Pardon our saucy title, but Adobe’s 2018 Summit was all about increasing a brand’s customer base. Whether it’s enhancing your customer’s digital experience, seamlessly tracking customer/visitor behavior or converting anonymous users to loyal customers, there was a session to cover it. Which is what makes this annual conference a very rich experience in itself for marketers around the globe.
With 332 sessions – ranging from sessions on digital strategy to tactically tying together Audience Manager, Analytics and Campaign into a single solution, there was a session for the techies and business folks alike.
No single person can attend all the sessions. Luckily for Adobe Solutions Partners like Autowoven – the Partner Day provided a huge opportunity to review the product roadmap and vision ahead of time. Many attendees we met had come in groups – with team members attending different tracks and sessions simultaneously – very smart!
Among all the sessions, labs and strategy sessions, there were a few key takeaways:
- Adobe continues to emphasize that the (customer) Experience economy, driven by Adobe Experience Manager is the future of digital experience transformation.
- A new Experience Cloud ID Service (aka People Service) that can connect real-time analytics, segments and experiences with legacy customer touch points. This is the key for unifying today’s multi-channel, multi-device customer profiles.
- Hello Watson, meet Adobe Sensei – Adobe’s AI technology! Adobe predicts Sensei will drive automated experience curation among other tasks.
- Migrating to Adobe’s Cloud hosted platforms while taking care of security and privacy, will take the pain away from on-premise hosting.
Let’s talk about how Adobe approached each of the above hot topics:
1. Experience Economy:
We saw significant improvements with the release of AEM 6.4 including :
- An intuitive interface for IT to better manage Continuous Integration (CI) within the Cloud using Cloud Manager
- Increased re-usability of Components using the new Style System
- Consume AEM content across platforms using Content Services
- Single Page Application (SPA) Editor – easing the integration with SPAs which are all the rage now
- Now Target content to specific audiences directly from AEM – thanks to tighter integration between AEM and Target
- Enhanced integration with Adobe Campaign for authoring personalized, dynamic emails using common brand artifacts.
2. Cloud ID Service now called People Service:
To complete the customer profile, Adobe has introduced a new Cloud ID Service (also being called People Service) – which is available once you login to Experience Cloud portal.
- This new service allows you to unify experience profiles by introducing a common ID, creating and sharing Audiences and tying external profile sources with Adobe profiles.
- Adobe touts this as a key differentiator in the current market place, where no other vendor has the capability to tie different profiles together.
3. Adobe Sensei
Machine learning or Machine Teaching? Some say we are still teaching systems to learn – and this has some truth to it. To get the most of Adobe Sensei, there is a certain amount of “teaching” and associated effort, but ultimately Adobe predicts that Adobe Sensei will be able to do things like – automatically categorize digital assets, predict smart layouts for different audiences and ease repetitive content tasks.
Within AEM, it can automatically Tag content (the demos at the Summit actually worked 😉 )
Within Analytics, it can alert anomalies in customer behavior
4. Adobe’s Cloud hosted platforms
As is the general trend in the industry, all of Adobe Suite of products are now on the Cloud. Let’s take a look …
- AEM is now a pretty mature product on the cloud. The last time we checked there were over 150 US customers using Adobe’s cloud Experience Manager Cloud as opposed to on-premise software.
- Adobe Campaign (previously Neolane) can be completely operated within the Adobe Cloud – called Adobe Campaign Standard. Adobe Campaign Classic can still be implemented on premise.
- Adobe Target (AT), Adobe Analytics with the new Adobe Launch platform and Audience Manager (AAM) are fully on the Cloud and do not offer on-premise installations.
We were pleasantly surprised by the number of new enhancements and product features that Adobe launched. The platform as a whole – end-to-end, has taken significant strides. A customers we met asked us – “which other vendor offers such a comprehensive stack of features?” , and we did not have an answer. Adobe has left other marketing automation vendors far behind.