2018 was already proving to be an exciting year for Adobe with the integration of Magento Commerce Cloud last spring. But the recent addition of Marketo Engagement Platform transforms the entire landscape and widens Adobe’s leadership in customer experience.
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Now that the initial surprise has passed, it’s time to look at some of the outcomes of this new chapter in martech history and what it means for B2C and B2B enterprise marketers.
Customer experience becomes more than a buzzword
Offering seamless, end-to-end cross-channel customer experiences has been on the top of marketer’s priorities for a long time. In reality, it usually required complex technology integrations or heavy investments to connect all the different marketing platforms, and this discontinuity was not only felt by marketing teams, but worse, it was also felt by customers.
The powered-up Adobe Experience Cloud becomes an unrivaled set of solutions across analytics, content, personalization, advertising and commerce to automate the complete buyer and customer journey. The promise is greater functionality to make marketer’s work more manageable in reaching their global audiences where and when they want them.
A more advanced, unified view of the customer
Marketers also start to see the light at the end of the tunnel to another challenge: having a unified customer profile. In fact, according to Adobe’s own research, 82% agree that achieving a single customer view is critical to businesses long-term success, but very few (18%) are currently able to merge their customer data into one single profile across all marketing platforms.
The capabilities in lead management, account-level data and multi-channel marketing that Marketo brings to the table, combined with Adobe’s rich behavioral dataset bring just that. An advanced, full-picture view of the customer, including behavioral and ad data with sales outcomes. Marketing departments gain a multi-touch attribution solution to help them get full credit for their results no matter where they happen in the funnel.
Ecommerce takes the spotlight
We cannot overlook the spotlight taken by the transactional element brought into the mix. The addition of monetization tools to Adobe’s marketing suite is the ultimate way for marketers to reach new audiences and get a more direct, tangible way to measure the ROI of their work. And you’re not just getting an ecommerce platform, you’re getting a 10 plus year-old thriving ecosystem of its own, including order management tools and secure payment systems (digital wallets included).
On the other way around, those with a Magento-based online store gain easy-to-use content creation tools in Adobe Experience Manager that allow them to continuously design, test and launch new site content for highly engaging shopping experiences. The recent integrations of Magento with Amazon Sales Channel, Google Merchant Center and Advertising Channels for Google Smart Shopping Campaigns are the cherry on top of what was already a scrumptious ecommerce cake.
Power play in artificial intelligence and machine learning
Both Adobe and Marketo had already developed strong content intelligence engines based on artificial intelligence (AI) – you probably have already heard of Adobe Sensei - and machine learning (ML). Their combination becomes just that more powerful, resulting in a living and breathing data environment that learns and delivers intelligence back to both to visitors’ and content authors’ experiences.
On the authoring side, for example, tools such as Smart Tags help marketers create and execute more personalized experiences by receiving automatic suggestions to catalogue content. This makes assets more findable and reusable, improving content creation and campaign execution velocity. With an intelligent repository of content assets and a data-driven approach companies can focus their marketing efforts on the most valuable prospects and customers.
Data-driven personalization and consistency
Combining AI and ML technologies with Adobe Target segmentation and targeting capabilities, companies can personalize literally every experience and website visitors see content that better matches their interests. You’ll know who your website visitors are, every interaction they’ve had with your brand, how to target them with the right message at the right time based on all their interactions, and carry this level of personalized communications throughout each individual customer’s relationship.
Data driven decision making is taken to the next level with tools for A/B and multivariate testing, landing page optimization, automated optimization of campaigns and multi-channel marketing automation activities. The power lies in the hands of marketers, content authors and shop managers to deliver loyalty-building customer journeys across web, mobile, email, in-store and in-person that support them every step of the way.
A learning environment to analyze, predict and act
You are probably already using tools such as web analytics platforms, tag management and A/B testing. The challenge comes when it’s time to integrate all these data sources. Predictive analytics in Adobe Analytics powered by Adobe Sensei combine data from marketing automation, real-time analytics and contact databases to determine intent and then personalize content.
This predictive algorithm helps marketers monitor and analyze customer interactions and find patterns to predict future behaviors and map out better conversion opportunities. For online stores, this means it can even detect potential challenges like special shipping requirements or inventory shortages. In the end, it can be a crucial tool to prioritize team’s time and budgets more effectively, as you’ll know which prospects are ready to strike and those which need more nurturing from marketing. Do that successfully, and you’ll also be saving time and money for your customers: instead of asking for the same information each time they need to fill in a form, you’ll know who they are and can use it to proactively get them what they’re looking for in seconds, rather than have them browsing your website for minutes (or hours).
We have seen an impressive expansion of the Adobe Marketing cloud capabilities over the past years, where Adobe managed to gradually and successfully integrate each solution they had acquired. Who remembers CQ5 (now Adobe Experience Manager), Neolane (now Adobe Campaign), Omniture (now Adobe Analytics)? These products have evolved to become the core solutions in the Adobe platform and have been integrated with each other over time, gradually, but seamlessly, following a clear strategic vision of Adobe.
Earlier this year, Adobe had already been named a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hubs research report, and that was before Marketo and Magento entered the picture. The combination of the three powerhouses definitely raises the bar for personalized and fully immersed experiences in both B2B and B2C.
As long-standing Adobe partners, this means we’re also better positioned than ever to offer the right technology solutions to our clients. And at the current pace of innovation and integration, we’re definitely excited for what the future holds for martech. Using the words of Adobe Systems CEO Shantanu Narayen, “how content and data come together is really how (…) magic happens”.
About the author
Damien Dewitte is VP Solution Manager for Digital Experience at Amplexor. For the past 20 years, Damien has been helping clients across industries and geographies to break technical barriers and excel in their digital initiatives. He has been responsible for the introduction of document management systems, enterprise collaboration projects and numerous Digital Experience Management successful consulting projects. Leading a team of digital enthusiasts, he believes unique businesses deserve unique strategies and is responsible for driving innovation and creating customized approaches for digital experience and content management projects.