They say a week is a long time in politics, and I sometimes think it’s even longer in marketing. It’s been nearly 52 weeks since the last Adobe Summit EMEA, our annual digital marketing conference attracting over 5,000 marketing and IT professionals from across the region. In that time, we’ve seen our industry continue its ongoing transformation. So, as we gather at London’s ICC ExCeL, we’ll be talking about marketing, yes—but not as we’ve known it.
Marketing is no longer about telling stories to customers, it’s about making the brand the story by creating compelling customer experiences. In other words, the brand is the experience, and all businesses are experience businesses. And our role as marketers is to become the Experience Makers. Getting to grips with the imperatives and opportunities of this step-change is what Summit is all about.
That’s why this year we’ll be looking at the role of design and data in creating hyper-personalised customer experiences. Of course, any discussion around this topic will involve a look at programmatic, but only insofar as it’s part of a wider, integrated marketing mix. We’ll be putting other, equally exciting developments under the microscope, not least advances in predictive modelling, AI and Machine Learning. How these technologies can connect with customer data and systems to deliver a fully-integrated, customer-centric brand will be a key focus of this year’s Summit.
Helping us get a handle on these trends and topics is a speaker roster of Experience Makers that reads like a who’s who of the marketing world. In addition to Claire Cronin, CMO of Virgin Atlantic; Claire Hepworth, Head of Customer Experience at Ford; Rob McLaughlin, Head of Digital Analytics and Decisioning at Sky; and Christian Majgaard, former Head of Global Brand for Lego, we’ll have a sprinkle of stardust from fashion businesswoman Victoria Beckham OBE ; World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Anthony Joshua MBE; and actor and comedian Rob Brydon.
Along with Adobe’s President and CEO, Shantanu Narayen and a few other A-listers, all of our speakers will be unified by a common aim: sharing their wisdom about how to build and promote a winning brand founded on experience.
In 2018, there’s no getting away from the importance of design—in the world of Experience Business it’s fundamental. Design directly influences consumer perception of a brand and is the easiest way of delighting and surprising customers. Therefore, we’ll also be discussing what the future holds for design-led marketing. Speakers will talk about everything from voice-enabled interfaces to how big data analytics can drive design excellence.
At Adobe we’ve long known the value of design-driven experiences—this concept lies at the heart of the Adobe Experience Cloud. Added to this, we know that design is just one way of creating engaging customer experiences, and it needs to be seamlessly combined with other factors such as customer intelligence and cross-channel delivery.
Think of it this way: when you want an ice-cream, you don’t buy the cone from one shop, the ice cream from another and the sprinkles from a third. You want the whole experience served at once, by the same vendor. This is true of all experiences. It’s madness to have content isolated in production and marketing, customer intelligence siloed with the analytics team, and media buying off doing its own thing with planning and channel delivery. That’s why this year’s Summit will act as a rallying call, making the case that it’s finally time to break down business siloes and start building truly coordinated experiences centred around customers.
Of course, Summit isn’t just a talking shop. Along with debates and keynotes, we’ll deliver practical advice on how to make the most of Adobe Experience Cloud. In pre-conference training sessions and conference labs you’ll get hands-on training led by our experts, who will provide valuable product tips and tricks and ways to make the most of your investment in our technology. Be sure to visit the Community Pavilion too, and visit with our partners and see first-hand how we and they are changing the world through digital experiences.
I’m also pleased to announce that our popular “Summit Sneaks” session returns this year. Summit Sneaks gives attendees a first glance at some of the hottest emerging tech, providing a window into the future of marketing. If you want to see what the customer experiences of tomorrow will look like, this is the place to be.
Whether you’re interested in omnichannel marketing, analytics and data management, personalisation, advertising, content, or innovation, there’s a track for you at this year’s Summit.
We look forward to seeing you at this year’s Summit—which I’m confidently predicting will be the best yet.
The world of marketing is on a fantastic journey. It’s clear that the old ways of doing things are no longer up to scratch. In the digital age, businesses need new ways of securing customer loyalty and driving growth. What’s exciting is that marketers are in the best position to help our companies meet these goals. As we shall set out in the 2018 Summit, it’s time for marketers to step up and lead our businesses into the age of the customer experience. It’s time to become the Experience Makers.