Manufacturers: Stop Drowning in Your Own Content

Marketing Cloud

Digital Asset Management (DAM) Cuts Costs, Speeds Workflows, and Saves Time

Zebra Technologies has solved a tremendously difficult problem that many manufacturing companies share — the organization of thousands of digital assets into one, easily accessible system. Zebra, which makes mobile printers and computing devices, needed a digital filing cabinet capable of managing everything from product specs and images to catalog entries and sales slicks. What’s more, all of those assets had to be readily available in different languages, and for various markets, customer segments, and device formats.

To bring order to the chaos, Zebra implemented a digital asset management (DAM) system — one that would enable the company to find and deliver personalized customer content, on demand. Now, distributors and sales reps have ready access to the materials required for product marketing and promotion. The end result is greater efficiency in content delivery, lower costs, and higher ROI.

The Content Flood
Implementing a DAM solution helps manufacturers align content to product marketing and customer-targeting needs. This is particularly important when it comes to delivering content with pinpoint accuracy, at precisely the right customer touchpoint.

The ROI rationale for better content management is clear. In just a few years, buyers have become five times more dependent on digital information when making a purchasing decision. They also interact with an average of 10.4 pieces of content before buying. Moreover, according to IDC, 71 percent of marketers create more than 10 times the amount of content than they did in the past.

The challenge is to make it easy for customers to find the information they need. The solution is digital asset management. DAM organizes assets in a way that enables the content to find the customer, instead of expecting the customer to search for content. Buyers no longer have to forage for information. The asset management system anticipates where the customer is on their buying journey, and automatically serves up the correctly-targeted content.

As an added bonus, better asset management improves overall business processes and efficiency, which are two important goals for helping manufacturers compete in the global marketplace.

Why an Integrated Platform is a DAM Good Solution
Digital asset management is far more than just a database of assets. A good DAM system facilitates customized user experiences, automates tools for everyday content management tasks, and optimizes your capability to work at any scale you need:

  • Deliver a personalized experience. The most important aspect of implementing a DAM solution is to help deliver an experience that delights customers and partners, using any combination of display devices. The system automatically adjusts for variables, such as language, pricing, regulatory restrictions, and/or branding. This enables manufacturers to customize the user experience with special product websites, custom portals for distributors, product manuals, and even personalized after-sales support.

At DuPont, the Crop Protection division formerly produced a 400-page book once a year to provide customers with information about the company’s chemical agricultural products. It was a one-size-fits-all information solution. Today, DuPont uses a DAM tool to manage all of its assets online, including delivery of that annual print piece in an e-book format. Now, farmers can also use a mobile app that mines Dupont’s database for information on the specific needs of their crops and potential threats to their harvest. This translates into a more cost-effective, tailor-made solution for reaching customers in their localized languages, wherever they are located.

  • Automate time-consuming tasks.  Another advantage of a DAM platform is that you can control how digital assets are used, and for what purpose. If you need to modify an asset, you change the repository copy so everyone has access to the most recent version at the same time. Everything passes through any set of reviews and/or authorizations you define. Different items can have different authorization paths so, for instance, the person who reviews marketing material for use in France isn’t seeing product manuals meant for the Singapore market. Furthermore, the system helps to ensure that nothing gets released until it has all the necessary authorizations.

For DuPont, the DAM system tracks labels and safety sheets generated for farmers who buy the company’s insect, weed, and pest control products. When customer information is changed, the DAM program drives automatic updates that can be used to customize future interactions with any given buyer. By automating the delivery and updates of buyer data sheets, DuPont saved one million dollars a year, and reduced the time it takes to get materials into the hands of its customers by 50 percent.

  • Create workflows at scale. Also, with the right DAM platform, you can update, approve, and deploy content as fast as needed, on any scale, without creating a drag on performance. Managing content and assets then becomes all about quality, efficiency, and velocity.

A case in point is Maxim Integrated, a manufacturer that designs and sells semiconductor-based solutions for automobiles, medical devices, and consumer electronics. Digital asset management enabled the company to implement a powerful search tool that makes information on over 9,000 products readily available to its customers. Currently, instead of constantly combing through digital assets, Maxim’s staff can more efficiently and effectively focus on adding new capabilities, and on improving the information delivered to end users. Using a content management system also makes it easy to make updates without relying on IT. Plus, the company’s DAM solution interfaces with Maxim’s overall content management platform, and scales as needed

  • Ease of integration. Another advantage of implementing a scalable DAM system is that it integrates easily with other IT solutions. For instance, when Zebra acquired the enterprise solutions unit of Motorola, it doubled its digital assets to 130,000. There was no need to create a new website for former Motorola customers because Zebra was able to repurpose templates from its DAM system in order to leverage its existing website at a fraction of the cost of building a new, customized site.

A Top-Line Growth Investment
Digital asset management addresses the need for manufacturers to improve both content marketing and the speed at which new information is created and deployed. Your investment in a DAM system is an investment in supporting sales conversions and top-line growth. Moreover, by extending content across channels in ways that can scale as necessary, a DAM solution also facilitates better engagement, response rates, conversion, brand consistency, and, ultimately, customer satisfaction. It’s a win for the company, for the customer, and for your budget.

For more information on how you can begin to implement digital asset management at your manufacturing company, explore the following links:
Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) solutions for manufacturers
Learn more about the benefits of AEM

The post Manufacturers: Stop Drowning in Your Own Content appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Introducing Adobe Advertising Academy

Marketing Cloud

Once controversial, the adoption of automated, data-driven buying of advertising is now so mainstream it is often taken for granted. Over 70 percent of digital video ad budgets and over 80 percent of display ads are forecasted 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 $6 billion.

Given the rapid rate of change, the skillsets required for modern media planning, buying and execution are much different today than they were even five years ago. Even creative jobs — traditionally the bastion of designers and art directors — are becoming more data-driven according to Adobe Digital Insight’s latest Advertising Report, which found that nearly one-third (32 percent) of creative job listings require data and technology skills.

As a result, it’s becoming mission-critical for marketers to adapt, train, and cultivate the next generation of advertising talent — particularly as industry hiring is expected to outpace the labor market overall. Every role — from CEO down to an entry-level media planner — now demands new expertise, and marketers need a partner that is committed to helping them succeed in a fluid industry.

To that end, Adobe Advertising Cloud is proud today to announce the launch of Adobe Advertising Academy.

Adobe Advertising Academy is an immersive, free training program that provides marketers with both certified technical training as well as a broader strategic understanding of industry developments and current events that are necessary to excel in today’s evolving market.

Adobe Advertising Academy pushes the boundaries of traditional, platform-specific training programs by utilizing insights from all of Adobe. New courses on creative strategy, sophisticated ROI analysis, hiring and presentation skills are designed to arm marketers to succeed in a broader context.

Adobe Advertising Academy is associated with Adobe Digital Learning Services, Experience Cloud learning programs. Adobe Advertising Academy builds on an earlier, award-winning program launched at TubeMogul, which Adobe acquired in December of 2016. At launch, Adobe Advertising Academy has already trained over 1,000 marketers across North America, EMEA and APAC including Adidas, BRP, Clorox, Heineken, L’Oréal and Walmart.

Clients that successfully completed Adobe Advertising Academy’s inaugural session include Diageo, The Prosper Group and Universal Music Group.

“While we’re incredibly proud of our industry-leading platform, we’re even more proud of our client services and learning and development teams that have armed our clients with the knowledge they need to succeed,” said Brett Wilson, VP, GM of Adobe Advertising Cloud. “Adobe Advertising Academy builds on that legacy by offering a rigorous program taught by experts covering the whole industry — all in a setting that encourages sharing best-practices with industry peers.”

“Adobe Advertising Academy is the gold standard in digital marketing education programs,” said Andrew Finnan, director of accounts, The Prosper Group. “The overview of current market trends and the ability to network with other leading advertisers yielded valuable insights that will drive real results for our clients.”

Enrollment in Adobe Advertising Academy will be included in the new client activation process at no additional cost for qualified customers. In addition to the hands-on product training and industry overview, Adobe Advertising Academy’s other new curriculum includes:

  • Social 201 – Optimizing for branding or performance
  • Display 201 – Optimizing for branding or performance
  • Getting the Most Out Of Your Data
  • Vertical-custom tracks for clients with experience in the following industries: Retail, Finance, Auto, CPG, Entertainment and Health/Pharmaceutical

Post-graduation, Adobe Advertising Academy also offers opportunities for continued enrichment. These include:

  • Product and industry sessions via web conference to accommodate busy schedules
  • Invitations to stream Ad-Nauseum, a guest speaker series with top industry experts
  • Annual certification renewal via online exams

Michelle Chen is Head of Training, Adobe Advertising Cloud

The post Introducing Adobe Advertising Academy appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Strengthening Ties with Developers

Marketing Cloud

A vital and vigorous online community is an essential part of the way Microsoft interacts with developers and IT professionals. But with only 800 technical authors, it was tough for Microsoft to respond to more than 90 million readers who use Microsoft portals for resources, discussions, and support.

Recognizing that an engaged audience of such as size is valuable to the brand, Microsoft is moving the 5 million articles on its MSDN, TechNet,, and web portals to a new content site, The site uses Adobe Livefyre in Adobe Experience Manager, part of Adobe Marketing Cloud, to help article owners manage and publish content, and respond quickly to readers who provide feedback.

“To keep our brand strong, we need to support our community through good experiences and high engagement. Customers expect an interactive experience, to be listened to, and that their concerns are addressed in a timely manner. Livefyre gives us the tools to make our content better and improve customer satisfaction,” says Gigel Avram, principal data science manager at Microsoft.

Since implementing Livefyre, Microsoft has seen improved article ratings of up to 30 percent. It’s also improved and accelerated the ability of authors to respond to recommendations and corrections, which makes readers feel more engaged and improves the overall quality of content.

Learn more about how Microsoft is cultivating online communities and strengthening ties with developers using LiveFyre, part of Adobe Experience Manager.

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Adobe Launches Adobe Advertising Cloud TV for Personalized TV Advertising

Marketing Cloud

Native integration with Adobe Analytics Cloud enables audience-based linear TV planning and buying with first-party data.

For the better half of a century, both advertisers and broadcasters alike enjoyed the security of knowing that TV was the unquestioned champion of media, the most effective and reliable way to deliver a message to millions.

But the rapid fragmentation in consumer attention — accelerated by the spread of high-speed broadband internet, smartphones and social media — means that TV advertising isn’t as effective as it once was. A typical buy achieving 200 gross rating points (GRPs) reaches 25 percent fewer people today than it would 20 years ago. This reach atrophy – combined with the efficiencies gained from leveraging data to amplify effectiveness across digital channels – has left traditional TV buyers looking for a way to regain their lost reach, and do it in a way that goes beyond basic age and gender demographics.

Which is exactly why Adobe Advertising Cloud, part of the new Adobe Experience Cloud, is thrilled to announce the launch of Adobe Advertising Cloud TV, the industry’s first automated software for linear television ad buying that incorporates first-party data.

“Adobe Advertising Cloud TV is leading the charge for more automation and data-driven targeting in traditional TV advertising,” said Brett Wilson, vice president and general manager, Adobe Advertising Cloud. “This solution builds on TubeMogul’s legacy product with new firsts, including a native integration with Adobe Analytics Cloud for targeting using a brand’s first-party data and cross-screen capabilities that bridge the gap between TV and digital formats.”

The ability to use data to reach a strategic audience — mothers who are in market for an automobile as opposed to Females 25-49, for example — has been a hallmark of data-driven television for years. Now, powered by Adobe Advertising Cloud’s seamless integration with Adobe Analytics Cloud, marketers can finally use their own first-party data segments to inform strategic targeting across linear television. And thanks to Adobe Advertising Cloud Search — Advertising Cloud’s search advertising solution — marketers can now plan and buy linear TV against audience segments that have already demonstrated intent through online searches.

Any marketer can plug their own data into Advertising Cloud’s demand-side platform; advertisers do not need to be pre-existing Analytics Cloud clients in order to use their digital first-party data for traditional TV. Advertising Cloud’s open approach means marketers can activate data from any DMP, and even more importantly, take those learnings with them post-campaign.

No first-party data? No problem! Adobe’s data-driven approach to TV buying means advertisers can easily determine whether a past or present TV buy is effective and whether a new approach is needed to reach a specific audience. Notably, Advertising Cloud’s exclusive access to TV manufacturer data provides minute-by-minute insights as to what content a viewer is consuming on their TV, enabling marketers to index consumers based on their viewing history and build a TV plan to reach that audience. This data is collected in a privacy-safe manner from consumers that have opted-in to an enhanced advertising experience.

But our data offering goes well beyond just TV manufacturer data. Our extensive data partnerships are seamlessly integrated into Advertising Cloud TV, providing advertisers with access to:

  • Integrated strategic audience targeting, buying and reporting with a market-leading MRI partnership
  • Minute-by-minute viewing data from Nielsen AMRLD
  • Strategically target specific households with set-top box (addressable) data

The solution seems perfectly timed: Programmatic TV advertising is forecasted to grow 206 percent this year, eclipsing $2.16 billion, and double in 2018 to $4.4 billion. As investment expands and new entrants make the space more competitive, what separates Advertising Cloud TV from the pack?

“Not only is Advertising Cloud TV the most comprehensive platform available, but our unique position as an independent technology provider is conquering barriers to scale the market opportunity,” said Brett Wilson, VP and GM of Adobe Advertising Cloud. “The fact that we don’t own or markup media means that we’re not out there competing for upfront dollars or steering spend toward preferred partners. That earns trust, both on the supply-side in gaining access to exclusive inventory from TV networks and on the buy-side by offering advertisers a platform aligned with their incentives.”

Clients are similarly upbeat. “With TV playing a significant role in Sparkling Ice’s media mix this year, as seen in our recent integrated marketing campaign Be Not Bland™, we wanted to leverage a platform that would help us navigate through the noise and get smarter with our offline strategy,” says Brian Kuz, Chief Marketing Officer of Talking Rain. “Adobe Advertising Cloud TV best positioned us for success by targeting our mass audience efficiently and effectively, while giving us the capability to measure and optimize our first national TV campaign.”

Brought to you from Adobe Experience Cloud’s Facebook page, watch Phil Cowlishaw, Head of Special Operations Consulting, Adobe Advertising Cloud, discuss Advertising Cloud TV and the benefits for marketers.

Brett Wilson is GM & VP, Adobe Advertising Cloud

The post Adobe Launches Adobe Advertising Cloud TV for Personalized TV Advertising appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

One Size Fits All, Not Always a Fit

Marketing Cloud

With the influx of ways that consumers are viewing content and interacting with technology, marketers are in a unique place that provides both ample opportunity and challenge: an abundance of ways to reach the right audience. It’s clear that personalized advertising is more effective for a campaign, and while marketers are no longer having to rely on assumptions on behavior, the industry grapples with access to the data that will move the needle and add relevancy. Today, we take one step forward by validating reach in two ways: an integration of Adobe Analytics Cloud and Adobe Advertising Cloud TV, as well as Adobe Audience Manager providing the first to market Data Management Platform (DMP) integration with a search engine.

The television was arguably the most powerful and iconic physical part of the 20th century, but the 21st century may take the cake for TV’s heyday. Quite simply, we’re in the golden age of television: consumers can watch whatever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want to. And that’s where things get complicated. From live TV to video-on-demand to connected TV apps, it’s a constant struggle to figure out where a brand’s ad dollars should go.

Today, Adobe announced the launch of Adobe Advertising Cloud TV, giving brands the chance to reach over 95 percent of American households by enabling the buying of TV ads in all forms. And as only 26 percent of Americans believe the TV ads they see are relevant to them, it’s increasingly important for brands to target effectively. Data can be a transformative force here in helping brands drive decision-making that matters, and allocate marketing spend based on behavior in an increasingly fragmented landscape.

To address these challenges, today’s launch of our Advertising Cloud TV includes an integration with Adobe Analytics Cloud. An industry first, brands can use first-party audience data to better plan and buy linear TV ads with Adobe Audience Manager. Leveraging a brand’s own audience segments with insight from both marketing and advertising pushes, marketers can also purchase TV ads against audiences that have already demonstrated intent through online searches, helping to close the gap between traditional TV and digital content. Through this integration, marketers will have access to additional datasets from the likes of pay TV providers, MRI and TV manufacturers, giving brands a leg up when planning, targeting, buying and measuring audiences.

We see Advertising Cloud TV as a turning point for the marketing community. As viewing habits have shifted, so has the ability to market to them effectively, resulting in rounds of inefficiency and annoyance for both brands and consumers. Here, data helps deliver precision at scale, creating a custom audience network that extends reach well beyond what can be achieved with traditional TV buys.

Search has moved far beyond a one-sided communication, and serves as an intelligence fabric with a goal to deliver predictive insights. In a significant step to help marketers knit together search-advertising strategies, Adobe Audience Manager is the first to market DMP integration with a search engine through Bing Ads’ Custom Audiences. With Audience Manager, Microsoft clients can now integrate their brand’s first party-data, a first for Bing, to target audiences using any CRM data, such as purchase history or subscription renewals. This gives clients a new level of detail into their own customers, getting clear insight into the individuals behind the searches, and utilize more targeted parameters.

Adobe Audience Manager was recognized as a leader for the third time in a row in “The Forrester Wave: Data Management Platforms, Q2 2017” report by Forrester Research, Inc.

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5 Tips to Transform Optimization from Sideshow to Main Event (Part 2)

Marketing Cloud

Last week, I started a series of posts describing five tips for transforming your optimization program from a sideshow into part of the main event. In the first post of that series, I presented the first tip that my colleague in Adobe Digital Strategy consulting, Debra Adams, shared with me: Making the business case. I also mentioned two big challenges you’ll face with getting stakeholders to buy into your business case and tests — trusting the data and the test design of your individual tests.

These next two tips give concrete steps for building that trust.

Tip 2: Overcome the Data Dilemma.
Today, everybody justifies why their feature or product is important with data. Unfortunately, not all data sources offer trustworthy or high-quality data. People know this, and are understandably dubious of data-backed claims. Take these actions to get buy-in for optimization by demonstrating that your business case and test data are credible.

  • Identify a spokesperson who is experienced with data. This person probably won’t be a developer — they usually care about features and performance, not data. Good candidates are typically data analysts, data scientists, or statisticians.
  • Ensure your data tool is trustworthy and set up properly. Your data-centric person can explain why the tool and its data are truthful. Product owners, executives, and other stakeholders will need to agree that the tool provides truthful, credible data.
  • Track the right metrics. These metrics should clearly tie to the business bottom line, like leads for B2B, revenue for retail, applications completed for a bank, or page views for a media company. Avoid metrics that don’t tie directly to business value, like clicks through to the home page.
  • Understand your web site’s various business KPIs. Business people have specific metrics they care about — speak their language and relate to their metrics.
  • Track only the essential metrics. Use those same metrics across tests to allow apples-to-apples comparisons to determine what moves the needle.
  • Show your test results in Analytics. Showing your results with the context of Analytics helps demonstrate that you’re not overlooking any unexpected influence.
  • Use unified profile data that ideally spans your offline and online channels. This lets you fully evaluate and explain why certain data is or isn’t relevant or powerful to your strategy and how that influences the tests you suggest.
  • Make sure the test results are clear, pertinent, and valuable to the business. This avoids creating so much data that results seem contradictory.

Tip 3: Do Valid Testing.
When someone pokes a hole in your test design or results, the organization may lose faith in that test — perhaps even in your entire program. Running a controlled experiment that produces valid results requires following established rules of statistical-test design. Follow these important rules to design a valid test:

  • Identify the dependent and independent variables in your test — in other words, the elements you are changing and testing. If you change too many elements within test variations, you can’t isolate which element elicited a visitor response.
  • Run the test long enough for results to be statistically valid. Use a sample size calculator to determine how many visitors must participate in the test and the likely time to reach that traffic level. There’s no shortcut here — although you can use the Auto-Allocate feature of Adobe Target to apply an algorithm that automatically diverts more traffic to a winning experience during the test. This lets you reach statistical confidence faster and increase conversion lift. You can only declare a valid winner after the test has experienced enough traffic to reach statistical significance. Only then can you know that the results you’re seeing in the test are consistent and trustworthy.
  • Don’t include too many test experiences for your site traffic levels — test experiences will likely not get enough traffic to reach significance, or you’ll have to run your test for so long that other factors like seasonality may invalidate test results.
  • Consider if your test variations have the potential to really move the needle. Changing a single word in a page headline probably isn’t a valuable test. Make your test experience differences bold enough to elicit a measurable user response.
  • Track the metrics that indicate true business success. As mentioned in my previous post, tracking simple clicks through on the home page is typically meaningless. Identify and track the business metrics that make or save money for the business. Report on your test results using Adobe Analytics as the reporting source to provide even more context around the test’s impact.

Next up: Get that Seat at the Right Time — and Maintain It.
Once you’ve earned stakeholder trust in your data and your test design, you’ve likely earned your seat at the table. Realize that the timing of getting your seat is important — you need that seat before the decisions have been made. But you also need to do a few things to keep that seat.

In my final post, I’ll cover the final two tips, Tip 4 (Get your seat before the big decisions are made), and Tip 5 (Reinforce the value of your testing program).

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Changing the Traditional Advertising Channel

Marketing Cloud

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Tags: Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe Advertising Cloud, Adobe Experience Cloud, Digital Marketing, TV advertising, programmatic, OTT, TVCD, programmatic advertising

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5 Tips to Transform Optimization from a Sideshow to Main Event (Part 1)

Marketing Cloud

Adobe’s optimization consultants often sit side-by-side with their clients, either in-person or virtually, to discover what those clients are trying to accomplish. I love the chance to catch up with them because their finger is on the pulse of what our customers are trying to do and accomplish with Adobe Target. Recently, I sat down with Debra Adams, one of our seasoned Adobe Digital Strategy consultants. We discussed a key issue that optimization programs face—optimization is just a sideshow, at the whim of senior management demands and product owner requests.

From her years of experience running and consulting for optimization programs, Debra shared tips for five key actions optimization programs can take to transform from being just a sideshow into part of the main event:

1. Build the business case for testing
2. Overcome the data dilemma
3. Do valid testing
4. Get your seat at the table before big decisions are made
5. Reinforce the value of your testing program

These actions can help you get and keep a seat at the table where IT, the development team, creative, product owners, and executives determine and prioritize the features to develop, establish a development timeline, and allocate available resources.

But first, how can you tell if your optimization program is a sideshow? Read on for a true story that illustrates what it looks like:

Your optimization program is a sideshow if…
The optimization program manager at a large retail company was perplexed: senior leadership demanded that her team run more and more tests. Business unit owners insisted that her team run the tests they wanted, many of which she knew from experience would barely move the needle. Important tests she planned to run were knocked off the table with a simple, “We don’t have room in the schedule or design resources for that.”

She knew that the optimization program had incredible business potential, but she just wasn’t in a position to influence how the organization used it. She was just a marketing manager who had been told, “Get some testing done.”

If this all feels familiar, then your optimization program is a sideshow. The good news? It can be much more—start transforming it into part of the main event with this first tip.

Tip 1: Build the business case for testing
Your testing is up against features that product owners or executives strongly believe will bring ROI. Why should they put off implementing their money-making features just so you can run a test? You have to make a believable argument that your testing has the potential for big impact and ROI—you have to build a business case for testing in general, and for individual tests.

Build the testing business case with:

  • Real examples of impact and ROI businesses have experienced from testing, including testing for discovery—not just validating existing ideas.
  • Calculations of possible ROI and opportunity from testing based on your traffic levels and the average RPV, AOV, and conversion lift typical of your industry.
  • Supporting research from analysts, benchmark data from self-assessment tools like Adobe Target Pro, and success data like the Adobe Target Payoff infographic (shown in a recent blog post by Kevin Lindsay).
  • Comparison of possible ROI from optimization against known ROI from other digital investments like display ads, search engine marketing, and other investments.

Build the business case for individual tests with:

  • Test objective. Explain the test’s purpose and business value along with your rationale for the audiences you’re targeting.
  • Test KPIs. Explain how test KPIs align with business initiatives and make an impact or generate ROI. Impacts can include increased sales or conversions, but also cost reductions like shifting from call center to self-service transactions.
  • Supporting data. Show analytics data like drop-off in purchase paths, customer survey data, or other data sources that support your test hypothesis.
  • Test timeframe. Use a sample size calculator to show that your test can prove or disprove the hypothesis in a relatively short amount of time.
  • Test impact/ROI versus level of effort. Rate the test’s likely impact/ROI and level of effort to run it (low, medium, or high). Show its high potential impact/ROI for low effort.

Next up: Overcoming challenges to your business case
While making your business case, anticipate and prepare for a couple of challenges many optimization programs face—gaining stakeholder trust in your business case and test data, as well as the test design of your individual tests. In my next post, I’ll discuss tips 2 (Overcome the data dilemma) and 3 (Do valid testing) to suggest ways to overcome those challenges.

The post 5 Tips to Transform Optimization from a Sideshow to Main Event (Part 1) appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Marketing Is Outdated — Here’s Why and What to Do.

Marketing Cloud

While at a trade show in Chicago more than 20 years ago — when I was the global director of The Coca-Cola Company’s first Strategic Innovation Group to look for human-centered innovations — I recall seeing a new brand of kitchen tools: OXO. The founder, Sam Farber, was a pioneer of ‘design thinking’, long before that term came into vogue. He noticed that his wife found it difficult to grip a can opener. To make it more comfortable for her, he worked with a design firm to develop a very functional and elegant, soft, black handle that became the signature design for OXO’s products. The handle felt better in people’s hands, was easier to use, and looked good. Incorporating empathy for what the person using the product might need, this was design thinking at its finest.

To compete in today’s experience era, businesses need to understand the situations people are in nowadays and work from there — like OXO did — to help provide solutions to their problems. They can’t rely on traditional push marketing anymore. Marketing like that is outdated. Instead, everyone must become an ‘engager’. Regardless of title or functional role, everyone needs to not only understand how a product goes to market but also who’s buying it, touching it, using it, and talking about it — and then engage with them. This is the new ‘engager marketing.’

Everyone’s a Marketer, but Let’s Call Them Engagers.
Good engagers are also good listeners and observers. They not only listen to people and examine their needs but also listen digitally and analyze and interpret the data. By implementing all of these active words, you are paying attention to the people who matter for your product or service. You must understand — on a personal level — what is important to those who buy, use, discuss, promote, and advocate your product or service.

Let’s think back to OXO again. The founder understood his wife’s situation and worked from there, designing from her perspective to find the right solution. Finding the need and then the solution must have come easily for Farber, but others had to be taught. And the earlier they could learn this design-thinking discipline, the better, as it prepared everyone to handle this shift in business. Even children in elementary school can learn to listen for and understand problems before coming up with solutions.

How do you do it? According to OXO, “We study people — lefties and righties, male and female, young and old — interacting with products and we identify opportunities for meaningful improvement. Our thoughtful, “question everything” process and relentless attention to detail uncover the best solutions for life’s everyday tasks.”

Use Science to Know the Need and Art to Solve It.
Growing up in the business world at The Procter & Gamble Company, I learned to use a very disciplined set of marketing tools. Science has always been a part of brand management, and most companies today have adopted that focus on science and data to some degree. Experience businesses also need to rely on data science to consider what their customers think first.

This may seem like a slow process in a fast-paced world. Fortunately, artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible to identify both needs and solutions at the necessary pace. But, for competitive differentiation to happen, we still need the human touch — the art. For example, if you have two competitors in the same category — and both are equally competent, well-funded, and have good brand reputations — the difference is going to be the experience that each company provides. The company with the most compelling, personalized experience is going to win. One is going to look better, feel better, and work better, and much of that will come from the creative layer. That’s where the art comes in.

This combination of science and art is part of the design thinking concept. Use science to understand the need and art to solve the problem you precisely identify.

Fine-Tune Your Thinking — and Each Experience.
Just as OXO has done, experience businesses need to work from empathetic perspectives and continuously repeat. As you fine-tune, you will also have other functions, inside and outside the company, involved in designing, manufacturing, and distributing product. Let’s say you design the best kitchen appliance, and it fits in your hand perfectly. However, the type of rubber you used is slippery and prevents your wet hands from getting a good grip. That means your design is wrong, so you will need to involve an engineer and others who can spec the right rubber. It takes a village — including the user.

Remember the following points, and you’ll be well on your way to thinking like an experience business:

  • Start by Asking “What Do Customers Want?” — Pay very close attention so you can truly understand how they use your products or services. It’s really that simple.
  • Ensure Personal Filters and Preconceived Perceptions Don’t Interpret What Consumers Are Viewing, Saying, or Thinking. — Understand as much as you can about each customer’s world, using observation, data, and behavioral analysis (qualitatively and quantitatively).
  • Use a Cross-Functional, Collaborative Team Approach to Categorize Groups and Understand What Works Best for Each. — Imagine you are working with large-scale brands, each with millions of customers from diverse countries and cultures all around the world. Categorizing groups based on similarities will help you determine the most effective approach to take.

Marketing Is Outdated — The New Engager Marketing Is Where It’s at!
Creating experiences needs to be a thoughtful process, carried out across all functions in the organization and across all online and offline touchpoints. This is true for any business that wants to thrive in today’s experience era. There will be a time and place to add your perspective, but for now, it’s all about the customers and what they want. That’s the new engager marketing.

Read more ideas about the future of experience business from our #AdobeTT participants.

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