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Over-the-top advertisements and salesy pitches don’t work like they once did. Reliant on scroll-worthy algorithms and “for you” pages, consumers resonate most with marketing that reads like curated content. A personalized experience is expected when it comes to digital marketing. So it’s a must to understand your target audience and customer data.

Systems like Drupal help build your own comprehensive digital marketing hub around your customer data through multiple streams of supportive software. Over the years, Drupal has evolved from a top content management system (CMS) to a Digital Experience Platform (DXP). In this blog, we’ll show you how to use Drupal to build a DXP for your business.

Drupal as a CMS is not enough anymore

Drupal is revered by businesses for its extreme flexibility and dependability and continues to evolve with market demands. The main hustle of a CMS is to keep the website content together, not handle the extra complexity that DXPs can with their customer data-driven framework. Keeping up with tech's fast pace, Drupal is joining the CMS to DXP pipeline.


Most content management systems (CMS) have upgraded to become what’s known as a digital experience platform (DXP) A DXP can integrate all of your digital marketing tools. It can do everything that a traditional CMS can, but way more.

DXPs combine components usually found as separate software, now in an all-encompassing cloud-based suite full of marketing and sales tools built to work with large sets of customer data.  It allows you to efficiently create, host, and distribute digital content across multiple channels, all without being held back by the restrictions of single-site functionality--which is often the case with your standard CMS.

Achieve the vision of giving a better, more scalable customer experience (CX) by moving away from the more basic CMS capabilities and applying the full DXP scope of what Drupal can do for your business.

Is Drupal as a DXP worth the investment?

Like any CMS/DXP, Drupal is your assistant for structuring and managing content. Seemingly one-size-fits-all, small and large organizations alike use Drupal to build their website and manage their e-commerce, mobile apps, social channels, kiosks, intranet, resource directories, and more. Drupal powers over 1.7 million websites and is advocated by developers and marketers alike.

Beyond using Drupal to power your business’ website, its comprehensive nature allows you to integrate otherwise separate software to create a hive of interoperating marketing systems. The vendor is highly modifiable; there are countless platforms to choose from when you're building on your Drupal-powered website and DXP stack.

Drupal has evolved in the past few years from a top CMS to impacting the DXP level. On top of the CMS, there are many extra components you can add for focusing on return on experience (ROX). There's a competitive advantage to using a DXP as well; you could be ahead of the game in your industry by advancing your digital experience in places other companies may not.

Steps from CMS to DXP

Getting the best out of your DXP

Of course, a DXP is not a single product. Integrating software is how to turn Drupal, a fully-kitted website creator, into your own full-stack DXP. Think of your DXP/website as a place for your customers to find solutions your business offers. By default, Drupal supports the DXP roadmap with its interoperability with other software and apps and its modifiable nature.

Transforming Drupal from your CMS to your DXP is necessary if you want to amp up your ROX. Customer experience is the focal point of a DXP, which will keep your strategy fresh from beginning to end. The sections below detail the steps to change from a regular CMS to DXP and features that make up a Drupal DXP. Overall, more capabilities capture a clearer focus on the customer.

Step 1: Move content & touchpoints

Integration with third-party systems

If you want your Drupal site to provide more personalized experiences, you need to integrate multiple marketing tools like CRM, CDP, DAM, and DMP, among others. Being open-source, Drupal has development and integration powers ready to go to transform into a DXP. You may have to hire Drupal developers to assist in synergizing the software. For a deep dive into software must-haves, check out this blog on how to build your essential DXP system.

Custom development

Drupal already allows you to intricately modify your content architecture. Their theming system lets you develop responsive, custom designs so you don't need to be stuck with a generic template. Snag your developers to work closely with the design and marketing teams to take your Drupal CMS to the next level.

Multichannel publishing

It's best to carry a consistent experience across multiple channels and devices. Centralization is the Drupal has robust, built-in management features for creating and publishing content. Put these to use and deliver consistent, branded messaging all from one place.

Step 2: Gather data in a Customer Data Platform (CDP)

Data Analytics

Data is the missing piece to this puzzle. It drives personalization across all touchpoints, garnering the best digital experience possible for your customers. So, start by integrating a CDP into your Drupal DXP. Build rich customer profiles out of multiple sources in your script of data which will funnel into the CDP.


Cloud storage allows you to capture all of the necessary customer data while keeping it stored securely. It's built to withstand large amounts of data. However, cloud storage on Drupal doesn't come by default. Consider adding a cloud service such as Acquia's Drupal Cloud when transforming your Drupal CMS.


A lone wolf CMS doesn't have the data-leveraging capabilities to personalize your customer data. Personalization through data is a key component of a DXP. Simply put: Data personalizes the CX. Once you integrate a CDP with Drupal, your data can reach its full potential.

Step 3: Build segments from data

Behavioral data, engagement, purchase history, cart abandonment, and personal data are examples of your customer base that equip your CMS to be a DXP. The more narrowed segments you can identify ensures you're hitting all corners

That's because when you apply customer profiles that give you segments it details all your alternative audiences. Now you can clearly define the most relevant content for each segment, crafting messages best suited for each. Enter ROX and ROI generation.

Applied AI

Machine learning is certainly possible with Drupal, but not straight out of the box. If you want to search for insights on your customer segments and data, integrate AI technology with Drupal. Discover segments through AI automatically detecting customer segments or manually configuring them. Take advantage of AI for searches that can't be completed manually.

Step 4: Reflect your website with data segments

Beyond tailor-made marketing messages, Drupal allows you to guide the customer through every step in their journey. Actions based on your segments can determine your design and call-to-action types on your website and/or mobile apps. You can direct your customer journeys in Drupal based on active visitors within a segment and lead them to their solution, generating a ROX. Plus, this is also a feature you can apply to email marketing automation in Drupal.

Step 5: Evaluate results and improve CX

By centering your strategy around the digital experience across all touchpoints, you should see a difference in how customers respond to your business.

Send off your segments into a CDP to see how customer retention, site visitors, and sales have improved after implementing these DXP qualities in your business's digital world. Continue evaluating the third-party software you've connected to Drupal and see which ones are delivering the most.