Adobe CEO: You Cannot Deliver Cutting Edge CX With An Antiquated Infrastructure

Adobe Summit

Adobe CEO Shan­tanu Narayen’s intro­duc­tion to the first-ever glob­al and all-dig­i­tal Adobe Sum­mit was tru­ly a tes­ta­ment to the times we’re liv­ing in.

Narayen, who filmed his keynote address in his home office, said we must come togeth­er as an indus­try to share best prac­tices, giv­en that dig­i­tal­ly engag­ing with cus­tomers mat­ters more than ever before.

Every­one is hav­ing to rethink how they oper­ate, includ­ing us at Adobe,” Narayen said. He talked about COVID-19 and some of the ways Adobe has respond­ed. “One thing is for cer­tain,” he said. “Dig­i­tal is grow­ing in impor­tance. … [It’s] rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing how we inter­act with each other.”

Rethink­ing cus­tomer experience

Things are chang­ing so fast. Accord­ing to Narayen, just a few months ago, CX was about deliv­er­ing delight­ful, per­son­al­ized, and rel­e­vant inter­ac­tions in real time. Now it’s about sup­port­ing crit­i­cal needs in an exclu­sive­ly dig­i­tal world, he said, point­ing to how e‑commerce is bring­ing so many more con­sumers the prod­ucts they need, right to their doorsteps. Teams are cre­at­ing and col­lab­o­rat­ing with doc­u­ments from their vir­tu­al offices, he said. And busi­ness­es are trans­act­ing dig­i­tal­ly with paper­less con­tracts and clos­ing deals with e‑signatures.

Dig­i­tal isn’t only chang­ing and reshap­ing our dai­ly lives—it’s dri­ving the econ­o­my,” Narayen said. “As we look around at this new dig­i­tal econ­o­my, I see one con­stant: It is con­stant­ly chang­ing. Remark­ably there has been no sin­gle way to mea­sure con­sumer trends in the dig­i­tal world.”

That’s why, Narayen said, Adobe today launched the Adobe Dig­i­tal Econ­o­my Index (DEI), pow­ered by Adobe Ana­lyt­ics. The DEI analy­ses tril­lions of anonymized and aggre­gat­ed vis­its to retail sites and tens of mil­lions of prod­uct SKUs from 80 of the top 100 retail­ers in the Unit­ed States.

Over­all, he said, we’re see­ing dig­i­tal defla­tion, as falling prices of elec­tron­ics, com­put­ers, and appar­el dri­ve up pur­chas­ing pow­er online. E– com­merce sales are up 25% in the U.S. and 33% in the U.K. over the last two weeks, accord­ing to the DEI, which is avail­able now with up-to-the-minute insights on glob­al trends so that busi­ness lead­ers can adjust and adapt their busi­ness­es in real time.

From the way tech­nol­o­gy is shap­ing our dai­ly life to the dig­i­tal behav­iours we track online, we’re in the cen­ter of a dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion that is shap­ing [Adobe’s] strat­e­gy,” Narayen said. “With Cre­ative Cloud we are unleash­ing cre­ativ­i­ty for all, enabling any­one, any­where, to access the tools to build beau­ti­ful expe­ri­ences. With Doc­u­ment Cloud we accel­er­ate doc­u­ment pro­duc­tiv­i­ty even when your teams can’t meet in per­son. And with Adobe Expe­ri­ence Cloud we pow­er dig­i­tal busi­ness­es, help­ing you design and deliv­er expe­ri­ences that dri­ve prof­itabil­i­ty and loyalty.”

It has been more than 10 years since Adobe entered the dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing cat­e­go­ry, Narayen told view­ers. Dur­ing that time there has been an explo­sion of con­tent and devices, new medi­ums, and new modal­i­ties. New plat­forms have also emerged. Plus, arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence (AI) has com­plete­ly dis­rupt­ed soft­ware. Through Adobe Expe­ri­ence Cloud and Adobe Expe­ri­ence Plat­form, Narayen said, Adobe is arm­ing com­pa­nies to trans­form and com­pete in this new dig­i­tal era. Our cur­rent envi­ron­ment is only accel­er­at­ing this need and urgency, he said.

Trans­for­ma­tion trends

Narayen point­ed to a num­ber of trends he is see­ing as it per­tains to cus­tomer-cen­tric busi­ness trans­for­ma­tion. First and fore­most: “Peo­ple buy expe­ri­ences, not prod­ucts,” he said. Peo­ple just want easy, per­son­al­ized, effi­cient, con­text-aware expe­ri­ences. That’s the only way to earn their trust and loy­al­ty. Key to that? Merg­ing con­tent, data, and AI to deliv­er these types of expe­ri­ences in real time. “Design for bril­liance, but wire for intel­li­gence,” Narayen said.

That’s why, he said, Adobe has devel­oped the real-time pro­file, which uni­fies hun­dreds of data points from across the enter­prise to give imme­di­ate and action­able insights—and have the abil­i­ty to deliv­er the expe­ri­ences cus­tomers expect.

As busi­ness­es work to archi­tect their sys­tems and process­es around the cus­tomer, the most suc­cess­ful dig­i­tal busi­ness­es all have some­thing in com­mon: “A strong part­ner­ship between the CIO and CMO,” Narayen said.

In the past, he said, CMOs brought in mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion exper­tise with a strong knowl­edge of the cus­tomer jour­ney, while CIOs under­stood what it takes to archi­tect sys­tems, unite data, and keep the busi­ness­es run­ning. But their inter­ac­tions were some­what lim­it­ed. Today, he said, all of that is chang­ing. “IT is becom­ing more cus­tomer-cen­tric and mar­ket­ing is becom­ing more data-dri­ven,” Narayen said. “And lead­ers are work­ing clos­er than ever before.”

In fact, he con­tin­ued, the best CMO-CIO part­ner­ships enable enter­pris­es to deliv­er com­pelling cus­tomer expe­ri­ences at scale. It’s crit­i­cal to align the C‑suite on cus­tomer-cen­tric­i­ty, Narayen said.

Also key to deliv­er­ing com­pelling cus­tomer expe­ri­ences: tech­nol­o­gy. “You sim­ply can­not deliv­er cut­ting-edge expe­ri­ences with an anti­quat­ed infra­struc­ture,” the Adobe CEO said, explain­ing all of the ways that Adobe can help.

Final­ly, Narayen said, dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is not just about tech­nol­o­gy. It is also about peo­ple, process­es, and cre­at­ing a new DNA for your orga­ni­za­tion. Narayen point­ed to Adobe Sum­mit 2019, when we told the sto­ry about how Adobe dig­i­tal­ly trans­formed inter­nal­ly using a data-dri­ven oper­at­ing mod­el (DDOM). Now, Narayen said, the com­pa­ny has the data, tech­nol­o­gy, and process­es in place to man­age cus­tomer expe­ri­ences at scale.

To this end, Adobe has cre­at­ed a blue­print for the indus­try on how to effec­tive­ly man­age cus­tomer expe­ri­ences: the “CXM Play­book.” The “CXM Play­book” helps com­pa­nies build a cus­tomized plan to become a data-dri­ven expe­ri­ence business.

Dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is the man­date for all com­pa­nies,” Narayen said. “Lead­ers across indus­tries are putting a laser focus on cus­tomer expe­ri­ence man­age­ment. That’s where trans­for­ma­tion meets growth. Deliv­er­ing on the promise of CXM today requires inte­grat­ed appli­ca­tions and ser­vices com­bined with the right tal­ent and the right process­es. It requires a broad, open ecosys­tem, cre­ativ­i­ty, and a cus­tomer-obsessed cul­ture across the entire organization.”

The how

Dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is the man­date for all com­pa­nies,” Narayen said. “Lead­ers across indus­tries are putting a laser focus on cus­tomer expe­ri­ence man­age­ment. That’s where trans­for­ma­tion meets growth. Deliv­er­ing on the promise of CXM today requires inte­grat­ed appli­ca­tions and ser­vices com­bined with the right tal­ent and the right process­es. It requires a broad, open ecosys­tem, cre­ativ­i­ty, and a cus­tomer-obsessed cul­ture across the entire organization.”

The how

Anil Chakravarthy, Adobe’s new Exec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent and Gen­er­al Man­ag­er, who dri­ves the vision and oper­a­tions for the company’s Dig­i­tal Expe­ri­ence busi­ness, briefly talked about Adobe’s own dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion and DDOM.

The ques­tion I get asked con­sis­tent­ly by cus­tomers around the world is, ‘How did Adobe do it?’” Chakravarthy said. “Our cus­tomers under­stand the need to trans­form; their real chal­lenge is how to do it. No mat­ter what indus­try you are in, it is impor­tant to have a blue­print to accom­plish this kind of trans­for­ma­tion. You need to have a playbook.”

Adobe has iden­ti­fied six key areas of focus, around which the “CXM Play­book” pro­vides cus­tomized and per­son­al­ized best practices:

  • Dig­i­tal First: Ensur­ing that strong dig­i­tal lead­er­ship is core to a company’s strat­e­gy and seen as a com­pet­i­tive advan­tage. The com­pa­ny is empow­ered to pri­or­i­tize the customer.
  • Data & Insights: Mak­ing data broad­ly avail­able to employ­ees so that it pro­vides insights to inform busi­ness decisions.
  • Scal­able Con­tent: Mak­ing con­tent that is avail­able at scale, across any chan­nel, and based on cus­tomer needs and context.
  • Opti­mized Per­son­al­iza­tion: Design­ing and mea­sur­ing expe­ri­ences that nur­ture customers.
  • Cus­tomer Jour­ney Man­age­ment: Build­ing cohe­sive cus­tomer expe­ri­ences that can be deliv­ered across chan­nels, per­son­al­ized, and opti­mized through automa­tion and AI.
  • Per­va­sive Com­merceEmbed­ding shop­pable expe­ri­ences across every chan­nel to dri­ve dig­i­tal rev­enue growth and fos­ter cus­tomer life­time value.

Tak­en togeth­er, these six areas of the ‘CXM Play­book’ pro­vide you with a com­pre­hen­sive blue­print to become an expe­ri­ence busi­ness,” Chakravarthy said.


Adobe Summit
Digital Europe

Posted on 04-03-2020


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