In successful companies today, everything revolves around the customer: more specifically the customer journey and the customer experience. In addition to a great product, companies need a good marketing strategy and effective sales channels. Nowadays, this is done on a digital level, all the way through from generating attention to the final purchase of a product.
Customers have far more options than way back in analog times. They can easily research products, evaluate them, and find and compare competitors. Your customer experience must convince the customer and, in the long run, is likely to be more important than the actual product. In a recent report Gartner even describes it as the new competitive battlefield. It is of paramount importance for companies to highlight their unique selling points and expertise on their digital channels.
The road to the Digital Experience Platform
Customer experience in the digital environment takes place at different touchpoints. These reflect all the interactions taking place between buyers, businesses, and partners. The data collected is evaluated at various points in order to understand the customer's view, to increase satisfaction.
For an optimal digital experience, it is often necessary for companies to adapt internal processes. It is important that potential customers are addressed individually after a thorough needs analysis in order to accelerate their purchase decision. They want to be offered new, interesting content on a regular basis and experience a personalised digital experience in real time on all channels. This is where the Digital Experience Platform comes in, making it all possible. In complicated situations especially, such as deployment to millions of customers at different touchpoints with different native languages, the Digital Experience Platform demonstrates its full potential. The right customer journey plays an important role, because if there is no personalised approach, more than half of consumers would change brands, according to Salesforce research.
What can a Digital Experience Platform do?
Gartner defines the Digital Experience Platform as an integrated technology approach, based on a common platform that provides reliable, secure and personalised access to information and applications across many digital touchpoints to a wide audience.
Digital Experience Platforms enable companies to connect with their customers and partners at all touchpoints to deliver personalised content across all channels. They are made up of different technologies that enable companies to communicate individually with their customers. A digital experience is thus tailor-made, which offers companies great added value: optimal customer loyalty, the associated competitive advantages and conversion, and final of course an increase in sales. At the same time, the reputation of the brand is strengthened and the time-to-market improved.
While delivering content to different channels has been quite complicated and required multiple systems in the past, the Digital Experience Platform can counteract this with an open and scalable structure. All touchpoints are bundled together on the platform and offer a uniform experience for the user. The necessary tools are integrated into the software; the core components range from content management systems and personalisation tools to omnichannel functionalities. An API can also be used to add additional features such as data analysis tools, CRM systems, social media or e-commerce features. Digital Experience Platforms are modular and can be customised flexibly and scalably as needed.
Requirements for the use of a Digital Experience Platform
Ideally, the Digital Experience Platform should be easy to integrate into the existing software infrastructure. This requires stable interfaces that communicate safely and easily with older systems. It is also important that it brings an open, extensible structure, because only then can it be used needs-based: Implementation of the latest technologies and best-of-breed applications should always be possible. For this it is also notable that the DXP is built on a microservices architecture basis, since through the use of these small, manageable components, it is flexibly adaptable. Changes are faster than with complex monolithic systems, and development and deployment costs are lower.
Companies have three options to choose from when it comes to launching the Digital Experience Platform:
1. An all-in-one solution that is unfortunately not fully developed by any vendor at the moment;
2. A platform with multiple integration options (chosen by the majority of companies);
3. To build your own architecture by adding various small software solutions.
The last option is the one with the most vulnerabilities. There are hardly any vendors who can offer long term product safety; and the technical development of new requirements is complicated - to name but two crucial points.
The fact is: Companies must continuously detect new trends in the market and immediately implement them – and this is possible with a digital experience platform. The needs of consumers must be discovered and served as quickly as possible in order to satisfy them. There must also be a shift in the corporate culture towards a readiness to use current digital technologies and an openness to the latest developments. Only in this way can the full potential of the digital experience platform be exploited and added value created for the company.Are you interested in the development of content management in the digital age? Our free e-book Content Management in the Change shows you how customer demands and new technologies are changing the field, and the seven trends in Content Management of the future.