I have been part of the sales pitch process for a long time and one of the main challenges is to articulate how investment in a product will bring a positive return on investment (ROI), without sounding like a used car salesman.
Sincerity comes from belief in the product, as you can only fake it so far, until the post-implementation cracks start to show and you're left with a valuable client who is second-guessing their decision to invest in a sub-par system which you—their trusted solution partner—lead them towards.
Any good digital agency will only recommend a system in which they firmly believe; as the several month development and implementation phase of an average project is a drop in the water compared with the long term strategy partnership that client and agency are entering into—the chosen system platform being the foundation of that relationship.
The ways to look at ROI when investing in DXP
ROI is not only how much benefit the digital experience platform (DXP) can bring based on its features. It's also how much it can save long-term by minimising the investment costs associated with adapting to your changing business. The latter is sometimes an after-thought when making the important decision of platform selection.
In my career, I have been using CMSs and DXPs for the past 16 years (at the time of writing) and in 2008, I was introduced to Kentico Xperience when starting a new position at a Melbourne-based digital agency. After my first few sales pitches and website implementations, the thing that stood out for me very clearly was that not only was Kentico Xperience very easy to demo to potential clients, but after their website implementation, those clients were very satisfied with what they invested in. What they saw in the sales demo, the promises that were made regarding greater power for editors, security and stability, improved conversions and improved brand presence and customer engagement— these were all delivered.
But what about the long term?
In most cases from my experience, I attributed long-term positive client satisfaction with two factors: continued post-implementation development to dynamically align web systems with company growth (in some instances greater investment than initial website build), and at the end of the average website lifespan, far more often than not, clients were opting to either upgrade to, or rebuild on the latest Kentico Xperience platform.
Why does Kentico Xperience have such a solid customer retention rate? Why is it that once on a well implemented Xperience system (and keep in mind that the implementation partner is just as important as the product), customers stay loyal to the brand and don't think about re-platforming? I believe that it is based on the fact, that once the "shiny new system" honeymoon-period is over, Kentico Xperience allows customers to get on with business in two ways:
- By empowering businesses to increase their online operations (whether that be profit margins, user engagement or conversions) by providing the necessary tools for marketers and content champions to get on with the job they need to do to drive conversions.
- By reducing online running costs (the reduction of long terms costs through technical efficiencies provided by the system) by allowing technical teams the tools necessary to scale up (or scale down) by way of DXP configuration and custom development potential through code and APIs (and regular feature upgrades and hotfixes).
ROI from DXP capabilities and features
There are three main facets of Kentico Xperience that provide a solid ROI:
1. Content creation and management
The life-blood of your website. Kentico Xperience provides powerful content modelling tools that help you create and maintain sophisticated hierarchical information architecture.
2. Page editing capabilities
On-page editing, drag/drop components (widgets), re-usable templates and content tree component-based page building facilities. For a better look at the power and flexibility Kentico Experience provides for building pages, you can read my article about Building pages in Kentico Xperience, dedicated to this topic.
3. Marketing automation
Powerful automated marketing features including content personalization, marketing automation, EDM campaigns, A/B testing, MVT testing, lead scoring, and visitor segmentation.
ROI from mitigating lifespan cost expenditures
Over the lifespan of a website, there are three primary associated costs that I consider to be common among almost all projects I have been involved on:
1. Scaling up (or down) to meet new business requirements
As business requirements change, so (usually) does the website functionality . The system should therefore be designed with scalability in mind. I have not ever built a DXP project which did not have some level of custom development. And although this is a big consideration to make in the initial development phase, it becomes even more critical when further development is required in an already established system.
The Kentico Xperience platform has (in my mind) been a development platform with an extensive and solid API, coupled with seamless custom development integration straight into the DXP . In other words, the system can be extended whilst providing a unified user experience where the end user can not tell out-of-the-box from custom. And lastly, by adhering to best practices, custom development will have minimal impact on system patches and upgrades . Some might argue this is a make-or-break consideration in DXP selection.
2. Security patching and upgrading
Regular hotfixes and feature releases ensure the system is running on a secure foundation and has the latest feature-set. Subject to how well implemented the solution is (a tip of the hat to the quality partners out there), updates are generally pain-free and without the horror stories we so often hear around the IT campfire.
In short, regular updates mean the team at Kentico Xperience are constantly on the tools to ensure your investment in the product license is providing you with value. But what happens when technical issues do arise? Well, this is a good segue to one of the (what I consider) greatest things about the Kentico team—the unparalleled support.
3. Issue resolution
As the company has grown and system has gone from all-in-one bang-for-your-buck CMS to Gartner's contender in the Digital Platform space, the company's approach to support has not changed. The first thing that struck me all those years ago in 2008 was that when I ran into a complex e-commerce problem (brace yourselves, here comes a flashback story). I sent the Kentico team an email and they responded within an hour and worked with me tirelessly until my issue was solved. This was not a paid support plan (though Kentico do offer that extra level of support), it was simply the standard email support.
Fond memories aside, the bottom line is that the Kentico technical team always have been, and very much still are right there to assist both you and your technical implementation partner, should challenges arise . And back on the topic of ROI—support like this ensures that the running costs of your system are mitigated.
Get the best DXP value
In summary, ROI should be viewed as both what the DXP can bring to the table to increase conversions and also how long-term costs of scaling to adapt to a dynamic business are mitigated. The latter type of ROI is not always front-of-mind when platform decisions are being made, but it's nonetheless just as important.
When deciding on investment in a DXP, look at ROI in two ways: what system will yield, and what it will save you in the long term. And finally, don't forget that your Kentico Xperience implementation partner is also a truly important piece of the puzzle—because an incapable mechanic can turn even a Ferrari into a junk-yard lemon.
Reach out to our expert team to learn more about the ROI a DXP can offer your business.