Guest blog from Ben Donkor.

The eight edi­tion of the Adobe Sum­mit EMEA con­cluded on Thurs­day, mak­ing it the largest dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing event of the year, with almost 4,000 in atten­dance from 47 coun­tries and almost 100 break­out ses­sions over the two days. Need­less to say, it was a huge success!

This year’s theme was the rein­ven­tion (and evo­lu­tion) of mar­ket­ing, a theme that ran through­out the main keynote sessions.

The two Sum­mit days were packed with lots of infor­ma­tion and valu­able insights, but I’ll do my best to sum­marise it all, start­ing with Day 1.

The Rein­ven­tion of Marketing


Day 1 started with the open­ing keynote, aptly enti­tled “The Rein­ven­tion of Mar­ket­ing”, hosted by Adobe CEO Shan­tanu Narayen and Sum­mit host Brad Rencher. They dis­cussed the impor­tance of cre­ativ­ity in mar­ket­ing, the need for a “mar­ket­ing reboot”, and the steps needed to do so.

Here are the main takeaways:

Cus­tomer behav­iour has changed, and so should mar­ket­ing to match it. While more peo­ple are mov­ing to dig­i­tal trans­ac­tions, it’s worth not­ing, as Brad Rencher pointed out, that every ana­logue inter­ac­tion has a dig­i­tal foot­print. Unfor­tu­nately, not all busi­nesses have been able to keep up with it all — cus­tomer behav­iour, real-time mar­ket­ing, being able to link var­i­ous dig­i­tal points to bet­ter tar­get your exist­ing (and poten­tial) customers;

Adobe had to go through a sim­i­lar process too, reimag­in­ing their entire busi­ness, mov­ing from sell­ing Pho­to­shop in boxes to deliv­er­ing a whole cloud-based solu­tion through online subscriptions.

This calls for a change — a “rein­ven­tion of mar­ket­ing”. The good news is that it is pos­si­ble to keep up with this change and be part of this rein­ven­tion, but to do so you need to be a real-time enter­prise, and to be a real-time enter­prise you need to have inter­con­nected sys­tems that give you a uni­fied view of all your cus­tomers. Luck­ily, Adobe is at the fore­front of this “mar­ket­ing rev­o­lu­tion” with its Mar­ket­ing Cloud. To bet­ter assist brands and mar­keters, Adobe have announced a new release of Adobe Media Opti­miser with new pre­dic­tive mod­el­ling capa­bil­i­ties. Some of the high­lights in this update are:

  • Next-generation pre­dic­tive mod­el­ing algo­rithms, help­ing mar­keters make the best use of search mar­ket­ing met­rics and other attributes;
  • Uni­fied cam­paign analy­sis, to have a com­plete view of your cam­paigns, thanks to the inte­gra­tion of search engine met­rics and web­site engage­ment data being passed between Adobe Ana­lyt­ics and Media Optimiser;
  • Extended audi­ence reach, allow­ing mar­keters to effi­ciently man­age and opti­mise remar­ket­ing lists for Google search ads. With the new uni­fied view, you’ll now be able to quickly iden­tify high-value cus­tomers and deliver tar­geted messages;
  • Real-time cam­paign man­age­ment, thanks to the fully revamped user inter­face that makes it a lot eas­ier to set up, adjust, mon­i­tor, and opti­mise cam­paigns across mul­ti­ple chan­nels in real time. You’ll also be able to fore­cast your per­for­mance based on your bud­get and goals.

We also had a demo of real-time (and light­en­ing fast) per­son­al­i­sa­tion across mul­ti­ple devices and I’m proud to say — it just works!

Spe­cial guests joined Brad Rencher, to give their per­sonal expe­ri­ence of how they’ve adapted (and rein­vented) their own mar­ket­ing and dig­i­tal strat­egy in order to keep up:

  • 10344082_636018599826391_2599454364344977130_oMath­ieu Staat of L’Occitane, who spoke about per­son­alised omni-channel cus­tomer expe­ri­ences, and how they get a com­plete view of their cus­tomers through ana­lyt­ics and profiling;
  • Michael Aïdan of Danone Group, who spoke about dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion across 80 coun­tries and 100,000 employ­ees on board;
  • Young entre­pre­neur Amber Ather­ton of My Flash Trash, who shared her amaz­ing expe­ri­ence of how she got into busi­ness at age 9, and how she started My Flash Trash at just 16.

The rein­ven­tion of brands and marketers

While the morn­ing was ded­i­cated to the rein­ven­tion of mar­ket­ing as a whole, the clos­ing keynote of Day 1 was directly aimed at brands and mar­keters and how they too can “rein­vent”. Mark Zablan, Pres­i­dent of Adobe EMEA, talked on stage about this and gave his own def­i­n­i­tion of how mar­keters should see this “rein­ven­tion” process.

Mark was later joined on stage by spe­cial guests to explore how brands need to rein­vent them­selves to excel in the dig­i­tal age:

Last but cer­tainly not least, Ann Lewnes (Adobe CIO) and Gerri Martin-Flickinger (Adobe CMO) hosted a panel of indus­try experts to dis­cuss the rela­tion­ship between IT and Mar­ket­ing today, with the help of:

  • Patrick Hoff­stet­ter, Chief Dig­i­tal Offi­cer at Renault
  • Lucio Adrian Ruiz, Head Office Vat­i­can Inter­net Office
  • David M. Coop­er­stein, VP, Research Direc­tor from Forrester

Sum­mit Bash

Adobe Sum­mits are also known for their great bashes, and they cer­tainly didn’t dis­ap­point this time: this year’s theme was “Fes­ti­val”, and we were joined by car­a­vans, plenty of del­i­ca­cies, and (sur­pris­ingly) bumpy cars. The night ended in style with Rudi­men­tal per­form­ing their hits from their lat­est album. Need­less to say, Day 1 ended with a bang — but that was only the beginning…