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In the wake of COVID-19 outspread, Adobe Summit took its digital experience conference online and conducted a free on-demand event. Every keynote started with a peppy Sofi Tucker number on an incredible introductory visual, which formed the theme of the Summit 2020 creatives.

Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe Systems, talks about the paramount importance of digitally engaging the customers as the times are revolutionizing the way we interact with each other. Since “people buy experiences, not products,” it is crucial for companies to adapt their business models, re-think brand operations, stick together as a community, and share best practices to digitally engage with the customers, now more than ever.

Adobe’s vision for experience-driven commerce

Digital commerce will be driven by agility, omnichannel, and personalization. To turn content into commerce, Adobe has integrated Adobe Creative Cloud with Adobe Experience Manager and Magento commerce to allow marketers to speed-up the content-commerce workflow to manage their B2B and B2C storefronts. Adobe has also introduced Customer Experience Management (CXM) Playbook, a powerful new tool that allows brands to create their own CXM plan. Companies can use it for creating strategies and business continuity in these changing market dynamics.

Adobe Experience Platform (AEP) is re-imagining customer experience management by enabling the customers to deliver a rich and relevant experience in real-time. The platform is purpose-built with cloud-based data architecture with platform-native services to ignite experiences through real-time customer intelligence. The focus is to ‘make every moment personal, every experience shoppable.’

Adobe has also announced the general availability of 2 new intelligent services: Attribution AI helps to understand and improve the impact of individual marketing touchpoints, and Customer AI helps to improve targeting through explainable propensity models at an individual consumer level. The identity model nurtures the one-on-one relationship with customers by targeting individuals with data governance capabilities to enable working from any part of the world.

Bridging the gap between AdTech and MarTech

As the consumers move from exposure era to experience era, brands are looking to manage their customer journey through connected advertising experiences. To generate personalized in-the-moment engagement across various channels, Adobe introduces Journey Orchestration service, which is integrated with Adobe Campaign and built on AEP with an API-first approach that is open and extensible. It can be executed by connecting to any Adobe or non-Adobe application.

Brands must work towards building resilience in the current environment by integrating data across channels and journey stages for better identity management and to understand customers’ best interests. Customer Data Platforms (CDP) will help in managing data privacy regulation compliance and real-time data availability will help in understanding the new customer segments in the new normal. For example, offering product recommendations based on in-session shopping. The companies must brace themselves to give and do more for less with fewer people.

Advances in Marketo and Magento

Marketo Engage, part of Adobe Experience Cloud, brings together marketing and sales to orchestrate human-to-human journey by leveraging big data and AI to identify the best fit accounts in a matter of minutes. Marketo Engage users can now access assets from Adobe’s digital asset management (DAM) offering after the integration of Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Assets. Adobe is also leveraging Marketo Sky by connecting content and the right people at scale using Adobe Sensei-powered AI models.

Magento announces the release of Magento 2.4, coming in third-quarter of 2020, which will be focused on omnichannel and progressive web applications (PWA). This terrific new release will enhance the experiences delivered by Magento Commerce by offering best-in-class authoring capabilities and the most comprehensive public APIs. Since 2/3rd of the global website traffic now comes from mobile devices, Adobe is doubling down to help merchants and partners unlock the potential of mobile commerce capabilities through PWAs.

Breakout sessions and Sneaks

This year’s Summit saw over 100 breakout sessions that discussed leveraging communication strategies by balancing sensitivity and messaging with performance, ‘giving more for less’ to be the new normal in the wake of the pandemic, and re-imagining customer experience in the changing market dynamics.

Customer journey analytics, the add-on for Adobe Experience Platform customers who also have Adobe Analytics, is expected to be a game-changer this year. The platform enables analysts to provide a wealth of actionable insights without the constraints of data silos. It can be combined with other AEP applications and activation tools (like Adobe Target), it is easy to use for the analysts who don’t know SQL, and it is flexible enough to allow data science teams to collaborate and provide modeling.

A lot of focus was also placed on data privacy laws and tracking prevention. Identity is crucial for the experience business – customer profiling, segmentation, retargeting, and consent. Adobe Experience Cloud powers identity for personalization and to ensure smooth functioning of the exploding customer data platforms.

This year’s Sneaks saw some incredibly innovative products from Adobe product managers and engineers, like Segment Scout, a natural language processing tool built into the existing segmentation tool in AEP and Clothes Swap, a personalized clothing simulator that streamlines catalog management enabling better conversions.

While we’re witnessing unprecedented times, it’s crucial to stay positive and healthy. We hope to see you all in Adobe Summit 2021.