Industry Insights

Why Choose a Hybrid DXP Over a Legacy CMS?

Joel Varty

By Joel Varty

March 9, 2021

CMS, DXP, omnichannel

Why Choose a Hybrid DXP Over a Legacy CMS for Omnichannel Marketing?


Technology continues to develop rapidly. The demands that customers have for personalized, consistent digital experiences across channels mean that companies can't simply trust legacy CMSs to do the heavy lifting for them. 

As digital touchpoints are changing and multiplying every day, yesterday’s solutions like legacy CMSs aren't adapted to properly manage the changing trends, especially when it comes to omnichannel marketing.  

For instance, let's say that you're browsing on the internet for something to purchase. You land on the website, and as soon as you place your order, you see an ad on social media showing you more items you might like. Later on, you receive coupon offers delivered to your email.  

That elevated omnichannel experience where brands successfully harness all the channels to connect with customers is made possible by a digital experience platform (DXP). To achieve the same result with a legacy platform could take twice the effort. 

A DXP allows companies to engage with customers across all touchpoints in a much more effective and less intrusive way. This approach enables brands to create and manage content for different channels in a centralized hub.

Let's look at why a hybrid DXP is a better fit for omnichannel marketing than a legacy CMS.


The Requirements for Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing connects consumers and enables them to interact with brands, both physically and digitally. In omnichannel marketing, the distinctions between channels blur and fade, which means that marketers need to be prepared to offer customers digital experiences in every channel they occupy, and the possibility for switching to other channels without hindrance. 

Today’s customers interact with companies whenever and wherever meaning that omnichannel initiatives need to be fluid and adaptive to their needs. 

In fact, a study by the Harvard Business Review found that 73% of customers hop between two or more channels when purchasing a product and that only a small percentage of them shopped in a single channel. 

Let's take a look at the requirements for an omnichannel marketing strategy: 

  • Plan your customer experience: To begin an omnichannel marketing strategy, you need to understand your customers' channels and how you want their experience to flow.
     
  • Use data: Leverage your DXP to get all the data you need, whether it comes from social, your CRM, or another channel.
     
  • Personalize the journey: Segment your audience into different categories based on their behavior to create personalized journeys.
     
  • Don't forget about context: Context is king. Send the wrong message at the wrong time, and you might lose the customer. Make sure your message is relevant and timely.
     
  • Select the right tools for the job: A hybrid DXP enables you to leverage the best tools available and follow a best-of-breed digital marketing approach.
     
  • Create a customer-centric approach: To deliver an omnichannel experience, every team member, from sales to marketing to customer support, needs to place the customer's needs  front and center.
     

The Difficulties of Using A Legacy CMS for Omnichannel Marketing

Content Silos 
Legacy CMSs don't have the capabilities to adequately accommodate new types of content. With new platforms to manage data, videos, IoT devices, and even smartwatches, content silos end up occurring as marketers need to create differentiated content and campaigns for each channel, making omnichannel marketing a cumbersome and almost impossible task.


Personalization
Another drawback of legacy CMSs is that siloed information isn't conducive to personalization. Traditional CMSs are made to deal with only one channel: the website. While it's possible to create different versions of a website, it's clunky and can't be connected to other systems to deliver 1:1 personalization like you would using a hybrid DXP.

 
Why Choose A Hybrid DXP Instead of A Legacy CMS?

Many marketers will reference how a traditional CMS offers a highly visual interface with built-in templates, modules, and control pages. With a traditional CMS, any content editor can create a website without understanding code. You also have the tools to preview content and see how it interacts with the design. Unfortunately, what constitutes the primary benefit for traditional CMSs is their main drawback when building an omnichannel experience. 

Hybrid DXPs leverage all the speed and scalability of the cloud for omnichannel content delivery, as well as the ease of use fans of traditional CMSs like WordPress, enjoy. Hybrid CMSs integrate content across multiple channels in the same way as a headless CMS, connecting and sharing content between sales and marketing departments. 

A hybrid DXP doesn't have the constraints of a legacy CMS because it's decoupled, which means that back and frontend are separated, enabling users to deliver content to different channels using different frontend technologies. Similarly, they can be implemented independently or used as a central solution while following the best-of-breed approach. 

The agility of hybrid DXPs also drives faster innovation and enables you to leverage user data and analytics to improve customer targeting and personalization to create a more consistent customer experience.

Technology continues to develop rapidly. The demands that customers have for personalized, consistent digital experiences across channels mean that companies can't simply trust legacy CMSs to do the heavy lifting for them. 

As digital touchpoints are changing and multiplying every day, yesterday’s solutions like legacy CMSs aren't adapted to properly manage the changing trends, especially when it comes to omnichannel marketing.  

For instance, let's say that you're browsing on the internet for something to purchase. You land on the website, and as soon as you place your order, you see an ad on social media showing you more items you might like. Later on, you receive coupon offers delivered to your email.  

That elevated omnichannel experience where brands successfully harness all the channels to connect with customers is made possible by a digital experience platform (DXP). To achieve the same result with a legacy platform could take twice the effort. 

A DXP allows companies to engage with customers across all touchpoints in a much more effective and less intrusive way. This approach enables brands to create and manage content for different channels in a centralized hub.
 

Omnichannel Content Delivery Explained

Let’s start by defining ‘channel.’ A channel is a frontend that consumes data from your CMS and presents it to users. Housing different channels within a single CMS enables simplified content editing, and omnichannel content delivery makes that possible. 

With an API-first headless CMS, content editors can create a process workflow where every time they introduce new content, an API takes over the distribution part and delivers it to the platforms or channels of their choosing through API calls.
 
Omnichannel content delivery is highly consumer-based. It gives companies the option to distribute content to individual users in different channels and build a cohesive user experience across multiple platforms. 

For developers, this means freedom to work with whatever tool or framework they prefer; for content editors, it means that they’re sourcing content from the same CMS and reducing the amount of work they have to do to publish content across channels.

Why A Traditional CMS Isn’t Enough for Omnichannel Marketing

Customers expect connected processes and digital experiences. They want the ability to get things done using whatever touchpoint they choose. This doesn’t play well with the traditional CMS as it’s not able to distribute adaptive content. 

Here are some reasons why omnichannel marketing doesn’t play well with the traditional CMS:

  • Single-channel content delivery: Traditional architecture is built to be single-channel. Each channel requires an individual setup and separate optimization.
     
  • Content silos: Since content teams create content on a channel-by-channel basis, content silos and inconsistencies across multiple channels appear.
     
  • Rigid workflows: Since every channel has its own workflows, it’s hard to streamline operations across channels and products.
     
  • Lack of integrations: Traditional CMS’ are monolithic solutions that come with limited features and don’t allow for many third-party integrations or only integrate well with a select group of vendors.
     

Why A Headless CMS Is Your Best Bet for Omnichannel Marketing

The omnichannel approach is all about personalizing the customer experience on every channel. A headless CMS streamlines operations and enables businesses to manage content from one single location. Headless CMSs enable quick content optimization and delivery to many different channels at once,  which can support all kinds of avenues, from product launches to blog posts to in-person events, and sales promotions. 

Being API-first and cloud-native, a headless CMS gives marketers a flexible content structure. Agility CMS’ content infrastructure unifies omnichannel content delivery and makes data reusable and customizable. Agility’s flexible content-first approach streamlines content operations and makes it easier for editors to manage content as they expand into new channels. 

These are some reasons why headless is the way to go to build an omnichannel experience:

  • Less maintenance required: Headless CMSs are usually updated and optimized more often than traditional CMSs. Also, integrating third-party software is easier and faster.
     
  • Better content management: With a headless approach, content creators can adapt and distribute content to emerging channels with ease.
     
  • Faster content delivery: Headless CMSs are less prone to delays, and their cloud-based infrastructure enables creators to access content from their own terminals.
     
  • Better ROI: A traditional CMS is optimized for a single channel, which means that you need more than one to deliver omnichannel content, resulting in lower ROI and slower service. 
Joel Varty

Joel Varty

Joel Varty is President of Agility CMS.  Joel has over 20 years of experience in customer relationship management, product management and has embraced cloud technology as a groundbreaking concept over a decade ago. Joel is a frequent writer for Agility CMS blog and leads many webinars and trainings for developers and digital leaders.  

Gartner Magic Quadrant for DXP Review