I said it on Thursday after two days of Adobe Summit, and I’ll say it again: Wow. My expectations for an incredible Summit were completely blown out of the water this year. I left Summit feeling inspired. Inspired to get back to work and think about all the innovation showcased, the nuggets of knowledge the keynote speakers shared, and most importantly, the conversations I had with many of you. I can’t wait to see how all the learnings from Summit infiltrate the way we work and market. We can’t thank you enough for coming to Summit and sharing your ideas and insight with us and your fellow marketers.
Here are some of the key takeaways that I walked away with:
Marketing is your product – Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and Brad Rencher, SVP of Digital Marketing, clearly outlined how marketing is your product and customer experience is your brand. It’s all about our customers and we have more opportunities to reach them, but also more risk. The entire organization—from marketing, customer service, and product teams—have to commit to the customer experience if we’re going to take advantage of the opportunities and avoid the pitfalls. As Shantanu said:
Adobe as an organization is essentially trying to tackle the age old adage that ‘half of my advertising is working, I just don’t know which half.’
Marketers have to bridge silos – We have to be the champion of the customer. Suresh Vittal and panelists discussed in the “Internet of Me” session that issues arise when different functions within an organization have different performance goals. What would happen if we put the customer at the center of organizational performance? Putting the customer at the center of everything you do is no longer a pithy saying but a real necessity because poor customer experiences can cost you millions of dollars.
Marketing beyond marketing – I’ll be honest with this statement that was so prevalent at Summit this year – it was confusing to me at first. What do we mean, “marketing is moving beyond marketing?” As a standalone, it might not make much sense. But when we think about the previous takeaway (marketers breaking down silos), it makes perfect sense. Marketing needs to move beyond the marketing department and transform how businesses organize and engage with customers across every touch point. And again, it’s all about the customer. Brad said it best, “Digital experiences are starting to change how we shop, open hotel room doors, interact with our cars and buy sodas from vending machines.” It’s up to us to make that customer experience positive consistent and continuous.
Reinvention is a process – We continued on this theme from last year’s Summit because reinvention takes time. Over the past year, Adobe has surveyed numerous marketers and found they feel excited, encouraged and optimistic about the pace of change in marketing. Each marketer is an agent for change in their organization, and what we learned from each the keynote speakers—Steve Young, Nate Silver, Michael Lewis, Michael Keaton—is that reinvention requires risk, vision and just plain hard work. Those willing to take on the challenge of reinvention have redefined themselves and the organizations they work for, for the better. I’m up for the challenge, are you?
The Millennial Marketer has arrived – One of my favorite moments of Summit was sitting down for a #GetRealChat with Pam Moore of Marketing Nutz about the millennial marketer: How will they shape the future of digital marketing? How do millennials look at innovation? It was fascinating to learn from Get Real Chat participants about what they thought of millennials and the future of digital marketing, so thanks to those of you who participated. If you missed the chat, check out the conversation. We’ll be doing more work on the Millennial Marketer so follow #MillennialMarketer for the latest.
What were some of your takeaways from Summit this year? Please leave a comment below! And if you couldn’t make it, or want to relive the experience, check out the keynotes and sessions on demand!