Las Vegas is the city of experiences. From the moment you step off the plane and are confronted with a sea of slot machines, to the cutting-edge check-in procedures and amenities in your room, every corner of Sin City is designed to surprise and delight. I personally believe there’s no better place to host Adobe’s US Summit.
Day one saw over 13,000 attendees from every corner of the world come together to learn about the secret sauce that goes into making an Experience Business. From Tourism Australia to Coca-Cola, brand after brand came on stage to share their wisdom and discuss how they have worked with Adobe to create magic.
In the words of our CEO, Shantanu Narayen: “We want you to have the tools you need to become Experience Makers.” Day one certainly provided a complete kit of options to draw from and be inspired by.
In today’s competitive marketplace, people buy experiences, not products. Every consumer seeks phenomenal experiences, and successful companies recognise that trend. But it doesn’t have to be about wow moments. It can be as simple as making a customer’s interaction more personalised by tailoring it to their needs.
Tourism Australia’s managing director, John O’Sullivan, expanded on this during his onstage chat, explaining: “It’s about knowing where your customer is in the purchasing funnel. If they have already bought tickets, you don’t want to send them messages that encourage them to come to Australia. Instead, you want to tailor their experience so they receive information that helps them make their planned trip even more spectacular.”
Tailored messaging will be easier to do following Adobe’s major product announcements and demonstrations, including the new Ad Cloud Creative platform and Sensei capabilities—but more on that later.
Even Coca-Cola—one of the most iconic and recognised brands in the world—admitted it was going through an experience transformation. David Godsman, Coca Cola’s head of digital, revealed that the company had kicked off a five-year digital transformation last year, beginning with a request to its “traditional brand marketers to become experience makers.”
Brad Rencher, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Adobe Experience Cloud, hosted proceedings throughout, kicking off the morning by proclaiming: “Businesses need to operate as if they are always on, anticipating the needs of the customer on every platform and at every moment. Every organisation needs to break through the noise and speak to the customer in a unique voice to leave an impression.”
According to Rencher, there are three rules that every Experience Business needs to follow in order to achieve success:
- Design for brilliance. Design is not just the way something looks, it’s the absolute engagement you have with customers. Creativity and design have always been at the heart of Adobe. Focusing on experience design is worth the effort because compelling and intuitive experiences are a proven competitive advantage.
- Rewire for intelligence. It starts with data to understand every person’s context in every moment. But data is not enough. To ensure that every individual gets the experience they need, you need intelligence and this turns data into insights. Content intelligence is just as key. A deep understanding of content—how it is composed and delivered—is critical. When you wire your enterprise for intelligence, you are putting content and data to work at scale.
- Architect for Action. Create a structure that provides customer experiences. Make it intuitive and ensure that it is designed to meet the expectations of customers, rather than being designed around whatever’s easiest for your internal use.
What really blew me away was London’s own Zarpana Kabir, who demonstrated the Adobe Advertising Cloud’s new capability which leverages the power of Adobe’s Creative Cloud and integrates it into the platform. I like to call it “From Page to Programmatic,” as it can create new or draw from existing assets on Creative Cloud, and then instantly port over to Ad Cloud to deliver them.
For instance, you can see if the red background on your ad isn’t working mid-campaign, and change it to blue—within seconds. This means your creatives can do what they do best, be creative and generate fresh ideas, instead of focussing on frustrating, overly time-consuming design edits. Take a look at this demo and see for yourself.
Adobe CTO Abhay Paransis also wowed the audience with a demo of Adobe Sensei’s AI-enabled functions, which include automatic image tagging, content suggestions and smart editing, all of which are integrated into Adobe’s existing platforms.
“Intelligence is foundation to everything we’re doing at Adobe,” said Parasnis. “We believe that AI and machine learning will transform everything we’re doing. Its impact will be even more transformative than the birth of the internet or the emergence of the smartphone era.”
By the end of the day I was exhausted. Thankfully my room, taking the lead from Marriott (one of Adobe’s customers), had an app allowing me to open my door with my mobile. So convenient.
Come back tomorrow for a recap of the exciting sessions scheduled for Day two, including a chat with Sir Richard Branson and our ever-popular Sneaks. I promise to make it an experience you won’t forget.