As it does every year, the Adobe Summit - The Digital Marketing Conference gives us a glance at the future and upcoming possibilities within Adobe's Marketing Cloud. Adobe's primary goal is to show how it responds to the continuously present and strong demand for innovation.
As a partner of Adobe, AMPLEXOR always attends these summits and the 2015 event saw 8 members of AMPLEXOR’s Adobe team attend the various sessions.
In this post, Eric Pieters (VP Professional Services at AMPLEXOR), reflects on 5 strategic topics he picked up during the summit.
#1: Adobe is a confident, bold company
Adobe has invested a lot in its digital offerings during the last couple of years in order to answer the rising, complex demands for digital experience management.
I noticed that the Adobe Summit adds to the profile of Adobe being a confident, even bold, company - that is also clear from their other communications and events. They're really positioning themselves in a pioneering role for digital experience management, which shows in the ambitious set-up of the event, the imagery, the sneek peaks and the demos.
If you have the audacity to change iconic Coke neon signs live on stage, it radiates confidence (forward the video to 01:35:00 to see the live update of the Times Square Coke neon sign at the Adobe Summit Salt Lake City earlier this year).
#2: It’s all about data, optimization, personalization, conversion
Most of the sessions I attended focused on data, optimization, personalization and conversion. We saw demos from Fedex tracking and reacting to every move from its customers and leads. We saw the content of emails from an airline company being changed depending on your location, so customers received different content before departure or after landing.
All this data-driven marketing is pretty technically-inspired, with both big data and data warehouses needed to combine the analytics, your CRM and transactional data.
It was a common theme that IT in general takes an ever growing place in the digital transformation projects. Creative agencies will be confined to just the creative part (concepts, design), but tech savvy companies (like we at AMPLEXOR like to describe ourselves) will be needed in every step of the project.
#3: Dynamic content creation is a challenge
From the demos that we saw during the summit, it is clear that we are seeing a shift in focus from static content (regular, long-lived website pages) to dynamic content (content marketing).
Let me explain. There were a lot of demos about setting up landing pages, email campaigns, app notifications, analytics and how to use them in your digital marketing. Those demos, however, zeroed in on the tools themselves, not on the actual creation of the content - AEM, Adobe's web content management system, was seldom shown.
To me, that shows that organizations find it increasingly important to focus on the dynamic content brought by digital marketing tools. The challenge here lies in the fact that there's an enormous amount of content to be created and that the content velocity is very high.
#4: Actual digital transformation
The idea of digital transformation permeated the interviews with companies on stage and our conversations with other attendees - we are no longer talking about "the Internet"; we're talking about actual digital transformation within our companies.
"Marketing beyond Marketing" was a major slogan, meaning that the customer experience has to be in every single step and that technology will be everywhere.
A lot of us are working on a digital strategy and its implementation, which means that in reality we're changing our teams, our way of working and our approach to content. This topic isn't just about technology, but about culture, the speed of change and our changing interactions with customers.
#5: Companies and marketing departments embrace the agile approach
Agility - being able to respond flexibly to changes - is (or should be) the present day approach in organizations and it fits perfectly within the broader trend of digital transformation. Marketing and business departments are getting comfortable with this way ofno longer limited to the IT department.
The idea that "finished is better than perfect" resonates with teams working in fast-paced environments, cfr. the speed of change mentioned in #4 and the content velocity mentioned in #3. They understand that they should no longer strive for something that's perfect, but that they should test, try and focus on what works. We also see that projects are divided in to smaller sub-projects due to the speed of market changes.
The Adobe Summit 2015 in London presented Adobe as a confident leader. The AMPLEXOR team attended numerous sessions that focused on trending topics like data, optimization, personalization and conversion. Interviews and talks about the creation of content and the way digital transformation affect our teams and companies prove to difficult for some companies, but the agile approach (“finished is better than perfect”) and the flexibility it holds seems to be a fitting tactic to handle these challenges.