Gestalt: How DXMs became the enterprise’s connected core
by Leeya Hendricks (@LeeyaHendricks) We love a good acronym, we IT professionals (see what I mean?). And, as it happens, the ‘enterprise experience’ space is abuzz with them. There’s CX (customer experience), UX (user experience), DXM (digital experience management) and DXP (digital experience platform) — the pinnacle of the enterprise experience evolution and the subject of today’s column.
Somewhere in the middle, there’s also good old-fashioned CMS (content management systems) and ECM (enterprise content management) to keep in mind, because content formed the core of enterprise experience in its earlier forms and remains a key component today.
So how did this dizzy array of acronyms come about, and how do they all fit together?
The evolution of enterprise experience
If you’ve been wondering about this, you’re not alone. Ask your industry peers their definition of enterprise experience and you’re likely to get as many different answers as people you ask. I see this confusion in the minds of our customers, colleagues and even technical subject matters experts.
The confusing element seems to be the role that content plays in enterprise experience. In short, it has shifted over time, changing enterprise experience from a pure CMS play to an all-round enterprise-architecture-driven and digitally orchestrated immersion.
A mouthful, so let’s unpack that.
The evolving role of content in enterprise experience
Since the first browser was made available to the public, businesses have used CMS platforms to publish and update their digital content (product details, news stories, classified ads etc) without having to deploy an expensive web developer.
The control this gave them over their online presence has given CMS a long shelf life. Even today, many businesses support smaller, standalone websites with a CMS. While bells and whistles have been added over time, classic CMS tools are still very much in use, so the core principle of content management remains firmly at the heart of experience management.
The next evolution of CMS platforms came as more enterprises began to use these tools to manage their holistic content needs.
The growth of CX and DX
Next came CX, growing rapidly as organisations embraced a strategy of taking their websites beyond brochureware and into the realm of interactive, responsive digital experience — at all stages of the customer journey.
Content, however, still played a key role, needing to be accessible consistently on an endless stream of new channels while being individually relevant to each customer, thereby pushing cross-departmental collaboration to the fore.
This is DXM, in a nutshell.
Let’s break the acronym right down.
- D for “digital” is the part nobody needs explained
- X for “experience” is every last interaction your customers have with your company — aka your brand experience, and
- M for “management” is how you monitor and keep track of your customers’ experience across your digital channels, so you know what messages to send, when, and to whom
But how do you get there? With companies moving toward a DXM strategy, many will struggle to manage the overwhelming amount of data, personalisation and feedback of 24/7 omnichannel customer experiences.
In fact, given the immensity of the technological requirement, the term “DXM” is already outmoded, with leaders instead embracing DXP platforms to help them align their channels, manage their content, and keep their digital experience in check without the upfront investment in infrastructure and skills to manage it.
DXP offers a fully integrated experience that continues the power of CX and DXM, all within one end-to-end environment leveraging open platform principles, APIs and the additional power of microservices.
Digital experience platforms are the connected core of the experience space.
DXP offers a fully connected, self-improving experience, with every customer interaction giving the hyper-connected enterprise the opportunity to optimise the next interaction through feedback loops.
Customers want the relevance that fulfils their needs in the moment, and companies want to give it to them. The question isn’t why DXP; it’s what type of DXP can get you there.
You’re always changing define your needs
DXP platforms are for companies that are quite far along in their digital journey and want to offer a fully connected experience. Such platforms are best-suited to organisations whose developers and marketers already collaborate on DX and plan to integrate backend and frontend systems to meet customer needs.
Companies that qualify typically do email marketing and customer relationship management (CRM), manage website landing pages, serve documents and data, and need all of it to work seamlessly together. DXM is the connected core that manages it all, including language translation, personalisation, customer, partner and influencer data, metrics, as well as analytics and insights into your customer journey.
Note, however, that defining your DXP needs can be a challenge. Start by taking a critical look at where your digital experience is today and, more importantly, determining what level of performance you want 2–3 years from now. Ultimately, choosing between a CMS or DXP will simply depend on which type of system can most efficiently support your needs.
Leeya Hendricks (@LeeyaHendricks) is a designated chartered marketer, global marketing strategist, digital driver and a Women in Tech leader. She holds a BA degree in fine arts, a BA honours degree in brand marketing management, an MBA in business management and is completing her PhD in management sciences, focusing on customer value and business transformation. As VP of global marketing at Kurtosys Systems, based in London, she heads up the marketing and communications function. Leeya contributes the monthly column “Gestalt”, about putting customers first for sustainable business success, to MarkLives.