Recent trends in digital content and customer experience have seen the marketing technology (MarTech) stack grow in both capabilities and complexity. Solutions such as a digital experience platform (DXP) and a content management system (CMS) can help consolidate the many different systems in this environment, simplifying marketing while allowing companies to deliver content to the right customer touchpoints across the buyer’s journey.
But with multiple options available, deciding what you need can be confusing. For example, what’s the difference between a DXP and a CMS? And which is the best option for your business?
Here’s how to compare DXP vs CMS systems, how they enrich the user experience, which is best for customer relationship management, and more.
Defining Digital Experience Platforms and Content Management Systems
Building a platform from scratch is difficult—and also unnecessary. Today, companies rely on specialized software platforms to manage content and deliver contextualized digital experiences.
Here’s a look at the top platform types:
What is a Content Management System?
A CMS is an enterprise-level software platform used to manage an organization’s digital assets, including the creation, distribution, storage, and modification of digital content.
Creating and designing a website from scratch requires knowledge of high-level languages like HTML and CSS. A CMS solution removes this technical barrier, allowing users without coding skills to create, design, and edit websites and online content across every digital channel.
Key Components of a CMS
A traditional web content management system has two main components:
Content management application: A graphical interface that allows users to perform tasks like creating a webpage, adding content, modifying visual aspects, and so on.
Content delivery application: The back end that handles the complicated task of compiling modified content and updating the website. It includes both storage databases and programming frameworks like Java or ASP.NET.
Key features of a CMS platform can include:
Intuitive indexing, search, and retrieval features.
Content creation and revision features (editing, updating, tracking changes, etc.).
Publishing functionality, allowing the use of customized templates.
Integrated and online help, including discussion boards.
Group-based permission systems.
Admin panel with multiple-language support.
Integrated file managers and audit logs.
Support for Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
What is a Digital Experience Platform?
A DXP (Digital Experience Platform) is the next step in the evolution of the legacy CMS, taking web experience management, content delivery, and even personalization to the next level. A DXP performs all the functions of its predecessor while also providing advanced tools that create more engaging digital experiences.
The key difference with a modern DXP is the ability to support the user journey across every digital channel. In that respect, DXPs were created to deliver the right content at the right time and continue nurturing a long-term relationship. Businesses can leverage the architecture and functionality of a DXP to deliver unified digital interactions across multiple touchpoints for the entire customer journey.
Download this guide to learn more about what solutions you can build with a DXP and why your business needs a DXP.
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Key Components of a DXP
The major components and digital tools in a DXP include:
Translation and personalization tools.
Omnichannel marketing features.
Customer relationship management (CRM) tools.
AI and automation features.
Data management and analytics.
Social media integration.
Key features of a DXP can include:
Identity management and access control (application security).
Integration and interoperability features.
Collaboration and social features.
Forms, workflow, and business process automation.
Segmentation and personalization.
Analytics, optimization, and marketing automation.
DXP solutions can have various orientations based on the roots of their software platforms. There are three such heritage categories (CMS, portal, and commerce), each with unique advantages across the customer journey.
Digital Experience Platform vs. Content Management Systems
Though they share some core features, there are significant differences between legacy CMS and modern DXP solutions. These include:
1. Platform Architecture
The standard CMS software solution tends to be monolithic, with a standalone platform that includes all the features. They are usually available as single-vendor solutions with minimal integration capabilities.
A headless CMS is an improvement in this regard: It removes the front end while retaining the content delivery application. You can integrate this with application programming interfaces (APIs), which are pieces of code that allow the headless CMS to work with different devices and platforms.
Standalone, single-vendor DXP solutions are rare, if not nonexistent. Instead, DXPs are available as platforms with core components and integration capabilities.
The scope of any legacy CMS is extremely limited when compared to even the most minimal DXP implementation. The former is mainly focused on creating websites and managing the content a business wants to display on its site, while the latter is a radically open platform with scope for:
Multi-channel or omnichannel support.
Extensive personalization options.
Seamless customer experiences.
Both CMS and DXP solutions can be deployed on-premise or through the cloud. The best choice depends on your chosen platform and digital experience goals.
Why It Matters: The Value of the Digital Experience
Offering a great digital experience has become a major competitive advantage in today’s digital age.
Why? 58% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Speed and simplicity are crucial: 83% of survey respondents from 2021 research defined a good digital experience as simply being able to “quickly accomplish what I came to do” as the most important factor.
With online expectations at an all-time high, digital experience also equals trust. The 2021 research found that 65% of people will trust a business less when they experience a problem using a website or mobile app. Ultimately, this can also harm customer relationships and loyalty.
How Do Digital Touchpoints Impact Internal Operational Systems?
Quick and easy access to digital content can drastically improve the pace at which an organization conducts business and achieves primary strategic goals.
Employees can perform their roles more effectively when their company’s digital platforms exhibit a high degree of modern sophistication. Getting the job done transforms from being a potential burden into a more convenient and fulfilling experience.
The same is true for vendors, partners, and customers — both of the B2C and B2B variety. They’re likely to prefer working with companies capable of consistently delivering optimized, seamless, and positive digital experiences across all platforms and devices.
Boost Your Digital Experience Offerings
Switching from a legacy CMS to a DXP platform is a significant decision with many ramifications for any business. However, it’s a decision that will set your organization on the path toward total digital transformation.
DXPs can significantly improve the marketing, customer service, sales, and employee engagement metrics of a business, with the added ability to scale on demand. Before choosing one, consider your company’s customers, market, and future growth targets — that way, you can pick a DXP deployment mix with the optimal feature set.
Ready to explore Liferay DXP? Request a demo with our specialists to see how our software could help meet your business and digital goals.