Adobe Summit 2016: Welcome to the Experience Era


Adobe Summit 2016 kicked off in Las Vegas on the 22nd of March, celebrating many exciting new milestones. After a 10-year run in Salt Lake City, this is the first time the Summit is being held in Vegas, plus it’s the biggest live gathering ever that Adobe has organised, with 10,000 worldwide marketers in the house, and many more joining in online. On a slightly smaller, personal note – it’s  also my first time attending Adobe Summit. All that awe!


CEO Shantanu Narayen opened the event quoting the recent digital marketing successes of the Deadpool movie and Mastercard’s priceless surprises campaign. He reminded the audience to look beyond great digital marketing campaigns that companies everywhere are already doing, to recognise how digital experiences today have the power to transform every aspect of our life – from the way we think, travel, spend our money, to how we relate to the entire world around us.

Digital Experiences

Digital experiences – when executed in the right place, at the right time – can seamlessly connect  consumers to a magical place in the real world. But first, they have to be Provocative, Personal, Predictive, and must work flawlessly and beautifully.Digital Experiences

At Adobe, we believe in changing the world through digital experiences, and great digital experiences start always with great content – beautiful images and visuals – to move, to educate, to incite people to action, and to build a great brand. Digital experience today is also increasingly moving into our physical world – into retail, hotels, restaurants, cars; via new platforms such as store-within-a-store, and rich e-commerce apps. To do this right, organisations need data. They need to be able to make, manage, monetise and measure that data, by putting customers at the forefront and centre of their marketing design, to develop messaging that is Consistent, Continuous and Compelling.

The Experience Era

Consumer expectations and technology advances, such as multiscreen devices, Internet of Thing (IoT), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), have brought about a new wave of digital disruption that is putting pressure on companies to compete to differentiate themselves, forcing them to rethink their digital strategies and reimagine their business. In fact, it’s time to ask the question – is your company ready for the experience era?


“We are all of us in the Experience Business… We are now at the cusp of a tectonic Enterprise shift.” – Brad Rencher, EVP & GM, Adobe Digital Marketing.

Brad Rencher, EVP & GM of Adobe Digital Marketing, next took the stage, and walked the audience through the three waves of Enterprise Disruptions in the last 50 years – starting from the Back Office Wave in the 1960s (ERP systems), to the Front Office Wave (CRM revolution), to the current-day third wave, the Experience Business Wave.

“This wave is about goosebumps, it’s about smiles, about bringing people together. It’s even about nothing – it’s about doing our job so well, that consumers don’t even know that you and I exist.” Brad explained.

The Experience Business Wave is about being obsessed with delivering the right experiences, having a holistic view of the customer and wowing them. It’s about putting people first, making experience matter, putting meaning into what we do, surprising and delighting the customer at every single touchpoint.

The success of the Experience Business can be measured in four ways:

  1. Know me and respect me: anticipate and deliver the experience the customer wants even before being asked for it, and doing all that while considering and respecting the customer’s privacy.
  2. Speak in one voice: be consistent, always relevant, and always in context.
  3. Make the technology transparent: the medium is not the message, the experience is. Focus on the end-result, not the process. Do not force the customer’s device into your marketing process.
  4. Delight me at every turn: take every opportunity to surprise and delight your customer, at every touchpoint.

The Experience Business

Next up, Brad spoke with invited guests Rebecca Wahl, CMO of McDonald’s USA; and Walter Levitt, CMO of Comedy Central, on how these companies are transforming into Experience Business with Adobe Marketing Cloud. Giles Richardson, Head of Digital Analytics, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) also shared – with much dry humour – how the bank increased optimisation of its digital experience from a “Firework Culture” marketing approach (where everyone says “oooh!’ and then walks away), to one that made their campaign journey managers “Superstar DJs”.

Experience Business

“In Digital, there are a lot of shiny toys… (but) there is so much incremental power in tweaking those little things versus the really big, exciting new things.” – Rebecca Wahl, CMO, McDonald’s USA.

“Your experience is your brand, and your digital touchpoints now form the majority of your experience. So we believe this is the only way we’re ever really going to nail this, and keep on nailing this in the future.…. the thing that we care about is actually the last 10 seconds that our customers just spent with us online.” – Giles Richardson, Head of Digital Analytics, Royal Bank of Scotland.

Don’t fret if you missed out on Adobe Summit – sign up early for the upcoming Adobe Symposium in Asia Pacific here.


Posted on 03-25-2016

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