How Marketers Can Leverage the DXP They Didn’t Know They Had

Victoria Burt

Marketers are constantly on the lookout for the next big thing, the latest channel or trend that will hook customers and keep them engaged. Nowadays, that means creating an experience that customers love and managing that experience across several channels.

From Alexa speakers, smartwatches, and other IoT-connected devices, to mobile applications and dynamic websites, the customer journey now spreads across more digital touchpoints than ever before. 

Marketers rely on the power of content to deliver these engaging digital experiences to their customers, and they leverage tools like a CMS to help them do that. But, according to Gartner, 50% of large organizations struggle with unifying these channels, resulting in a siloed customer experience. 

As the digital experience continues to evolve, many organizations may feel like they need to adopt an expensive suite solution in order to keep up. The reality is that many companies are already using a DXP, even if they don’t know about it. In this article, we’ll explain where that DXP is hiding and how marketers can get more out of it. 

What Is a DXP Exactly?

A digital experience platform (DXP) helps you to create and manage digital experiences. Gartner actually defines a DXP as “an integrated set of core technologies that support the composition, management, delivery and optimization of contextualized digital experiences.”

While this may seem like a fancy term to describe the latest piece of technology, it should also sound familiar. A DXP represents the evolution of the content management system from web-only focused content management to a tool capable of handling the multichannel digital world we find ourselves in. It enables organizations to manage these digital experiences across multiple channels, allowing marketers to create and edit content for deployment virtually anywhere.

While many traditional CMS platforms and suite DXPs maintain monolithic architectures, a composable DXP can break these tightly coupled architectures down into smaller microservices that are connected using APIs. 

You’re Probably 80% of the Way There

A headless CMS provides the foundation for a digital experience platform. Despite consisting of various tools and technologies, the purpose of a DXP is to create and manage digital experiences, something which a headless CMS does for multiple channels. Essentially a digital experience platform needs the following features: analytics, content management, cloud-native architecture, extensibility, personalization and security.  

While a headless CMS handles the core functionality of a DXP regarding content creation and management, those capabilities on their own don’t make a headless CMS a DXP. Organizations already rely on a set of tools to get their jobs done. Analytics software, a CRM, ERP software, digital asset management software and more. With a headless CMS as your foundation, these tools can be connected to create a cohesive DXP. 

How to Find the Critical 20% of Your DXP

A critical aspect of a DXP is the ability to integrate with third-party services to extend its functionality and create one cohesive unit. This, along with composability and business flexibility, are the keys to uncovering your hidden DXP. Unfortunately, organizations that rely on traditional CMS platforms may find themselves unable to meet these requirements. 


A headless CMS platform differs from traditional CMSs by decoupling the front-end presentation layer from the back-end database. It removes the templating and styling layer from the head of the CMS and instead allows the back-end layer to be connected to different front-ends using APIs. Not only do these APIs facilitate new and engaging front-end experiences, but they also enable developers to connect the CMS to third-party tools. While integrations using custom CMSs or monolithic suites can many times be difficult for developers to undertake, a headless CMS leverages APIs to make those integrations as seamless as possible. 


Another element of a headless CMS that enables it to be transformed into a DXP is the concept of composability. Unlike rigid monolithic architectures that restrict the types of software that you can use, a headless CMS enables you to choose the best-of-breed tools you want to integrate with it. This option to compose your software stack is beneficial in the modern digital environment and represents the approach that is becoming a necessity rather than a choice for today’s enterprises. 

Business Flexibility

A DXP should enable you to manage the entire business lifecycle as it relates to your digital experiences. This means having the ability to scale as required and leverage microservices to create modular packages that can be adjusted to meet the needs of your business. 

dotCMS: A DXP For Marketers and Developers

You don’t need a monolithic DXP platform to create your DXP. Product bloat, enormous costs and vendor lock-in are just a few reasons to avoid the big suite products.  Using a headless CMS, you can build a DXP that fits your needs by composing one made up of best of breed software tools with industry-leading features across every category. But a pure headless CMS presents its own problems

If you’re still in search of a tool to replace a traditional legacy CMS and be a true foundation for your DXP, then a hybrid headless CMS like dotCMS is the answer. Edit Mode Anywhere is a visual experience manager that provides an unmatched content editing experience. When added to an API-first foundation that makes your platform future-proof, no code content modeling, as well as multi-tenant capabilities that support content delivery to multiple sites and channels, dotCMS is the perfect DXP for marketers. 

Not only does dotCMS provide APIs that facilitate integrations and composability, it also enables you to leverage other modern approaches such as MACH. Microservices architecture breaks business functionality into modular pieces that can be managed independently, and a cloud-native approach supports greater scalability and automatic updating. With a strong technology foundation like this, marketers have the flexibility to deliver contextualized content across a myriad of channels. 

To learn more about leveraging dotCMS’ capabilities and embracing the DXP you didn’t know you had read: A DXP Playbook for Marketers

Image Credit: Hal Gatewood
Victoria Burt
Director of Product Marketing
August 24, 2022

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