With Adobe leading the trend in redefining customer experiences, the recently concluded Adobe Summit 2019 provided a great platform for Adobe to connect with its partners, vendors, and customers to showcase its innovations in customer experience. NextRow Digital, a proud Adobe Summit silver sponsor for the fourth consecutive year had a great time interacting with our customers, forging new partnerships and showcasing innovations in the Adobe customer management space. In fact, we had a done a lot of homework to prepare well for the Summit in advance and it was definitely an enriching experience, laced with fun and excitement for the complete NextRow Digital’s team.
There were more than 300 sessions and labs across eleven content tracks, which included Advertising, B2B Marketing Automation with Marketo, Email & Omnichannel Marketing and Personalization. There were many great announcements at the Summit this year with the focus being more on CX messaging, integration with Magento and partnerships with Microsoft. Simply stated, the conference was an excellent blend of content, hands-on and vision. With fond memories back home, we would like to highlight and summarize some of the key takeaways of the Summit, which were noteworthy.
The announcement of the Open Data initiative
The Open Data initiative (ODI) is a great step forward that has been jointly developed by Adobe, Microsoft, and SAP. Towards this direction, Adobe announced big partnerships with firms such as Unilever. This ODI is great news for the Data and Analytics industry. The following are some of the key aspects and implications of this initiative:
a. Standardization of data and flexibility to handle customization
b. Establishment of global standards for data structures (W3C data layer standards) that simplifies systems integration and enhances development.
c. For ODI to be successful, partners need to adopt ODI standards and build solutions to enable others to follow suit. So, the adoption rate is the key to the success of this initiative.
We see this initiative as a bold step. Let’s see how this works out!
The unveiling of the Adobe Experience Platform (AEP)
Though we have been hearing about this platform fora long time, however, in this Summit, Adobe has formally unveiled this platform to help clients recreate new customer experiences. This is an open and extensible platform that integrates data across the enterprise, thereby letting real-time customer profiles to leverage Adobe Sensei artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Based on the customer profiles, this platform triggers content to offer personalized experiences in real time. With this platform, companies can activate insights across all Adobe Experience Cloud solutions. Apart from that, they can also connect with other data sources such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications to retrieve their unique data.
Greater partner focus
From a strategic perspective, it sounded like Adobe is leaning more towards its partners. This means Adobe is showing greater commitment to work and collaborate with partners, than in the past. In fact, based on the candid discussions we had on Experience Platform and Adobe I/O, it seemed that Adobe would initially support new clients with initial implementations and later pitch in the partners to support their clients to meet their requirements. This translates to greater visibility and increased opportunities for its partners.
New product launches – #DataUnbound and #JourneyGenuis
Though there were more than 10 product launches by Adobe, however, two products – #DataUnbound and #JourneyGenuis have become crowd pullers. What’s so unique about these products?
#DataUnbound – This product boasts of two great features – Accessibility and Artificial Intelligence
- Accessibility: This feature enables data within Adobe Analytics to be easily accessible outside of the console. A Microsoft PowerPoint plugin has been developed to enable easy integration of workspace dashboards and visualizations via an API. Apart from that, with Open Data Links, dashboards can easily be passed over to other applications such as Excel or Tableau with a simple ‘copy-paste’ feature. This way, users can eliminate work duplication, improve efficiency and increase data visibility.
- Artificial Intelligence: With this feature, Data Unbound inserts explanations and insights into the data component in the report/dashboard that is being viewed in real time.
#JourneyGenius – This product also comes with Adobe Analytics, but with a focus on machine learning in support of predictive intelligence. Journey Genius consists of an embedded data scientist within the console. Though looks similar to JourneyIQ, it further consists of time, event and goal variable that enables users to view historical and predicted future customer journeys. It is expected that Journey Genius could be a game changer, as it can provide an opportunity for teams to easily use the product, who do not have the required data science resources.
Innovation in Analysis Workspace for greater customer engagement
In this Summit, Adobe has released 3 new features in the Analysis Workspace that is bound to transform the Digital Analytics field. What are these?
Journey IQ lets you visualize the customer journey that users took to browse your site and finally purchase. A key takeaway of this feature is you can easily view a customer’s previous past journeys, which had led to higher conversions. This way, you can easily improve the future spend to enhance these paths.
Cohort Analysis lets you add varied segments to inclusion and exclusion metrics, display churn, show the elapsed time between vital events, enable rolling date views for monitoring return or churn, and break down cohort groups by dimensions. This way, you can easily know which marketing channel has been delivering the best customers or where are most of the users falling off within my content strategy.
Attribution IQ lets you to comprehend how meaningful engagement occurs across the entire customer journey, intelligently identifying inflection points that enable customers to target outcomes, thereby effectively maximizing marketing initiatives.
A great platform for valuable insights on digital transformation
Beyond all Adobe’s product offerings, this Summit provided a great platform to understand the typical challenges, each company has been facing lately in the wake of digital transformation and trying to figure out what best works for their organizations. Case study sessions, seminar, and candid discussions provided us a great way to look for answers for pressing problems and challenges. In fact, the bottom line is to overcome the hurdles and adapt to remain competitive.
Mobile app testing is set for a huge transformation
The last but not the least takeaway is all about mobile testing and how it has been showcased to generate great interest among the testing community. We had an exciting demo on mobile testing and debugging by the mobile SDK team. It was more like an out of box concept, since you do not use a proxy, but a deep link QR code and web UI view. Some of the notable features of this mobile app testing approach are:
- Uses the new AEP SDK (5.x) + some extra code
- Eliminates SSL setup
- Enables viewing logs and other non-Adobe events
These are some of the takeaways, which we had gathered from the Summit, though there were other exciting moments, learning activities and fun events that had rejuvenated the spirits of the participants. Overall, it was exciting, yet a great learning experience for all our NextRow team members, who had put their heart and soul to make this event a grand success. Hoping to connect next year on a much greater scale.