and analytics ensure that content can reach the right subset of potential customers, facilitating personal connections with specific users.

Improve enterprise-wide communication

Consumers aren’t the only ones who benefit from outreach that is targeted and relevant. Digital experience platforms can also optimize communication within your enterprise by providing your team with easy access to a multitude of tools designed to inspire collaboration. Communications can be disseminated through an organization’s intranet as well as social media and mobile sites to ensure maximum reach. The omnichannel nature of digital experience platforms also helps drive engagement because employees can access communications whether they are sitting in front of a computer or checking their phone while performing field work.

Boost engagement

Engagement is key to the success of every enterprise. Countless studies have shown a positive correlation between employee engagement levels and worker productivity, revenue increases, and improved customer experience. Yet nailing employee engagement can prove challenging as there are many workplaces occurrences that might cause users to disconnect. A digital experience platform can help employees connect to their organization by offering them a unified solution with high touch integration capabilities to facilitate ease of use and drive productivity.

Encourage knowledge sharing

Digital experience platforms help stakeholders capitalize on the expertise of the entire enterprise. An advanced take on content management and dissemination means that workers are able to share their insights with the teams and audiences that will find it most relevant. While a traditional CMS can lead to silos and segmentation, digital experience platforms empower each user to access the information that is most relevant to their unique set of responsibilities.

Digital experience platforms as your communications centerpiece

While enterprises of years past relied primarily on a content management system to disseminate communications, modern organizations have the opportunity to optimize collaboration and messaging with the help of a digital experience platform. These sophisticated systems enable brands to build closer relationships with both consumers and employees, through nuanced personalization capabilities as well as analytics to facilitate growth opportunities and best practices. Digital experience platforms are built to integrate with a multitude of other systems and functionalities, adding to the versatile and instrumental role they can play within an enterprise. These platforms can revolutionize communication and take an enterprise’s most important relationships to the next level.

Extend a personal touch throughout your enterprise

If you are looking to improve your communications pathways and create content that will deeply resonate with both employees and consumers, a digital experience platform can provide a highly agile solution. These systems can be tailored to meet the demands of your organization and customized in order to prioritize the users who matter most. If you are interested in learning more about implementing a digital experience platform within your organization, get in touch with a digital workplace expert today.

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