Right-Sizing Your DXP: 4 Capabilities to Evaluate

Evaluating DXPs across a framework of four overarching capabilities can help you select a solution that’s “right-sized” for your organization.

Challenged by the lack of agility offered by traditional content management systems (CMS), many companies looking to manage their online presence are exploring digital experience platforms (DXPs). These platforms can deliver content across channels, support multiple content types, offer support for subscriptions & transactions, and optimize the digital customer journey. Data from CMSWire’s most recent State of DCX Survey report suggests that 43% of organizations plan to invest in DXPs over the next year, with an additional 29% exploring the possibility of adding a DXP to their existing stack.

Not all DXPs are built the same however. Whether you’re looking into DXPs for the first time or considering an upgrade, think carefully about your needs. Without key features, you can’t achieve your business goals; but you can just as easily end up paying for a solution that is tailored for needs that you don’t have. Evaluating DXPs across a framework of four overarching capabilities can help you select a solution that’s right-sized for your organization.

Deliver Content

One of the most essential components of a DXP is the ability to build on the content delivery capabilities offered by a traditional CMS. This enables businesses to push out continuously fresh content across a wide variety of channels, such as websites, email, mobile apps and social media, as well as emerging channels such as smart devices, augmented reality and virtual reality.

According to a study from Casted, B2B marketers spend an average of 33 hours a week (82% of their working hours) on content creation. To enable faster content publishing, DXPs offer content templates and task automation around metadata and taxonomy, along with collaboration and advanced editing tools and workflow for version control. Many DXPs let you publish and edit content in multiple channels from a single point of creation (called “composable content”), saving additional time and energy for marketers looking to scale dozens of programs without sacrificing quality.

Other common content features include integrated photo and video asset management, permissions functionality and the ability to add custom types of content to stories (documents, infographics, audio).

The depth of the content capabilities you need from your DXP depends on how integral the content is to your business model and market differentiation, as well as the breadth of content types you create and manage. For example, if you’re monetizing your content or have invested heavily in brand storytelling, look for a DXP with deep content capabilities. If you only need support for relatively simple product- or service-related content, then invest your DXP budget in other areas.

Drive Experiences

Delivering positive customer experiences has always been imperative. The rise of omnichannel marketing means that businesses must cover a larger variety of touchpoints and digital channels — all at the same time. A quality DXP allows marketers to build rich digital experiences that include multimedia assets, commerce catalog data, live video content and more. Easy-to-use tools, intuitive interfaces and “what you see is what you get” editing (WYSIWYG) allow teams to create, launch and customize sites quickly.

In addition, synthetic testing and real user monitoring (RUM) gives marketers actionable data and insights they can use to better understand and improve the digital customer journey across all touchpoints.

To get sites, apps and other pages to market faster, DXP vendors offer many integrations; these can include “out of the box” solutions or custom integrations that require development work upfront. The best platforms use modern languages such as React and help customers (or 3rd party developers) “co-develop” in their DXP platform.

When evaluating DXP experiences capabilities, think about your current omnichannel maturity and how you expect to grow. If you’re coordinating experiences across many digital touchpoints, you’ll want a DXP with strong multi-site capabilities to leverage repeatable experience components. However, if you aren’t ready for true omnichannel marketing or manage just a single site, your needs for experience coordination won’t be as rigorous.

Expand Monetization

To meet the evolving needs of the online economy, businesses need more sophisticated monetization and commerce tools that integrate seamlessly with content and experience capabilities. DXPs let marketing teams build content-rich storefronts to sell physical or digital goods, subscriptions, loyalty programs, events and offers; they’re also flexible enough to evolve with a company’s pricing strategy.

The right technology for e-commerce and monetization can also improve consumer trust. According to a KPMG study, 62% of business leaders say their company needs to do more to strengthen data protections. DXPs let you manage commerce more efficiently and securely with workflow management, role-based permission and secure storage of personally identifiable information (PPI).

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