The panacea for any marketer is seamless end-to-end production, delivery and attribution. It looks like Adobe have finally delivered this… for the most part.
Through a series of swish, well-rehearsed demos during the London Adobe Summit keynote in June, an audience of 5,000+ seasoned marketeers’ ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ at the presenters adding a boat to a wilderness scene in Photoshop, simply by typing the instruction. We then marvelled at the ‘click of a button’ creation of brand compliant, multichannel ad variants. We were even more delighted at the news that the ability to produce these materials can be at the disposal of not only your design team, but by the marketing and sales teams too!
Adobe has (finally) connected its tools and platforms not simply from a production and output perspective, but more importantly, through the lens of answering business operation and speed to market challenges – removing friction in the steps between concept to deployment to measurement and connecting creative and marketing teams. Building more fluid collaboration between marketing and creative teams is the “big unlock” that Adobe is providing, as noted by Chief Business Officer, David Wadhwani, during his address.
Accelerating ‘ideas to impact’ of course came with sprinkles of ‘AI’ chatter, which were a constant during the event; refreshingly relayed in a grounded way though, “AI is a creative co-pilot to deliver faster realisation of your ideas”, as outlined by Adobe Chair and CEO, Shantanu Narayen. This underpinned the current Adobe mantra of ‘Experience led growth’, leading to connected channels and hyper-personalisation.
Anil Chakravarthy, President of Digital Experience at Adobe highlighted the point that content demand has grown x2 over the last two years and is set to grow x5 in the next two! Scaling to this demand while grasping the opportunity to remain hyper-personalised in your communications across every customer touchpoint needs to be backed by connected thinking and connected workflows. Narayen felt few companies could create the foundations needed to build the right models to be commercially safe, like Adobe can; “meeting customers where they are, means we are lowering the engagement curve.”
Hearing from Publicis Groupe CEO, Arthur Sadoun was a moment of inspiration and insight for the audience. Sadoun described the big shift in audience engagement will be from ‘paid media’ to ‘owned media’ within your owned digital ecosystem and with that, a call to action for brands to break down the P&L silos and think ‘customer first’
The breakout sessions at Summit were a good opportunity to hear direct from businesses actively changing their models and approaches, testing for success and getting the results.
The Adidas lead architects, Tihomir Mitic and Amarjot Singh highlighted how centralising it’s DAM (Digital Asset Management) helped Adidas to visualise data and make core business decisions for growth and operations via a ‘single source of truth’. The program laddered up to three guiding principles:
- Time to vision: exhausting your approach in the planning phase.
- Team to focus: brand and vendor partnership, in its case: Adidas x IMBx x Adobe.
- Organisational setup to land: an agility-led mindset, continuous delivery and a mature product-led setup.
The Telegraph’s Tom Kelleher, Head of Technology and Marketing, unpacked his approach to drive a subscription model by leaning on the guiding goal of personalisation. Kelleher realised that this needed to be bespoke to the individual - not a segment or cluster. A/B testing on paywall triggers was critical to success, using customer attributes data to inform the approach meaning personalisation was a unique experience, served in the correct context.
Adobe used its Summit to announce new extensions to its suite such as ‘engagement canvas’ in Marketo. It provides a more visual experience to optimise your rule-based campaigns across platforms to support with campaign validation, onboarding new users quicker and provides alignment between stakeholders to support more informed connected conversations about performance and priorities. The ‘Sneaks’ session was also a glimpse into the future of search, filtering and AI learning – all pretty impressive, while at the same time seemingly very obvious, which most things do in retrospect.
Tech transformation continues to sweep across all sectors as customer demands (expectations) become ever-more instant, fluid and personalised. As marketing gets faster, more automated, generative, and connected, the challenge for brand and communication teams shouldn’t be ‘how do we control these innovations’, rather it should be ‘how do we harness them to help us move faster?’ This opens more opportunities for the strategic thinking and value add work to be done by practitioners.
Embrace the change. Innovate daily.