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Building a business case for a digital experience platform

Discover how to build a compelling case for adopting a DXP in your organization, including definitions, statistics, benefits, ROI, and tips for getting buy-in.

THE CX ERA IS HERE

Discover why customer experience (CX) is essential to compete and thrive

Just as customer preferences and expectations have changed in recent years, the technology that organizations use to establish and enhance customer experience (CX) has evolved. While there have been a wide range of tools in the ever-expanding martech stack, digital experience platforms (DXPs) now serve as the backbone for CX.

Digital experience platforms didn’t magically appear on the martech scene. They evolved from the web content management system (CMS) to help marketers meet the needs of customer expectations.

According to Gartner, DXPs are “an integrated set of technologies, based on a common platform, that provides a broad range of audiences with consistent, secure and personalized access to information and applications across many digital touchpoints… They combine and coordinate applications, including content management, search and navigation, personalization, integration and aggregation, collaboration, workflow, analytics, mobile and multichannel support.”

Two datapoints bring the critical importance of DXPs for our digital age into sharp relief:

  • 84% of customers say that being treated like a person is key to winning their business
  • The No. 1 reason customers switch brands is because they feel unappreciated

Simply put, DXPs empower brands to offer the personalized and relevant digital experiences customers expect today.

DXP KEY BENEFITS

Discover the game-changing advantages of a DXP

With a working knowledge of what DXPs are, we can get to the heart of making the case for one. Let’s consider some of the benefits and advantages.

  • Establishing an intelligent architecture
    The best DXPs use application program interfaces (APIs) and an open-platform microservices architecture to connect with internal and external systems. This type of architecture allows marketers and developers to easily make changes in the back and front end simultaneously. It dramatically improves administrative efficiency and supports the continuous deployment of applications. And all business departments can continue using preferred systems and tools.
  • Creating an integrated control center
    Since a DXP with a sound architecture can integrate with solutions across an organization (for example, marketing, sales, customer support, etc.), it can enable brands to combine omnichannel content management, customer data, and analytics. The result is the ability to deliver connected and consistent customer journeys, for increased customer retention.
  • Enhancing content flexibility and optimization
    Advanced DXPs use hybrid-headless and microservices architecture to deliver content across channels, optimized for each. DXPs with strong testing capabilities reduce risk since marketing teams can track what works, why, when, and for whom. The most advanced DXPs can automate this with AI and machine learning.
  • Generate customer visibility
    DXPs integrate with other systems in the environment (such as contact centers, social media, CRMs, etc.), which enables a 360-degree view of each customer.
  • Optimizing touchpoints
    Thanks to the above, DXPs enable brands to deliver consistent experiences wherever their customers are, including web, social, mobile, e-commerce, chatbots, voice, customer portals, and kiosks.
  • Re-engineer business practices
    This customer insight empowers teams in various departments with relevant insights to optimize CX at each interaction, and the collaborative tools of an integrated platform enable them to act. For example, a customer service representative can proactively see that a customer has complained about their experience on Facebook and use this data point to adapt their approach — ultimately increasing the chances of turning an unhappy customer into a satisfied one.
  • Establish future-proof adaptability
    Open DXPs can integrate with new best-of-breed technologies. Which means brands can adapt with their target audiences by efficiently replacing or upgrading tools.

ROI FOR DXP

A look at the factors contributing to DXP return on investment (ROI)

Naturally, the precise return on investment (ROI) for a DXP will differ across organizations and will be influenced by a variety of factors, such as investment size, implementation dynamics, and integration requirements.

Generally speaking, however, decision-makers that adopt an architecturally advanced and feature-rich DXP can expect measurable gains in five core areas: revenue growth, loyalty and lifetime customer value, cost savings, reduced time-to-market, and collaboration.

Revenue growth

DXPs enable brands to greatly enhance personalization and overall CX — and both of these translate into ongoing, significant revenue gains. For example:

Loyalty and lifetime customer value

The road to transforming average customers into loyal fans and enthusiastic brand ambassadors travels directly through CX. For example:

  • CX-leading brands enjoy year-over-year growth rates that are 1.5x higher vs. competitors with respect to customer retention, repeat purchase rates, and customer lifetime value
  • CX drives over 66% of customer loyalty — which is more than brand recognition and price combined
  • 65% of customers say they would become long-term purchasers of a brand, if they encounter positive experiences throughout the customer journey

Cost savings

Extensible DXPs generate ongoing cost savings on multiple levels:

  • The concentration of core business components in one platform establishes a single source of truth, which generates actionable insight, reduces misplaced assets, and helps eliminate redundancies in the martech stack
  • It is easy and efficient to add capabilities in the future, which reduces integration costs and development requirements
  • Employees are more productive as they no longer get blocked by silos and barriers between departments

Reduced time-to-market

DXPs support the seamless distribution of content across channels, which streamlines processes and reduces time-to-market. Research has found that 45% of product launches are delayed by at least one month. And others have found that a DXP can speed time to market by helping organizations:

  • Clarify objectives and priorities
  • Focus on value creation
  • Open up to adaptation and change
  • Ensure good governance practices
  • Define workflows and processes
  • Automate many processes
  • Make information management streamlined, accessible, and transparent

Increased collaboration

DXPs establish a centralized location for cross-departmental collaboration on the development and delivery of CX across the lifecycle. According to research by Accenture, organizations that break down silos and lead in cross-department collaboration are characterized by the following strengths:

  • They clarify what digital transformation means for the organization, and why everyone should collaborate under a joint mission
  • They hold executives accountable for tight collaboration between business functions
  • They prioritize projects that require or stimulate close collaboration between functions
  • They invest in and scale collaborative platforms while avoiding the build-up of siloed solutions
  • They establish rules for their Information and Operating Technology, and how the two work together

In addition to the above, DXPs utilize intuitive dashboards and machine-learning driven insights and suggestions to give everyone — not just marketing teams — access to deep customer insights and KPIs to track the results, while remaining aligned.

GETTING BUY-IN

How to convince decision-makers that a DXP is vital for current and future growth

The discussion so far — with an emphasis on the benefits and ROI of DXPs — provides the foundation for a compelling proposal, presentation, or pitch to decision-makers.

To help turn interest into action, we recommend the following tips:

  • In addition to covering the expected wins and gains of adopting a DXP, highlight the costs and consequences of inaction — especially when it comes to the competitive landscape. Remember: brands that fail to continuously deliver outstanding and personalized CX will be surpassed by those that do.
  • Some decision-makers may say that the organization already has a CMS, and as such there is no need to adopt a DXP. The response to this is that DXPs are the next generation of CMSs; they accelerate digital maturity and digital transformation. In other words, even if the organization does not urgently need a DXP , it is only a matter of time — likely sooner rather than later — before a DXP becomes essential. Making the investment now can be simpler, less risky, and less costly than doing so down the road.
  • Help decision-makers appreciate that a DXP gives them full control over the scope of implementation and the pace of digital transformation. It is possible — and in some organizations, necessary — to take a slower, more methodical approach to leveraging a DXP to replace or upgrade tools in the martech stack, connect silos, build out teams, shift to agile workflows, create feedback loops to continuously evaluate and respond to customer-data cues, and more.
  • Point out that there is no trade-off between adopting a DXP and compromising on security or compliance. Leading DXP vendors check both of these boxes, and ensure that all three states of data are protected: at rest, in transit, and in use.

THE FINAL WORD

How to lead in the CX era

The CX era has arrived. Brands that adopt, embrace, and exploit a DXP to close the CX gap and deliver personalization across all channels and touchpoints throughout the entire connected customer journey will set the pace and lead the way. Conversely, brands that neglect this priority will find themselves struggling to compete and, eventually, to survive.

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