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What the Gartner Magic Quadrant on digital experience platforms tells us

Terence de Waard
Terence de Waard
Global Partnership Marketing Lead
4 min read
1 April 2021

The Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms is a new report defining the scope and evolution of today’s digital experience technologies. It informs technology buyers about the key elements that a Digital Experience Platform or “DXP” must have to drive value for the business and its customers, well into the future. Organizations use DXPs to build, deploy and continually improve websites, portals, mobile and other digital experiences.

DXP providers are improving their products by adding new features to stay ahead of competition. Due to this, key elements of DXP’s are evolving continuously. In 2018 it is all about enabling marketers to create personalized customer experiences, with a strong focus on personalization via artificial intelligence (AI).

Besides personalized experiences, DXP providers enable their customers to integrate their systems with other core-business platforms such as CRM’s and logistics software. Since a DXP becomes a central platform in enterprises, they should also enable enterprises to draw information from many sources across the organization.

Select the right platform for your needs

Every DXP has its own sweet spot, just as all enterprises have their own demands. Select a DXP based on the demands within your organization and compare DXP’s on the features that are important for your specific situation.

Gartner defines 4 categories within their Magic Quadrant: niche-player, visionary, challenger and leader. Let’s pick six of the vendors, divided over all 4 quadrants and see what Gartner says about them.

  • Adobe is strong leader in the DXP world according to Gartner. Their Digital Experience Cloud, of which Adobe Experience Manager is the central hub, offers a broad collection of technologies, which are increasingly cloud-based and largely aimed at digital marketing use cases.
  • BloomReach has been acknowledged as a Visionary DXP vendor in this report. It’s a recognition of the strength of the radically open, extremely versatile and intrinsically intelligent platform they have built.
  • Oracle, a challenger according to Gartner, provides a PaaS solution with a broad range of features including data and AI, workflow, analytics & optimization, identity management, experience management, integration & security, and content services.
  • Salesforce offers rich, responsive, personalized experiences for business, partner communities and individual customers. As a challenger in the DXP market, Salesforce can rely on a large satisfied customer base.
  • SDL aims to help companies bridge the gaps between marketing, commerce and support content, while using the technologies of their choice. SDL Tridion DX is extensible and interoperable with integration frameworks and connects to relevant third-party solutions. As a niche player, SDL has a strong global presence.
  • Sitecore, leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant, is built around Web Content Management (WCM) and customer data. Besides customer management, the platform offers analytics, testing & optimization, journey mapping, cross-channel delivery and commerce tools. Sitecore supports a wide range of DXP use cases, and offers management capabilities for content, digital assets and product information.

Understand the importance of personalization

Personalization has been a buzzword for years. Delivering personalized experiences at the right moment and on the right channel is the dream of every marketer. Although there hasn’t been many companies delivering real personalized experiences, this will change rapidly since the up-swing of AI.

Integrating AI and machine learning within a DXP is up-coming and that will drive the delivery of personalized experiences. Due to AI, manual testing to deliver optimized personal experience is no longer needed, the DXP will do that for you. The data created by these automated tests will be stored and used for future optimization.

Implementation pitfalls and how to avoid them

Beside the positioning of DXP vendors, there is one recurring theme in Gartner’s report that caught our attention, limited implementation power. It’s common for those implementing DXP’s to select partners predominately on technical abilities without verifying their business understanding, UX, project management and data/insights capabilities. Without the correct implementation it can be hard to realize the value of the platform.

We’d like to congratulate the DXP’s we partner with including SDL, Sitecore, BloomReach, Adobe, Salesforce and Oracle for making it into the Gartner report and leading the way in this area.

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Global Partnership Marketing Lead

Terence de Waard