Welcome to Adobe Summit 2018! Make “Experience” Your Business—It’s Good for Business


Com­pa­nies that pri­ori­tise and invest in dig­i­tal and cus­tomer expe­ri­ence ini­tia­tives have high­er brand aware­ness, high­er employ­ee sat­is­fac­tion, high­er aver­age order val­ue, high­er cus­tomer reten­tion, bet­ter return on spend, and high­er cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion than organ­i­sa­tions that do not—so finds a new study by For­rester Con­sult­ing (com­mis­sioned by Adobe).

And as Sum­mit 2018 kicks off in Lon­don today with 5,500 of Adobe’s top Euro­pean cus­tomers, we are see­ing expe­ri­ence busi­ness evan­ge­lised as an exec­u­tive pri­or­i­ty, as many large con­tin­gents of 30+ employ­ees per com­pa­ny will be enter­ing ExCel. This also match­es the tone of the cus­tomer con­ver­sa­tions I have every day on the front lines of Adobe’s busi­ness across Europe, Mid­dle East and Africa: enter­pris­es realise that mak­ing expe­ri­ence their busi­ness is—well—good for busi­ness.

Whether you’re com­ing to Sum­mit for the keynotes (hel­lo Vir­gin Atlantic, Sky, Ford, Antho­ny Joshua and Vic­to­ria Beck­ham); for the 110+ ses­sions and labs across adver­tis­ing, ana­lyt­ics & data man­age­ment, con­tent & design, con­tent & expe­ri­ence man­age­ment, email & omnichan­nel mar­ket­ing, mar­ket­ing inno­va­tions, mar­ket­ing oper­a­tions, per­son­al­i­sa­tion, or hands-on learn­ing; or to chill out and see the Kaiser Chiefs—I invite you to keep these three “expe­ri­ence busi­ness” mantras in mind:

  • Cre­ate urgency. How are you putting dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion on your stake­hold­ers’ agen­das? How are you com­mu­ni­cat­ing around this pri­or­i­ty? Assess your com­pet­i­tive land­scape while also bench­mark­ing beyond your own industry—look to and learn from com­pa­nies who are real­ly mak­ing expe­ri­ence mat­ter. Review how you are cur­rent­ly engag­ing with your cus­tomer and com­pare that with how you should be engag­ing in the 21st cen­tu­ry, con­sid­er­ing the hyper-dis­trac­tive world in which they live. Many com­pa­nies are often afraid to “go big”—why?
  • Remem­ber that dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is a jour­ney, not a des­ti­na­tion. It is tempt­ing to focus on how “behind the curve” you are. By con­tin­u­ing to remind your team and your stake­hold­ers that trans­form­ing around the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence is a journey—with the rules chang­ing at every turn and sig­nif­i­cant long-term invest­ments at the helm—you will become a more col­lab­o­ra­tive and explorato­ry unit open to hands-on learn­ing, proofs of con­cept, full plat­form inte­gra­tions vs. one-off soft­ware pur­chas­es, and inno­vat­ing through obsta­cles that stand in your way. I see many cus­tomers think­ing that to trans­form they have to com­plete­ly re-write the play­book. If you’re an age-old retail or bank­ing brand, for exam­ple, it’s not a mat­ter of dig­i­tal or not—it’s look­ing at how you can inte­grate tra­di­tion­al and beloved offer­ings with new, dig­i­tal tech­nol­o­gy.
  • Be diverse and inclu­sive. The most trans­for­ma­tive com­pa­nies start­ed their jour­neys from with­in. Don’t con­fuse dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion with “new tech­nol­o­gy” (although that helps). Not only must cur­rent peo­ple and teams work across bor­ders and silos to evan­ge­lise the mis­sion but hir­ing must go beyond just staffing for data or dig­i­tal. By review­ing and improv­ing hires around diverse demo­graph­ics, you’ll innate­ly incor­po­rate a fresh mind­set and help extin­guish lega­cy chal­lenges. Quite sim­ply, diverse teams lead to bet­ter deci­sions.  

Hav­ing pre­vi­ous­ly lived in and man­aged busi­ness­es across the Amer­i­c­as and Japan, I see the urgency issue as an even greater chal­lenge to Euro­pean busi­ness­es, which face hun­dreds of years of brick and mor­tar lega­cy that’s often less appar­ent in oth­er regions. Adobe under­stands this and is here to help—along with more than 5,500 of your peers from whom you can learn this week at Sum­mit.

Strap in, enjoy the jour­ney and make expe­ri­ence your busi­ness.

Garrett Ilg

Posted on 05-03-2018

Join the discussion