Synopsys Expands Both Markets and Digital Strategy

Marketing Cloud

Ask any company in the semiconductor industry, and they will recognize the name Synopsys. For more than three decades, Synopsys has been a global leader in design tools and services for silicon chips, as well as being the company with the industry’s broadest portfolio of silicon IP. The company recently decided to leverage its years of software design experiences into a new line of business: software security.

“Now that we’re expanding into new markets, we’re in a position where we need to introduce our brand to customers,” says Dave DeMaria, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Synopsys. “People need to understand that we’re not a newcomer. We’re a global company with a long history of quality and annual revenue exceeding $2.5 billion. We can be a trusted partner for the future.”

To connect with new customers, Synopsys decided that it needed to completely rework its digital strategy and deliver a website with fresh content for both existing and potential Synopsys customers. After looking at numerous CMS options, Synopsys chose the Adobe Experience Manager solution in Adobe Marketing Cloud, part of Adobe Experience Cloud.

With the help of partner Hero Digital, Synopsys built its first microsite on Adobe Experience Manager in just four months. Creating or updating content in Adobe Experience Manager Sites is as fast and easy as dragging components from Experience Manager Assets into a mobile-ready responsive template. Jobs that once took a team two weeks now take two people just two hours. The result is a 40-fold boost to productivity while reducing overhead cost.

Synopsys is adding more integrated Adobe solutions to build upon its new digital foundation. Adobe Target, part of Adobe Marketing Cloud, adds personalized search to better engage with visitors from different industries. Using the dashboards in Adobe Analytics, part of Adobe Analytics Cloud, marketers can spot trends in real time and act on market changes quickly.

“The integrated Adobe Experience Cloud solutions deliver all of the tools that we need to transform our digital experience and prepare us for new markets,” says DeMaria.

To learn more about how Synopsys uses Adobe Experience Cloud to improve operational efficiencies, read their full story and watch the video.

The post Synopsys Expands Both Markets and Digital Strategy appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Adobe Unveils New Sensei Capabilities in Adobe Target to Power Personalization

Marketing Cloud

Imagine you’re on a cruise and every preference and every need is anticipated. When you’re hungry, you’re offered the turkey club you were thinking about, and when you’re bored, you’re offered the best activity suggestions. That’s what Carnival Cruise Line is hoping to achieve with its new Ocean Medallion Class offering. The experience is built to be seamless and personalized so guests don’t have to think about anything else but enjoying their vacations.

More and more, consumers are demanding this level of personalization all the time and it’s more important than ever for companies to work tirelessly to deliver it. Why? Simple. Because if you don’t deliver it, consumers will go elsewhere. However, many brands are challenged with the scale of the undertaking required to deliver a truly tailored, one-to-one customer experience. The only way to achieve this is with sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology.

That’s why today we’re proud to announce new Adobe Target capabilities, powered by Adobe Sensei. These new enhancements give marketers the tools to optimize personalized experiences with one click, enhance customer recommendations and targeting precision, and automate the delivery of personalized offers.

At Last… One-Click Personalization

We’re on a mission to ensure brands deliver only the best experiences to individual customers at scale. Our solution? The new Auto-Target feature in Adobe Target Premium. Now with a single click, marketers can leverage powerful machine learning, powered by Adobe Sensei, to introduce as many experience variations as they choose in order to personalize across their digital properties. One beta tester in the financial services industry described it this way:

“Auto-Target allows us to do personalized A-B-C-D page level testing algorithmically. The advantage that we see over traditional testing is that the machine will take all variables and traits about a visitor into consideration—not just the traits and segments that we deem important.”

Auto-Target automatically determines the best experience for each consumer and continuously optimizes those experiences over time as the consumer takes additional actions. A hotel chain for instance can feature its tropical properties and content for a reward member, knowing the individual prefers to travel to warm destinations based on bookings and mobile app engagement. The end result is higher engagement and increased loyalty.

Auto-Target is also designed to improve experience performance over time by learning what does and does not resonate with consumers. This ensures customers receive only the most relevant experiences. As such, brands can go even further with their personalization efforts without having to worry or feel like they’re taking risks with their valuable traffic. Thanks to the backup policy feature, marketers can always be assured that no variation will do worse than their best control. The result is that the best experiences will only get better.

Auto-Target is now generally available today to all Adobe Target Premium users.

Powerful Recommendations Inspired by Natural Language Processing

Recommendations are one of the most popular and effective forms of personalization used in digital consumer experiences. In fact, Amazon’s recommendations reportedly drive 30 percent of its revenue. However, recommendation engines are not all created equal, and as a result, some fail to deliver real-time relevance that can scale across billions of consumer interactions.

Adobe Target already offers a robust set of out-of-the-box algorithms that predict the content, offers and products customers want. To bolster these algorithms, we’re proud to unveil new powerful technology for item and product recommendations using techniques based on natural language processing (NLP). An industry-first application, this technology uncovers the underlying intent of consumers’ behavior to better predict what content and products customers might want next.

Here’s how it works. Think of every digital interaction a consumer has with a brand, be it reading a blog post or watching a video, as part of a dialog. Now think of the sum of these actions as a query or a meaningful expression of intent. At the machine level, Adobe Sensei is interpreting these queries and figuring out how to respond. Adobe Target takes it from there by displaying recommended products or content—ones that are highly relevant to a consumer based on what we’ve learned about them throughout this dialog.

For example, a retailer can see that a customer watched its video on eco-friendly laundry techniques and purchased compostable dryer sheets. It can then provide a tailored recommendation about eco-friendly detergent based on what was inferred from the customer’s previous actions. Previously, the algorithm would have offered up a laundry detergent recommendation based on detergents other people viewed. The new recommendations technology will be available in beta this Fall.

Automate the Delivery of One-to-One Offers

Delivering the perfect offer requires tons of data culled from a number of sources. Going through and making sense of that data is simply too much for any human to handle. With the enhanced decisioning power in Adobe Target, marketers can now determine the right offer—out of potentially hundreds of potential offers—and automatically ensure it’s always shown at the right moment to the right person.

For example, a financial services company uses Adobe Target’s self-learning models to serve up dynamic offers like mortgages, credit cards and online bill pay—all based on each individual’s previous browsing paths, account status, search terms and other factors. A new homeowner who has recently secured his first mortgage will have a very different online experience than a woman approaching retirement. Adobe Target now provides automated offers for mobile apps and IoT experiences.

More Precise Targeting with Adobe Analytics Cloud

Developing a one-to-one connection with customers is the holy grail of personalization, but this cannot be done without building a complete 360-degree view of an individual. Marketers already utilize visitor behavioral data in Adobe Target to create comprehensive real-time personalization profiles. Now with tighter integration between Adobe Target and Adobe Analytics Cloud, marketers can utilize behavioral analytics and audience data to inform deeper segmentation. With up-to-the-second, comprehensive data, marketers can conduct more precise targeting to continuously serve the most relevant, personalized experiences possible.

Additionally, now with the new Experience Versions capability in Adobe Target, marketers can granularly A/B target specific content areas in an experience, like an offer box on a website, by applying multiple audience and behavioral segments from within Adobe Analytics Cloud to the experiment. For example, a global cookware company can develop a targeted offer on its website based on segments of people who’ve purchased a cast iron skillet in the last five months. That offer then automatically updates with the correct language or currency depending on the location of the customer, be it in the United States, France or Germany.

Our goal has always been to help our customers deliver incredibly spot-on experiences for their customers. And now, with these exciting advancements, we’re able to do even more, and help them move that personalization needle further than ever thought possible.

The post Adobe Unveils New Sensei Capabilities in Adobe Target to Power Personalization appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Powering up Personalization’s IQ

Marketing Cloud

With so many experience optimization technologies and personalization levers available today, enterprises are relentlessly focused on creating, refining and perfecting the most relevant customer experiences for each customer touchpoint or interaction. Yet, the scale of this undertaking quickly becomes insurmountable without the right tools and technology required to make it all flow seamlessly. AI technologies such as machine learning and data science hold the key to the most personalized experiences.

A recent HBR survey found that over 30 percent of companies are using AI for marketing and sales to drive competitive differentiation. Marketers leveraging machine learning to optimize customer experiences are increasingly attuned to what a customer wants and needs at the moments that matter.

Adobe already offers customers a best-in-class machine learning and AI framework with Adobe Sensei, which powers intelligent features across all Adobe products, and Adobe Target, our solution for marketers to personalize experiences and drive business impact. As a neutral third party working exclusively in the interest of marketers, Adobe partners with our customers by providing an open and transparent platform to help drive their businesses forward.

More Science = More Success
Today we’re introducing a new strategy to open up our data science capabilities within Adobe Target. The first step will be to offer a “bring your own algorithm” (BYOA) framework to help businesses better compete within an increasingly crowded business landscape.

Think of Adobe Target as a sandbox for data scientists, where they are able to bring in their own proprietary algorithms, leverage their own expertise and methods within a leading marketing platform – an industry first. Not only will they be able to leverage our finely-tuned algorithms to automate their experience optimization, but it will be possible to easily insert their proprietary algorithms into Target to run alongside ours to deliver personalized experiences in real-time and measure performance. Our customers will be able to continuously train and refine algorithmic models directly within Target, making adjustments and changes as needed.

Our BYOA approach will enable marketers to try modifications of current testing approaches or try completely new approaches in areas such as deep learning within multivariate testing. The idea here is to use neural networks to identify variants of the candidates to be tested, test, and then fine-tune the variants for the next round based on the results.

Evolving to a Hyper-Personalized Approach
Leveraging universal algorithms already available within Target is a great starting point for personalization, but the next step to further differentiate a brand is to plug in more specific, proprietary algorithms. Consider the ultra-competitive airline industry which uses models and algorithms to fluctuate pricing based on a variety of factors. While generic pricing models exist, it is those with dedicated data scientists who can refine existing algorithms further, making them more specific to their own businesses and distinct customer segments to increase conversion by a few percentage points. At scale, these increases can truly make a difference to a bottom line.

Our customers have domain-specific knowledge of their own businesses and industries that no marketing platform provider can provide. By injecting their data scientists’ expertise and influence into the process, brands will be able to speak to their customers in a hyper-personalized way.

We Bring the Data, you Bring the Magic
Today, one of the biggest bottlenecks for data scientists utilizing machine learning is the deployment of algorithms in the field. Much of their time is spent navigating the constantly-evolving big data frameworks and menial tasks such as data extraction. By opening up our platform and automating personalization through machine learning, we’ll free up data scientists to do more of what they care about – develop and refine new algorithms, a much more strategic and impactful use of their time.

An open platform also helps eliminate the anxiety of working with a third-party marketing provider, giving data scientists and marketers more control and influence over their experience optimization efforts. Instead of blindly trusting a black box approach, which can undoubtedly be effective in many situations, the flexibility of working with an open platform and a BYOA framework will bring brands more transparency and guidance over the process.

However, the most sophisticated algorithms are useless and machine learning systems cannot adequately improve over time without enough initial raw data to analyze and test against. This “cold start” challenge leads to the inability to take action on data, a barrier to adequately leveraging machine learning to draw reliable inferences and optimize experiences. Fortunately, businesses using Adobe Marketing Cloud will have built-in access to the raw customer data required to make intelligent and automated personalization decisions. Because Adobe’s platform manages over 100 trillion data transactions each year, we have a massive amount of content and assets available to help brands overcome some of the most daunting personalization challenges. Coupled with a brand’s own powerful algorithms, this presents a real differentiator.

Drinking Our Own Champagne
While we’re not only developers of our own products, we’re also devoted users. We know firsthand how powerful machine learning and AI is to a personalization engine. We have developed predictive methods to understand the current state of the customer and predict their transition to other relevant stages, which helps determine how we personalize our next engagement with them.

We’re also leveraging machine learning to better manage customers’ journeys with Adobe’s products. By using algorithmic segmentation and prediction, we can easily evaluate customers’ usage of our own marketing platform and identify who may need more assistance with our products. We can also determine which users and organizations are less active and why, and how to help them extract more value from our products. As a result, we can automate personalized interactions with them to encourage them to try new things within our solutions.

With access to our open platform, our customers will soon be able to leverage similar strategies to harness the power of their own data and take action on it.

Helping Our Customers Remain Competitive
As enterprises increasingly develop their own algorithms internally, imagine the advantages of leveraging these algorithms, coupled with Adobe Target and Adobe Sensei. No other company can offer brands anything comparable.

There’s no better time to up the ante in your personalization game and we’re committed to partnering with our customers in their endeavors. Expect to hear more from us as we provide more details in opening up our platform next year.

The post Powering up Personalization’s IQ appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Manufacturers: Power Up Your Sales Teams with Digital Experiences.

Marketing Cloud

Four ways going digital improves your manufacturing sales process for better customer experiences.

A new industrial revolution — Industry 4.0 — is unfolding as companies that make widgets morph into digital manufacturing enterprises. By transforming their manufacturing systems to digital processes, they realize improvement in everything from product quality and production efficiency to finding new ways to grow revenue.

Growing revenue is the main goal of a manufacturing sales team, and a digital transformation benefits them too. As they incorporate digital processes into sales best practices — such as sharing content, negotiating pricing, and gaining approvals — they will be more successful in attracting new customers, selling more to existing customers, and closing accounts faster for top-line growth.

Demonstrate Product Solutions with Personalized and Relevant Content.
When the average B2B buyer first engages with your sales rep, they are already 57 percent finished with their purchase decision. Like any other person, they looked online. If you’re not producing personalized and relevant content that is accessible through a variety of channels, you are missing out on potential customers that you never even had the chance to engage in a one-on-one interaction.

To attract, identify, and qualify leads, you’ll need to keep potential customers engaged through their research process. Your team needs to deliver optimized content faster than ever before to serve an increasing number of audiences, channels, and touchpoints — but without increasing budgets or resources. A content management system can help you deliver this content, and ensure that it is relevant and localized. Additionally, you can receive data concerning which content pieces are most successful at different touchpoints, helping you know what is most effective with your audience.

Integrating your content management system with other digital sales tools, like a CRM, will help your sales team identify and qualify leads with gated content, and suggest and track engagement with content that anticipates and handles objections. A digital asset management system will help your sales team find the specific, up-to-date, in-compliance content it needs to create custom presentations. Once you add mobile capabilities, your sales team can create instantly and deliver presentations on the go.

For example, DuPont creates mobile apps for sales presentations, which include detailed slides, charts, and other visuals. These apps play a vital role in helping sales reps communicate benefits and value to customers. In fact, the Crop Protection Division at DuPont piloted a sales enablement mobile app with its sales team in Brazil that converted existing presentations into app-friendly slides that sales reps could access on any mobile device. One of the biggest benefits of the app is the ability to share new information quickly. Traditionally, presentation files were downloaded and shared hundreds of times, but now the app retrieves materials directly from a centralized DAM system to ensure that even simple changes to files are made available instantly to all sales representatives, who are now confident that they have updated information at their disposal.

Distributors working to market your products face a similar challenge — the inability to quickly find the content assets they need to do their job most effectively. If not centralized, assets can be located in multiple repositories or on individual hard drives, where they become difficult to locate, and to track the final, approved version.

To solve this issue, ASICS created a brand portal for reseller marketing campaigns. ASICS manufactures athletic footwear and clothing for a range of sports, and depends on retailers to market and sell its products. The company had 40,000 digital assets that were all maintained on individual folders on shared drives. With this system, it was impossible to find specific items and even keep track of what existed, let alone share the relevant assets with retailers for their marketing promotions. Benefiting from data on asset usage wasn’t even an option. ASICS upgraded to a DAM system that enabled them to easily categorize, manage, and distribute branded content worldwide. Retail partners can now use a self-service brand portal to search and view assets, and ASICS receives automated reports with valuable data on which assets are most frequently used and perform best — all of this in addition to saving 200 employee hours annually.

Negotiate Pricing.
While your customers increasingly expect a B2C-like sales experience with personalized content and guided selling online, they also are interested in maintaining the price negotiations that come with the B2B process. However, a survey from Hanover Research found that customers are frequently frustrated with quote turnaround time. A full 82 percent of manufacturers cited price negotiations as the main drag on quote turnarounds and fulfilling orders, all resulting in less business won, and lost revenue.

The volume of data available to digital manufacturing enterprises, combined with the computing power available today, results in precision that was unimaginable in the past. Having information on what is needed to attain revenue growth, forecast supply and demand, and pinpoint buying preferences and patterns can help you create the right offers, efficiently deliver quotes to your sales team and customers, and use data insights to plan an offense. Developing personalized pricing simply removes the pressure from price-slashing competition.

Traditional quoting practices were designed to protect margins, but now they just appear inflexible. On the other hand, using data and pricing algorithms can quickly deliver what today’s economy requires — quick quotes that are financially sound and consistent across distribution channels.

Process Approvals.
Minimizing the longer sales cycle for B2B transactions is another important strategy for increasing company growth. Don’t let the final order process drag on with paper shuffling that takes time to route, is easily lost or misplaced, and degrades with poor handwriting and faxing — yes, faxing in the 2010s!

A manufacturer of agricultural equipment, Kuhn Krause sells more than 2,000 machines and service parts through its network of 350 dealers in the United States and Canada. The company previously used paper forms, and dealers who were ready to make a purchase submitted signed orders via fax. Those forms were then faxed to a territory manager, dealer sales manager, and operations manager, each adding their signatures. When the hard-copy orders arrived at Kuhn Krause’s manufacturing facility, which was at least two days later, they were difficult to read, and there was no mechanism to send an order receipt to the customer.

Because order clarity is critical to producing the right machine with the right options, and delays in receiving orders could significantly impact delivery dates, Kuhn Krause adopted online forms and digital signatures. Now, order processing takes just 30 minutes and the company has eliminated errors through a much more reliable system. Additionally, customers receive confirmations of their orders, and are able to track production and delivery schedules. The data collected from online forms also gives Kuhn Krause visibility into each step of the ordering process.

Transform Relationships.
For manufacturers, transforming customer relationships means delivering what buyers need at exactly the right moment. Your flow of online content should be steady, accurate, and consistently up-to-date. Customers can use your digital platform for everything from researching solutions and placing orders, to downloading product manuals for aftermarket support. Integrating content management with your customer relationship manager, inventory systems, and analytics tools keeps your sales team in the loop with all the information they need to build relationships, provide quotes, and process orders.

Digital experiences are as flexible and diverse as your company and your customers. For them — whether distributors, partners, or the end-user — those experiences need to be seamless on every device and any location. With the right platform in place, a manufacturer evolves from just making and selling products to delivering customized solutions that result in the kind of experiences that build brand loyalty and grow top-line revenue.

Learn more about how the right digital tools can enable your manufacturing sales team, or read more articles about digital marketing best practices for your manufacturing business.


The post Manufacturers: Power Up Your Sales Teams with Digital Experiences. appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Transforming the Manufacturing Value Chain

Marketing Cloud

Creating value and stronger relationships with partners, distributors, and customers

Manufacturing is no stranger to transformation — lean processes took hold in the 1970s, outsourcing defined the 1990s, and automation marked the 2000s. Now a fourth wave — Industry 4.0 — is digitizing the sector with a rise in data and computing power, analytics and business intelligence, new interfaces, and more options for transferring digital instructions to physical reality.

While Industry 4.0 promises efficiency, process effectiveness, and even a shift in value from products to data-driven services, the benefits extend far beyond manufacturing output. According to the IDC, two of the top ways manufacturers say they are applying big data and analytics to their businesses are to support sales and marketing activities, and to understand and target customers. Additionally, the desire to improve customer acquisition and retention, as well as introduce new or improved products and services, are both cited as significant initiatives driving IT investments for manufacturers.

The digital transformation inherent in Industry 4.0 allows you and other manufacturers to adjust to all business challenges — including improving the customer experience, or how you interact with distributors, partners, and customers. And this adjustment is coming none too soon. McKinsey surveyed 300 manufacturing leaders in January 2015 and found that, at that time, only 48 percent of manufacturers considered themselves ready for Industry 4.0 — but 78 percent of suppliers said they were prepared.

To meet the needs and expectations of your suppliers, distributors, partners, and customers, you must move forward with adopting a digital foundation that can not only improve production, but also add value to your entire supply and distribution chain. The technologies your business uses to organize, collect, store, and analyze data, create and publish content, and manage content across digital and offline channels is the digital foundation that will help address the sales and marketing activities needed to deliver exceptional experiences and contribute to top-line growth.

Deliver the B2C-like experience your customers expect.
For several years, B2C brands have been investing in digital marketing practices that deliver personal and relevant experiences to customers, and ultimately increase revenues. While the business models of B2C and B2B differ, the people engaged in the experiences are the same — they are using the same digital devices to explore consumer and business products, and to find ways to add value to their investments. This leaves B2B players with the need to reach out to all types of customers with better experiences — experiences that are personal, built on data and analytics, and that are fluid across all touchpoints.

Your technology foundation needs to be robust enough to deliver the right content to all of your distribution partners how and when they need it. By making their jobs easier, you’ll ultimately improve efficiency for everyone in the supply chain — a true win-win.

Managing digital assets — such as photos, video, copy, slides, etc. — with your digital foundation is a key factor in transforming how you interact with your value chain. The benefits of integration range from faster on-boarding of new distributors and customers to enhancements that improve the speed and reliability of content distribution to the ultimate customer. The more seamlessly you can engage with customers, distributors, and other partners, the faster you will realize ROI from becoming an “experience business.” According to the PwC Global Industry 4.0 survey, most companies expect digital technology investments to pay for themselves within two years.

Maxim Integrated streamlines customer engagement.
As you adopt the model of an experience business, the evolution of buyer expectations requires that you give attention to both interactions facilitated by distributors and other partners, as well as direct-to-customer engagements.

Maxim Integrated, a semiconductor manufacturer, reinvented its interactive digital experiences by transforming the company’s website. An open platform that integrated with Maxim’s existing platforms — such as SAP,, and Oracle Eloqua — as well as its product information systems was high on its list of criteria.

Now, the company has the ability to track every online interaction with any of its more than 9,000 products as site visitors are efficiently lead through an online experience that recommends solutions and helps customer audiences make fast decisions. This enables Maxim Integrated to better understand how its customers use its website, and to deliver specific content based on where each visitor is in their buying journey. Ultimately, by combining operational systems with front office tools, Maxim will be better connected with partners and customers in real time.

For Maxim Integrated, the benefits of implementing a cohesive digital platform were seen in four main areas.

“We designed our new website to help our audience make fast decisions,” says Robert Reneau, director of digital marketing at Maxim Integrated. “We wanted to improve the online experience for our customers, partners, and our internal teams looking for recommended solutions. Now, with our digital platform, we can offer our customers and partners relevant content faster.”

Focus on meeting customer expectations.
Econsultancy’s 2017 Digital Trends survey found that customer experience is the most important differentiation tool for competing in today’s global marketplace. Digital manufacturing enterprises have the resources to be focused on designing and customizing user-friendly solutions for every player in the value chain.

Implementing effective experiences across your value chain also requires an understanding of what users within your ecosystem need at every engagement point. The ability to collect and analyze data is an essential tool for anticipating what users need, and for delivering the right solution at the right time. Improving the experience for the ultimate user of your products translates into better efficiency.

For example, it’s easy to forget how important a powerful and effective search tool is in the context of a user experience. “A company has documentation for thousands of product entries, often available in multiple languages,” says Andrew Arocha, group vice president at Adobe. “If all of that documentation is digital, I can index it and make it searchable, and that ability offers tremendous gains in efficiency.”

The ability to know how to constantly improve your experiences is another benefit to a digital system that can track customer engagement. At DuPont, built-in web analytics give the marketing team download, usage, and asset statistics that they can utilize to determine what people want to see. “We have limited time and budget, and we want to focus our teams effectively and not waste time creating materials they won’t use,” explains Joanne Hewitson, global digital marketing lead at the Crop Protection Division of DuPont. This information helps them clarify their best opportunities.

Making the right tools available online, and easy-to-use, is key to ensuring that your customers get what they need from your website.

Get out of your own way.
Let’s face it, it can be challenging to replace existing systems that you have invested a lot of time and energy into building. But for manufacturers, integrating new digital solutions into their technology mix promises to improve both efficiency and competitiveness.

“Manufacturers must decide how and where to invest in new technologies, and identify which ones will drive the most benefit for their organizations,” says Deloitte’s Cotteleer. “In addition to accurately assessing their current strategic positions, successful manufacturers need a clear articulation of their business objectives, identifying where to experiment in newly emerging technology ecosystems. They need to overcome the inertia of legacy operations and develop a test-and-learn approach.”

The benefit of starting with a foundation for an improved web experience, such as implementing a robust content management system, is that it improves the productivity of your entire value chain, as well as internal groups. Content is easy to manage and access, web pages can be updated, personalized, and localized with drag-and-drop functionality, and customer groups are easily segmented and targeted. Your ROI will come from higher conversion rates, increased sales, improved distributor relationships, streamlined supply chain management, and better after-sales support.

Integrating digital solutions into manufacturing enterprises is already resulting in higher revenues and lower costs. If you’re looking for bottom line data to justify your decision, here it is: PwC interviewed 2,000 people across nine major industries and 26 countries and concluded that, over the next five years, digital integration will increase revenues by 2.9 percent per year, while reducing costs by 3.6 percent. This underscores the value manufacturers will find as they shift their focus from producing the best product at the lowest cost, to using data for valuable insights on how to deliver the best customer experience.

Enhance your distributor’s digital experience.
Improving your value chain must first benefit and engage distributors, suppliers, resellers, and all of the partners that connect you with your customers. Your digital foundation needs to be sophisticated enough to deliver content and information to all of your distribution partners how and when they need it. By making their jobs easier, you ultimately improve efficiency for everyone in the supply chain.

For example, make it easy for distributors to access the data and materials necessary to help sell and support your products. They need automated tools for functions, such as responding to questions from prospects, requests for proposals, price quotes, and technical support.

Because distributors represent your company, your system should be capable of facilitating customization based on factors such as geographic regions and vertical market segments. Distributors, just like your customers, will speak different languages and have different requirements for compliance, depending on their global location. They need localized support, customized for their end users.

Fundamentally, your digital platform needs to facilitate the development of a brand portal for all of your distribution partners, so you can empower them with the same experience business tools you would use to reach your customers directly.

By delivering the right information at the right time, and by providing localized marketing and branding assets, you’ll create better engagement with prospects and customers. This will translate into improved efficiency and higher profitability for both you and the value chain partners you work with.

Bridge online and offline worlds.
For both customers and distributors, your digital solution needs to synthesize virtual and physical business processes. What this means is that you need an extensible digital platform that can connect with everything from computer-aided design and manufacturing systems to inventory management software. An important factor in an enhanced value chain is being able to connect the dots between information, product data, and the design, shipment, and use of those products.

Eaton Corp., a power management company and Adobe customer, is using a digital platform with customized APIs that enables it to integrate partner and customer information with real-time data from its back-end production systems. This enables the company to transform a hodgepodge of website and legacy tracking systems with a single system that can access, analyze, and connect customer and production data in real time.

For one example of how Eaton’s digital platform can now facilitate the customer journey, consider — hypothetically — the experience of an engineer from a heavy equipment manufacturer who needs a hydraulic cylinder for a new product design. The engineer types “hydraulic cylinder load” into the search box and is immediately presented with an online tool for providing specifications, such as the load that will be put on the cylinder, and how quickly that load needs to be pushed or pulled. Almost instantly, Eaton matches its products with the customer’s needs, and the automated system recommends several hydraulic cylinders that meet the specifications. The system even provides CAD specs and drawings that the engineer can immediately download and test as part of the new design.

‘This is one example of how digital integration can save manufacturers and their customers enormous amounts of time,” says Bella El-Harazin, Area Vice President at Adobe. “The customer gets access to a customized solution without having to pour through specifications from different companies. And Eaton now has presented a potential customer with exactly what is needed: A specific set of hydraulics from Eaton. Instead of relying on something chosen by a purchasing manager, based on straight price competition, the engineer quickly found the perfect solution online.”

Find more value in your value chain.
By integrating your technologies into a solid digital foundation that helps you collect and analyze data, create and publish content, and manage it across digital and offline channels, you can transform how partners and customers engage with your company. Improving the value chain means using this digital foundation to maximize efficiency from the initial prospect inquiry all the way through post-sales support.

Manufacturers like Maxim Integrated and Eaton have discovered that digitally integrating business resources that are essential to operations, production, marketing, sales, and delivery improves audience engagement, and bolsters their own competitive position in the marketplace.

While the transformation process is an investment, there is significant ROI waiting for companies that cross the digital divide. Your strategic plan for improving your value chain should start with solutions that offer the biggest return on investment for your company, and for your partners and customers. In today’s marketplace, ROI directly correlates with customer experience you deliver. Make your company irreplaceable to your customers, and the profits will follow.

Learn more about how digital experiences for distributors and customers can help manufacturers improve efficiency, experiences, and growth, or read about more best practices in our #manufacturing series.

The post Transforming the Manufacturing Value Chain appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Take TV Beyond the Living Room With a Unified, Multiscreen TV-Delivery Platform.

Marketing Cloud

In Anytown, USA, a family of four is gathering in the living room to watch some TV, but they’re not all watching the same show. Mom and son are streaming Stranger Things on Netflix, Dad is catching the fifth inning of the Cubs game on his iPad, and their ‘tween daughter is glued to this week’s episode of The Great British Baking Show on her smartphone. And, as Mom heads to the gym and the kids leave to hang out with friends, each of them expects their mobile devices to pick back up right where they left off.

The TV experience has officially left the living room. In the US, 2016 was the first year in which digital ad sales outpaced live TV advertising — and that trend is predicted to sweep the globe in 2017, with total digital ad sales possibly reaching $77.37 billion, compared to linear television’s $72.01 billion. It’s not that TV is dead; it’s just that more delivery methods have sprung to life — and they’re personalized.

New, More Personalized, Multiscreen Delivery Options
Ad dollars go where the eyes go — to personalized, over-the-top (OTT) experiences across multiple screens, giving companies like Amazon and Netflix a head start in multiscreen TV delivery. With rich user data and analytics that traditional media companies lack, they are able to recognize, understand, and act upon new viewer behaviors — such as streaming a TV show on their iPad while at the gym — as they emerge.

Using these insights and capabilities, tech companies have the digital chops to personalize every step in the multiscreen experience. The good news for other companies is that no one has mastered the personalized multiscreen experience yet. Even companies that are leading the charge into OTT territory — HBO, for instance — are learning on the fly.

Multiscreen Personalization 101
Though HBO was smart enough to launch HBO GO two years ago, they still stumble with basic multiscreen personalization today. Start watching an episode of Veep on your iPad while at the gym, and when you get home, try finishing it on Roku — the experience breaks down, leaving you searching for where you left off.

This seamless streaming experience is multiscreen personalization 101. Mastery is knowing what someone wants to watch before he does, using technology to deliver that content the moment his iPad connects to his gym’s wireless network, and once he returns home, showing him an ad for new workout clothes based on his gender before the next episode starts.

To give your viewers the content that’s just right for them — across multiple screens, wherever and whenever they want it — you need a unified technology platform with a specific combination of capabilities. Look for a platform that allows you to stream video to any device, create flexible workflows, and view detailed insights and results.

Comcast’s Recipe for Multiscreen Success
We’ve already seen success with this formula — using a unified, multiscreen, TV-delivery platform, Comcast can not only deliver new, personalized, multiscreen TV experiences quickly and easily, but also access data that allows them to understand, engage, and capitalize on unique audiences more effectively.

If you’re planning to spend millions of dollars developing original content, advertising, and new experiences, you need to see results — and with a platform that enables advanced levels of multiscreen personalization, you get them. Major media companies that use the right technology are seeing a 385 percent, five-year ROI; a 24 percent increase in engagement rates; and a 59 percent decrease in the development time required to deliver an OTT service.

The 5G Effect on Mobile Video Delivery
This is just the beginning when it comes to future possibilities for personalizing the multiscreen TV, with the very near future promising new markets and experiences. Mastering personalization delivers results now and perfectly positions you to ride to the top of the next wave in multiscreen delivery and the biggest revolution in streaming video since video went mobile — the launch of the fifth-generation (5G) mobile standard.

The 5G standard — launching in about a dozen US pilot cities this year — will secure speeds 10 to 100 times faster than typical fourth-generation (4G) connections. We’re talking user download speeds of 100 mbps!

Beyond the mind-boggling possibilities within the Internet of Things and the implications for virtual reality (VR) entertainment — both entirely new realms of media personalization — these speeds do something very specific for mobile video delivery that’s never happened before. The 5G standard unlocks the live-event experience on mobile. Picture the impact of personalized mobile ads during a livestream of mega sporting events — billions of dollars are up for grabs in that space alone.

The Future of Personalized, Multiscreen Experiences Beyond Mobile
It’s also important to remember that the future of personalized multiscreen experiences isn’t locked up in mobile. Imagine using connected TV to enable viewers to zoom in on their favorite players during the big game, to watch their favorite teams through new VR headsets, or to see augmented-reality ads spring to life as they walk down a city street equipped with 5G — you won’t have to imagine these possibilities for much longer.

Multiscreen TV is still anyone’s game to win. However, the media companies that put themselves in winning positions by establishing multiscreen TV foundations now will definitely lead the media industry into the future. With the right technology, your company can achieve results in the next five years — and you can position yourself to create what comes next.

For another perspective on making every screen a TV, check out our infographic.

The post Take TV Beyond the Living Room With a Unified, Multiscreen TV-Delivery Platform. appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Fluid Experiences Guide B2B Customers on Their Buying Journey

Marketing Cloud

How Technology Facilitates Personalization & Engagement

When the maintenance manager for a major metropolitan school district needs supplies for the floor cleaning equipment in use system-wide, he logs in to the manufacturer’s website and quickly places a new order from an online dashboard that facilitates purchasing and procurement across multiple channels.

This ordering ability is indicative of how B2B companies across the technology and manufacturing industries are treating information like a raw material that can be shaped and molded to create personalized customer solutions. B2B enterprises are moving beyond basic online interactions, and creating e-commerce solutions designed to deliver fluid customer experiences that transcend a single screen or platform.

“Digital disruption has fundamentally changed how buyers make purchasing decisions in every business vertical,” says Jason Goldberg, senior vice president of content and commerce at SapientRazorfish. “Today, B2B buyers now expect personalized, contextually-relevant commerce experiences at every touchpoint.”

Tenant, the manufacturer of the floor cleaning equipment, understands the need for streamlining, and has simplified online workflows and optimized the ability for customer self-service.

When a school district maintenance manager wants to place an order, rather than searching online for dozens of products, he simply imports a template of what he needs into Tennant’s web interface and, voila, 120 items populate his shopping cart. Before he is ready to checkout, he can access a pre-populated list of schools in his district where he can direct shipments . He also has the option of setting a customized re-order schedule to automatically ship supplies in the future, which helps Tenant lock in future sales for the company. The entire process optimizes efficiency for both the customer and the supplier by creating a guided transaction process that can easily be handled without the direct involvement of a sales rep.

“Creating a high-fidelity experience at every step in the B2B customer’s journey is the essence of fluidity,” explains Errol Denger, director of commerce at Adobe. “B2B companies need to deliver fluid experiences that adapt to the context of the user interaction. This requires delivering highly curated and consistent information across platforms and devices.”

Implementing Omni-Channel Solutions

The challenge is to break down traditional silos by engineering engaging, omni-channel experiences that exceed customer expectations. Differentiation in the B2B marketplace is not just about product. It requires leveraging data, knowledge, and technology in order to create a virtual crystal ball that ensures that customers receive the right information at the right moment.

The implementation of “fluidity” can be as simple as ensuring the continuity of messaging on two different social media platforms or as complex as integrating IoT technology into a device that lets a technician order a replacement part with a single click on the touchscreen of the machine he or she is servicing.

“Delivering fluid experiences requires a real-time understanding of what the customer’s problem is, and then offering a curated solution that makes it easy to solve that problem,” says Errol. “B2B companies can outmaneuver e-commerce portals by delivering across every touchpoint, which is a weakness of one-size-fits-all marketplaces.”

What’s more, a fully integrated B2B platform provides a roadmap for customer engagement by providing real-time context about who the person is that is interacting with a company’s content. That context then becomes a powerful tool for enabling highly targeted content delivery that offers customized solutions and product options.

Today’s B2B companies need a marketing platform that provides users with a rich digital buying experience that facilitates engagement and makes it easy to use. That means providing customers, sales reps, distributors, and service technicians with desktop and mobile apps that offer real-time access to marketing collateral, automated sales processes, and key sales systems that streamline purchasing and fulfillment.

While B2B legacy systems lack the functionality to deliver personalized, responsive content, new technology offers tools that can track and analyze user engagement and interaction. That integration — and the knowledge it yields — gives companies a deeper understanding of each customer, and facilitates the ability to personalize a fluid experience for every user.

Fluidity Extends Beyond Customers

Developing fluid experiences does not stop with optimization for customers, it includes improving the flow of information within a company’s operational environment, too.
One example of a fluid experience in action is an HVAC technician dispatched to repair an air conditioning unit. The tech starts the service call by scanning a 2D bar code that connects to an automated remote diagnostics tool. Once the problem is identified, the tech can access a video that provides an overview of the repair process on his or her phone. While the video is playing, a parts list is generated for the repair that the tech can later download or forward to the supplier.

A B2B company implementing fluid experiences benefits by improving its efficiency in the field. In the HVAC example, that means a faster repair process, which enables the tech to handle more jobs on any given day.

The key elements of fluid experiences include a single view of the customer — or internal end user — that allows for seamless content delivery across all devices, intelligent content that adapts to its context, and deep personalization in every digital interaction.

Single Customer View: B2B companies need a holistic, comprehensive, profile of each uniquely identifiable customer. This includes everything that the company knows about the customer, such as when and how they were last contacted, how much they spend on an average order, what they purchase, and the length and history of their relationship with the company. By extension, all of this information can then be used to forecast that customer’s potential lifetime value to the company.

Intelligent Content: Intelligent content adapts to the context in which it is being consumed. For example, suppliers will have negotiated different pricing contracts with different customers. When different customers log in to your commerce site, they can automatically receive pricing quotes consistent with their contract. Similarly, they will receive product descriptions and specifications localized to the areas where they are doing business.

Deep Personalization: Personal experience delivers on the promise that every single interaction that a customer has with a company will demonstrate that the company knows, understands, and values the customer.

A platform that integrates digital asset management and content management is a cornerstone for delivering a personalized omni-channel customer experience. “You have to ensure that you have an asset management solution that provides uniform information about your products across all channels,” says Tristan Saw, senior director, strategy & consulting at SapientRazorfish. “That means consistency in how your product and your brand is represented — no matter where the buyer touches it.”

While integrating your DAM and CMS is a must, the real magic comes from leveraging all of the information you have about a user in order to connect the dots between what a customer needs and how you can meet those needs in the most expeditious and cost-effective way for both the buyer and the seller. Water takes the form of any container you pour it into, and your information and data needs to be just as malleable in order to deliver personalized solutions for your customers.

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

The post Fluid Experiences Guide B2B Customers on Their Buying Journey appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Is Your Marketing IP Secure?

Marketing Cloud

Your marketing team works tirelessly to present fresh, creative ideas that improve customer experience and increase your bottom-line. It’s your marketing intellectual property — your great ideas, original concepts, and novel designs — that defines who you are. Going digital has helped your business soar, but as you share documents online and off, have you thought about security?

Success demands getting campaigns to market quickly, but it also involves passing mission-critical information safely and securely. Who is reading your plans for a new product launch? Who has data on your key customers, media buys, and budget? At the end of the day, is your marketing IP secure and company compliant?

With security controls in place, you can protect your documents, data, and personal information. Whether it’s password protecting a white paper before sending it, or managing digital signatures, smart security controls ensure your Marketing IP — and thereby your overall marketing experience — is protected.

A comprehensive approach to security and compliance spans not just documents, but applications too. Here are three elements that need to be in place for maximum marketing security and suggestions for applying them:

1. Secure document sharing
Controlling who has access to your most critical documents keeps information private and confidential. But you also need to prevent anyone from making changes, printing, or altering assets without your permission. Your software should allow you to create PDF documents and apply a host of security measures, including encryption, access control, and certificate signatures.

Take advantage of these features by:

  • Defining a set of security tasks that your employees can apply without formal training or special tools.
  • Applying passwords and permissions to control access or prevent changes to any PDF document, thereby restricting printing, copying, or altering.

2. Electronic and digital signatures
With over 7 billion mobile devices worldwide, more and more applications based in the cloud, and cyber threats at an all-time high, demand has surged for simple and secure ways to sign and manage documents — like vendor contracts and non-disclosure agreements — on smartphones and tablets. Security and compliance around digital signatures lets you know exactly who is signing.

Truly secure digital signature products will:

  • Sign documents with certificate-based digital IDs from trusted service providers.
  • Request signatures from others, tracking the signing process, and archiving signed documents automatically.
  • Bring the end-to-end signing process into compliance with e-signature laws in the United States, the European Union and most industrialized nations worldwide.

3. True redaction
Redaction removes hidden information in metadata and other non-graphic objects on documents, protecting sensitive or confidential information. Be sure your software offers a set of redaction tools where the information you select is completely removed, not just masked, as is often the case.

With true redaction, you can:

  • Permanently delete both text and graphic images in a document before you distribute it.
  • Search and redact based on patterns, such as phone numbers, credit card numbers, and email addresses.

Keeping your marketing department agile enough to stay responsive to changing market demands means maintaining a digital workflow that’s safe and secure. Moving documents shouldn’t be complicated. With smart tools and digital solutions that work, Adobe Document Cloud can help you keep your most valuable assets safe and secure.

Adobe Document Cloud solutions include Adobe Sign and Acrobat DC, along with mobile and web applications, flexible APIs , and turn-key integrations. Adobe Document Cloud tools — particularly Adobe PDF — keep your most critical documents secure and compliant. Once you transform the document process, you’ll be better equipped to deliver compelling experiences, get business done faster, and compete more effectively. And, by empowering departments across your organization, you’ll increase operational efficiency, reduce risks associated with human error, and create intuitive and safe digital experiences.

Learn more about how Adobe Document Cloud can help you keep business moving while you reach your security goals.

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