Fueling Customer Intelligence for the Enterprise: Audience Analytics for AAM

Marketing Cloud

In our conversations with customers, we’ve observed that marketers and publishers often leverage audience segmentation and customer analytics in silos — a data management platform houses rich segmentation comprised of first, second, and third-party data assets, while the analytics side of the operation stores valuable customer engagement metrics and insights. Today, we’re breaking down these barriers to empower data and analytics to work together to seamlessly power and inform customer experiences. Adobe Analytics Cloud introduces Audience Analytics for Adobe Audience Manager — an enhanced integration between Audience Manager and Analytics, aimed at driving enterprise insights, intelligence, and action.

A richer customer profile.
As customer data grows increasingly varied and expansive, it is becoming that much more important for marketers to see a full view of a customer across digital touchpoints. Audience Analytics for Adobe Audience Manager provides the ability to take segments from Audience Manager — such as media exposure, offline or CRM attributes, third-party data, email engagement, and survey data — and then send it back into Analytics. This can be woven together with site or app metrics and engagement information to create a more complete customer profile for the enterprise.

Intelligent insights.
In the data economy, it is essential to understand and measure audience segmentation in the context of customer value, channel effectiveness, and consumer journey — and be able to react quickly. Adobe Analytics has a long-standing reputation for providing digital marketers with best-in-class analysis tools that immediately impact the customer journey. Through Audience Analytics for Adobe Audience Manager, marketers can incorporate Audience Manager segments into existing Analytics workflows. For example, the segment data can be utilized along with Analysis Workspace features such as the Segment Comparison tool, flow visualizations, and Venn diagrams. This new integration turns insights into action faster than before, giving marketers additional insights that guide the optimization of current campaigns, inform personalization strategy, and enhance existing segmentation practices.

Example Use Cases:

  • See the results of data sources stored in Audience Manager in Analytics.
    Ingest purchased third-party segments from Audience Manager — such as demographic or psychographic attributes — into Analytics to view overlap with awareness, consideration, and purchase segments, and optimize accordingly. For example, if you’re an online retailer looking to target a particular demographic — such as urban moms — you can purchase data from Audience Marketplace that gets you close to the criteria of that demographic. Incorporate that data back into Analytics to analyze how this prospective segment of urban moms interacts with your brand, and tie this information to their purchase behavior for key products.
  • Tie off-site advertising to user action. Send media exposure segments stored in Audience Manager to Analytics to see how particular placements, creatives, or campaigns contribute to funnel activity. For example, if you’re on the media team for a large financial institution, share the data associated with your media programs with your analytics team. Work with your analytics team to see how your media buying initiatives are contributing to campaigns — perhaps to convert new users to a low-interest mortgage offer. Optimize your media campaigns based on insights.
  • Use onsite engagement to inform content. Use Analytics workflow, such as the flow feature to test which first-party segments contribute most to user engagement, and apply your findings in ad sales efforts or content personalization accordingly. For example, the personalization team at a publishing company could send data from Audience Manager to Analytics, including second and third-party segments. Then, they could analyze which first-party segments contribute the most to user engagement, and work with content teams to optimize page content accordingly.
  • Consolidate reporting. Track data against key metrics like conversion and engagement in one place, rather than in separate silos. For example, an audience management team at an automotive brand might need to report key metrics to global stakeholders on all facets of audience engagement — including audience interaction with paid advertising, along with site and app engagements. They could work with the analytics team to bring Audience Manager segmentation into Analytics, and be able to report and benchmark across data sources.

Better together.
DMP’s have traditionally been viewed as data and activation hubs —  places to define and package an audience, activate to various channels, and optimize as necessary. Similarly, customer analytics platforms have customarily been valuable for tracking site and app engagement. Adobe is looking beyond tradition with Audience Analytics to more closely connect the strengths that exist within the Analytics Cloud. Audience Analytics for Adobe Audience Manager empowers marketers and publishers to collaborate across teams, consistently track audience metrics, and drive valuable customer experiences quickly and at scale.

The post Fueling Customer Intelligence for the Enterprise: Audience Analytics for AAM appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Save the Date: Think Tank by Adobe – The Future of Advertising

Marketing Cloud

We are on the cusp of one of the greatest and most disruptive technology waves in history — the experience business wave. Nearly 90 percent of companies surveyed by Gartner indicated that they expect to compete primarily on consumer experience. That’s up nearly three times from 2010. In our hyper-connected, hyper-local, hyper-personalized world, a brand’s success relies almost exclusively upon its ability to deliver compelling personalized experiences to consumers, both online and off. But what is the role of the advertiser in experience business? Will the future of marketing see seismic shifts as businesses look to turn advertisements into experiences?

Next week, live from New York City at Advertising Week, we’re bringing you the next iteration of Think Tank by Adobe: The Future of Advertising. The Think Tank working group will be comprised of advertising executives who will dive deeper into the opportunities and challenges advertisers face for the future, with a particular focus on automation, transparency, and measurement in delivering compelling ad experiences.

Join us for the live stream of our Future of Advertising Think Tank by Adobe on Monday, Sept. 25, at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Martin Kihn, research vice president at Gartner will moderate the live-streamed discussion focused on:

  • Automation: Once controversial, the adoption of automated, data-driven buying of advertising is now so mainstream that it is often taken for granted. Over 70 percent of digital video ad budgets, and over 80 percent of display ads are forecast to be bought through automated channels this year. Traditional TV advertising bought through automated software is expected to eclipse $3 billion in 2017, and double in 2018 to reach $6 billion. So, what’s next in the space?
  • Transparency: Pre-rolls on extremist videos. Fraudulent traffic driven by botnets. Cloudy business models and a murky supply chain. This Advertising Week, brand marketers have a lot to keep them up at night. Despite all the technological progress, our industry still struggles to answer the most basic questions like, “where are my ad dollars going?”
  • Measurement: For decades, one question has punctuated marketers’ nightmares: “did our advertising work?” The advent of digital advertising was supposed to provide a respite from the years of relying on GRPs and subscription figures as proxies for effectiveness. But did it? Marketers remain hamstrung by models that, despite the improvement over the pre-digital era they represent, fail to properly account for all the necessary variables to accurately understand how marketing spend impacts the bottom line. We’ll explore measurement gaps — and solutions.

The Think Tank working group that will tackle these topics include luminaries across different industries, disciplines and brands:

  • Sharmilan Rayer, VP, audience & programmatic, NBCUniversal.
  • Phil Gaughran, chief integration officer, McGarryBowen.
  • Kelly Andresen, SVP, head of get creative, USA TODAY Network.
  • Jill Cress, CMO, National Geographic.
  • Will Warren, EVP, digital investment, Zenith Media.
  • Aubrey Flynn, CDO and SVP, REVOLT TV & Media.
  • Megan Estrada, VP of media, MGM Resorts.
  • Gary Milner, director of global digital marketing, Lenovo.
  • Keith Edie, VP, Advertising Cloud, Adobe.

Add the event to your calendar and join us via live stream on Monday, Sept. 26, at 11:30 a.m. ET.
Adobe Think Tanks are in-person forums for sharing ideas among luminaries working at the cutting edge of technology, communication, and creativity in a variety of disciplines. Past Think Tanks include the Future of the Experience Business, the Future of Digital Experience, the Future of Work, and the Internet of Things. We encourage you to follow @AdobeExpCloud and #AdobeTT on Twitter to join the conversation. Visit adobethinktank.com for more information.

The post Save the Date: Think Tank by Adobe – The Future of Advertising appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Adobe’s 2016 Holiday Shopping Predictions Bring ‘Good Tidings’ for 2017

Marketing Cloud

Retailers know the holiday shopping season ramps up long before the rest of us start sporting our festive sweaters and scarves. That’s why it’s never too early to think ahead.

In the fall of 2016, Adobe Digital Insights’ Holiday Shopping Predictions highlighted trends retailers should have expected to see as they geared up for last year’s holiday season. Although we’ll soon be releasing our 2017 report for the coming holiday season, it’s worth a look in the rearview mirror to see how our 2016 predictions stacked up to reality, and what that means for your marketing strategy as you prepare for the 2017 season.

Our findings revealed that there were still some large gaps between being aware of trends and successfully leveraging that awareness. With record-breaking sales last year, the retail industry, especially e-commerce, came out ahead. But analysts are anticipating that 2017 retail holiday shopping sales will be lower than last year’s — dropping from a 4.8 percent growth in sales in 2016 to only a 2 percent growth in 2017. This means retailers will have to work even harder this year to remain competitive.

By looking back at our 2016 predictions, and aligning those with real-world results, we gained some important insights that we believe will still hold true for this upcoming season.

1. Online Shopping.

Prediction:  While we projected that consumers would increase their online purchases in 2016, we also predicted that the motivations for online purchases would shift. Consumers would move from looking for great deals (–11 percent from 2015) to wanting more convenience — avoiding traffic and long lines (+4 percent from 2015), and being able to shop from work (+7 percent from 2015).

Reality: Online shopping saw an 11 percent year-over-year growth during the holiday season. Interestingly, much of the growth in revenue happened at the end of the holiday season as shoppers took advantage of later shipping options. Retailers who experienced low growth, may be reaching a visit plateau as fewer net new customers shop online.

What it means for 2017: For traditional retailers, it’s important to note that despite growth in online sales, most customers still favor in-store purchasing, supplemented by online shopping. For pure play retailers, the growth in online shopping is good news. Investing more in mobile and display ads (see below) will be important to increasing your growth metrics. This means that providing a seamless experience between your online and offline channels is essential. So think outside the box when developing your holiday season campaigns to create a seamless experience between your online and offline brand. Given the growth in last-minute revenue that we saw last year, there’s also an opportunity for retailers to take advantage of last-minute gift buying with convenience-oriented promotions like click-and-collect or express shipping.

2. Mobile Shopping.

Prediction: In 2016, we anticipated that mobile would play a major role in holiday shopping. In fact, we predicted that it would overtake desktop for the first time in terms of driving visits to a website during the holiday season.

Reality: While desktop remained the biggest driver of visits and sales — at 50 and 73 percent, respectively — for the first time ever, there were six days in which smartphone traffic surpassed desktop traffic.

What it means for 2017: To leverage the continued growth in mobile shopping, retailers need to enhance their mobile sites. Mobile web browsing remains the dominant interaction between customers and users, but it still isn’t driving conversion as hoped. Retailers should make it easier to convert visitors to customers by allowing shoppers to check out as guests. Mobile apps can also improve the experience, especially when retailers use a platform that offers flexible APIs to connect their mobile apps with other content management systems, product databases, and ERP or CRM systems. This will make it easier to design a mobile experience that is optimized to allow customers to search for specific products.

3. Display Ads.

Prediction: Last year, we noted that digital display advertising was the best way to lead people to a specific discounted product or popular category. In part, this prediction was based on a downward trend of consumers’ preference for receiving SMS or text messages as ways to alert them to sales.

Reality: Search advertising boosted Black Friday performance, which increased 16 percent year-over-year, reinforcing the fact that display ads are the best way to deliver personalized ads that drive shoppers toward a specific product or category search.

What it means for 2017: Retailers, particularly those in e-commerce, should be entering the holiday season with a strong strategy for paid media campaigns. To succeed, you must use third-party platforms as part of your paid advertising strategy. By harnessing the data of other retailers, you can enhance targeting in your display ads, and complement your Google and Amazon tactics to ensure the highest impact of your paid search dollars. These paid ads can drive traffic to physical stores, as well as online venues. Also, don’t forget about dynamic display ads that can target customers based on products they have previously browsed on your website. These types of ads are getting easier to assemble and deliver. But, more critically, the competition for shoppers’ attention and dollars continues to escalate.

With the holiday shopping frenzy only a few short months away, retailers need a marketing strategy that covers all the bases, and doesn’t leave any revenue stone unturned. We anticipate that many of the trends we saw last year will continue into 2017, but we’ll be as excited as you to see what Adobe Digital Insights’ Holiday Shopping Predictions for 2017 reveals later this month. Stay tuned.

To learn more visit us here.

The post Adobe’s 2016 Holiday Shopping Predictions Bring ‘Good Tidings’ for 2017 appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Experience is Everything: How B2B Companies Are Competing with Marketplaces

Marketing Cloud

Evolving forces are reshaping the B2B landscape, leaving many marketing teams to rethink the way they talk to their customers. Forrester Research predicts B2B e-commerce sales in the United States will top $1.1 trillion by 2020, giving B2B companies more than a trillion reasons to embrace the trend toward consumerization.

There’s just one problem — online behemoths like Amazon Business and Alibaba make intimidating competitors because they have set the standard for creating trustworthy online experiences backed by great functionality and responsive customer service. But B2B companies can differentiate themselves from third-party players by delivering optimal customer experiences. That means learning how to leverage direct-to-customer platforms without negatively affecting existing distribution partners.

By investing in state-of-the art digital asset and content management technology, as well as analytics, targeting, and optimization solutions, your company can set itself apart from large third-party marketplaces, while giving your customers a reason to keep coming back to you. Putting the digital technology capable of delivering next-level customer experiences in place is precisely what will determine the survival of the fittest in the rapidly evolving B2B ecosystem.

Diversifying your B2B strategy.

It’s easy to think of Amazon Business and Alibaba as competition, but there may be some value in considering the old adage, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

Going toe-to-toe with big marketplaces through your own online channel is as direct as it gets, but you can turn this competition into an opportunity.

“There are different ways you can experiment with B2B marketplaces,” says Tristan Saw, senior director of strategy and consulting at SapientRazorfish, Adobe Digital Marketing Partner of the Year in 2015 and 2016. “The first [step] is to use a site with a broad customer base, like Amazon Business or Alibaba, to test product demand before selling directly to customers through your own site.”

A company’s infrastructure and sales goals should determine how much it leverages third-party partners. Companies already profiting from a direct-to-customer framework may want to augment their existing online marketplace. But companies new to e-commerce might be better served by placing new products on a third-party marketplace to test the market opportunity before investing in the development of a direct channel of their own.

Several key factors play into developing the best strategy, all of which are unique to your brand and marketing. That’s why every company can find value in experimenting with direct channels and third-party marketplaces to see which dynamic works best in the context of their own digital transformation.

The path to a custom-branded marketplace.
Every enterprise-level company should be developing a strategy for competing with third-party marketplaces. If your sights are set on one-upping the heavy hitters, the secret sauce is to create a customer experience your visitors won’t soon forget. That means developing an environment that is simple, intuitive, personalized, and flexible — where B2B buyers can easily navigate from product searches through the purchasing process, and beyond, to aftermarket sales and service.

It also means creating an environment that rivals the purchasing experiences B2B buyers are already familiar with as consumers on state-of-the art retail platforms. After all, every B2B buyer who visits your site, whether you like it or not, is going to be judging each aspect of the purchasing process by comparing it to their own B2C experiences.

“If you’re serious about selling directly online, you will need to deliver a customer experience that drives sales,” says Tristan. “In order to compete, you need to invest in becoming an experience-led business, which means optimizing every digital customer touch point.”

In fact, many B2B companies can benefit from embracing a “frenemy-type” relationship with third-party marketplaces by leveraging them for testing and analytics, and ideas for the customization of your own site.

Use third-party marketplaces to test and analyze. Taking on the big guys isn’t for the faint of heart, and even well-established brands have fallen victim to their overwhelming influence in the marketplace. But there’s no denying the power of big, centralized marketplaces, so go ahead and take advantage of their reach.

Using third-party infrastructure provides a relatively low-risk test bed. By taking advantage of an established marketplace like Amazon Business, you can place your products alongside others to evaluate market demand, determine whether you can meet the needs of your buyers, and shape your own infrastructure development strategy. Once you start analyzing KPIs, such as purchasing history, demographics, and conversions, you’ll have data to help formulate a strategy that defines the best direct-to-customer channels for your business.

Select the best platform given the market opportunity. Should testing and analytics prove there is real value in using large marketplaces to your advantage, you easily can increase your presence, or know how best to build your own e-commerce platform that will meet the specific needs and expectations of your customer base. On the other hand, if demand is low, you’ll know not to invest heavily in your own e-commerce platform — or at least not until you can iterate and optimize your offering and approach to attract the market you need. Finally, there are times you’ll want to take a dual approach and determine how to align your third-party sales strategy with a direct-to-customer approach on your own site.

Weigh the pros and cons of a B2B exchange.
The need to evolve into an organization that can utilize digital tools and techniques to compete with industry rivals may cause some B2B marketers to rush the process. This is a mistake. While each approach to setting your company apart from third-party marketplace giants has its advantages, there are also caveats that must be considered before implementing your strategy.

For starters, there are financial considerations. Developing your own infrastructure requires an investment in time, staffing, and financial resources. “By selling through Amazon, they’re bringing a marketplace to you,” says Tristan. “They’re giving you access to infrastructure — like payment gateways, warehousing, and delivery systems.”

While services such as fulfillment, drop shipping, and distribution may sound like an excellent bargain, they don’t come without a price. Amazon fees vary by contract, but Tristan estimates they’re about 20 percent. “You’re giving up considerable margin to be able to sell through their channel,” he says. “That’s one element of the risk.”

Another risk factor of a shared platform is losing your customers to your competitors. If you’re going to utilize a third-party site, you’re not going to be the only brand on the page offering the same or similar products. That’s why setting yourself apart from the rest of the pack is an absolute necessity. Odds are, any third-party marketplace is going to be flooded with your competitors lurking in sidebars, banner ads, and “customers also viewed” sections — only a click away from your offer. “This dynamic could lead to customers being lost to the lowest bidder,” says Tristan. “If I’m a buyer on Amazon Business, I can shop not only for your products, but your competitors’ products too.”

Competition isn’t the only worry that comes along with using third-party sites. The lack of control you have over customer feedback and reviews means trusting your brand’s reputation to someone else. It’s not uncommon for customer-oriented sites to get the praise for easy returns, while manufacturers get the negative review for selling a subpar product. “That’s the worst-case scenario because you just hinder your brand,” says Tristan. “While reviews provide transparency and social proof for buyers, they can also lead to poor brand perception from negative feedback. You shouldn’t shy away from this though, as it can also be a key input for improving your products.”

Embracing third-party infrastructure is also going to have an effect on other partners, owned portals, and sales teams. Special pricing is difficult through third-party marketplaces, and the lack of price consistency could lead to customer confusion and attrition in the long run. “If I’m a huge conglomerate that can afford to buy in bulk then most companies will offer me a volume-based discount,” says Tristan. “On Amazon, it is often unclear if you will get a discount, and sometimes you have to actively request it from a seller.”

Historically, prices on many third-party sites have varied considerably, but Amazon Business, in particular, is working to implement consistent pricing — another improvement that’s destined to place further pressure on smaller competitors in the near future. For example, Amazon is already experimenting with a pricing structure that eliminates the need to speak with a sales rep.

And this is only the beginning. Other steps to consider when adding another layer of complexity to your sales strategy include maintaining consistency across channels, managing customer relationships, and managing costs specific to each channel.

Adopt a digital foundation that will prioritize customer experience.
While leveraging B2B marketplaces should be part of your marketing mix, if you’re serious about competing with third-party B2B exchanges, you need to invest in your own web infrastructure, in which optimizing customer experience should be the number one priority. That means maintaining a level of relevancy and consistency that follows a vast array of potential buyers across every step of the customer journey. To do that, you’ll need to deploy a digital foundation that collects and analyzes data, creates and publishes content, and helps manage it across digital and offline avenues — transforming how partners and customers engage with your company across every channel.

Few companies know this better than Constellation Energy, which is investing in its own B2B infrastructure in anticipation of a future that may well bring direct competition from B2B marketplace competitors.

Approximately 2.5 million residential, public sector, and business customers rely on Constellation Energy as their energy supplier, each with their own unique set of needs that must be catered to. “We wanted customer relationships to be long-lasting relationships based on value delivered by us,” says Michael Cammon, director of digital marketing at Constellation Energy. “It’s important to take those relationships a step further by truly understanding the problems our customers are trying to solve, and how best to solve them as they relate to energy.”

Any brand looking to set itself apart from larger competitors should take a cue from Constellation Energy by customizing a digital experience platform that will help their marketing teams deliver consistent and memorable messages at scale, no matter the medium.

The sheer size of the energy group at Constellation — with customers ranging from large commercial and industrial organizations to residential and small businesses — meant that any digital transformation effort would have to address problems inherent to large enterprises. “We were very aware that the internal content management system technology we were using in the past was too difficult for a lot of our non-technical content owners to handle,” says Karen Jennings, a digital marketer with Constellation Energy.

One of the challenges for Constellation was integrating legacy software with a digital platform that delivers the tools needed to achieve the company’s marketing goals. “For example, we wanted to look at a scalable system that was easy to use, had an easy to understand vocabulary, and made it easy to manage assets,” says Karen.

By choosing a module-based system with room to grow, Constellation Energy was able to future-proof its digital transformation, while expanding the tools available to content editors using the system. Karen says the company’s content management system choice was based on scalability and growth potential. It also provided a tool that was user-friendly in terms of helping content owners create web pages and manage content, without passing maintenance work downstream.

The result of Constellation’s dedication to its digital transformation takes the customer experience to a whole new level. “For example, we have a team that works in governmental aggregation,” explains Karen. “They work at the municipality level, securing an energy price for everyone that lives in a specific jurisdiction. Now, our team can easily set up landing pages for every community to provide accurate pricing, based on what was negotiated for that community.”

Constellation Energy’s use of an integrated digital asset manager helps the utility company manage content without relying on its IT department, while building highly personalized experiences, custom-fit to meet the needs of a wide array of customers. Whether you’re marketing across third-party sites or your own digital properties, you’ll need an integrated content management system of your own to succeed.

Customer experience is the differentiating factor.
There’s no doubt B2C experiences are influencing B2B design, with marketplaces such as Amazon and Alibaba already fully built to service the needs of the B2B buyer. While mega-exchanges pose a competitive threat for some established B2B companies, notes Tristan, they are vulnerable to companies that can deliver more personalized online experiences. That’s why succeeding in the context of this emerging dynamic means developing the right experience delivery framework for your business. In order to optimize marketing, sales, and support, B2B companies need to understand that optimizing customer experiences on their own websites is the key to remaining competitive.

Whether you’re leveraging a large third-party marketplace, your own B2B e-commerce site, or a hybrid solution, experience is everything. Determine the right digital strategy that will help you create the kind of memorable experiences that your customers will want to come back for, while making sure you’re not negatively affecting your existing distribution channels. With the right approach, you can set your company apart as a customer-centric enterprise, willing to go above and beyond to cater to your customers’ needs, regardless of where you interact with them.

Learn more about Razorshop B2B online, or explore how Adobe is facilitating fluid B2B experiences in high tech and manufacturing.

#B2B Strategy

The post Experience is Everything: How B2B Companies Are Competing with Marketplaces appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Top Five Reasons to Attend Summit

Marketing Cloud

We know — it’s hard to take time away from work. So a conference has to be really worthwhile to justify the days out of the office. Here are the top five reasons we think it’s worth your time to come to Summit.

  1. It’s about the experience. Attending Summit in person provides an impactful experience that you can’t achieve by reading articles or watching a video. How many times do we think we’re going to read that article, but never get around to it?
  2. It’s about all the top marketers. Summit brings together thousands of speakers, thought leaders, and experts who will share the latest trends and solutions. You’ll never find this many marketing mavens together — except at Summit.
  3. It’s about the inspiration. When it comes to innovation of thought and innovation of action, this is the place. Everybody here is focused on the best ways to provide amazing customer experiences that build loyalty.
  4. It’s about the real-world examples. Leading marketers from top brands from around the world will share their strategies and their success stories. You’ll leave with plenty of practical takeaways you can bring back to the office.
  5. It’s about the networking. Talk to other marketers and executives who are experiencing the same challenges you have. Find out what’s really working when it comes to digital marketing.

All in all, we think Summit is a valuable event. The combined inspiration and impact far outweighs the time or cost it takes to attend the conference. Over 93% of last year’s attendees agree with us, and would recommend Summit to their peers.

The post Top Five Reasons to Attend Summit appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

How Full-Funnel Ad Tech Can Drive Digital Sales in Financial Services

Marketing Cloud

$10.11 billion. That’s how much financial services firms will spend on digital advertising in 2017, according to eMarketer’s “US Financial Services Industry StatPack 2017.” It’s a hefty sum being fueled by social media and digital video, which, alongside tried-and true marketing channels like search, are gaining ground fast. And TV ads aren’t going away anytime soon, either — they accounted for $7.7 billion spent in 2016. To make the most of these dollars, you need to go full-funnel, driving greater efficiency and better return on ad spend from brand to campaign.

Right now, your customer quality and digital sales volumes may not be optimal. It’s great if hundreds of prospects accept your offer to open an account online — not so great if accounts suffer from low initial deposits and infrequent transactions. You may also wonder how you’re going to hit digital sales goals when they’re expected to increase significantly over the next three years. Your struggle is real, but so is the possibility of reaching your acquisition and conversion targets.

To attract and engage high-quality prospects, the experience you offer needs to be relevant, personalized, and connected across every digital channel, and on TV as well. The key is to be able to identify your customer’s journey stage and keep your message consistent and coherent as different channels work together. You also need to track investment and performance across advertising touch points — because moving your customers toward purchase is a cumulative experience.

Overcoming too much of everything.
Today’s emphasis on experience, personalization, and journey management requires connections across data sources, technology platforms, and teams to be much stronger than ever. But the same old pain points remain, compounded by too much of everything.

Untapped data: The legacy systems at most financial services firms produce plenty of data — scads of siloed data that doesn’t give you a complete audience picture, or let you share customer segments or KPIs. Without a data management platform, you can’t achieve a collective understanding of prospects and customers, or segment and reach them with the right strategy across channels.

Unaligned teams and technology: As with data, you need to connect teams with technology. But many firms struggle with efficient management of ad tech and can’t make dollar-to-dollar comparisons. 40 percent of advertisers work with three or more media-buying and media-planning platforms, leading to messy deduplication and cobbled-together reporting.

Unknown performance: You’re on the hook to improve ROAS, but without a unified approach across channels, you’ll end up stealing conversions from each other. Even with a glut of performance metrics, you’ll struggle to manage audience reach and determine frequency of ad views.

Unexploited integration: You’re focused on integrating your marketing technology, from data to segments to cross-channel analytics. But the real payoff comes when you combine that with advertising technology.

Acquiring and converting customers while slashing costs.
A national insurance provider used Adobe Advertising Cloud to gain better visibility, greater efficiency, and faster reaction times on display campaigns. The firm’s display advertising served two goals: 1) consideration in mid-funnel to stay top of mind for customers who are ready to shop, in a new life stage, or in third-party audience segments; and 2) direct response in the lower funnel, when customers plan to make a decision soon. The firm also retargeted customers who visited key pages to get a quote or compare prices.

After an initial campaign, the overall cost per action (CPA) was 39 percent below benchmark, and the consideration and direct response campaigns were both 34 percent below. But the real impact came from creating look-alike (LAL) segments. Increasing investment in LAL segments from zero to 15 percent over the course of a three-month test corresponded with a 78 percent drop in overall CPA — and a LAL CPA significantly lower than the overall campaign’s.

Managing Media Across Multiple Channels With a Single Platform
The Adobe Advertising Cloud is a single, independent, cross-channel advertising platform that delivers both brand and performance campaign management across any screen, and in any format — from a TV ad touting your brand to a display ad for a loan product on mobile social media. With advertising and marketing tools that talk to each other and work together, you’ll attract high-quality prospects and delight the customers you already have with cross-sell and up-sell offers tailored for them.

To learn more, read “Behind every ad there are a million digital connections.”

Adobe, “Insuring marketing with good ad tech,” Adobe case study, April 2016.

2017 ADI U.S. Finance Survey.

eMarketer, “US Financial Services Industry StatPack 2017.”

The post How Full-Funnel Ad Tech Can Drive Digital Sales in Financial Services appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

How DuPont is Powering Experiences With Sales-Enabled Mobile Apps

Marketing Cloud

DuPont, a science company dedicated to solving challenging global problems through innovation, faced its own global challenge regarding how its Crop Protection Division could effectively provide accurate technical information to millions of farmers in 130 countries without lag time. To solve this issue, DuPont created a mobile app that provides instant and accurate information to its more than 10,000 sales representatives — which resulted in $1 million in global savings, and a 50 percent decrease in go-to-market time.

“One of the biggest challenges for our marketing team is to be able to take the value propositions of our products, and translate those down through our sales reps to customers,” says Joanne Hewitson, global digital marketing lead, Crop Protection Division, DuPont. “On top of that, we work in ecosystems, so we have different crops in every country, different pests, different regulatory environments, and, as a result, slightly different product lines in each country.”

DuPont launches a mobile solution.
For DuPont, creating a mobile solution was the key to its success. DuPont already used a customer relationship management application, which meant it had a CRM that could follow customer interests, trends, and potential sales opportunities, based on activity.

Using Adobe Experience Manager for digital asset and content management, DuPont piloted a sales enablement app in Brazil. It was able to convert PowerPoint Presentations that its sales team had been using to a mobile app, which was an instant success. Additionally, DuPont created a public-facing smartphone app in Germany that replaced a 400-page book that contained all of the division’s labels and safety data sheets. Replacing the clunky book allowed customers to sort through and search for material in an efficient manner, regardless of their location.

The efforts to repurpose existing sales collateral, and consolidate a paper book into an ebook represent only the tip of the iceberg, but they demonstrate how DuPont is committed to creating relevant content at the velocity required to meet its customer’s evolving needs. As a result, DuPont empowers its sales team and distributors by providing them with powerful tools that update in real time, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the division’s sales and marketing teams.

DuPont is blazing the trail for manufacturers.
DuPont faced a problem that plagues virtually all manufacturers. The old ways of disseminating information in a B2B world are obsolete — and global manufacturing runs on information. Customers expect specs, technical details, pricing, and more to be delivered fast, conveniently, and in their native language. Since customers are typically through 57 percent of their decision-making process before they contact you, a sales team must be equipped with compelling and engaging material.

“Rich, reliable sales content enhances conversations between DuPont and customers,” says Joanne. “Eventually, we can use this app to upload and share the best sales materials worldwide to help make strong connections with farmers.”

Just like DuPoint, you can transform the way you communicate. Mobile apps can help you satisfy sales, customers, and partners alike by serving up the right information at the right place and time.

Building a smart, sales-enabled mobile app.
A set of proven tools is key to enabling an efficient roll-out of apps, and furthering the customer’s digital experiences. As DuPont’s success illustrates, a well thought out mobile  and development strategy is critical for success. Here are some best practices for creating a successful sales-enabled mobile app:

  • Digital Asset Management. Invest in a smart DAM that provides a digital foundation, and integrates into back-end systems. DuPont is able to update material in its DAM, and then distribute the latest version in real time, and in all markets.
  • Mobile First. Digitally convert existing collateral into a mobile-compatible content management system so all slides, charts, and other visual aids are easily accessible.
  • Familiar Interface. Apps should be clean and simple. They should have the look and feel of similar top B2C apps, including simple search functionality and intuitive navigation.
  • Geolocation. It’s imperative to develop an app enabled with geolocation. Location analytics based on GPS or iBeacons assist manufacturers in delivering customized material to customers, based on location.
  • Analytics. Invest in analytics to monitor adoption rate, and the timely and accurate delivery of all assets. Analytic capabilities provide insight into what’s working well and identify the areas in which you can improve.

Staying competitive in a mobile world.
It’s no secret, the manufacturing industry is changing. And digital is leading the charge. Switching from a paper-based system to a digital platform can be intimidating. Plus, the complexity of making the switch can be a challenge for any organization.

As DuPont discovered, a traditional paper delivery method — including its annual 400-page book — was no longer cost-effective, nor did it satisfy its customers. If you operate using a manual process, you run the risk of distributing out-of-date material, which is especially worrisome when documents need to be updated for compliance with industry regulations.

Essentially, manual methods decrease a company’s efficiency, while an advanced mobile app can provide instant access and improve customer service. Regardless of your company’s size, reach, and prominence, you will benefit by implementing a one-stop shop that offers a comprehensive digital experience and customer journey.

“We want to make it so easy and convenient for people to work with DuPont that they’d never trust their crops with anyone else,” says Joanne. “By integrating more tools into the app, we’re looking to create a one-stop DuPont experience for farmers.

Learn more about the effectiveness of mobile marketing and apps, as well as improving user experiences and sales effectiveness. You can also read about more best practices for digital experiences in our #manufacturing series.

The post How DuPont is Powering Experiences With Sales-Enabled Mobile Apps appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

The Next Big Experience Platform Is On Four Wheels   

Marketing Cloud

Digital experiences used to be much simpler, during times when consumers were heavily reliant on desktop Web and the only other channel of any importance was the physical interaction. The emergence and eventual dominance of smartphones created great complexity, to the point where most brands still struggle today to deliver the right experience. But for many marketers, their customers have already begun to embrace new interfaces such as voice and the screens inside of their cars. Expectations—set in large part by the very best smartphone apps—are on the rise, and it has become table stakes for experiences to feel consistent and more personalized to individual tastes. With an ever-growing slate of new screens, brands are under increasing pressure to deliver. But despite these challenges, the cup-half-full perspective will tell you that new touch points amount to new opportunities. With competition for consumer attention hotter than ever before, brands now have new areas to engage and drive loyalty.

The car in particular, presents a unique opportunity to connect with customers, in a space where they already spend a bulk of their time; data shows that the average driver spends 55 minutes each day behind the wheel, with about 1,500 trips made every year. As the automotive industry grapples with sliding profit margins from cars, they also see the upside from the data and software in the car itself. Several key trends are moving this along; for starters, infotainment systems are improving and have a greater number of supported apps. At the same time, the big leaps we’ve seen with voice technology means that drivers now have an interface that better guards against distractions. Coupled with advancements in driverless technology, the car is becoming an attractive space for consumers to enjoy their favorite digital services. Whether it is a music streaming app, a recommendations service or an app from the car maker itself, brands can leverage the connected car to extend their presence, give customers really great experiences and gain a first mover advantage in an important emerging space.

Before brands dive in, they ought to look back at the last major technology shift (e.g. smartphones) for a few important lessons. The struggles that mobile marketers still face are the same ones that could plague the car. For example, at the point when smartphones became must-have devices for consumers, brands rushed to deliver a mobile presence and many ported over their existing desktop experience. This was done with little consideration to the nuances and potential of the mobile form factor. As brands develop the in-car service, this can be a guiding light. They must find hero features that leverage everything from location data to voice-driven interfaces—creating distinction that makes services indispensable. Another lesson is the importance of breaking down silos. As new data flows in—via behavioral signals in the car—it must complement existing data sets from channels such as desktop web and the smartphone app. This will give brands the means to engage customers as people, not channels or devices. Customers will feel that the brand understands them and respond better to the experience and promotional offers.

Consider an in-car recommendations app; By considering various behavioral signals in the car and across other channels, the brand can deliver a relevant dinner promotion that is along the driver’s route. An automaker on the other hand, can leverage the infotainment system to develop a more meaningful on-going relationship with the driver. Through data, they can deliver more personalized experiences that build brand loyalty and serve various offers down the line that will better resonate.

To help brands navigate the complexity that comes with the connected car, Adobe has introduced extended automotive-focused capabilities in Adobe Experience Cloud. In Adobe Analytics Cloud, measurement capabilities have been expanded so that behavioral signals such as voice interactions can be captured, and brands can begin to better understand the experience of drivers and passengers. In many cases where consumers expect and value a more personalized experience, these insights can inform the content that brands deliver through Adobe Marketing Cloud and Adobe Advertising Cloud.

The complexity of digital experiences will continue to increase, as emerging interfaces begin to mature. Desktop and smartphones will remain key channels, but brands need to ensure that everywhere they show up holds the same high standard. It only takes one bad experience for consumers to begin considering other services. For most brands, new touch points always present a level of risk, but the upside is much greater for those who can get in quickly. With data insights as a foundation, successful brands take on the spirit of constant iteration, adjusting the experience and content as better customer insights become available. As we look towards the connected car and elsewhere, the careful execution of these various pieces will ultimately define success and failure.


The post The Next Big Experience Platform Is On Four Wheels    appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Govern Personalization at Scale and Visualize the Customer Journey

Marketing Cloud

Our recent announcement of brand new Adobe Sensei capabilities within Adobe Target generated a lot of buzz—finally, the dream of one-to-one personalization anywhere a visitor interacts with your brand can become reality. Target leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate all available traits and profile variables about your customers and deliver them the next best optimized experience on any digital touchpoint.

possibilities are endless for the fluid, just-right customer journeys you can give your visitors: A customer searches for current sale items in your mobile app, walks into your retail outlet, and sees personalized sale items on an in-store screen. A banking customer checks his account balance on a smartphone near one of your local branches and receives an offer for the perfect low interest rate credit card. Check out a new Facebook Live video to learn about successes Adobe Target clients from different industries have seen using these Adobe Sensei capabilities and what developments are in the works for AI and machine-learning in Adobe Target.

Adobe Target also makes it easy to deliver these Sensei-driven activities at scale using a three-step visual workflow for activity setup, built-in safeguards for mutual exclusivity, and integrated client-side and server-side deployments. My colleague Nic Wu just discussed how and why you might use Target to optimize using the solution server-side, client-side—or both. With client-side, digital marketers can easily set up and run tests independent of developers and release cycles. But with server-side, developers can take advantage of web site advancements, optimize components like search or pricing algorithms, or to simply scale testing and personalization for today’s cross-channel experience.

All these Target capabilities are super exciting in terms of scaling your personalization efforts. But what if your organization has many brands, global teams, or discrete departments that work on specific areas of the customer journey—for example, a large technology company with regional teams around the world? If that’s the case, large-scale personalization can raise concerns about governance of your various teams and keeping workstreams discrete. How do you ensure your teams have appropriate levels of access to and permissions for the properties, content, and channels they need? Adobe Target now has the answer.

New Enterprise User Permissions
Adobe Target now includes a new level of Enterprise User Permissions that allows you to keep the optimization and personalization workstreams of your different brands, global teams, or distinct areas of the business discrete within your Adobe Target account. You can limit the access and visibility of these teams to just the content, segmentation, and activities they need—not those of other areas of the business—all without siloing and sacrificing access to data, capabilities, or features.

Here’s how Enterprise User Permissions works: Your Adobe Target administrator defines distinct workspaces in the solution for your different teams and defines the specific “properties” that these workspaces can access. Properties can be a page or group of pages, a channel, or even a device like a kiosk—they can span multiple domains, applications, screens, or devices. Any way you wish to divide and group the pages or screens where you deliver Adobe Target activities. For example, your administrator can create a workspace for your product team and provide access only to all product detail pages.

Your administrator creates distinct roles for a given workspace, assigns users to one or more workspaces, and then assigns a specific role within each workspace. For example, you could give one user read only access to a workspace that includes product pages on your US site, but give them the ability to build and edit activities in the workspace for your UK homepage.

Enterprise User Permissions allows you to keep your activities, offers and content, and segmentation discrete within a workspace. And while you can share these elements broadly across workspaces, if one of your users lacks access to a workspace with specific elements, he or she can’t see those specific elements.

In short, workspaces let your administrator keep your different workstreams discrete, without limiting access to core services such as unified profile data and other benefits provided within a single account in Adobe Marketing Cloud. As a result, your administrator no longer needs to fear enabling broader access to Adobe Target for scaling testing and personalization efforts—he or she now has total control over what an individual user sees, accesses, and does within each workspace.

As if that weren’t enough, the latest release of Target includes one more major feature that supports your ability to test and personalize at scale.

Visual Quality Assurance (QA) and Simulations
A new visual Preview mode in Adobe Target now makes it easy for you or your other quality assurance (QA) team members within a workspace to visually QA the different experiences within your activities. It lets you isolate your QA traffic for testing an activity prior to pushing it live, and also lets you simulate different audiences on which to test different activity experiences and metrics, making it easier to get approval for your test.

A Steady Roll out of New Features in Adobe Target
As always, the steady rolling thunder of monthly releases in Adobe Target continues to rumble. Try out some or all of the new features mentioned in this post, and enhance your ability to grow and expand your personalization efforts while maintaining confidence in your ability to govern dynamic personalized experiences at scale across all your digital touchpoints.

The post Govern Personalization at Scale and Visualize the Customer Journey appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.