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Adobe delivered another successful Adobe Summit—a free, on-demand conference—that brought together thought leaders from across the globe to converge virtually. The three-day event offered hundreds of immersive keynote sessions along with training and networking opportunities. The event gave a platform to the attendees to learn, connect, and celebrate the future of customer experiences with some of the most influential marketers and technologists.

“We've gone from a world with digital, to a digital-first world — and there is no going back because today, every business has to be a digital business.” - Shantanu Narayen, Adobe CEO.

Adobe Summit, the world’s largest digital experience conference made several revelations, such as: Global commerce continues to see record-breaking growth with $876 billion in the first three months of 2021 (up 38% YoY), that $4.2 trillion in e-commerce revenue is expected for the year, and that 75% of Fortune 100 companies now use Adobe’s Enterprise Applications.

Many prominent names addressed the audience at the opening keynotes. Deborah Wahl, CMO General Motors, suggested how General Motors is heading towards eliminating all petroleum-fueled engines from their vehicles by 2035. Serena Williams, a tennis legend, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, spoke about the importance of using her position to work towards uplifting some sections of society that don’t have the necessary opportunities. For instance, she helps women entrepreneurs and people of color who have courageous business ideas but do not have the right opportunities to bring them to life.

This year saw some noteworthy brands, like Pfizer and FedEx, who shared their eye-opening stories on the virtual stage, maintaining the theme of successful digital automation and connection that helped them triumph over the past year’s challenges. From Pfizer’s development and delivery of vaccines in record time to FedEx’s readiness to handle the rapid rise of e-commerce-related deliveries, the virtual stage delivered many inspiring stories.

Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, said, “It was an impossible task. You must believe it. And not only you must believe it at the top, you must take this belief all the way down to every single person that this is working… To make the impossible possible, you need to have thousands of people believe that they can do it… And it was a glorious demonstration that people never know what they can and cannot do.”

Announcements of New Capabilities

  • Adobe Workfront. Adobe acquired Workfront, the work management vendor, last year and integrated it into the Adobe Experience Manager CXM platform as a marketing system of record (explained in the next section).
  • Adobe Commerce. Formerly Magento, the platform is going headless and has added new AI features to provide intelligent search and visual recommendations.
  • Upgraded Digital Asset Manager. A more simplified version of the digital asset manager will be a part of Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) to help teams manage content assets effortlessly.
  • Headless Adobe Experience Manager. The headless content management system will suggest AI-optimized content using Adobe Sensei.
  • Adobe Sign. Sign is integrating with Marketo Engage for document approval and signature within marketing workflow automation.
  • Adobe Experience Platform Collection Enterprise. It now leverages Adobe’s globally distributed edge network that collects and delivers data to Adobe applications or any other system.

New Advances in Adobe Experience Cloud

  • Adobe Journey Optimizer. An enterprise application for marketers that optimizes the customer journey across inbound and outbound touchpoints, allowing intelligent decision making and delivering relevant customer journeys.
  • The Next-Generation Adobe Real-time Customer Data Platform (CDP). As third-party cookies are sunset (which marketers have used to track visitors), expectations of delivering personalized experiences remain high. Adobe, along with major partners, announced the next generation real-time CDP – an enterprise application enabling first-party data-driven customer acquisition and engagement. Adobe also launched the B2B edition of real-time CDP that unifies and activates individual and account profiles for B2B companies to think and act like B2C brands.
  • Customer Journey Analytics. The analytics capability platform enables brands to integrate and standardize both online and offline customer data for analysis.
  • Marketing System of Record. The system connects and manages cross-functional teams and their work across the marketing lifecycle from strategy and planning through to execution and measurements.

“Adobe Experience Cloud with its new innovations released today is bringing businesses closer to their customers—enabling them to deliver the best digital experiences at speed and scale.” - Anil Chakravarthy, VP and GM of digital experience business and worldwide field operations, Adobe.

Top Brands Share Their Experience on Using Adobe Solutions

Product recommendations drive more value than individual product searches. Amazon uses 40 different recommendation widgets on the home page alone. As per a survey conducted by Adobe, 35% of what people buy from Amazon is from product recommendations.

Ryan Green (Product Marketing, Adobe Commerce) talked about driving the power of AI and ML to help merchants create personalized shopping at scale. With a constantly declining consumer attention span (from 12 seconds to 8 seconds), brands must view it as a window of opportunity to deliver value on each experience in digital commerce.

Coca-Cola uses Adobe Experience Cloud to support its transformation of B2B and B2C customer engagement globally. Meghan Heather, Global IT Portfolio Director at Coca-Cola, mentions how using Adobe Experience Manager for content creation has helped them serve content to their global customers in the most effective manner. The platform enables the marketing team to not only focus on different channels but also capture the customers where they are – engaging them in a way that’s appealing to them.

You can also read about how GSPANN developed a customized Adobe Experience Manager component and integrated it with Adobe Target for a premier US-based brokerage firm, to enable faster time-to-market for personalized content variations. 

Colgate-Palmolive has undergone a massive digital marketing transformation project, called Dragonfly, where they migrated 267 brand websites around the globe from a legacy content management system to a simplified and standardized platform using Adobe Experience Manager (AEM). Jon Schultheiss, Associate Director of Global Digital Marketing at Colgate-Palmolive, states that the migration has enabled his team to stand up brand- and campaign-specific content at a higher velocity than before, and produce new experiences faster, in some cases, twice as fast as before, and at a fraction of the cost.

Digital unlocks can also be experienced in the health and wellness sector, where brands like Peloton are bringing together like-minded physical enthusiasts into a single community. Dara Treseder (SVP Global Head of Marketing & Communications, Peloton) talks about the importance of brands cultivating a community and how they have used Tags—an exclusive platform for Peloton members—to drive more personalized engagement using off-beat features like storytelling to provide a guided workout experience remotely. She also emphasizes using authentic content to captivate diverse groups, interface with culture, enhance social relevance, and nurture a community in smarter ways. 

Summit Sneaks  

Hosted by Steve Hammond (VP, Experience Cloud, Adobe), Sneaks gave us a peek into the innovations straight from Adobe labs. Projects like Segment Tuner and Dimension Builder help in fixing data quality issues using the Sensei-powered machine learning algorithm. Where Segment Tuner can help brands improve audience targeting, remove invalid emails, and provide data-fixing recommendations, making campaigns more viable, Dimension Builder fixes bad data or adds missed data by defining logics across all data points within seconds.

Project Catchy Content allows you to take personalization to the next level by correlating engagement patterns of a visual on Adobe Experience Platform in the form of top image entities and color palettes, suggesting the most relevant images and content optimization.

Another interesting project that caught our eye was Daily Shuffle, which takes everyday task planning a step ahead with its new feature ‘Re-route My Day.’ The feature allows you to mention top priorities of the day and then re-organizes your calendar accordingly, sets priority notifications, and also gives suggestions to re-assign meetings to other people. It proposes a new calendar, helping you to balance your work-life better.

Closing Note 

This year’s Summit celebrated the theory that ‘innovation and evolution happen in response to change.’ It’s always a pleasure to interact with the brands that care about digital experiences. See you next year.