As Summit kicks off in Salt Lake City, it is so exciting to see how the redesign and enhancements we have built into the Adobe Target solution within Adobe Marketing Cloud are being embraced by companies across industries. So many have realized the necessity of testing, democratizing optimization with our guided workflow across their brands and divisions with a core governance model, and are experiencing exponential returns from efficiently maturing their program leveraging both our manual and automated personalization precision. No longer is it ok to take gut instinct or personas at face value; all assumptions should be evaluated, and Adobe Target can assist when the data is unclear or a valid hypothesis arises. And when the data is unclear, automated personalization algorithms are there to help with the heavy lifting analysis, uncovering the most predictive variables and targeting opportunities based upon synchronized analytics data and unified audience segment definitions.
Innovations in Recommendations
This year we’ve pushed the boundaries and possibilities for personalization precision even further with our recent Target announcements. No longer will recommendations be a managed, black box solution applied to a limited cross-sell use case in retail. We’ve built-in best practices by vertical, and provided out-of-the-box suggestions for which algorithms to use at different stages of the customer journey, with criteria that’s easy to understand and customize based on metadata from your feeds. It now has a similar 3-step guided workflow as our other Target activities: inserting or replacing a recommendation through a visual editor, selecting algorithm criteria from a suggested list or customizing your own, selecting a design from templates or uploading your own, and then setting success metrics and other goals. That’s all that’s required. Easily QA its look and feel within our editor with real recommendations fed in. Select different collections, or even build custom collections from your product/content feeds to deliver the right product or content recommendations based on the audience. And it’s easy to test two different designs or two separate criteria for algorithms against each other, and against no recommendations, to ensure that the right decisions are being made in automating recommendations to a diverse visitor base at a given location. It’s exciting to see the new innovative ways that companies are using recommendations: how travel companies are now promoting the right package offers or incentives, media companies can quickly keep a viewer engaged with relevant next video clips and B2B companies can offer up the next best collateral based on their lead’s score.
Optimization and Personalization Across the Internet of Things
Sony is one of the companies at Summit who is embracing the new possibilities in terms of personalized recommendations, but also pushing the envelope by using it in a ground-breaking new way: Applying Adobe Target’s personalization capabilities to screens and devices that are internet-enabled, but not web-based – what we are calling Adobe Target for the “Internet of Things,” another major announcement at Summit.
This is in response to the exponential expansion of these internet-enabled screens and devices throughout our everyday lives, from ATMs, to grocery and retail stores (including digital signage), video rentals, cable, gaming and streaming video consoles, and even extending into the home with “smart” thermostats, refrigerators and other appliances that adapt and alert users based on their preferences. However, while the expectation of personalization on these screens may exist based on common web and mobile personalized experiences, they have been sorely lacking up until now. How many times have we been frustrated at needing to enter an additional confirmation code and other details after swiping a card at an airport kiosk for check-in? How many times will our ATM continually prompt us to enter our preferences? What potential marketing opportunity and customer satisfaction is lost by not adapting relevant offers and content in the screens on the backs of airplane seats or at the gas pump to their captive audiences?
With Adobe Target support in IoT devices, marketers can download a robust set of APIs for a myriad of different types of use cases:
- Activity Management APIs enable testing, targeting or automated activities that are launched in other solutions to be passed into the Adobe Target interface for monitoring and reporting e.g. activities built and launched in AEM.
- Delivery APIs enable delivery of content to external servers, networks and channels.
- Profile APIs allows the passing in of data to enrich the unified marketing profile including highly predictive, anonymous data variables from CRM, and 3rd party data feeds such as demographic, offsite behavior/preferences, etc.
- Performance APIs allow the export of reporting data and results into other systems and solutions, and several additional APIs extend Target’s reach for activities such as tracking offline conversions.
Sony and Adobe have taken the pioneering steps in optimizing and personalizing device and screen experiences that are a part of what has been coined the “Internet of Things.” One of Sony’s main charters is to create a multi-channel real-time network experience that extends from their web and mobile site and apps into their internet-enabled, social experience for users within their Playstation Network in the Playstation 4 console. They’ve been leveraging Adobe Target and recommendations algorithms to drive relevant recommendations in the Playstation Store experience and surrounding and driving gamers playing and social interactions. It’s a fascinating new territory, which Sony is pioneering and is creating a more engaged, relevant experience for the demanding, dedicated audience of video gamers who have been consuming the network and its offers at exponential rates. We’re firing up Playstations all around our Summit activities throughout the week so Summit goers can get a taste for the personalized relevant experience drive by Adobe Target and Sony within their ground-breaking gaming network.
As this is new ground, the rules for the most impactful, productive personalized engagement across these screens and devices are being written as we speak, and Adobe Target is equipped to assist with the optimization process. Sony has taken it to the next level with use cases they share this week surrounding engaging customers who have purchased outside of the network with relevant targeted offers related to the game they are playing or access codes for additional Playstation-specific content and opportunities. There are additional use cases tying in to their social network, allowing the individual gamer to be aware and likely consume games and content that their like-minded friends are engaging with.
Introducing Performance Targeting for AEM Content Authors
The value of applying Adobe Target’s personalization lens across web, mobile and now the Internet of Things is being recognized and sought after, and our third announcement is in response to making Adobe Target more accessible for the purposes of content creation and design. As testing and optimization is no longer an afterthought, we want to make Adobe Target available at the point where the content is being created, allowing the content producer to apply a test or targeted activity as the web page, mobile page or screen is being built. With new embedded features developed in the latest Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Target can be selected within an internal menu, and a content producer or designer can leverage its guided workflow for launching a targeted experience, or setting up a test to determine the best of several options. This synergy with Adobe Target speeds the process of activating optimization and allows Adobe Target’s performance targeting to assist with determining the best versions of content to hard code and maintain across channels within Adobe Experience Manager and the content team.
These Summit announcements will help companies continue to expand and to utilize the power of Adobe Target’s optimization capabilities and personalization precision across all of their touch points, allowing people from all divisions of an organization to ensure that they are delivering the best connected experience to customers no matter where in the customer journey they are.