Sky UK Gives Millions of Customers a Personal Touch

From messaging friends on their mobiles to watching their favorite television dramas, millions of customers across the United Kingdom, Austria, and Italy turn to Sky UK for entertainment and telecommunications. In a competitive market, the company aims to increase market share by providing the best content, messaging, and experiences possible to both existing and prospective customers.

For Sky UK, this meant gaining a greater understanding of customers and using that knowledge to deliver more attractive, personal messaging. The company turned to the integrated analytics and marketing solutions in Adobe Experience Cloud for actionable customer data.

The Adobe Audience Manager and Adobe Analytics solutions within Adobe Analytics Cloud provide Sky UK with a solid base for its digital marketing initiatives with insightful customer data. Using Analytics Workspace, thousands of users across Sky UK can easily create their own queries and expand their understanding of customers.

Audience data is then pushed into the Adobe Campaign and Adobe Target solutions in Adobe Marketing Cloud to optimize and personalize content, campaigns, and other customer interactions.

Before Adobe Experience Cloud, Sky UK was limited to analyzing customers at a household level. Now Sky UK gains actionable information on an individual level and can target advertising and email messages to individual household members based on their interests.

“We believe that relevant experiences delivered through the right channel are essential to building customer loyalty,” says Robert McLaughlin, Head of Digital Analytics at Sky UK. “Adobe Experience Cloud enables us to offer individuals personalized interactions that increase our reach and returns.”

DER Touristik Personalizes Customer Journeys for Travelers

DER Touristik Group is the third largest European travel company, operating a network of travel organizations that send 7.1 million guests on fantastic vacations every year. The company works with a wide range of travelers from students to families to retirees. One thing that every type of customer has in common is that they reach out to DER Touristik through a variety of channels. A customer may visit the website to browse vacation options, but then go to a local retail office to have an agent help finalize the plans.

DER Touristik wanted to provide personal touches and a consistent customer journey, no matter which touchpoint the customer chose. The company decided to work with integrated solutions within Adobe Experience Cloud to support its digital marketing strategy.

Through Adobe Analytics, part of Adobe Analytics Cloud, DER Touristik gains a complete view of customer activities across all digital and offline channels. A customer might look at travel deals on one website, browse hotels on another, click an email newsletter, and then talk with an agent about possible travel plans. All of this information is gather together into a single customer record through Adobe Marketing Cloud ID, creating a full view of the customer’s behaviors and preferences.

Even though DER Touristik analysts and marketers have a much fuller view of customers, Analysis Workspace empowers users to easily break down metrics, work on segments, and gain insights without reliance on IT teams.

This customer data is combined with Adobe Target, part of Adobe Marketing Cloud, to personalize recommendations and optimize digital experiences. After implementing recommendations on one of its brand websites, DER Touristik achieved a 2.7 times higher conversion rate compared to other websites. A simple AB test helped DER Touristik optimize teasers on one homepage. This change helped to keep visitors on the site up to 20% longer.

“Working with integrated Adobe solutions allows us to create digital marketing programs that can scale across web properties and brands,” says Alexander Gaertner, Head of Digital Analytics at DER Touristik. “We’re seeing a positive change as people embrace Adobe Experience Cloud to continue to deliver personal experiences across a growing number of online and offline touchpoints.”

Virgin Holidays Tailors Travel Communications

Virgin Holidays is one of the top holiday companies in the United Kingdom, known for the “magic touches” that it brings to its customers. But in recent years, the travel industry has seen significant changes. With so much more information available online, customers are actually getting excited about researching holidays. Even when working with an agency such as Virgin Holidays, customers still want the freedom to get involved in planning at every stage of the sales cycle.

For Virgin Holidays, this means that the company needs to be on top of communications and provide customers with the right messages at the right time. But for many years, Virgin Holidays took a fragmented approach to communications. Each team reached out to customers as needed without any central oversight.

Virgin Holidays deployed Adobe Campaign, part of Adobe Marketing Cloud within Adobe Experience Cloud, to centralize and coordinate communications across teams and across channels. Working with implementation partner Merkle, Virgin Holidays consolidated all campaign tools and customer data onto Adobe Campaign. Having data in one location improves efficiency and allows marketers and analysts to create effective campaigns that reach customers across direct mail, email, SMS, or even outbound calls.

Marketers are now creating campaigns in less time and without needing to rely on technical specialists. This gives marketers more time to create personalized campaigns that connect with audiences. In a winter email campaign, marketers sent emails that compared the customers’ rainy, cold, and gloomy local weather forecasts to sunny vacation spots such as Cancun or Barbados. The campaign achieved a 67% increase in people clicking for more information, 50% increase in retail store appointments, 22% increase in margins, as well as popular shares on social media.

“With a single tool to manage unified data, we can help departments find ways to improve communications,” says Saul Lopes, Customer Lifecycle Lead at Virgin Holidays. “We’re becoming the central hub for customer experience.”

Airbus Helps Airline Clients Boost Bookings

Airbus is a worldwide leader in the aerospace sector, leading markets as a manufacturer of commercial aircraft, helicopters, space, and defense craft. With fierce competition in the transportation industry from both incumbents and newcomers, Airbus knew that it had to look for new ways to expand its global reach and communicate with its target audiences efficiently over any device.

As a massive, global company, Airbus’ digital efforts were previously siloed and fragmented. The company decided to undertake a digital transformation and deploy integrated Adobe Experience Cloud solutions.

With Adobe Experience Manager Managed Services, part of Adobe Marketing Cloud, Airbus brings together marketing assets and communication efforts from around the world under one umbrella. By creating a central communications hub powered by Adobe Experience Manager, Airbus is encouraging collaboration, enhancing branding consistency, and improving efficiency by allowing marketers and communications teams to share content globally across all digital channels.

Adobe Analytics, part of Adobe Analytics Cloud, provides measurements and data that enable Airbus to understand audiences and find success. By understanding what content engages which audiences, Airbus communication teams target more relevant messaging.

Airbus took a major leap into its new digital age with its first website aimed directly at passengers, not just commercial airlines. The Airbus A380 is a new standard in airline luxury. This beautifully designed two-deck aircraft, the largest commercial aircraft today, is filled with technologies that dampen noise, refresh the air, and help passengers fly in comfort.

Airbus encourages passengers to share their A380 experiences, become excited about A380 travel, and even find A380 flights where they can experience the plane for themselves. While the website is aimed at passengers, it helps drive traffic and bookings to commercial airlines, which in turn helps to increase profits and loyalty from Airbus customers.

“All that insight allows us to understand the final clients of our clients a little better,” says Jeremiah Bousquet, Digital Transformation Leader at Airbus.

Dixons Carphone Drives Strong Supplier Relationships

Dixons Carphone, one of Europe’s leading specialty retailers of technology and services, understands the value of strong communications. The company helps millions of customers connect with the world at home, work, or on the move through its reliable technology and services.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the company also values strong communication and relationships with its suppliers and vendors, including Adobe. “For me, a successful relationship with a supplier is a relationship where you have mutual trust, open and proactive communications, and you can work together to talk about new ideas and innovation,” says Leandros Ioannou, Senior Strategic Relationship & Contract Manager at Dixons Carphone.

For the past year, the new Strategic Relationship Management team at Dixons Carphone has worked closely with Riccardo Composto, an Adobe Customer Success Manager, and his team to build a closer relationship. “The great thing about being a CSM is that you’re really involved with the customer,” says Composto. “The objective of this relationship is to streamline communications and make sure that both Adobe and Dixons Carphone understand the objectives of the business.”

“The benefit that we’re seeing with Adobe now is that both businesses are working towards one common goal,” says Andrew Nagalewski, Head of Commercial & Strategic Supplier Management at Dixons Carphone. “We’re more effectively having conversations around innovation and how we actually use Adobe products to move our business forward.”

The closer partnership is enabling Dixons Carphone and Adobe to increase the speed of project delivery and actively helping users derive the most value from Adobe solutions. Adobe shares insights and best practices that help Dixons Carphone find greater value and drive adoption of Adobe solutions and services. This helps Dixons Carphone provide its ecommerce and retail customers with solutions that best meet their needs and preferences.

“By working more effectively as partners, our stakeholders are now seeing that the tools and services that we purchase from Adobe are really making a massive difference to our business,” says Nagalewski. “We see Adobe as a strategic partner to move our business further forward as technology changes over the coming years.”

RS Components: Understanding Buyers in 32 Markets

The B2C sales process is relatively straightforward for companies, as the entire sales cycle is typically completed by a single person. But for B2B sales, the sales cycle can get complicated with multiple people from different roles in the same company participating in a single purchasing decision. An engineer might visit a website to research products, download technical documentations, and make recommendations, but a procurement manager will complete the purchase days later. Understanding the different needs of influencers and purchasers helps companies serve their customers better and spend marketing dollars wisely.

RS Components, a trading brand of Electrocomponents Plc., is the world’s largest electronics distributor. The company wanted to solve this B2B sales dilemma by taking a wider look at the customer base and making greater use of analytics data across content, product, and marketing teams.

RS Components implemented Adobe Analytics Premium as a core component of transforming its digital strategy. Analysis Workspace drives a self-serve analytics model for 400 users. Users across teams can pull together reports in minutes to understand how products or marketing campaigns are performing with customers across 32 markets.

With a solid foundation for digital analytics in place, RS Components is using data to improve digital experiences. Multivariate testing through Adobe Target Premium allows teams to adjust marketing campaigns based on measurable data, which simplifies the decision-making process. One test looked at the color, copy, and placement of a button located next to the Order Basket. Making adjustments to this button increased click-throughs by 75% and increased Average Order Value by 2%.

Rich analytics data also feeds into multichannel marketing campaigns through Adobe Campaign. Understanding purchase history, marketers can communicate consistent messaging and personalized recommendations across email, social, and direct mail. This is leading to increased engagement and return on investment.

“Adobe has helped to illustrate the importance of digital analytics data in decision making,” says Andrew Morris, Head of Digital Insight Delivery at RS Components. “Thanks to the powerful suite of Adobe solutions, there has been a measurable impact on our business.”

Read the full case study here 

The creation and delivery of compelling content that enhances the customer experience

A recent piece of research by Expedia showed that travel content is widely consumed in the UK, with double digit growth year over year. We’ve now reached a tipping point where, in the UK at least, mobile engagement with travel content has surpassed desktop. Travel is a generally considered a time-consuming purchase, leading travel bookers to make hundreds of visits to travel sites in the weeks leading up to a purchase. Search engines, OTAs and airline sites were the most common starting point for a traveller deciding on their destination and engagement with travel content increases dramatically in the weeks leading up to a booking being made.

If we factor in other research that shows us that marketing teams are creating 10x the assets they had to in order to support increasing channels and that 76% of marketers have seen an increase in the need for more assets due to personalisation and that the booking process is just one part of the overall customer experience – where should travel brands even start with a content strategy? This was the question that I posed to various members of the travel industry at two roundtables at the recent Aviation Festival in London.

We began the conversation with a discussion of who owns the customer experience within the organisation, with one participant stating that there is a clear separation in the airline that they work for between the ownership of the online and offline experience. This is obvious when it comes to digital touch points like app and web, but less clear when it comes to digitally enabled touch points in the airport, like check in kiosks. An example of where this has caused issues, is in adoption of consistent iconography between the web and self-check-in process on the kiosks, with the participant seeing this as a stakeholder education challenge. The Global Head of Marketing for another airline sees the need for a change in the ownership model, with airlines starting to put the consumer first – this was echoed by another participant who stated that vendors in the travel sector often get caught up focusing on the operational aspects of the business, forgetting that the real focus should be on the needs of the customer.


This change in focus is being reflected in some interesting ways, as airlines start to work out the best places and ways to communicate with their customers – particularly important for some airlines, where up to 70% of their customers come indirectly to them through travel agents. The Program Development Lead for a European airline talked about how 50% of sales come through loyal customers, and those customers like to engage through the airline’s app. The app gives the airline more flexibility to produce and make changes to content and so in turn they push customers to the app as a preferred means of communication. Having multiple means of reaching customers also relies on having good quality data to understand customer preferences and enable a detailed view of the customer, enabling segmentation of messages by customer type and platform for example.


Data was a key area of the discussion, with one participant quoting Michael O’Leary of Ryanair, who said that transparency comes through data. For an airport, it’s vital to capture as much data about passengers using their services as possible – one airport in the conversation indicated that they only have data on less than 2% of the passengers that pass through each year. A participant from the agency Acxiom said that they’ve been working on this challenge with airports like Heathrow. By using anonymised data they have been able to create a way for the airport to share it with other vendors, like on-site retailers, in order to better analyse customer behaviour. Indeed, they envisage a seamless customer experience based on the stream of data that a passenger gives off, enabling the airport to work with the airlines and retailers to provide an enhanced experience at every stage of the journey. The airlines at the table saw more challenges with this idea of data sharing, particularly where geographic considerations come in to play – in Germany for example where data use is much more heavily regulated than other countries. One airline participant said “it’s a currently a game between the airport and the airlines [around data ownership]” and another felt that they would “never tell the airport when a passenger is coming, but [we might] say what segment they are in”.


Brands also need a content platform – text, imagery and dynamic media – that can support the delivery of the experience wherever the customer is looking to engage. One participant spoke about the 18 month-long project that their airline had undertaken to source and centralise imagery, and how this was particularly important for them to take control of situations where, for example, sponsorship deals end, and management and restriction of use of associated imagery becomes a real problem.


Summing up, the discussion took in many aspects of how content can and should affect the customer experience. We saw that establishing ownership of the experience is critical as well as using data to understand what customers want and how to get content to them at each stage of the journey. Finally, travel brands have to change their thinking to move away from being purely operational to putting the customer first – I’ll leave the last word to one participant who said that brands “have to become design-centric, thinking about the entry points to the customer experience, where the airline [or travel brand] should be present and looking at new opportunities to use content to engage and delight the customer”.

Reinventing loyalty: infographic

There’s no question that there has been a seismic shift in how we regard brands over the past decade. It certainly feels like consumer loyalty has become increasingly diluted, so what’s driving this trend? Working with Goldsmiths, University of London, we set to find out. We surveyed consumers around Europe, as well as conducted experiments with a group of people to get an in-depth understanding of how they interact with brands.

Want to know more? See the infographic below and read the blog post with the full report.

Reinventing loyalty: understanding consumer behaviour in the experience era

‘We need to be thinking about consumer loyalty differently in the age of experience’, writes David Burnand, enterprise marketing director, Adobe EMEA

There’s no question that there has been a seismic shift in how we regard brands over the past decade. It certainly feels like consumer loyalty has become increasingly diluted, so what’s driving this trend? Working with Goldsmiths, University of London, we set to find out. We surveyed consumers around Europe, as well as conducted experiments with a group of people to get an in-depth understanding of how they interact with brands.

What we uncovered was that digital has changed the landscape – it has given consumers more choice than ever before. They are no longer confined to geographical boundaries when it comes to buying the stuff they love and need. The internet has also allowed any type of company big or small the ability to compete for business and ultimately consumer loyalty. Finally, digital has heralded a new era of ultimate convenience, where time poor consumers can get whatever they want, whenever they want it. Our research reflected these trends strongly:

  • 50% of consumers said they would buy from an unknown brand that offers a better experience
  • 46% said they felt overwhelmed with choice
  • 59% said convenience was a key aspect of loyalty

While undoubtedly a challenge for brands, there are opportunities. Given these new consumer realities, almost two thirds (61%) said that they are now loyal to brands that tailor experiences to their needs and preferences. A further 50% said they feel good about brands that continuously introduce innovation to improve the customer experience – but, only if brands use consumer data with respect.

Looking at the results of this study, one thing became very clear to me: data and the content informed by the intelligence it provides is the foundation for loyalty. This may be obvious: we’ve all been using data and insights for many years now to inform our marketing efforts – be that for customer acquisition or retention (loyalty). But, we need to step up a gear and this is where breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI) hold the key. Using AI technologies, brands can make that data into true intelligence that delivers great content and experiences to customers. Experiences that are adaptive, relevant, consistent and exciting, that help them to navigate the overwhelming choice and solve their problems quickly and seamlessly. AI can deliver this at scale too. This is what customer loyalty will be all about in the next few years.

The new ‘ABCD’ of Loyalty

Working with Goldsmiths, we also used the research insights to identify four key new dimensions to delight customers, meet their needs and promote loyalty.

A – Give people an Adaptive experience

Brands that have individual conversations with consumers will be the new loyalty leaders. The use of data is at the heart of this, allowing brands to give individuals the personalised experiences they want. AI will allow this to happen at scale too – potentially nurturing engagement and loyalty among millions of customers.

 B – Be wherever the consumer loves to be

We live in an age where consumer experience of a brand is often fragmented across a number of different devices, and at different times of the day. As a result, businesses need to become flexible enough to be wherever their customer is – regardless of device or location.

C – Help consumers filter Choices

The digital revolution of the last few years has brought with it unprecedented choice for consumers. Helping consumers cut through this noise will grab their attention and build loyalty. AI is powerful in bringing together relevant data with great content, delivered at just the right time to the right person.

D – Differentiate through immersive experiences

In the experience era, brands must use new and emerging technologies to help convenience-driven consumers get what they need, faster. Being able to offer immersive experiences that delight consumers will be a major way brands can set themselves apart from the competition.

In the new era of experience, the concept of brand loyalty has changed. The winners will be those that can successfully reach a consumer who is more capable, self-aware and demanding than ever before. Those that use new technologies and data to power this could see themselves with customers who are more loyal than before.

For a more in-depth look at the new ABCD of Brand Loyalty – and what these mean for marketers – download our full report here.

Image Production: New Challenges to Boost Creativity and Productivity

In my previous article about tourism and digital, I noted the importance of images, and that 79 percent of Internet users claim that beautiful pictures encourage them to browse longer.

Images nowadays are of crucial importance. We constantly tell brands that to be successful, they need content, that content encourages interactions. We know it, content is partly what we come for and what makes us want to come back. And images, as an integral part of this global content, are essential.

But once this has been said, there is a double challenge: on one hand are the creativity and the attractiveness of these images, and on the other hand is their production, which can be very costly. The good news is that it is now possible to manage these issues much more easily, while boosting overall productivity.

The challenge of image production: The creativity aspect

Hyatt has a bank of 70,000 images, which feeds the hotel chain’s interactions and platforms to encourage people to visit its site and social networks.

Vente-Privée produces 20,000 images each day. Production is done internally, via a studio of 900 people. The site is more than anything a catalog, and Vente-Privée believes it needs the most beautiful images to enhance its brand and products, in order to convince its customers—us.

For both companies, the cost of producing content is therefore a major challenge. Certain content specific to each brand must of course be produced in-house; it cannot be generic. However, at the same time, there is also generic, non-brand-specific content that could be shared or used, partially or completely, by several brands: a video clip of a scene in Paris, a picture of a landscape or a monument , a “classical” life situation, and so on.

When we think of generic content, we all think of the rather basic stock images from large image banks. However, production, performance, quality, and creativity are at play when we look for images produced by others to use them on our sites. The reuse of images has a much lower cost, allowing monumental gains of time and therefore money.

At the same time, brands may need a creative, original image. Image banks typically contain tens of millions of images, so it’s generally possible to find what you’re looking for there.

The challenge of producing images: The productivity aspect

Beyond the creativity aspect, image production is also crucial in terms of productivity. The evolution of the tools allows significant technological advances, drastically reducing the time spent editing the images. Today, we can totally integrate the image stream with the content stream. It is thus possible to use a standard high-definition image chosen on a stock site to automatically replace all images with watermark in low definition.

The automation of image enhancement saves a lot of money. The Pfeiffer report dedicated to Adobe Stock shows that it’s possible to multiply its productivity by 10! Indeed, the process of licensing and integration of an image can take only 16 seconds using the tool, against more than 3 minutes before.

These phenomenal productivity gains make for tremendous savings. If we take the example of a communication group with 10,000 creatives working on images, multiplying their productivity by 10 represents millions of euros saved each year.

In conclusion, images represent both a challenge for differentiation and distinction for a brand, but also a real issue of productivity, via tools that allow for significant savings, but which are often not well known.

What is your view on the impact of images within a company? Do not hesitate to share your opinion within the comments!