The second day of Adobe Summit EMEA started with a rallying call to the “agitators” and “rabble rousers” who are the driving force behind new customer experiences.
“The time has come for experience thinkers to transform into experience makers,” John Mellor, Adobe’s VP of strategy and marketing, told the assembled crowd on Friday, in London. “We are all experience businesses and all need to amplify our talent.”
Mellor stressed that while the Adobe Experience Cloud is the first experience system of record, it’s a tool that still requires people to become champions of new experiences within their organisations.
For those looking for support in making the transition, Mellor pointed to the recently launched Adobe Experience League. Delegates were given a tour of the online service, which provides training modules and access to fellow professionals dedicated to improving the customer journey.
“Adobe Experience League allows people to move faster and to do more so they can take their customer experience to the next level,” Mellor said. “Professionals can look at where they are and then map out a game plan to get them where they want to be.”
Anthony Joshua Shows It’s All In The Mind
Inspiration for making the transition from an experience thinker to an experience business came from World Heavyweight Boxing champion Anthony Joshua. Joshua had initially pursued a professional life as a brick layer until a relative encouraged him to try boxing. The rest is sporting history.
“When I got serious about boxing, I had to see myself as an individual, not just one part of a team,” Joshua said. “The people who got that about me are still with me. The people who didn’t I still have a lot of love for but don’t see so much of them. I have had to make a lot of sacrifices, but it’s worth it.”
One might think a boxer would have made the gym a top priority, but Joshua chose a rather surprising way to improve and take himself to the top–reading.
“You might think boxing is all about muscles, but the muscles don’t tell the mind what to do. The mind tells the muscles what to do,” he told Summit attendees. “So I realised there was a lot more to boxing than fighting, and I dedicated myself to reading widely, to improving my education and my mind. It helps me stay sharp and focussed.”
Like any great experience maker, Joshua said he values authenticity. He views role models as actors playing a role, saying it is far better to engage with people as a “real model.” This is why he is such a big fan of social media, which allows him to react with other people like any other member of the public.
Victoria Beckham’s Vision
Attention then turned to another well-known experience maker, Victoria Beckham. The pop-star-turned-fashion-entrepreneur said she set out to build experience into her business, founded in 2008, from the very beginning.
“I just wanted my shop in London to be welcoming, whether you’re in to buy clothes or have a peek around,” she said.
Beckham shared a story about a poor shopping experience that opened her eyes to the importance of connecting with customers on an emotional level.
“When I was pregnant with [my oldest son] Brooklyn, people in a well-known designer shop didn’t recognise me, which was fine, but they were so rude,” she said. “They took one look at me and said they didn’t think they’d have anything for me. That one experience means I am dedicated to my shop being a friendly, welcoming place.”
This emotional connection continues beyond the store in the clothes themselves: “I’ve always had a very clear ambition to help women feel like the best version of themselves,” Beckham said.
Make It Happen
Beckham’s and Joshua’s career paths both speak to transformation, and their advice applies to experience-minded organizations: It is not enough to just think about transformation. At some point, instead of just wondering about how to improve customer experience, organizations have to step up to the proverbial plate and make it happen.
“We need experience makers to roll up their sleeves and make it happen,” Adobe’s Mellor said. “Now is the time to change.”