If your organization is combining a variety of applications into a cohesive digital experience platform (DXP), you’re in good company. Many successful marketing teams are working with multiple vendors and technologies and looking for best practices in how to tie these tools together so they can deliver exceptional customer experiences.
At Lytics, we’re always expanding and deepening our integrations with best-of-breed MarTech tools. We work with companies that are adopting a federated approach to their digital experience platform, connecting applications via strong customer data. And now research backs up this strategy.
In a May 2018 research report, Digital Clarity Group found that business and IT leaders in charge of purchasing decisions prefer a heterogeneous approach to DXPs at a rate of nearly 70%. They expect to employ multiple vendors and technologies to meet business objectives.
A primary finding of this report: Customer data is key. It’s the thread connecting disparate applications into a cohesive experience.
The following are highlights from the report, Digital Experience Platforms: Buyer Trends, Preferences, and Strategies.
On August 1, Connie Moore, Senior Vice President of Research for Digital Clarity Group, and Jeff Brown, Director of Product Marketing for Lytics, will host a webinar diving deeper into the findings. They’ll help you understand the current landscape of digital experience platforms, the rationale behind purchasing decisions and how you can employ customer data to connect the tools already at your disposal. View the recorded webinar here.
DX architectural strategies are evolving into a federated approach with Customer Data Platforms at the center.
Insight: DXP decision-makers are CIOs
According to Digital Clarity Group’s report, a common misconception is that marketing owns digital experience (DX). This isn’t the whole story. This research shows that the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is likely to lead DXP purchasing decisions due to their enterprise-wide scope.
What does this mean for the MarTech professional? While we know centralized customer data can deliver benefit across the organization, the CDP is typically owned and managed by marketing.
We believe MarTech professionals can advocate for centralized customer data by emphasizing how this approach supports enterprise-level insights into the impact of changing customer demographics and expectations, in addition to the benefits of sending real-time customer data to downstream tools.
To win over CIO decision-makers, MarTech professionals should emphasize a flexible, future-focused approach, addressing not only their current business objectives but also challenges on the horizon.
Insight: Market leaders choose a federated approach to DXPs
Among the 300 business and IT leaders Digital Clarity Group interviewed, a strong skepticism emerged over single-vendor digital experience platforms. Whereas centralizing technology may seem intuitive, decision-makers expressed doubt that any single vendor could develop a fully functional end-to-end DXP that would address every business objective—and also be one that they’d want to use.
For this reason, they strongly prefer (at a rate of 66%) a custom DXP comprised of applications and vendors that excel in their specializations. Even those who prefer working with a single vendor expect to supplement the digital experience with ancillary vendors or platforms.
Buyers choose a heterogeneous approach because they lack confidence that a single vendor can keep pace with DX demands and deliver quality solutions.
Concerns about a homogenous approach include relying on a single vendor to keep pace with all emerging technologies and to scale at the necessary rate.
For teams currently managing multiple applications, this creates both relief and pressure. While there’s no need to upend your current marketing stack and replace it with a single solution, there is a need to connect the applications you’re currently using into a cohesive digital experience. This is where customer data comes into play.
Insight: Customer data is key
When it comes to digital experiences, the expectations of customers—and organizational leadership—are high. They want highly personalized experiences that deliver exactly the right content at exactly the right time. They want predictive algorithms. They want real-time updates.
To do any—much less all—of these things successfully, customer data from all inputs must work seamlessly across channels. A mobile login should inform a desktop experience, which should inform a Facebook advertisement and so forth. As customers fall in and out of habits and preferences, the customer profiles should keep pace if the organization is truly to deliver on its promise of a personalized digital experience.
Currently, leaders cite customer relationship management (CRM) and analytics tools as the key drivers of their customer experience strategy. This is based on their current DX technology infrastructure.
We believe Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) play a crucial role in connecting disparate components of a federated DXP. By collecting data inputs from each application, integrating them into audience insights derived from machine learning, and then deploying those insights across channels, CDPs answer the core need of a federated DXP: Multiple applications, one cohesive experience.
Webinar: Dive deeper
In our webinar, Connie Moore, Senior VP of research for Digital Clarity Group, and Jeff Brown, Lytics Director of Product Marketing, presents an in-depth look at the report Digital Experience Platforms: Buyer Trends, Preferences, and Strategies. They’ll explain key findings, forces driving technological transformations, and how marketing teams can respond.