Following a far-out digital light show that was perfect for this 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love” in 1967 San Francisco, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen told the record Summit audience of 12,000-plus in Las Vegas that “digital transformation is all or nothing.”
Narayen, speaking Tuesday morning at the opening general session of the conference, said, “Digital technology is changing life like never before, which is creating fear and a mandate for companies to transform themselves.”
He explained that Adobe is in a great position to guide brand marketers in these digital transformation journeys because the company underwent its own digital transformation just a few years go. That entailed reinventing and refocusing Adobe’s various teams, with leaders at all levels stepping up to evangelize change based on a new, keen focus on customer-centricity.
“Now that we have navigated through all that, we are driving growth and innovating faster than ever before,” Narayen said. “Our own transformation could not have happened without our own Marketing Cloud. We are customer zero, and a great customer experience is the differentiator that separates the market leaders from the pack. Customer expectations are not standing still.”
With that, Narayen introduced Adobe Experience Cloud, a comprehensive set of cloud services designed to give enterprises everything they need to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Under the Experience Cloud umbrella are three core cloud solutions: Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe Analytics Cloud, and Adobe Advertising Cloud.
However, Narayen stressed that transformation requires more than just marketing technology. A big cultural shift within an organization is needed, as well, he said. “We understand what it takes,” he said, “and this represents a massive leap for all of us.”
Brad Rencher, EVP on the Marketing Cloud side of the business at Adobe, took the stage next, stressing the importance of experience, which he defined as the sum of all the interactions a person has with a brand. “Companies that have tuned into making people feel special are completely disrupting the status quo,” he said. “Making experience your business is good for business.”
According to Rencher, this shift to experiences has been inevitable since the very beginning of digital disruption. Experience leaders, he said, generally have higher NPS scores and higher stock prices.
So what exactly is an experience business? Rencher said that a true experience business will “know me and respect me, speak in one voice, always deliver relevant messages, make tech transparent, and will delight me at every turn.”
Carnival Cruise Lines was cited as becoming an experience business when it started with a data foundation and brought the entire organization together to create a common data repository. Using this repository, Carnival was able to ID an organizational catalyst to help drive better experiences across channels, resulting in the rollout of the Carnival keyless ocean medallion.
Rencher also referred to Domino’s as an experience business, noting how it gives pizza lovers a seamless ordering experience. The company’s mobile app allows people to not only place their orders, but also keep tabs on when their pizza is placed in the oven and delivered. Today, Domino’s sees 60% of orders via the app and is constantly looking for ways of improving the experience.
Jill Cress, CMO of National Geographic, then took the stage to talk about her company’s digital-focused strategy. According to Cress, National Geographic is focused on delivering seamless experiences with digital storytelling. “[We’re] embracing innovation and new technology to continue to be one of the world’s best visual storytellers,” she said. “We want to change the world through visual storytelling.”
The company is already a leader in the entertainment space, engaging upward of 760 million consumers per month. But to be able to build so large an audience, National Geographic had to first understand what people are passionate about. Social listening, via Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions, was a key.
Climate, for example, Cress said, is very top-of-mind for National Geographic’s audiences, something the company learned by merely listening. National Geographic then tapped into its archives to engage with folks in real-time conversations using climate-related assets that the company had.
“We listen to what is important to people and speak to them in a relevant manner,” Cress said. The data told National Geographic to focus on climate change, and the engagement numbers around this topic went through the roof. The result of this was a collaboration with actor Leonardo DiCaprio for the documentary “Before The Flood.” Cress said it is one of the most-watched documentary of all time.
According to Adobe’s Rencher, National Geographic is an example of the possibilities of context at scale with technology. “Companies need to evolve their data strategy into a context strategy,” he said.
Next up was Nick Drake, SVP of digital at T-Mobile, who took the stage to talk about how T-Mobile made a commitment to customer experience. “It’s this simple: We are all about the customer,” Drake told the audience. “At T-Mobile, it is a very central, organizing thought. When you ask customers what they want, and you give it to them, they love it.”
According to Drake, T-Mobile decided a few years ago it would become obsessed with being a “customer-centric, experience-first digital company.” T-Mobile’s journey began with the hunt for the right technology partner, and the company tapped into the Adobe Marketing Cloud solution.
Step one was redesigning the site with Adobe Experience Manager, which allowed T-Mobile to remove 60% of the clicks to the path to purchase. T-Mobile was also able to optimize content in real time and personalize the site experience. “What used to take us days, if not weeks, takes us minutes now to optimize content in production,” Drake said.
As a result, T-Mobile now sees three-times better lead-gen and prospect conversion and has enjoyed a 485% increase in conversion overall. The next step, according to Drake, was empowering customers with a smarter T-Mobile app, using Adobe AEM for mobile. “We started with a 1.2-star rated app and ended up with a 4.8-star, best-in-industry rating,” Drake said.
What’s most interesting, he said, is the asynchronous messaging T-Mobile provides customers, which means support on their terms: Messenger, tweets, text messages--whatever people prefer.
“We’re promising customers the ability to connect instantly to someone who cares,” Drake said. “We’re unifying experiences and empowering customers to get what they want the moment they want it. This is a new world of personalization, and it is the future of wireless.”
View the video recap for some of the best moments from Adobe Summit 2017: