Extend the Value of Adobe Solutions with Adobe Exchange

Marketing Cloud

Customer experience technology is highly fragmented. Our customers are looking for ways to bring their disparate technologies together with Adobe at the center. To make this a reality and enable deeper integration with the ISV community, we announced the Adobe Exchange partner program at Adobe Summit 2016.

Since then, we’ve had upwards of 250 partners sign up and participate in the program. The Adobe Exchange program is a partner program designed specifically for technology partners, including software vendors, data providers, hardware, and infrastructure vendors. Our tech and data partners list their integration within the Exchange Marketplace. Adobe customers have the ability to search the Exchange Marketplace ecosystem to discover ways to augment functionality of their Adobe solutions.

Success of the Adobe Experience Cloud platform relies on its interoperability with external data sources and applications. These integrated solutions enhance the value of the Adobe Experience Cloud and its solutions in ways that ensure customer satisfaction.

Check out the Adobe Exchange Marketplace to learn how our partner ecosystem can help you extend that value of your Adobe investment.

Want to learn more about the program? Email us at aemc@adobe.com

The post Extend the Value of Adobe Solutions with Adobe Exchange appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Analytics Democratization — Putting Extraordinary Possibilities Into Everyone’s Hands

Marketing Cloud

“Often, within big organizations, the number of people who truly understand what’s going on with the customer base is very, very small — there are two or three guys in the corner of the room.” ~ Giles Richardson, head of analytics, Royal Bank of Scotland

After gaining this realization, Richardson took action. His vision was to empower every member of his organization — from board members to marketing managers and everyone in between — to gain real-time insight into customers’ wants and needs and then pair those insights with actions to improve the customer experience. So, using a music-production theme, he created the brand’s infamous analytics program, complete with “Superstar DJs,” “Producers,” billboards to track and celebrate performances, prizes, contests, and even “Guest DJs.” The goal was to democratize the power of analytics, allowing all levels of the organization to put analytics to use to improve the customer experience.

RBS Achieves a Winning Performance Via Two Rules.
The secret to success in Richardson’s program lies in two simple rules: everyone is to be involved, and for every insight surfaced, one action must be paired with it. As a result, Richardson explained the shift he saw as his program became an organization-wide concerted effort to improve the customer experience: “Within seconds — within milliseconds — our DJs know if their content’s working or not,” says Richardson, and DJs can then “experiment with new content and instantly see if it [is] going down well.” When content isn’t performing well, they can “change it almost instantly” — and they have the skills to do it all themselves. In talking about his vision, he added, “Through clever use of data and automatic optimizations, we’re going to see people that are able to do things that they used to have to reach out to specialized agencies to achieve,” things like increasing loan conversions by 20 percent and reducing mobile loan-application completion time from days to mere minutes.

Empower your Organization: Democratize Your Analytics Programs.
Becoming a true experience business — where insight empowerment is valued — is a lofty challenge but one the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) faced head-on. They disrupted the status quo of their organization and, in doing so, created a bold new vision. RBS created an environment in which every player has a chance to unleash the power of data. Silos disappeared, data was connected and controlled, and true insight empowerment occurred. Here are six steps RBS took to unleash the power of democratized analytics in their organization — and you can, too.

1. Rehearsing for a Winning Performance — Assess Your Analytics Maturity.
Brands must not expect everyone in their organizations to be analytics experts. At RBS, Producers were experienced and seasoned analysts, and RBS recognized that — if paired with the right supporting tools — Producers could help democratize the company’s analytics via experience-based training programs. In doing so, Producers remained responsible for the more complex tasks, while others in the organization — Superstar DJs — manned their own posts, surfacing less-complex insights and pairing them with small actions that moved the needle in big ways.

To begin this process, RBS first assessed who in the organization had the most experience and skills in the realm of data analysis and optimization and who did not. Then, they placed dashboards and other supports in place to allow less experienced DJs to try their hands at analytics on a more intuitive basis.

Likewise, brands must assess their own analytics maturity and work to improve on it. It’s helpful if brands imagine analytics as a mountain with both technical ascents and easy hikes. Near the summit, where the data scientists and hardcore analysts will undoubtedly climb to, you’ll have machine learning, predictive algorithms, and data science. At the base, where the analytically green will be ambling around, you’ll find easy-to-interpret, drag-and-drop visualizations, dashboards, and breakdown tables. By being realistic about which members need more support and which can fend for themselves in the analytics wilderness, and then training team members to use the supports that facilitate their roles, companies can get everyone on board with moving the brand closer to meeting business goals.

2. Mastering the Climb — Evangelize the Executive.
Without executive sponsorship, any program is doomed to stagnation. For this reason, many organization-wide analytics programs are struggling. Only 51 percent of respondents reported having C-level or VP-level executive sponsorship for their digital-analytics programs. RBS resolved this by allowing everyone to be involved from the very beginning. Analytics training was implemented across the board, including for key stakeholders like board members. By allowing even company executives to make the program and its results their own, buy-in was more likely to follow.

Next, RBS evangelized every win — especially the big ones. Billboard charts were set up at the end of each week to ignite friendly rivalry. There were Gold Disk presentations for genius-optimization work, and Diamante headphones were awarded when employees reached the Superstar DJ level. RBS knew how to get everyone on board by celebrating every win in a very public way, creating deeper buy-in with each passing week.

In your own organization, take every opportunity to bring more stakeholders on board and evangelize the value of your program. With hands-on involvement and continual celebration, you can demonstrate how democratizing analytics leads to the cross-pollination of ideas and actions across the organization. Show how the goals of a particular team give support to the overall goals of the organization.

3. Ensuring a Concerted Effort — Address Accountability.
Without accountability, democratized analytics is an illusion. Transparency keeps people up to speed on strategy, and knowing who is working on what prevents testing overlap. Accountability also creates a culture of shared responsibilities. Set clear expectations, clarify roles, and empower individuals to use data to make decisions and put ideas into action.

At RBS, each journey manager — or DJ — is responsible for a particular stage of the customer journey. To coincide with this, each DJ’s analytics dashboard shows real-time data regarding how customers interact with the brand at these junctures. Using data that they’ve gleaned from their dashboards, each DJ can test and optimize to ensure his or her point in the customer journey is performing well. And, when an insight is surfaced from the testing process, DJs are required to pair the insight with an action to improve the customer experience. This system prevents overlap of responsibility among DJs and empowers each DJ to continually improve on performance.

Next, to promote transparency — and, therefore, accountability — these dashboards are shared with all areas of the company in real-time, allowing everyone in the company to not only be aware of underperforming areas in the customer journey, but also celebrate wins in each area.

4. Keeping the Team in Tune — Communicate Strategic Aim.
Ensuring that everyone is well aware of the company strategy allows for tests and actions that are in alignment with key performance indicators (KPIs). Strategies may need to be adjusted if (and when) data points go in a different direction and alienate the company from reaching agreed-upon business goals.

RBS’s loan applications were well developed to further their KPI of successfully completing loan applications. However, the company had to pivot when they realized that customers were falling off within two minutes of beginning their web-based loan applications. So, the DJ responsible for that juncture in the customer journey tested for an optimal timeframe and adjusted the design of the application so that applicants finished before reaching this danger zone. In this case, the initial design and length of the application hindered RBS’s ability to reach their loan-application completion KPIs, but testing allowed them to pivot their loan-application strategy to better meet business goals.

5. Upstaging the Competition — Align Your Analytics.
Sadly, only 15 percent of Adobe survey respondents felt their business needs were matched with their digital-analytics report, while 10 percent viewed their current digital data as irrelevant. Aligning business needs and analytics reporting is key to allowing everyone on your team to find opportunities for testing and optimization that truly help your business build stronger results.

For example, to ensure business needs were met by their analytics program, RBS first identified their need to improve the customer experience at all touchpoints. Then, by equipping each DJ with an analytics dashboard that pertained to a portion of the customer journey, their analytics reports aligned with and empowered team members to advance the company toward their ultimate goal of providing an exceptional customer experience. Team members could test and optimize customer interactions at every touchpoint, creating a holistic improvement of the customer experience across the board.

6. Setting the Stage for Future Success — Inspire Everyone to Produce Music.
RBS knows that memorable music tells stories. As a result, their weekly genius-optimization presentations allow Superstar DJs to tell data stories, translating meaningless numbers into hero stories. By presenting linear stories via visual presentations regarding the optimization process, DJs relate the challenges they faced, how they overcame them, and how the customer journey was improved for target consumers. In doing so, the brand can stay on the same page regarding where wins were achieved and how. Further, through these memorable optimization stories, DJs allow others to glean insights they can apply to ultimately compose and tell their own genius-optimization stories in future meetings.

Likewise, in your organization, a massive influx of data and democratized analytics through which anyone can pull insights require translating information into something meaningful. Storytelling is a great way to do this. Those who hold raw data should be challenged to tell great stories. To do this, inspire everyone to move past the dashboard to tell their data stories, embedding data into meaning that drives future focused and on-point actions.

In Sum — It’s all About Creating an Optimization-Centered Environment.
As organizations shift from old-school data dictatorships to analytics democracies, intuition-driven marketing is giving way to data-driven decision-making based on real-time insights. Usher in a new era of ease by creating an environment in which people can both learn and act upon their insights; teams can solve age-old problems in new, innovative ways; and people all across your organization can feel empowered to create consistent customer experiences. Do this, and just like RBS, you will put extraordinary possibilities into the hands of anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Learn more about how to democratize the power of analytics in your organization. Download our white paper: The Extraordinary Possibility: Bringing the Power of Analytics to Everyone on Your Team.

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Cross-Device Marketing: Three Tips for Success

Marketing Cloud

In a world where 60% of adults interact with at least 2 screens per day, it’s essential for marketing campaigns to target people, rather than devices. But whether you’ve decided to send anonymized customer IDs directly to the walled gardens of Facebook and Google or you’ve hosted them securely within your own Data Management Platform (DMP), it’s challenging to get cross-device marketing right. What’s more, the cost of not solving this issue is huge. Forrester estimates that this year America’s Millennials will spend over $600bn across an average of 5.5 connect devices per person. The recent eMarketer webinar, Cross-Device Targeting—What to Watch for in 2017, goes into detail on trends and key challenges facing marketers who must deliver consistent, cross-device experiences.

The much-discussed solution to the cross-device challenge is to build or buy a device graph. A device graph is a set of ID mappings used to define groups of anonymous devices as being used by the same person based on the commonalities between the signals collected from each device. These signals indicate a level of identity. The most accurate signal is a login event (such as signing into a website or app), however other signals such as IP address and device meta-data can also be used. When layered over an audience segment comprised of device IDs, these device graphs can be used to anonymously classify the common identity behind each device in the audience segment (typically a person or a household). This allows a marketer to deliver a consistent cross-device experience to the audience segment, tailored perfectly to the person (or people) using each device. That said, factors such as scale, accuracy, privacy and control make it very difficult to find the perfect device graph to use and the best platform on which to use it.

Here are my top three tips to delivering successful cross-device experiences with device graphs:

1. Be flexible
Every device graph has its own unique advantages so put your business in the position to leverage them all. If you build your own device graph based on signals collected from your own websites and apps you’ll ensure maximum control over how the graph is built and how it is used but inevitably, it will be limited by scale. If you decide to use a device graph within a publisher’s walled garden (think Facebook, Google, Twitter etc.) you’ll increase your scale but be limited to using the graph with audiences defined by each of these publishers for use only on the inventory they sell. In other words, your device graph won’t exist outside of their ecosystem.

The solution here is to build your audience segments in a platform-agnostic environment that offers the ability to construct your own device graph, opt-in to a shared device graph, or lease a 3rd party device graph. The obvious choice for such an environment is the Data Management Platform (DMP). The DMP should offer integrations with all major targeting platforms, publishers, and data providers to ensure optimum scale, accuracy, and consistency of the audiences it defines. Adobe’s DMP, Adobe Audience Manager, offers marketers and publishers the ability to create their own device graphs from their 1st party data as part of its built-in Identity Management capabilities. In addition, Audience Manager has integrations with multiple device graph vendors including Adobe’s own Device Co-op and the LiveRamp and Tapad device graphs.

2. Understand the importance of scale
Targeting and re-targeting your existing customers using your own device graph built from anonymized 1st party data is a common example of people-based marketing. The challenge is that by definition, this device graph can only include devices you’ve seen and been able to connect to known customers based on their actions across your digital properties. If you want to extend your reach to target your customers and even your prospects across devices they own but you’ve never seen, you’re going to need to a bigger graph. This is where the Adobe Device Co-op can help. The Device Co-op is a device graph comprised of data collected from multiple businesses that have joined forces to contribute and benefit from a shared device graph. Importantly, the graph extends far beyond the devices any one business has seen on their owned digital properties, allowing them to increase the reach of their campaigns and target users across all their devices even if they’ve only been identified on one device. The Adobe Device Co-op is currently the largest device graph of its kind in North America and is being used to help marketers both activate and measure the performance of people-based audience segments without having to sacrifice scale.

3. Be in control
If you’re going to use device graphs to define, target and measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, be sure to have complete control over how they are being used. Audience Manager’s Profile Merge Rules allow marketers to create sophisticated logic over how a device graph defines the people within a segment for any number of marketing scenarios. For instance, one rule may be configured for use with known customer segments leveraging a 1st party device graph whereas another rule could be used to define anonymous prospects leveraging a 3rd party device graph. In addition, Profile Merge Rules can be used to define which platforms the segments using a device graph can be exported to in order to comply with your company’s privacy policy. As more advocacy groups and governments create new legislation around consumer privacy, it’s critical to maintain control over which device graphs you use and how they are used across your business.

Customers have come to expect that the experience they have on one connected device will continue when they access a second or third device. By following the three principles outlined here – Be flexible; Understand the importance of scale; and Be in control – marketers can take the necessary steps to meet these expectations by delivering consistent user experiences and enabling new cross-device marketing tactics that will ultimately improve their return on investment.

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Play to Win: Don’t Let Documents Slow Down Your Customer Experience

Marketing Cloud

Let’s be honest, paper documents and file cabinets are passé. But, with 80 percent of business processes still paper based, it’s a struggle to get campaigns to market quickly. What’s more, it’s next to impossible to outpace the competition without delivering an award winning, all-digital customer experience.

Adobe Document Cloud created quite a buzz at this year’s Summit — and for good reason. It’s setting the pace for faster, better digital workflows and easy document management. Adobe Document Cloud makes it easy to get skin in the game by helping marketers be more productive, drive marketing decision making faster, and deliver those game changing digital experiences customers crave.

Prevent analog whiplash with a completely digital experience

“From your customer’s point of view, anytime you start a process digital and keep the process digital, you make the experience better,” Lori DeFurio, Group Manager, Customer Marketing at Adobe and presenter for Document Cloud at Summit says. “If in the middle of a web or mobile app experience you suddenly ask a customer to do something manual — like print out a mortgage application to sign — the risk of losing that customer becomes really high.”

When faced with an analog break in a process that up until that point had been digital, customers fall off instead of completing a purchase or taking a desired action. No one likes to print out paper documents, sign and scan them. It’s a hassle, and, according to Lori, jumping from digital to analog and back is not only frustrating for the customer, but also opens the door for error, higher cost and wasted time for businesses.

“If you have to write something out on paper — a name, phone number, or birthdate — someone eventually needs to enter it back in. There’s an increased chance for error,” Lori says. An all-digital experience from start to finish is more cohesive, consistent, and faster for. Keeping customers in a fully digital environment without a break in the process just makes sense. That’s where Adobe Document Cloud comes into play.

Deliver hassle free, all-digital experiences from start to finish.

  • Create secure and legally binding digital contracts with Adobe Sign and secure e-signatures.
  • Meet customers where they are with web and mobile apps.
  • Seamlessly integrate with Adobe Experience Manager to create analytics-driven experiences.

Keep brand messaging consistent and cohesive.

  • Customize PDFs with colors and logos to deliver a consistent brand message through the entire buying experience.
  • Brand the signing experience, and keep customers engaged.

Be better. Be faster. Make customers happy.

Adobe Document Cloud integrates end-to-end with the customer experience, but it also creates a streamlined process that eliminates delays and speeds up marketing campaign velocity — from creative approvals to getting assets into market.

Document Cloud includes Adobe Acrobat, the best way to create, manage and collaborate with PDF. Acrobat and PDF have been productivity workhorses for creatives and marketers for years, and for good reason. These tools give marketing teams the ability to collaborate simply and securely with creatives, vendors, and clients. They also translate easily onto mobile platforms.

Imagine the marketing team for a mortgage company is collaborating with a creative agency to launch its new mobile app. Traditionally, these exchanges would go back and forth through lengthy email threads, sending assets from one side to the other, giving approvals in the text, trying to keep track of who has what assets and which assets should only be shared with certain teams. Sound confusing? It can be.

Instead, imagine this process on Document Cloud. Using PDFs, the marketing team and creative agency can communicate freely in one consistent place. Assets can be created and shared securely. Viewing permissions can be limited so no one outside of the project accidentally stumbles on the information. Approvals can be given simply through Adobe Sign, and when it is time to transfer assets from planning to mobile publication, it’s a breeze. All of this means a more effectively executed marketing strategy.

Navigate complexity with the right tools, and exceed customer expectations.

Whether it’s digitizing intimidating paper-based processes like securing a mortgage, collaborating with your team more easily, or finding a better way to add legally binding signatures, Adobe Document Cloud is making it possible for marketers and customers to achieve their goals. Ready to go digital? Start learning about how Adobe Document Cloud can help your business today.

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Programmatic Advertising Wins Big Through Personalization

Marketing Cloud

“U.S. digital marketing spend will near $120 billion by 2021.” With no reduction in sight, personalization takes on a new spin as the driver for efficiency in programmatic advertising.

The model has been flipped on its head creating an even greater demand to move away from omni-channel marketing to business as usual with 1:1 interactions at scale as the new normal. The ability to track, measure and personalize to audience segments across multiple channels and fluidly act with confidence is now the CMO’s tool of choice to eliminate media waste. It’s also become the opportunity to merge paid, owned and earned channels segments as one continuous journey and identify a customer with multiple devices as one person. The channels have taken a backseat as landscape, while the customer has moved into the forefront of focus. Track the customer and understand the channel vs. track the channel and understand the customer is alive and well in travel and hospitality.

Channel as an attribute

The channel is now an attribute of the customer’s profile and experience. Like a Google Map, brands can see all the streets (channels) customers passed on the way to their destination. And appropriate guidance along the journey through personalization is possible with high impact. No longer is the need to spray and pray with hundreds of wasted impressions to provide key information.

And with this change, travel brands are creating efficiencies in their direct channels, reducing higher cost distribution of the traditional call center, while creating reductions in other digital spend like SEM (search engine marketing).

WestJet utilized the Adobe Marketing Cloud to deliver stunning visuals and tailored experiences across the entire customer journey. Where multiple connected devices created media waste for many advertisers worldwide, Adobe’s suite of integrated services is leveling the playing field with connectivity at a customer profile level.

“Campaign reports often don’t tell the whole story,” says Karim Elemam, senior digital analyst at WestJet. “If someone clicks on a link for flights to Toronto but books a flight to New York, we can’t really attribute that booking to the marketing campaign. Adobe Media Optimizer and Adobe Analytics work together to give us true cross-channel data so we know how our campaigns are performing and what we can change for even better returns. We reduced the time to support search engine marketing efforts by 40 per cent, and overall costs dropped for our weekend campaigns by 14 per cent.”

Perishable inventory creates innovation

In the past, travel and hospitality brands have struggled with the perishable aspect of travel. It created an urgency that drove and continues to drive entire teams into immediate action. Moving inventory was the core focus of businesses far and wide as yesterday’s inventory could not be sold today. Unlike retailers without this high potential for inventory waste, travel brands live with the knowledge that annual company performance is dependent on this daily, sometimes hourly, sales performance. The spray and pray method met this need, but lacked the ability to gain loyalty, entice customers or create meaningful relationships.

Tracking customers across their journey and customizing the message with awareness of other channels enables Digital Analysts to understand what message worked in which channel and ultimately what led to a better experience through targeted personalization.

“Analyzing customer behaviors is like studying a living process—it’s constantly changing,” explains Jason Wiegand, manager of digital analytics and optimization at WestJet. “There’s tremendous value in the integrated adobe marketing cloud solutions. Using a unified Adobe platform, we have the tools to capture data streams and devise strategies to share our message of service and savings across channels.”

11 Stats to power your personalization: More and more brands are figuring out how to come to the table and win as personalization becomes table stakes in travel. Here’s the barometer on how you measure up: Can you power personalized experiences at scale across all channels? Are you able to modify communications based on behavior and link offline and online segments?

  1. Spending on programmatic advertising is growing quickly, at ~20% annually, says Business Insider.
  2. Programmatic advertising will grow 31% in 2017, according to MediaPost, faster than all other digital media channels.
  3. Marketing Tech News projects programmatic spend to increase from $19bn in 2016 to $42bn in 2020.
  4. Forrester reports that 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience.
  5. According to an Infosys report, 59% of customers say that personalization influences their shopping decision and that more than 78% of consumers will only engage offers if they have been personalized to their previous interactions with the brand.
  6. Infosys also reports that 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized.
  7. A Rapt Media survey found that 63% of consumers say they’d think more positively of a brand if it gave them content that was more valuable, interesting or relevant.
  8. Personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%, report Aberdeen.
  9. The ability to segment email lists and individualize email campaign messaging are the most effective personalization tactics for 51% and 50% of marketing influencers respectively, according to Ascend2.
  10. 63% of respondents are highly annoyed by the way brands continue to rely on the old-fashioned strategy of blasting generic ad messages repeatedly reports Marketo.
  11. Skift’s Digital Transformation Survey 2016 found that only 32% of of travel executives rate their company’s personalization abilities as 4 or 5 out of 5 stars.

Read Next: Adobe’s Discover Customer Clues: Solve the Mystery of your Audience. Download the white paper.

This post originally appeared on Skiftx.com.

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Adobe Named a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant Report on Multichannel Campaign Management

Marketing Cloud

Digital experiences change the way we think, interact, entertain, work and relate to the world around us. Never have the stakes been higher for the marketer to provide compelling and engaging experiences throughout the customer journey. While this is a challenge, marketers are turning to Adobe for expertise and capabilities in delivering integrated experiences across all channels.

This is why we are proud and humbled that for the fourth consecutive year, Adobe has been recognized as a leader in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Campaign Management” report. Adobe Campaign, the solution within Adobe Marketing Cloud that allows marketers to plan, launch and measure personalized, contextual, real-time and engaging cross-channel messages, was a key part of the evaluation.

Gartner defines the multichannel campaign management (MCCM) market as consisting of vendors that “orchestrate customer engagements and marketing content to individuals and segments across multiple channels. Channels may include websites, email, mobile, social, programmatic advertising, call centers and direct mail.” For this report in particular, Gartner took a hard look at the current offering, strategy and market presence of 22 of the most significant solutions in market.

Here at Adobe, we continue to evolve our MCCM capabilities to include a single and accessible customer profile; real-time interaction management; predictive analytics that help marketers understand and anticipate customer behavior; and new and emerging marketing channels, such as messenger apps.

Additionally, Adobe Campaign continues to expand and integrate into Adobe Experience Cloud to help marketers manage the customer journey. This includes activating customers and identifying real-time triggers with Adobe Analytics Cloud, and creating contextually relevant, personalized email marketing and digital assets with Adobe Marketing Cloud.

We understand that being a leader comes with the responsibility to continue innovating and delighting our customers. While we are again honored to be recognized as a leader, our mission to provide marketers with a best-in-class marketing solution never stops. This will continue to be supported by a vision and strategy that allows organizations to evolve their marketing strategy to better manage the customer journey.

Want to learn more about how Gartner evaluates Adobe? Take a look at the full report here.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Campaign Management, Adam Sarner, Mike McGuire, 11 April 2017.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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Why Do Audience Match Rates Matter?

Marketing Cloud

Why do match rates matter? Because audiences matter. Whether your business does offline direct marketing or online programmatic advertising, the ability to reach the right audience is fundamental to achieving your marketing goals.

In digital advertising, reaching a higher volume of a high-value audience gives an advertiser more opportunities — through leads, sales, and revenue — to drive performance. Nowadays, many online advertisers use a data-management platform to consolidate audience data — for instance, site visitors, offline customer relationship management (CRM), partners, and third-party demographics — and end up with robust, individual, anonymous user profiles they can use for audience segmentation and targeting across the web.

So, What Exactly Is a Match Rate?
The pursuit of data-targeting at scale has popularized the match-rate concept, which usually refers to the percentage of users that a demand-side platform (DSP) recognizes within a given audience segment. Data naturally leaks throughout the various stages in the activation progression — from data-onboarder to data-management platform (DMP) to demand-side platform (DSP) to inventory. In the activation process, lost profiles directly correlate to decreased match rates, reducing the targeted scale advertisers can achieve.

As the graphic below illustrates, four distinct data matches occur during the media-execution process:

Offline ‣‣ Online Onboarder;
Onboarder ‣‣ DMP;
DMP ‣‣ DSP; and
DSP ‣‣ Ad Exchange/Inventory.

Let’s look at match rates within the context of one of the more popular real-world use cases: retargeting site visitors — users who have demonstrated both high interest in an advertiser’s brand and intent through their actions while on the site (abandoning shopping carts, visiting specific product pages, etc.). Retargeting is an evergreen (or “always-on”) tactic for many advertisers because these audience segments are the low-hanging fruit that consistently drives performance. For most advertisers, these coveted, high-performing audience segments can never be too big or have too many members. Fortunately, advertisers can gain more from this limited group of high-value users by working with integrated data-management and media-buying platforms that deliver greater audience matches.

But, Do Match Rates Really Matter?
To illustrate why match rates matter, let’s look at an example of the impact for display advertising by comparing the reach of different DSPs within one DMP. Using our previous retargeting scenario, we’ll take a more simplified approach, assuming a frequency of one ad view and each DSP’s consistent synchronization of cookies with ad exchanges.

  • The advertiser wants to reach their best-performing audience segment — shopping cart abandoners.
  • One-million users in the DMP can be targeted.
  • Advertiser pushes the retargeting segment to three DSPs, including the Adobe Advertising Cloud DSP.
  • Three DSPs have three different audience sizes and match rates with the DMP segment (90 percent, 70 percent, and 60 percent).
  • The result is a significant impact on the number of converters and the revenue.

Advertisers often work with many different technology platforms, and a common challenge they face is that sharing data and audiences across the different layers of their technology stack is often difficult — or even impossible. When building a stack, one of the primary considerations for marketers is whether the advertising layer is tightly integrated with the other platforms. Can data and audiences be shared easily across platforms? How high are the audience match rates? These are important questions that should be asked early in the planning phase — not after the ink has dried.

Can Adobe Advertising Cloud Help You Increase Audience Match Rates?
Adobe Advertising Cloud is the first independent end-to-end platform that unifies audience data, media execution, and creative personalization to enable full-funnel ad-buying and optimization — from lower-funnel performance tactics (e.g., search, display) to upper-funnel brand tactics (e.g., video, programmatic TV). Our focus is on achieving the highest audience match rates possible. We’ve been able to achieve match rates exceeding 90 percent for first-party audiences ported from Adobe Analytics Cloud into Adobe Advertising Cloud DSP.

And, what about the end viewer? Consumers demand relevant ad experiences. In a recent survey, 78 percent of respondents said they want relevant ad experiences, but only 28 percent feel they are actually receiving them. By reaching more high-value audiences, an advertiser can better personalize experiences across display, video, and other channels.

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Use Your Data to Build a Better Customer Experience

Marketing Cloud

Delayed flights, lost luggage, sketchy cab rides, noisy hotel guests — Marriott has understood for many years now that the travel struggles are real. But, it’s only recently that they discovered ways to ease the pain with data. Their solution is to collect, harness, and redeploy customer information from all along the travel journey — far beyond the hotel stay itself. By amassing a wide range of data from vacation searches, flight and cruise bookings, car rentals, hotel check-ins, room service requests, spa treatments, and more, Marriott has developed a series of “predictable data points” for each of its guests, whether they’re first-time visitors or loyal members of the rewards program.

How Marriott Uses Data to Create Solutions
Travel stress is introduced by unknowns. So, Marriott extracts the “data points” inside each traveler’s head — the flight she always takes, for instance, or the coffeeshop he always visits — and preloads that information into its data platform. From there, Marriott finds ways to wrap each customer experience in these predictable data points. It could be something simple and delightful like serving black coffee to a guest who always takes her coffee black — before she asks. Or, it might be something even more potentially stress-saving like offering early check-in to a guest who always comes in on the red-eye.

Customer insights — such as the predictable data points that Marriott gathers — are at the heart of effective personalization. And the first step toward gaining this deep insight is to know who your customers and prospects are across every touchpoint in their unique travel journeys — not just the points where they encounter your brand. This means connecting with consumers throughout their travel journeys — from the moment they start imagining their trips right up to the minute they return home and share their travel photos.

Why a Holistic Customer View Is Critical
Online travel agencies (e.g., Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity) and metasearch sites (e.g., Kayak) already touch travelers at many points along their journeys. Because they’ve built more holistic views of travelers than what most traditional travel brands have, they’re able to offer solutions — from airfare and hotels to car rentals and vacation activities and all from a single site. Traditional travel brands, on the other hand, have some catching up to do.


Creating a truly holistic view of the traveler requires gathering and linking data from disparate sources, including:

  • Opt-in data from your customer relationship management (CRM) system;
  • Data from your company’s call-center interactions;
  • Booking flow metrics;
  • Purchase data;
  • Customer data from social applications; and
  • Comprehensive device-usage data from data co-ops.

Equipped with all this customer intelligence, you’ll be more capable of connecting with travelers throughout their journeys — not only in the places where you typically interact with them, but also anywhere and everywhere they go.

Where Brands Tend to Drop the Data Ball
However, it only works if all your users understand the data and can act on it. “This is where our industry falls flat,” said Ahmed El-Emam, a digital strategist for WestJet. “The answer,” he explained, “is to shift from traditional “systems of record,” which focus on processes, to “systems of engagement,” which focus on people.” Systems of engagement help brands deliver experiences in the precise moments travelers need them by integrating customer data with new mobile and social technologies — for instance, combining app and location context to know when a guest has entered your hotel and wants to check in as well as when she’s made it to her room and may want to order room service.

“This isn’t just a marketing function,” said El-Emam. “It’s about where data is stored, how you access it, how to integrate systems, and how to provide data transparency throughout the organization. It’s about how to surface information and make it actionable.”

What a Complete Customer Profile Can Offer
Building a more complete view of the customer also allows travel brands to build models that can predict future customer behaviors and responses — saving brands from having to guess which offer will resonate with which traveler — and new cognitive technologies take this predictive marketing to all-new levels. With the IBM Watson platform, for instance, predictive insights are based on not only historical and transactional data, but also psychographic insights into what customers are thinking, feeling, and saying.

Because Watson understands languages, learns as it processes information, and reasons much like humans do, the platform is capable of deciphering unstructured data from the social sphere — for instance, words a customer commonly uses on Facebook and Twitter. Correlating this social data with the National Psychiatric Index’s personality scale, Watson can help brands understand a traveler’s unique personality — from how agreeable a customer may be to how stressed he’s likely to become. Equipped with insights like these, you can understand customers in ways that have never before been possible and better imagine what unique experiences might look like for each of them — clearing the way for you to provide one-to-one experiences that truly fit the way they think, feel, act, and live.

To learn how to build a complete view of travelers so you can find new ways to connect with them throughout their travel journeys, read “The Beauty of Integration.


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