Postcard from Adobe Summit

03 April 2019Leigh Gammons

Last week Adobe’s biggest Summit yet took place in Las Vegas. An epic 17,000 people, including customers and partners of new acquisitions, Magento and Marketo, gathered to hear about the next wave of customer experience driven transformation.

Although these major acquisitions have brought significant additions to the Adobe suite, these introductions are not my lasting impressions of this year’s Summit, one week on. What has really stuck with me was the general change of purpose that I perceived amongst clients and other partners. What do I mean by this? We’ve been talking about transformation for several years but this year there seemed to be consensus that now is the time to really drive change through clever and strategic use of technology.

Let’s face it, the technology is all there and vendors - as per Adobe’s example - are accruing an arsenal that means we can pretty much do what we want to do technology-wise. The clever bit, however, is getting it right for your customers and your business and using a technology investment to genuinely change the way that you work for the better.

Data is key to this transformation and Adobe are taking steps to make sure that they are the front runners when it comes to helping businesses stitch up their data and action it in real time.

The Experience platform

Adobe developed the Experience Platform (not to be confused with the Experience Cloud!) to help them deliver a more tailored experience to their own customers. Fast forward to last week’s Summit and they have announced that it is now globally available.

The Experience Platform allows organisations to stitch together data from multiple sources, analyse it and act on it in real time. It collates data from Adobe’s new Customer Data Platform (CDP), that holds real time customer profiles based on browsing and behavioural data, and processes it with the data held in an organisation’s CRM, ERP, or any other data source. With an intelligence layer, powered by Adobe Sensei, it provides the capability to deliver timely and relevant experiences to your customers on the device of their choice, via other Experience Cloud solutions. In short, it will save you from spending a huge amount of time and resources creating your own data infrastructure and allow you to get on with the business of growing your business.

From data to commerce, where Adobe have plugged a hole and are now offering a commerce solution that handles every touch point.

The Adobe Commerce Cloud

Prior to the purchase of Magento last year, Adobe’s Achilles’ heel was commerce. Now with the addition of Magento Experience driven commerce, they have a solution that takes customers seamlessly from awareness, through purchase, to loyalty. It looks as though full integration with Adobe’s other Clouds is still a distant promise, but it’s something for us to get our teeth into, and we’re certainly looking forward to working with our WPP partners within Wunderman Thompson Commerce to crack that nut.

We’re also excited about developing our partnership with Verticurl, WPP’s go-to agency for lead generation and marketing automation, and implementation experts when it comes to Adobe’s latest acquisition, Marketo.

The Marketo Acquisition

Marketo brings marketing automation with a strong emphasis on lead management and nurturing to complement Adobe Campaign, more often associated with B2C marketing and high volume. Combining Marketo’s capabilities with Adobe’s data credentials will give businesses an incredibly sophisticated, single view of the customer and the ability to act on that data, delivering timely messages to their inboxes.

So these were Summit’s three big ticket agenda items with Sensei, Adobe’s AI, getting lots of passing mention, of course. With such a multi-faceted and complementary stack on offer, the work is now on to connect the pieces of the jigsaw. And I’m not talking about technology in isolation here. The pieces of that jigsaw extend to people and process too. Technology is just a part of the experience ecosystem and, as I mentioned, the overriding message from our clients at Summit was that they are looking to piece this together to drive change.

So perhaps at an enterprise level, we’re set to see the technology arms race slow down a little, in favour of some more strategic thinking. What are the strategic goals of your business? What’s the role for customer experience in driving those business goals? What are the capabilities that you need to deliver those experiences? These are the questions that we’re discussing with our clients and, while we’re at it, we’re loving playing with all the tools in their shiny technology stacks.

Author: Leigh Gammons
Published: 03 April 2019

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