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Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs) explained

A digital experience platform (DXP) can help you address content silos, get your team on the same page, and bring the focus back to your customers. It gives your marketers an accessible user experience to perform a variety of tasks including authoring new content, updating your CRM, and changing ecommerce listings without requiring any adjustments to the backend.

To keep pace with an increasingly digital audience, businesses today are juggling a variety of customer-facing tools. You’re running e-mail campaigns in HubSpot, managing website content in WordPress, sharing social media posts on HootSuite, conducting ad retargeting on AdRoll, and resolving customer inquiries with Zendesk — just to name a few.

But are you really listening to your customers, or are the tools getting in the way? Your customers’ needs can easily fall by the wayside when you’re busy replicating content across digital channels and trying to keep different teams on-message.

What is a digital experience platform (DXP)?

A digital experience platform is a next-generation content management system with an integrated suite of tools for multi-channel customer engagement tactics. A DXP offers a centralized way to listen to, communicate with, and engage customers. It tracks your customers’ interactions, behaviors, and activities across all channels, allowing you to deliver unified and personalized experiences at every opportunity, tracking the customer lifecycle.

DXPs come in many shapes and sizes, though some of the most well-known platforms include Adobe Experience Manager, Liferay Digital Experience Platform, and Sitecore Experience Platform. Many providers also offer digital asset management services.

Digital experience platform vs. content management system

A content management system (CMS) helps you develop, manage, and track content such as text, images, and videos. Many CMS platforms are designed to populate a website using content stored in the system. CMSes offer multi-user access, version control, and role management so that multiple team members can contribute and oversee content. Where they fall short is their inability to publish multi-channel content and to personalize content for individual customers.

Digital experience management addresses the limitations of a CMS by delivering a more personalized customer experience across numerous touchpoints. Thanks to their API-first architecture and programmatic abilities, DXPs allow for omnichannel content distribution, more personalized customer portals, and easier scalability as your content needs evolve.

When should I use a DXP?

If you’re enacting (or have already implemented) a digital transformation strategy, you don’t want to leave your customers behind. A digital experience platform gives you the tools to build, manage, and optimize your customer marketing strategy in one place. A DXP provides a better, smarter way to cohesively track customer engagement and deliver consistent messaging across different touchpoints.

You should consider a digital experience platform if:

  • Your business is primarily (or entirely) online
  • Your team currently juggles multiple channels (website, email, social, IoT devices, mobile, desktop, etc.)
  • Your company needs real-time digital marketing automations
  • You want to strengthen customer relationships across the entire customer lifecycle

The limitations of traditional DXPs and how the modern stacks address them

One of the greatest challenges of traditional DXPs is that these tools over-promise on their capabilities and under-deliver when it comes to actual results. Traditional digital experience platforms can be too complex for your team to use on a regular basis, or their capabilities may not map to your actual business needs. It’s also common to see DXPs billed as an “all in one solution” when in reality none of the features are best in class.

Modern DXP stacks address these limitations by allowing you to select best-of-breed products rather than offering built-in features that fail to meet your needs. With modern stacks, you can focus more on your customers and less on the technology thanks to enhanced optimization and personalization features. You’ll also gain more control over multi-channel content distribution, with the ability to select content variants based on persona and other facets.

Sanity: a headless CMS with the functionality of a DXP

Sanity delivers the benefits of a headless CMS — including omnichannel content management, scalability, developer flexibility, improved security, faster editing experience — in the framework of a DXP. Sanity was built to handle the many diverse possibilities for structured content. You can author content once and re-use it across different channels, as well as distribute content anywhere using our API-native architecture.

Sanity’s flexible data models mean you can create variants for any user facets or segments you need — simply adjust content variants for customer lifecycle stage, customer journeys, language/localization, A/B Testing, and more. Design workflows that enable content teams to work with the right facets and segments for your marketing strategy. Sanity also lets you preview content by persona and integrate analytics in editorial surfaces.

Learn how your business can benefit from Sanity’s DXP functionality by scheduling a custom demo.