We all now reside in a digital world where we can easily hail a cab, book a restaurant table and a hotel room within just a few swipes on our smartphones. Alternatively, if that feels like too much hassle, a digital assistant such as Amazon’s Alexa is on hand for simple voice search.
Most businesses are waking up to the fact that delivering the right message, on the right device at the right time is key to their future success. When Adobe CEO, Shantanu Narayen took to the stage at the Adobe Digital Summit in Vegas this week, he spoke of an all-too-familiar digital revolution that is making our devices talk to us, our cars drive for us, and our technology platforms understand us.
It’s something that excites consumers, but it is also responsible for keeping concerned CEOs up at night. However, it is easy to forget just how much has changed in an era dominated by hyper change. Ten years ago, Netflix was just a DVD company, and the iPhone did not even exist.
Brad Rencher, EVP, and general manager of digital marketing at Abobe pointed out how the least interesting thing we can do with our phones now is to make a call and that it will not be long until the least interesting thing you can do with your car will be driving it.
As the digital transformation gathers pace, it is clear businesses will need a new set of tools to meet the increasingly complex expectations from their customers. The arrival of three significant events in Las Vegas this week has magnified the rise of analytics and the proliferation of devices that are forcing enterprises to rethink their customer experience.
ShopTalk impressed crowds at the Aria, while IBM tried to tempt attendees over their InterConnect event at the MGM Grand with the offer of free entry and Hollywood actor Will Smith. However, it was Adobe that would secure all of the headlines with a mixture of 21st-century tools, a slew of industry buzzwords that were all made more palatable with the appearance of Peyton Manning, Kate McKinnon, And Hollywood’s Ryan Gosling.
The digital transformation change curve has ensured that most businesses are moving away from the fear of trying to keep up or being disrupted. We are now entering a solutions period and an increasing feeling that it’s time to embark on a transformational journey to avoid stagnation. For those late to the party, the Adobe Summit hammered home the point that preserving status quo is not a business strategy in a mobile-first world.
Adobe Sensei’s machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities also enable companies to create personalized campaigns which has echoes of the Minority report but in a good way. Thankfully Adobe Target Director Kevin Lindsay saw the funny side of my observation who is to provide the ability, through all Adobe marketing solutions, for marketers to be able to market to their consumers as people rather than as separate devices.
The message was delivered loud and clear; Adobe is evolving beyond digital marketing to become an “experience business” Twelve thousand people packed into the Venetian, Las Vegas for the Adobe Summit, but it was rather telling of our times that the event broke free from its physical venue and was streamed to a much larger crowd scattered over a hundred countries.
Anyone looking for inspiration on how to transform their business was offered three inspirational stories from Mercedes-Benz, Carnival Cruise, and Domino’s Pizza. All of which seemed to have quickly grasped the concept that customer experience is what differentiates any business.
I also caught up with Barry Goldstein from the Wyndham Hotel group at the event who told me about his Digital Transformation story. The director of emerging technology at the USA Today Network, Niko Chauls also told me how they are pioneering storytelling experiences through VR & AR.
Marketing is no longer about brand awareness; it’s about the brand experience. Making experience your business is good for business. – Adobe GM & EVP, Brad Rencher
The more cynical would question the number of industry buzzwords that were present in the keynote speeches, but maybe they are missing the point. The Adobe Experience Cloud is recognizing customers as people rather than screens, impressions, or delivery methods. To dismiss this new direction would be a mistake of epic proportions.
If advertisers fall out of love for the traditional TV ad spots and take their million dollar budgets to concentrate on making mobile their top priority, could the rest of us be priced out of the game? Facebook’s David Fischer was on hand to also point out that we watch 100 million videos a day on the social media behemoth, but our declining attention spans will ensure we will lose interest after 30 seconds.
Mastering the art of delivering robust omnichannel digital experiences from online to traditional TV is crucial to consumers who expect the same level of service as they drift seamlessly from device to device. Meanwhile, hanging onto the past will only prime your business for disruption.
The most valuable aspect of the Adobe Summit was the ability for industry leaders to share both their challenges and opportunities. Jason Rose from Gigya told me how they are helping brands build digital trust with consumers. With big names such as Nike, Forbes, and ABC already on board, I get the feeling that Gigya is a name to watch very closely.
Essentially, Adobe is placing themselves in neutral territory away from the likes of Facebook, Google, and IBM. The launch of the Experience Cloud will also enable the expansion of the intriguing Sensei and its Minority Report style machine learning framework. Anyone looking at embarking on a transformational journey to avoid stagnation and move away from fragmented, disparate tech now have a new set of digital tools for the job.
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This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.