We live in interesting times when it comes to our relationship with other people through their digital devices. Increasingly, the interactions, conversations and bonds companies form with their customers are happening digitally. What started as a trickle to websites through desktop computers has grown into a stampede across glass screens of all shapes and sizes on devices that are tucked neatly in back pockets, span a wall at a venue or are strapped to our wrists.

On the heels of Forrester’s Forum for Customer Experience Professionals, where the theme was “Why Good Is Not Good Enough”—highlighting the competitive era for customer experience as a brand differentiator—Forrester has released its inaugural Wave report for Digital Experience Delivery Platforms. While it listed no Leaders, we’re honored that Adobe was referenced as a “pioneer” among “Strong Performers” and positioned highest in current offering, among 13 vendors, with “best-of breed solutions”(and also among the top two vendors in strategy).

While a lot is changing as the world shifts towards digital, it’s the mega-trends that businesses need to pay attention to in order to survive and thrive in the long-term. I think what’s most significant about this new Forrester Wave™ report is that it spotlights the need for companies to “focus on creating and delivering relevant, cross-channel, contextual experiences critical to the visitor at that moment of their customer journey.”

It’s a vision we believe in and one we’re collaborating on with companies to achieve via Adobe Marketing Cloud, which brings the ability to understand customer context and personalize content delivery. Adobe Marketing Cloud includes a broad set of leading solutions to support digital experience delivery, such as Adobe Experience Manager for web and app experience management; Adobe Campaign for cross-channel campaign management; Adobe Analytics for advanced, real-time web and mobile analytics; Adobe Target for A/B and multivariate testing, targeting and optimization; and Adobe Social for social marketing.

Standing on the Shoulder of Leaders

Anyone who has tried to deliver unified digital experiences realizes it’s the ultimate team sport. People with different skill sets across creative, marketing and IT need to come together to focus on the desires and aspirations of the customer.

Same is true for the technologies that must support this.

Our team has strived hard to not only offer best-of-breed solutions for each distinct part of a digital experience delivery platform as identified by Forrester, but also how they work together with common customer profiles, data insights and content assets. We believe this latest recognition by Forrester is part of a longer journey of being recognized as a “Leader” in distinct categories within digital experience delivery (for example, Web Content Management, Web Analytics, Online Testing, and Data Management Platforms). This week’s report is about being able to make sure these components work together in a unified manner, as well. Our goal and vision is to offer customer choice in best-of-breed solutions paired with the power of a platform. Forrester noted that, “Strategically, Adobe differentiates with its vision of the connective tissue between its tools, and its aim for single customer profile.”

Pioneers Never Stop Innovating

I just returned from a worldwide tour of some of the brands and agency partners using Adobe Marketing Cloud for digital experience delivery. I always get energized seeing and hearing about the innovations our community is pioneering. And as part of this community, we can’t stop innovating, either.

In fact, we’ve been busy since the Forrester evaluations for this Wave report earlier in the year. Since, we’ve released significant new capabilities in our offering,  including richer support for authoring, measuring and optimizing mobile apps, increased usability through visual workflows and machine learning in targeting and attribution modeling in a customer journey, and a set of core services such as the Master Marketing Profile and Shared Assets.

More than Technology Solutions Are Needed

While we strive to innovate on the technology, we realize the challenge of delivering digital experiences that are relevant to customers extends beyond the technology to a transformation in skills, organization and leadership. The industry also needs guidance and best practices.

Working with thousands of brands and the best agencies worldwide affords us the ability to share learnings and connect the community of digital marketers, strategists and practitioners. We saw thousands of attendees at our North America and EMEA Summits this year, and follow-on regional Symposiums will connect even more to share best practices and insights on digital experience delivery and marketing.

Primary research such as the Adobe Digital Index and the “Digital Roadblock: Marketers struggle to reinvent themselves” (.PDF) survey also contribute to the knowledge around this rapid shift to digital, where we are and where we must be.

We look forward and are committed to the continued journey. Here’s to the interesting and exciting times ahead! In the meantime, we encourage you to check out a complimentary copy of the Forrester report here.

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