Even though I’m not physically at Adobe Summit, I committed my morning to soaking up the Adobe Summit keynote (2 hrs 45 min!) and I’m not mad about it. It was chock-full of compelling customer examples, new product features, insight on Adobe’s strategic direction and more. And as a marketer who has been involved in events, the execution of the entire thing was flawless. Not one apparent hiccup (that I could see at least).
Here are five of the top highlights from my perspective:
1. The Experience Cloud is a Top Priority for Adobe
The fact that Adobe is going all in on the experience portion of the business was reiterated by the direction that the content took this morning. Adobe’s CEO, Shantanu Narayen, made a brief mention of the Creative Cloud and Document Cloud when he first got on stage, but the morning was almost entirely focused on innovations, partnerships, and customers surrounding the Experience Cloud. The Creative Cloud is no doubt the workhorse of the business, growing to $1.49 billion, as reported during Adobe’s last earnings call. However, Adobe clearly recognizes the massive opportunity that exists if they can help brands orchestrate every element of the customer journey to create an experience that’s personalized, consistent, and delightful for the consumer. The holy grail of sorts.
2. Personalization Can’t Happen Without Data and Intelligence + Trust and Transparency
I thought this was a great way of encapsulating how businesses should be thinking about creating 1:1 experiences for customers. Shantanu was quick to note that achieving this is not an easy feat, especially for companies with legacy systems that can’t keep up with consumers’ high expectations for personalization. In industries like tech, retail, travel, and banking there are many organizational silos, but ultimately their ability to put the customer at the center of their strategy and orchestrate the journey for them will separate the leaders from the laggards.
3. Best Buy Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon
When I heard that the Best Buy CEO was coming on stage, I yawned a little bit. I thought their brand was nearly obsolete given the fierce competition with Amazon. But it was actually really interesting and educational to hear about how they’re investing in the customer experience across digital and in-store. They are treating their stores as “showrooms” for all the innovations from consumer tech brands like Apple, Samsung, LG etc. and then adding value for customers by offering in-home advisors to help with electronics setup and support. It also seems they’ve invested a lot in shipping speeds and supply chain technology to keep pace with Amazon. And when it comes to media spend, 90 percent is on digital channels and they’re leveraging a customer database with over 12k attributes to do personalization. Overall, a very impressive Adobe customer spotlight!
4. SunTrust’s CMO is Legit
Susan Johnson, the CMO at SunTrust, was by far the most engaging and authentic speaker on stage this morning. She told the story of how she started her career as an engineer at Apple and when someone asked her if she’d be interested in a marketing role, she took a leap of faith and never looked back. In her current role at SunTrust, her mission is to put consumers on a path to financial confidence, and the company has helped 5 million people do this over 5 years. She stressed that there’s such an immense amount of data coming from digital experiences, that it will become even more critical for the CMO and CIO to collaborate closely to determine how to uncover the right insights and make them actionable. She defined marketing as the true growth driver for companies today. Couldn’t agree more. Makes me feel extra proud that SunTrust is an Invoca customer.
5. Lots of Cool Stuff Coming out of Adobe R&D
From using voice-activated search within Adobe’s platform and generating AI-powered recommendations for campaigns to designing and publishing augmented reality experiences in digital stores — there is a lot of exciting stuff in development at Adobe. At Invoca, we’ve thought quite a bit about how voice plays into the customer journey, but I’m definitely looking forward to getting my head around how businesses will be taking advantage of AR in the future.
Want to learn about the power of Adobe in action? See how Progrexion, a credit report repair company, integrated Adobe Experience Cloud and Invoca data to increase sales by 40 percent.