Adobe Summit, one of the most important events in the analytics world, gathered more than 17,000 people in Las Vegas, and thousands more at home, watching the live stream. This marks the 2019 edition as the biggest so far, both in terms of reach and interest.
 
In the first general session of the Summit, the main theme was customer experience and how we can improve the customers’ journey via digital transformation.
 
Shantanu Narayen, President & CEO of Adobe, welcomed on stage executives from Adobe and their partners’ network, and talked about the future of customer experience. There was a recurrent theme we could find across all talks and for all speakers: customers are at the heart of the digital transformation.
 
Everything companies do, from products launches to new services, to digital transformation and AI implementations, is for the benefit of the customer, and with the customer in mind.
 
“Adobe has a really simple mission: we’re changing the world through digital experience. And this has been Adobe’s mission since it’s foundation, but it’s never been more relevant than today,” said Shantanu Narayen.
 
There was also a lot of focus on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, as the two key technologies which became the driving force behind personalization and the customer journey. More and more companies are trying to leverage the benefits of ML-based targeting to deliver relevant messages to their users in the right place, at the right time.
 
“Adobe is taking an AI-first approach by embedding Adobe Sensei into every one of our solutions,” said Abhay Parasnis, EVP & CTO, Adobe.
 
Adobe also stated they are extending the global partnership with LinkedIn and Microsoft and they’ve announced an “account-based experience initiative.” Now, marketers can calibrate their accounts, and address B2B buyers directly on their LinkedIn platform, making it easier to target potential customers, according to Adobe. 
 
Adobe Analytics got another feature, allowing users to see view-through data, not only click-through data.
 
Also, Adobe Advertising Cloud announced a new partnership with Roku that will allow advertisers to target more accurately audiences on the streaming platform.
 
In the first session, Adobe also announced the general availability of Adobe Experience Platform, which already has several thousand beta-users.
 

Check our full live coverage of the main session below.

 

Shantanu Narayen, President & CEO, Adobe

 
This is the largest summit ever, with more than 17,000 in Las Vegas, and thousands more at home.
 
Adobe has a really simple mission: they’re changing the world through digital experience. And this has been Adobe’s mission since it’s the foundation, but it’s never been more relevant than today.
 
Powerful experience changes the way we think, interact, and the impact of these experience stands from the largest institutions to students and artists. Adobe brings innovation via cloud, and they empower people to create because they believe that everyone has a story to tell. With experience cloud, they’re transforming the way students compete in the digital era.
 
To win in today’s world, every business must transform itself, to become focused on the customer experience. At Adobe, they’ve seen this in the past years as they went through their own transformation. They’ve applied the lessons on building the experience cloud.
 
They were profitable but weren’t growing in line with the explosion of content. Their product cycle was too slow, they didn’t have a direct relationship with the customer, and they weren’t attracting the next generation of users. They had a unique opportunity to completely reimagine their engagement with customers. They decided to turn a multi-billion dollar to an entirely new way to reach customers with the customer experience: a subscription-based model.
 
Digital transformation starts by reimagining the entire customer journey. It’s taking them from one step to the next via a delightful experience. Most challenging of all, they had to scale the process and personalize the journey, not just for a customer, but for tens of millions of customers.
 
They needed a radically different cadence of how to run their business. By putting customers first, they optimized the entire user journey. And it has driven them at every level of the business, across every geographic region they operate across the world. This was imperative for the whole organization.
They created a new digital operating model.
 
Adobe Summit Day 1: Business Transformation through CXM
 
At Adobe, they like to say that retention is the new growth. Customer retention leads to renew. They like to anticipate issues that might occur. While each business is unique, they believe that each business needs to have its clear narrative of their value proposition each is delivering, with the accomplishments along the way.
 
This will provide the agility for people in the front line. They believe this can be a framework and a process.
 
Retailers want a comprehensive view of what happens in store and online, to know when to promote a product. This personalization on scale involves stitching all data together, applying intelligence, and taking action at the same time.
 
While personalization cannot happen without data and intelligence, it should not happen without trust and transparency. And all Adobe solutions are built with privacy by design principle in mind.
 
People who engage with you on different apps and different platforms are much more likely to engage with you. The ability to put the customer at the center of your digital strategy, and deliver the end-to-end experience they expect, will separate the leaders from the rest.
 

Hubert Joly, CEO, Best Buy

Adobe Summit: Best Buy CEO
Seven years ago, people thought Best Buy will die. The first stage of our transformation we introduced in November 2012. It was a comprehensive strategy, and the first thing we did was to take the price off the table, to make them competitive with respect to Amazon or other competitors. We invested in our website, shipping, and platform in the customer experience in the stores.
 
We invested in employees, who are now competitive and professional.
 
This was the first phase. Then we moved to reinvent the company. We’re not in the business of selling products or making transactions with you. Our purpose was to make a difference in people’s lives with technology, be that health, IT, electronics, etc.
 
We wanted to innovate outside the box. Oftentimes if the need is complex, we’ll come to you for free, and try to design something that makes a difference in your life.
 
There’s no home in America that is mono-brand. Even Tim Cook’s house has more brands in it. We said that for $200 a year ,we’ll support everything in your home.
 
Then, we focused on health. Helping aging people stay and be comfortable in their homes. We monitor the activity of daily living of daily seniors, with the help of AI, we can detect if anything wrong is happening or about to happen.
 
Adobe Summit Day 1: Best Buy CEO
 
Digitization of the company has been a key component of our transformation from day 1. The digitization of the customer journey was at the heart of the process.
 
On the website, the personalization we managed to do was with the help of Machine Learning and AI. For example, if you order a TV online and you pick it up from the store, you have a feature “On My Way” and it takes the TV to the front of the store.
 
Digital marketing has been a huge transformation. 7 years ago, we had 70% of our revenue analog, and now it’s 90% digital. We had data from across the company, but being able to take all that data and put it together was a huge endeavor. We could do targeted advertising in an effective fashion. We send 40 million versions of promotional emails.
 
Optimizing how many emails you send to who was always challenging, but we managed to do that with our data-driven approach.
 
We don’t see ourselves as a brick-and-mortar company. We see ourselves as a company that is obsessed with the customer, to solve their problems.
 
We had to make sure we are competitive online. Our main competitor online is Amazon. But we have our stores and ability to go to people’s homes. We were able to leverage these touchpoints. You can compare for example features of different products directly in our stores. With strictly online businesses, you can’t do that. This is an asset from a customer’s point of view.
 

Jason Woosley, Vice President, Commerce Product & Platform, Adobe

Adobe Summit Day 1: Jason Woosley
 
For the last 12 years, we’ve been at the forefront of the digital transformation in retail. As the first open source commerce platform, we transformed the industry. Leading retailers from all verticals looked to Magento to power their digital experience.
 
We saw how commerce took a defining role in customer experience. Magento was there leading the charge with innovation. Who would have thought that you would ever buy a car without seeing it?
 
In 2018 alone, there was 155 billion dollars worth of commerce going through the Magento platform.
 
From a commerce perspective, real-time insights will enable you to optimize your business and run it as a customer experience engine. This is happening through automation and in real time. You don’t have to rely on plans made months ago.
 
This is experience-driven commerce, a combination of data, plans, insights, all real time. You can create experiences that reflect your vision and delight your customers. We’re rethinking how you enrich customer experience in an rapidly changing environment, so you can make any moment personal and every experience capital.
 
Adobe Summit Day 1: Jason Woosley
 
We’re happy to announce the creation of Adobe Commerce Cloud. At its core, it’s the Magento platform, with limitless flexibility, allowing you to address every business.
 
By combining data, insights and commerce with Adobe Sensei will enhance your business outcome. We’re helping brands improve time to market, streamline operations, and improve customers and business expectations.
 
This is only possible by integrating behavioral data with transactional data. The intersection of this creates the most comprehensive foundation, for the most futuristic experience.
 

Steve Lucas, SVP, Digital Experience, Adobe

Adobe Summit Day 1: Steve Lucas
 
I’m excited to be joining forces with Adobe. There are more than 65,000 members in the marketing nation, with more than 5,000 customers and 550 partners. We have trillions of marketing activities.
 
We’re analyzing billions of data points in less than a second, to be able to respond in real time.
 
Organizations today exist in a large spectrum. They are no longer black or white. What if Adobe said, “This PDF thing is great, let’s stop here”? Or if Amazon said “Books are great, we can stick to that.”
 
You need to have the right solution to reach the right customer in the right marketer today. Marketo makes this possible for every B2B client.
 
We’re extending the global partnership between Adobe, Microsoft, and LinkedIn, and we’ve announce an Account based experience initiative. Now marketers can calibrate their accounts, and address B2B buyers on their LinkedIn platform.
 

Cynthia Stoddard , SVP & CIO, Adobe

Adobe Summit Day 1: Cynthia Stoddard
 
Adobe’s transformation to the cloud enables us to harness data at scale. However, it took us 2-3 weeks to generate insights. With Adobe, we managed to do this in real time.
Having a holistic view of the customer is key to improving their experience.
 
A combination of partnership and technology are the key to business success.
 

Atticus Tysen, SVP & CIO, Intuit

Adobe Summit Day 1: Atticus Tysen
 
Intuit for 36 years has helped customers, businesses, and self-employed professional. We’ve gone from a desktop company to online, and now an AI and ML driven company. We’ve been on that transformation Journey, just like Adobe. And IT has played a major part in that transformation.
 
It all comes back to data. We’re a customer-obsessed company. Every employee at Intuit spends time with customers, but it’s no longer enough. You can’t do that at scale. You need a holistic data architecture and data model to do that at scale. You need to monitor your data pipeline just like you monitor your offers. It’s the same with data. If data isn’t delivered the same way to the right people at the right time, it can go wrong. We need to make sure we can democratize data to make it available to all employees, so they can, in turn, provide better experiences to customers.
 
The pace of the organization is going faster and faster, and IT needs to move fast. It’s also important that we continue to bring new technology and to have a conversational user experience. We need to think differently about how we operate. We need to think horizontally in teams and to break down barriers. We need to partner with marketing, finance, etc.
 

Anjul Bhambhri, VP, Experience Cloud Platform Engineering, Adobe

Adobe Summit Day 1: Anjul Bhambhri
 
We at Adobe have been busy developing technology that will allow you to deliver relevant experiences to your customers. You want to be there for your customers every step of the way. And to do that, you need to know your customers. You need to always attempt to understand them at a holistic level. And yet, when we talk to CMOs and CEOs they say that getting there is not easy. Experiences are built on interactions, which, in turn, generate data. Data is distributed, is fast, and analyzing it in real time and at scale is hard. In my career, I had the opportunity to work on this, and I’ve seen first hand how difficult it is.
 
To solve these challenges, you need a modern, cloud-based big data architecture. You need key ingredients: a data pipeline, a real-time customer profile, AI and ML, and Application delivery.
 
The Adobe Experience Platform enables you to deliver the 3 R’s: Rich, Relevant, and experiences in Real-time.
 
By using identify resolutions, we can build customer profiles in real-time. This allows us to address customers individually or via larger segments.
 
I announce the general availability of Adobe Experience Platform. With this, you can move up the technology stack and you can focus on your business problems. I invite you to join us in reshaping the customer journey.
 
We have several thousands of customers using our new platform already, and they’ve built some compelling applications. For example, a telecom company is proactively recommending plans by using the platform. We are leveraging the platform internally.
 

Abhay Parasnis, EVP & CTO, Adobe

Adobe Summit Day 1: Abhay Parasnis
 
Experience cloud has played a pivotal role in reimagining the customer journey and in reshaping content monetizations. I’m happy to see how some of the products we’re building in the experience cloud deliver some of the best customer experiences.
 
The scale and extent of our product used are astonishing. We serve 15 billion web pages per day, and trillions of real-time segment activations every single day. We have more than 50,000 partners, which expand our reach. The total economic impact shows that our customers have 240% ROI, and they’ve increased their conversion by 25%.
 
Adobe Summit Day 1: Abhay Parasnis
 
Adobe Marketing Cloud is the absolute leader in the segment.
You now have the ability to manage your entire customer journey with these integrated solutions. But we won’t stop here.
 
We’ll focus on breakthrough experiences, such as IOT, then we’ll integrate workflows. Third, we’re integrating platform-led innovations. Last, but not least, we’re taking an AI-first approach by embedding Adobe Sensei into every one of our solutions.
 
The challenge today is discovering untackled audiences and activating them seamlessly across channels.
 
A new feature in Adobe Analytics: Now you can see your view-through data, not just click-through.
Adobe Analytics view-through data
 
We are investing deeply in product and integrations that help you understand your customers.
Our vision for analytics cloud is expansive. This is the engine that helps you turn data into insights and insights into action.
This will democratize insights across enterprises and activate data across customer experiences.
 
Analytics Cloud Engine
 
We’re integrating new Adobe Sensei services throughout our tools. Our vision for Ad Cloud is simple. We’re announcing a new direct integration between AD Cloud and Adobe Analytics.
 
Adobe Advertising Cloud
 

Susan Johnson, CMO, SunTrust Banks

Adobe Summit Day 1: Susan Johnson
 
SunTrust has a lot of data. We now have good integration points across the bank, so we can be more client-centered.
 
We’re committed to helping people find financial confidence with the help of technology. We started an initiative called OnUp, where we try to help 5 million people in 5 years. We thought how technology can help us help these people. We started looking for partners. Adobe turned out to be a very good partner for us, and now, with AI, we can dynamically target new segments, and serve messages anywhere they are today.
 
We’re always looking for startups, like FinTechs. We’re now also developing apps for Wearables. What Apple does with physical fitness, we want to do with financial fitness.
 
Marketing has become a world of data, and will continue to be that for a lot of time.
 

Dan Rosensweig, CEO, Chegg

Adobe Summit Day 1: Dan Rosensweig
 
A few years ago, we had less digital customers than we have people in the room today. Last year, we closed with millions of customers.
 
We have no choice but to transition. It’s taking a lot of time and commitment, but we’ve been able to turn it around, and the company went from being worth 300 million dollars to worth more than 4.4 billion dollars.
 
The key metrics that we’re looking at now are subscribers growth, revenue growth, engagement, renewals, and conversion rates. The real measurement is: can you create overwhelming value in the mind of your customers, and can they use it?
 
There are 16 millions students in high school, and over 45 million Americans who have partial degrees. We looked at the numbers and we said that whatever the system is, it’s no longer aligned with the people.
 
36% of the college students will claim that they got hungry more than once in the past month.
 
We have a database of more than 26 million Q&A questions. Our renewal goes down if a student identifies a mistake and we don’t correct it in one hour. This is a generation that has no time, no energy, and no tolerance to wait. We have an opportunity to know what matters, because people tell us.

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