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While advances in technology were a major focus at Adobe Summit 2018, CEO Shantanu Narayen and other industry leaders reinforced the point that people are still at the center of a successful experience business. The “experience makers” theme reinforced the value of every single role across an organization and how each one is a crucial influence to the overall quality and execution of an exceptional customer experience. Even as technology moves forward in leaps and bounds, the connection it helps you make to your customer still holds the key to advancement.
Putting people before platform
Adobe reminded us that implementing marketing technology to support the experience is not enough. From the bottom up and from the top down, the entire organization needs to embrace the experience maker mindset in order to really deliver what customers demand.
A core challenge that many businesses still face is not how to modernize their technology but how to amplify their people to use that technology. Customer expectations have been reset to alpine levels; delivering outstanding, personalized customer experiences is now a customer mandate of organizations. Changing the organization internally to fully align on customer experience is as important as evolving the platforms that support customer experience.
Artificial intelligence will enhance experiences
Artificial intelligence (AI) gives marketers a new dimension to add life and emotion to their initiatives. By leveraging AI, organizations uncover insights and automate responses that will deliver more effective digital experiences for customers.
Throughout the Summit, Adobe weaved their AI framework, Adobe Sensei, into the discussion. Adobe has integrated AI as a core component of delivering superior customer experiences, making it easier for marketers to make practical use of AI to improve personalized experiences.
Fuse customer data together
As customers interact with a brand, they leave traces of information across digital touch points, leading to data silos. Consolidating data to create a unified profile will be a top priority for organizations attempting to deliver an optimal customer experience. In order to create a unified experience for a customer, the existing customer data must be corralled and harnessed, which poses challenges to most organizations with legacy systems and multiple digital touch points.
At the Summit, Adobe introduced a game-changing approach: an experience system of record that allows marketers to integrate data collection from multiple systems. The system gives marketers the power to combine all known data and content to create one unique and complete profile. This approach helps solve the challenge of aggregating, managing and understanding all of the data acquired across an enterprise. The experience system of record will enable brands to deliver a better customer experience because the brand will have deeper understanding at the individual user level.
Customer data privacy is a priority
Data governance and security, specifically the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), was the subject of several sessions at the Summit. This regulation will change the way everyone acquires, processes and acts on data, no matter the geographical location.
May 25, 2018—the date the law goes into effect—is rapidly approaching. These data governance parameters have already ignited changes. Companies like Google and many others are updating their policies and procedures to comply with GDPR. Recent events with Facebook are also proof that the rules of privacy are dramatically changing. Adobe themselves already meet regulations or are implementing additional policies as a data processor. They will put due diligence back on their customers to implement these and other necessary procedures.
Exactly how these regulations will affect private individuals and organizations remains to be seen. Will there be legal action taken and/or fines passed out to those who lag and take a wait-and-see approach? Adobe suggested the best plan is to be prepared by planning resources and prioritizing requirements for compliance. From the reaction at the Summit, many are taking that advice.
Narayen reminded attendees that throughout our lives, it’s the overall experience, feelings and emotions that create lasting impressions and keeps us chasing that kind of experience over and over again. Companies need to remember that in how they build and deliver customer engagement. Memorable, meaningful experiences will continue to drive purchases and define loyalty in all of our futures.