Choosing the right digital experience platform (DXP) is crucial as it serves as the foundation for your digital presence and customer interactions. Selection should be approached with deep consideration, not only because it’s a hefty investment, but because it will determine your digital experience capabilities for years.
How to recognize a good DXP
A robust and well-suited DXP empowers businesses to deliver seamless, personalized, and engaging experiences across various digital touchpoints, driving customer satisfaction, loyalty, and business growth. It ensures businesses stay competitive in the digital landscape and effectively meet the demands of today's digital-savvy customers.
Your DXP should provide the necessary tools and capabilities to manage content, integrate systems, automate processes, and analyze data, and enable you to optimize your marketing efforts, streamline operations, and adapt to evolving customer expectations.
Whittling down your DXP shortlist
When choosing a Digital Experience Platform (DXP), there are several key questions you should be asking:
- Does it align with my business objectives? Identify your specific business goals and objectives that you want to achieve through the DXP. Determine which platform most aligns with your strategic vision and can support your desired outcomes.
- How much will it cost? You need to do your research into licensing costs and the various pricing options on offer. Remember to look at your costs over three years or more, as year-two costs can differ greatly from year one. The popularity of cloud and SaaS offerings means there are more flexible options on the market these days, with less lock-in, which can mean a more granular approach to costings too. However, working out the true total costs of a DXP and making a like-for-like cost comparison between solutions can be quite difficult. Which is why the next section is so crucial.
- What is the total cost of ownership (TCO)? When evaluating the true cost of a DXP, it is essential to account for various potential hidden expenses. These include factors such as the level of vendor transparency, costs associated with implementation partners, hosting, support and maintenance contracts, infrastructure requirements, user training, and the need for additional resources. It is important to consider the comprehensive value and long-term return on investment (ROI) that the DXP can bring to your business.
- Does it power personalized omnichannel experiences? Your DXP should provide intuitive and user-friendly tools for content authors and support various content formats. Choose a DXP with a low-code/no-code approach, so that marketers can independently set up campaigns, create landing pages, or automation flows (such as sending automatic emails when visitors click a CTA). Make sure it enables the delivery of consistent and personalized experiences across multiple touchpoints, such as websites, mobile apps, social media, and email. Your platform should facilitate seamless customer journeys and enable you to deliver tailored content and messaging based on user preferences.
- How well does it play with other tools? Ascertain how your DXP might sit within your broader customer experience ecosystem and assess its ability to integrate with your existing (and desired) systems and technologies. Seamless integration is essential for the bidirectional data flow that powers personalized experiences and enables seamless operational efficiency. You’ll also want to ensure your DXP is future-proof—that it can help you evolve in the future and enable integrations with technologies not even available yet.
- What scalability and flexibility does it offer? Will the level of scalability and flexibility of the platform accommodate your business's growth and changing needs? Ensure that the platform can handle increasing traffic, content volumes, and user demands without compromising performance.
- Will it bring analytics and insights? Look for robust analytics and reporting features in the DXP that can provide actionable insights into user behavior, content performance, and campaign effectiveness. The platform should enable data-driven decision-making and help optimize customer experiences.
- Does it prioritize security and compliance? Ensure that the DXP prioritizes data security, privacy, and compliance with relevant regulations. Consider the platform's security features, data encryption, user authentication, and adherence to industry standards.
- Who is the vendor? Evaluate the reputation and track record of the DXP vendor. How stable are they as a company? How transparent? Consider factors such as their customer support, ongoing platform updates, and commitment to innovation. Does the product roadmap, vendor ambition, release/refresh cadence, overall trajectory of the platform align with your own goals? Is the vendor a good fit for you in terms of values, aspirations and size? You'll likely be working with a partner agency for implementation, support and maintenance. What is the maturity, extent, and reach of the platform’s partner network? Are there enough agencies in your locality? Does a partner ecosystem mean that there are useful plug-ins and tools I can leverage with my DXP?
- What do other people say? Refer to independent technology comparison sites like G2 for impartial scoring of one DXP against another based on real user reviews. Comparing solutions across a broad range of categories, from ease of doing buisiness with to ease of use and quality of support, G2 makes it easy for those in the market for a DXP to choose a solution that matches their precise needs and requirements.
By considering these factors, businesses can make informed decisions when selecting a DXP that aligns with their specific needs, drives digital transformation, and enhances the overall customer experience.
However, simply asking the right questions isn’t all there is to it. Here are some key things to remember we believe to be imperative when investing in a DXP solution.
Choosing a DXP—things to remember
When choosing your next DXP, it’s important to remain agile. It's better to get your project up and running as quickly as possible and build on it as your needs evolve, than to spend years (and $$$$) on an implementation that then misses the mark because your needs have changed in the meantime. You want a robust DXP with a fast time-to-market that you can launch in a couple of weeks, and then build on its foundation from there.
But this, of course, requires a DXP that has been designed to grow with you. One that provides all the tools you need to get your online presence up and running today, plus the endless extensibility to be able to integrate with any tool in the future based on your future-state needs.
Understanding your digital experience maturity is crucial when choosing a DXP because your choice should be based on what you need now (plus your vision of the nearest future). And if you don’t have a clear idea of where you’re at, you won’t really know what you need or what your near-future steps require. Hoping to leap-frog your own digital experience maturity with an all-singing, all-dancing solution, will only result in your team drowning in tools they either don’t know how to use or require, and your finances carrying a heavier burden than needed.
If you haven’t already checked out our Digital Experience Maturity Calculator, it’s a great way to calculate where you’re at in terms of digital experience maturity and to ascertain which next step along your journey will bring most benefits to your company. This is essential understanding that will help you choose the most appropriate DXP for your organization and its future goals.
It’s a huge decision, make it an informed one
Choosing the right digital experience platform (DXP) is of utmost importance as a well-suited DXP empowers you to deliver personalized, seamless, and engaging experiences across multiple touchpoints, driving customer satisfaction and business growth. It is important to do your research not just into what DXPs are on the market, what each offers, and how much it costs, but into your own organization—its business goals and digital experience maturity.
Get our free whitepaper 10 cost factors to consider when choosing your next DXP and dive deeper into the topic of total cost of ownership.