Adobe Cloud Platform Launch Is Here


Marketing Cloud

The number of web-based marketing technologies has increased nearly 5300 percent over the last six years. Yes, that’s right. Nearly 5300 percent. While the increase in tools gives marketers more options when developing and deploying compelling customer experiences, the high volume of tools can also lead to more problems like bringing products together that don’t work well together or having to keep track of and integrating lots of disparate data sources.

Here at Adobe, we found that our customers on average deploy 20+ different solutions on their websites. While traditional tag management solutions have enabled marketers to simplify the deployment of these web tools, they also end up being bottlenecks. Why? Because the tag management vendor owns the development of the tag template, so they control when updates happen and how the tools operate. But to us, the tag managers shouldn’t be in control of building and updating these extensions. That system is not scalable.

That’s why today we’re excited to announced the general availability of Adobe Cloud Platform Launch, our next-generation tag management system that’s built directly into the Adobe Cloud Platform.

What is Launch by Adobe?

Launch by Adobe is not an update to our current tag manager, Dynamic Tag Management. It’s a completely new solution, built from the ground up, that enables brands to orchestrate and activate web-based marketing tools. Launch by Adobe is unlike current tag management systems available. Specifically, brands can:

  • Build and update their own extensions vs. relying on the tag management vendor to do so. Launch by Adobe was built with an API-first approach, making it the most open and extensible tag management solution available today. Rather than have a third-party tag management provider in charge of building and maintaining an extension, customers and partners now have all the tools they need to independently build and manage extensions directly within the Adobe Cloud Platform. This increases scale, speeds up time-to-market on new extensions and updates, and reduces friction between IT and marketing teams. Key components of Launch by Adobe have also been open sourced via Github and npm, so brands can build anything they need that doesn’t already exist.
  • Gain more accurate and consistent information with unified data. Each tag on a web page generates data for a specific web app. Perhaps, three of those tags track revenue from the page. However, it’s not unusual for each tag to capture revenue in a slightly different way, in which case, the three web apps tracking revenue are all using different data. With Launch by Adobe, marketers can define how the data — revenue, in this case — is captured and then point their marketing tools to that same correct data point. Launch by Adobe also allows marketers to determine when marketing tools enter — or don’t enter — the customer experience and allows those marketing tools to take actions together and share data with one another.
  • Find and deploy integrations faster than ever before. Finally, Launch by Adobe’s new interface lets brands browse, configure and deploy web apps from Adobe and third-party developers easier than ever before. Third-party developers are empowered to share the integrations they’ve built in the Launch by Adobe Extension Catalog. So, instead of brands sifting through help documentation to find the code needed to get a technology up and running, they can now easily find and deploy integrations in a matter of a few clicks. Today, we’re adding several new extensions from leading technology providers including 33 Sticks, Clicktale, Decibel Insight, DialogTech, Dun & Bradstreet, Evidon, ForeSee, LinkedIn, PebblePost, QuestionPro, and TrustArc.

 

Transcend Tags and Deliver Experiences

Today, tag management is no longer about tags — it’s about composing the right data to serve great experiences. Leveraging an open and extensible solution that can integrate, unify, and organize data will give brands more options for impacting and delivering the best experiences to customers. Launch by Adobe is generally available today to Adobe Experience Cloud customers at no additional charge. Access will be granted on a rolling basis. If you’re interested in learning more, please visit: http://www.adobe.com/enterprise/cloud-platform/launch.html.

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Pharma Marketing: Reaching Providers and Consumers Anywhere, Anytime


Marketing Cloud

Many of us have seen the standard drug ad on TV or in magazines. Or maybe you’ve heard a doctor pitch a new drug at a conference on behalf of a drug manufacturer.

Pharmaceutical companies have historically invested huge amounts of money on television, print advertising, and getting medical providers to speak on their behalf at events. These traditional approaches to pharmaceutical marketing have helped the industry reach millions, if not billions, of consumers.

Last year, the industry spent $5.2 billion on advertising. But while marketing budgets continue to increase, not every pharma brand is taking full advantage of digital. According to a Medical Marketing & Media (MM&M) survey, 59 percent of marketers say they use websites, 45 percent use social media, 32 percent use digital ads, and 20 percent use mobile apps for their marketing efforts.

These figures indicate more than half of marketers are underutilizing several key digital channels. However, digital is gradually changing the dynamics of pharma marketing and will propel the pharmaceutical industry to rethink its usual way of doing business.

Digital marketing tools, from behavior-based targeted advertising to customized healthcare portals, can help pharma marketers develop more engaging experiences for doctors and patients alike — all without using protected health information or personally identifiable information. Digital disruption is happening in every industry, but for pharma brands to successfully navigate this transformation, they must position themselves to meet changing consumer expectations and to reach both consumers and healthcare providers across channels and devices anywhere and anytime.

The shift toward personalization.
With companies like Apple, Amazon, and Netflix now setting the bar for customer experience, consumers in non-retail sectors now expect a retail-like experience whenever they engage with a brand.

These increased expectations also have taken hold in the healthcare and pharma industries, and with more digital tools at consumers’ fingertips than ever, they can be even more selective about where they access health information and to which companies they devote their loyalty.

Forty-one percent of Americans search online for health information, and digital savvy consumers are more than two times as likely to say their healthcare quality has increased due to their digital engagement, according to a 2016 Adobe Digital Insights U.S. Digital Health Survey

“If pharma companies are attempting to reach patients or consumers, digital channels are where those consumers are, where they’re conducting their research, and where they want to be engaged,” says Tom Swanson, head of Healthcare Industry Strategy at Adobe.

And it’s not only consumers who want to be engaged on these channels, healthcare providers (HCPs) do, too. Forty-nine percent of healthcare professionals spend four to five hours a day on their digital devices conducting research or engaging with their peers, according to Digital Insights data.

“If pharmaceutical companies are going to reach doctors and nurses and other practitioners, they need to do it via mobile-enabled websites, apps, and the same way that you would attempt to reach your over-the-counter consumers,” Tom says.

The challenge and promise of digital for pharma marketers.
Digital has several advantages for pharma marketers. For one, it costs considerably less than traditional marketing approaches they’ve used in the past. It’s also more targeted and has a wider reach than a print advertisement in a journal, printed sales material, or even paid speaker programs. However, research shows that even with all these advantages, many pharma marketers aren’t yet willing to let go of some of their tried-and-true marketing approaches.

According to the MM&M survey, 80 percent of marketers targeting HCPs in 2015 said they relied on meetings and events, 64 percent used printed sales materials, 57 percent used patient education materials, and 50 percent relied on paid speaker programs.

These figures aren’t entirely surprising. Pharma marketers have several specific marketing challenges. For one, the complexity of their audience makes targeting more difficult. Pharma brands have to market over-the-counter products to retail consumers, as well as reach prescription-based consumers and healthcare professionals — a group that includes everyone from physicians to nurses, biotech companies, and hospital groups.

“It’s no longer that you just have messaging to a doctor and messaging to a patient. You have to tell all kinds of different stories,” Tom says.

Add to that the friction between tailored messaging and regulatory requirements around the use of personal health information, and pharma brands are in a challenging position to deliver on the personalized interactions that consumers increasingly expect. Sixty-three percent of consumers are comfortable sharing personal information with healthcare companies to get a personalized experience. However, pharmaceutical companies are hindered around what they can market and how they can communicate with customers based on HIPAA requirements, forcing consumers to opt-in or authenticate themselves, which adds another barrier to sharing relevant information.

Still, some pharma brands are finding ways to tackle this challenge — and they’re relying on content customized healthcare portals and other digital tools to do it.

Driving digital engagement with providers and consumers.
Pharma brands are using digital to make their relationship with consumers more service-oriented. Novartis, for example, faced criticism for what consumers and doctors viewed as negative advertisements for its new heart failure drug.

To overcome this, the company partnered with the American Heart Association (AHA) to do media outreach events and to distribute targeted content on AHA’s website. Novartis also went a step further and created a social network specifically for heart failure patients, which provides educational resources for these patients and credible content from medical experts.

Other pharma brands are using customer relationship management systems (CRM) to get a more unified view of their customers and to deliver relevant messages, medication samples, and resources to HCPs and patients — an approach that can drive more growth, deeper customer engagement, and brand loyalty. CRMs rely on data to power customized experiences. So as pharma brands leverage new digitals tools to organize this information, data security must be a priority.

“One of the things that we’re going to see is this massive influx of data from a variety of touch points and pharmaceutical companies — like every other healthcare company — are going to have to figure out ways to use it within the bounds of regulatory compliance,” Tom says.

Fortunately, cloud-based technology solutions can help pharma brands gather, and safely store, this data. This data-driven approach can help pharma brands amass more analytics on performance and customer behavior, so they can measure and improve the effectiveness of their campaigns, and ensure they deliver the right content to the right audience.

Creating customized healthcare portals.
This customer-centric strategy is especially important as pharmaceutical companies create customized healthcare portals to reach healthcare providers and consumers.

Similar to Novartis’ social network, customized healthcare portals allow pharma brands to directly engage with their target audience. With healthcare providers, these portals allow pharma companies to gain more insight into who the provider is, their order history, and their medical specialty, so they can deliver tailored content to the provider through the portal — whether it’s information on the newest blood pressure medication for a cardiologist or upcoming clinical trials for new immunotherapy drugs that an oncologist may want to share with patients.

“One of the things that we’re seeing a lot of is that pharmaceutical companies will completely tailor the content to the individual because they are authenticated and they know exactly who it is that they’re talking to,” Tom says. “That’s playing a huge role — this idea of customized web pages within authenticated portals. Pharma companies also can achieve this same level of customization via mobile applications, where a doctor can log in to his or her portal and instantly see the stuff that interests them — such as new samples, training, or educational materials and patient adherence tools.”

Pharma companies increasingly recognize that these portals have a unique value, which is creating opportunities for authenticated engagement with healthcare providers.

Collaboration and evolving industry regulations.
The industry is also trying to address the challenge of digital transformation by creating open technology standards to make it easier for pharmaceutical companies to share treatment information with doctors. The pharmaceutical industry has created Align Biopharma, a standards group, to align identity management and authentication with rules of engagement for HCPs, so that there’s either one common portal doctors can access or a standard for customized healthcare portals so they all operate a similar way, can share authenticated identities, and are easy for HCPs to navigate.

“It’s very forward thinking in that pharmaceutical companies realize that to get better engagement, they all have to work together to provide the best possible experience for the doctor versus continuing to try to protect their proprietary approach of communication,” Tom says.

Efforts to create an industry standard are ongoing, but in the meantime we could see a shift — driven by consumer demand — that leads to a more flexible regulatory environment. The Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), for example, which is set to be renewed in 2018, now calls for pharmaceutical companies to digitally engage with patients during clinical trials. This means these companies will need to collect patient-specific information as part of the drug approval process, and much of this information will come from digital devices. Clinical trials, technically, already have an opted-in, authenticated audience. Doing this process digitally will lead to improved monitoring, auditing, and deeper insights into healthcare outcomes,. So in the future, government regulators will become more comfortable with pharmaceutical companies relying on digital across all interactions with consumers and providers.

Like many industries, the pharmaceutical industry has an entrenched way of doing things. Want to market to healthcare providers? Engage them at conferences, send a sales rep to their office, or launch a paid speaker program. Looking to expand your customer base? Pay millions of dollars for print and TV advertising.

But as consumers and doctors alike increasingly move to digital to get their health information and connect with likeminded groups, companies also need to transition to these channels to reach these audiences. As pharmaceutical companies continue to spend billions of dollars on research and development for new drugs, increasing the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns will be critical to lowering customer acquisition and retention costs. Digital can be the means for pharmaceutical brands to accomplish this. Ultimately, they need to wholeheartedly — and strategically — embrace this transformation.

Read more about new marketing approaches in the industry by exploring Adobe’s healthcare content from Adobe’s healthcare team.

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Use These Goal Alignment Tips to Minimize Silo Damage

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Marketing Cloud

In my first of four articles about technology silos, inspired by work with my wonderful colleague Linda Reed, I brought up the three key building block activities on how you can eliminate the problems silos cause without having to face the daunting task of eliminating silos completely. In my last post week, we talked about collaboration. Today, it’s goal alignment.

According to Forrester, cross-channel marketing is an approach to marketing that focuses not on delivering standalone campaigns but, instead, on optimizing a set of related cross-channel interactions that, when added together, make up an individualized customer experience. What this means is the very nature of cross channel marketing often involves many teams, departments, and skill sets. This is important as you move to a cross-channel solution that you are aware of the importance of goals and some of the common pitfalls when you don’t have them.

Because goals are always evolving and external factors within the project always tend to work their way in, you can get a headache in the form of scope creep or other unintended consequences. Getting everyone to agree on goals (both within a department and within the organization as a whole) and making sure everyone understands them can take the level of understanding in your organization extraordinarily higher. This alignment is the key ingredient that needs to be in place for a push toward higher growth, as goals are so frequently misaligned.

Here are four tips for preventing goal misalignment:

Know your mission and define it.

The best mission statements integrate all aspects of a company and allow people to focus on a bigger picture. Each of your teams are able to march with a big-picture goal on the horizon in their view. They march, as is said, to a common goal.

For the cross-channel marketer, this could mean having a clearly defined mission that brings together not only those responsible for different channels like email, mobile, web, and offline, but also other groups like IT, loyalty, or retention marketing. This gets everyone in alignment on topics like “providing a superior experience,” “increasing awareness of online content,” and providing relevant, personal experiences every time a customer engages. These initiatives take planning, but also alignment across different groups.

Set clear objectives.

Once that mission is defined, develop waypoints that can further encourage your team to stay on task and to succeed along the way. These are concrete tasks that help your team understand vividly what you want and enable them do the work to get there.

Craft an internal communications plan to regularly and reliably deliver the messages about objectives to your teams, but that also allows information from your teams to travel up to you (allowing you to continue revising those objectives for the better).

I recently spoke to Linda Reed, full services manager for Adobe Campaign, about a client she was working with and mentioned that they set straightforward objectives linked to the known mission of the company. For this travel and entertainment company, they set common goals that different team functions could align on. They were:

  1. Increase customer awareness of new areas of their parks and hotels.
  2. Increase customer utilization of online processes that are faster and easier for customers.
  3. Reduce the amount of calls to their call center with questions linked to their campaigns.

Emphasizing critical success factors.

Setting objectives is the big one. But once you have them in place, figure out the most appropriate actions for your team’s success in these areas and stick to them. This is how you accomplish your objectives on the ground level.

I asked Linda about measuring the objectives she defined for her client and gave a great example — for the objective of increasing awareness of their parks and hotels, they developed the following Critical Success Factors:

  1. Be more contextual and only send key communications with the goal of a higher open rate. For example, if our customer only cares about theme-parks in specific locations, focus on content for those rather than others in different locations. Then you’ll tend to have higher open and conversion rates while drastically decreasing ‘batch and blast’ type marketing.
  2. Create a ‘sneak peek’ series for loyalty members when new sections of the park open and when new theme hotels open, provide them with special offers.
  3. Have offers and content follow the person across their marketing channels — i.e. Facebook, emails, call centers, online. This is consistency in promotion. And ensure relatable pictures and offers. For example, people who travel with families would get images with families, couples would get a different look and feel.

Utilize cross-team KPIs.

Once you’re keyed into your critical success factors, you can measure them. No matter what they’re about (whether from marketing ROI, campaign sales revenue, purchase funnel, etc.), you can find the right KPI to focus on it. And because your KPIs are linked back to your mission, everything is in sync and you can really create a plan to achieve your goals.

Let your KPIs teach you if you’re spreading your net too wide, not wide enough, if your net should be constructed differently, etc. Then let the results of those KPIs drive your behavior.

Then, also before you get started, make sure your objectives, critical success factors, and KPIs are in alignment across departments, so your evaluations are complimentary and not in conflict with one another.

Then get started measuring.

Here’s an example, if your objective is to reduce the number of lapsed customers by 10 in a year, you can look at your numbers, judge it by your KPIs, and start to truly see how you’re doing. View which behaviors caused certain things to happen (by viewing the analytics associated with those behaviors) and then meet with your team to discuss ways to iterate to get better actions that speak to improve KPIs.

As for Linda’s client, changing the KPIs to the following helped make metrics for the entire group rather than a specific channel.

  1. Increase sales linked to ‘new features’ by 10% over the course of Q1.
  2. Decrease lapsed customers by 20% in 2018.

Final thoughts.

Ensuring effective goal alignment guarantees your team is working toward the same outcome together, it creates goodwill, and it is a fertile environment for your best-case scenario business growth.

Get your mission. From it create objectives, set actions to meet those objectives, and create KPIs that align with all those and tell you how you’re doing.

These are the core actions that really, truly — in a nitty, gritty way — get you on the right track. You will have not just aligned goals, but taken another important step (beside refining your collaboration) in getting the most out of silos, while diminishing their problems — allowing your business to grow. The next and final step to dealing with silos is Change Management.

This is the third of four blogs in a series about getting rid of silos the right way. Check out the next one next <date>. If you’d like a jumpstart to that, you can listen to Bruce Swann and Linda Reed’s talk from the Adobe Summit this past summer.

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UX-Driven Optimization


Marketing Cloud

Right brain, meet left brain.

When I first started out in graphic design, design was conceptual. A successful design was all about art fundamentals and clear communication — aesthetics driven through the design principles of balance, shape, and color harmony. We’ve long passed that ideal since diving into user testing and data analytics in recent years. Design has evolved to be logic and insights-driven. Conforming to the latest popular design trends may keep your website’s experience on the “cutting edge” while adding delight, but if it’s not adding value for your users or driving revenue, the effort is all in vain. User testing is going to help you gather the right data to guide where you make your design decisions — whether you validate new ideas, or refine what already works.

Understanding the “user” in UX design.

Our optimization design process starts out as analyzing the user’s experience and understanding the context under which they consume content. Ideally, an improved design will have an impact towards what goals you may already have in mind — whether you’re looking to increase CTA clicks, promote a product, increase signups, or improve the checkout process funnel to drive sales.

We want to identify the shortcomings that are causing blockers in a user’s path:

  • Is the content actually relevant to the user? We can create geo-targeted imagery or display suggested content.
  • Does your user not complete a card application? There could be a lack of confidence and we need a way to build credibility and brand cohesion for the landing page.
  • Is your user not reaching the call to action? We could tweak the design elements to draw more focus to a particular section or revisit content hierarchy.

If you feel there is still a disconnect in communication of your users’ goals, consider the possibility of using in-person usability testing prior to launching a campaign.  There’s multiple directions your designer can take, but it all starts out with understanding your users.

Best practices.

If you’ve done testing before, it’s easy to start with leveraging past data and exploring established behavioral patterns for new ideas. If you’re new to UX testing and optimization, the first recommendation is typically to visit a “best practices” white paper someone wrote a while back. But what does this actually mean? There’s a bit of ambiguity about leveraging best practices.  Is “best practices” in regards to usability? Accessibility? Performance, implementation, or even by industry? What works for one client may not work for another.

A heuristic evaluation can be a great start in tailoring your best practice guidance. This could help you discover that your site’s experience is quite different from other websites in the same industry — perhaps there is slow performance for mobile users, or there are accessibility issues for your target audience. Narrowing down the best opportunities for improvement can inspire where you can start making design changes and focus your first testing efforts.

Best practice documentation is a continual process built through your testing findings. Design has become an iterative process through hypothesis and validation by testing. There are no wrong answers. Using campaign data to track changes over time allows you to explore new design patterns and dig deeper into shortcomings rather than just prove who’s right and who’s wrong. As a result, you can continue to build out “Best Practices” in what you know is having an impact on your goals.

Logic vs. innovation.

You may want to take your design approach one step further with fresh ideas. How do you reconcile innovation with optimization? Is it really innovative design if it doesn’t help your user towards conversion? It takes a bold decision — and a bit of risk — to drive innovation, and instead you may find that your users are more drawn to previously familiar aspects. Creativity can happen before or after data collection. Design and experiment based on hypothesis, and then use testing and data for validation.

As we continue to feed more information into the data machine, we learn more about your site experience. Adobe can help you tailor your UX testing strategy to work towards making more informed design decisions that can quantify success through quantitative and qualitative metrics.

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New Name, Better Services

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Marketing Cloud

ConnectiveRX is a new company in the healthcare industry, but it draws on decades of experience. The company was formed when PSKW, a leading copay assistance and affordability company, merged with Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR), the trusted prescription drug reference and communications company for millions of healthcare providers. ConnectiveRX took the best parts of both companies to deliver targeted prescription drug information to doctors, pharmacists, and patients that help drive better patient outcomes.

“Our real goal is to drive a better outcome for patients through communications to the healthcare professionals that serve them and the ability to help with affordability and compliance in healthcare treatment,” says David Weatherbee, Senior Director of Communications at ConnectiveRX.

To achieve this goal, ConnectiveRX needs to be sensitive to FDA compliance and patient privacy, while getting doctors and pharmacists the best information possible. A big part of the company’s success is making sure that it has reliable data and powerful, targeted communications capabilities. ConnectiveRX uses Adobe Experience Cloud, including Adobe Analytics and Adobe Campaign to help achieve its goals.

Adobe Analytics provides visibility into more than 1 million prescribing physicians, connects more than 2 billion prescription transactions, and links all of the data to individual patent preferences. This data lays the foundation for personalizing multi-channel communications through Adobe Campaign. Integrations between Adobe solutions enables ConnectiveRX to build insights and communications within minutes, instead of hours, as well as create new service offers to help benefit patients.

Most recently, ConnectiveRX used Adobe solutions to help create a compliant, automated prescription refill reminder service for patients, helping to keep care plans on track. “There’s no way that we could manage the types of programs that we do without a tool like Campaign,” says Weatherbee. “It performed beyond what our hopes really were.”  https://youtu.be/IBphPwBuHs4

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A New Kind of Travel Experience


Marketing Cloud

Overseas Adventure Travel takes small groups of travelers to the ends of the earth, helping them find unique, once in a lifetime experiences. Whether travelers are looking for high adventure, luxury, learning opportunities, or just to relax, the company has something for everyone.

For every vacation the company offers, Overseas Adventure Travel has rich content to showcase the possibilities, including videos and editorials about the cultures, food, and experiences that travelers may encounter. “Our travelers value a one-on-one connection and our primary way to connect with them is by providing them lots of information about the destinations that they’re interested in,” says Marlies Roberts, Vice President of Marketing Operations at Overseas Adventure Travel.

Using Adobe Experience Cloud, including the Adobe Campaign, Adobe Target, and Adobe Analytics solutions, the company is tying all of its cross-channel campaign and customer data together to deliver the information that travelers need to plan unforgettable vacations. In addition to its online property, Overseas Adventure Travel connects with its customers through email campaigns that open up one-on-one conversations before and after a trip, keeping engagement high. Targeted emails feature destinations and content that individual travelers are most interested in and help to encourage exploration and purchases.

“We used to see email open rates of about 25%,” says Roberts. “With new, automated email strategies, we’re seeing open rates of above 60%.” Roberts also notes that email campaigns are being developed 50% faster, due to centralized email content development and audience management departments.
Overseas Adventure Travel also uses direct mail to engage with its customers, sending them beautiful brochures about the latest travel deals, new destinations, and more. By connecting online campaigns to offline activities, the travel company is better targeting offers, as well as increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of each communication. (https://youtu.be/KQooYx_UFO8)

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18 months After Pokemon Go, Where Do We Stand on Altered Reality?


Marketing Cloud

“Pokémon Go: Meaningless Obsession or Augmented Reality Catalyst?” was a headline of a post I wrote in the summer of 2016 shortly before the gaming obsession hit full steam. Nearly 18 months after, where do we stand with the future of “reality”?

We’re now halfway through 2017 and the hype surrounding virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) continues to boom. In fact, Goldman Sachs forecasted that by 2025, virtual and augmented realities will become an $80 billion market. With great potential, how can we truly integrate this technology into our daily lives as consumers and businesses to get the most value out of it?

Malia Probst, partner at VRScout and an AR/VR expert, had this to say about how AR/VR can be successful.

“To deliver actual value to users and drive conversions, marketers must integrate AR functionalities into existing infrastructure — including incentives like rewards, social aspects, exclusive content, etc.”

With a move to get these technologies into our infrastructure, here are a few places that I think AR/VR could fit in nicely with and could be fun to see as a consumer and a business.

Social Media Integration

Augmented Reality has become a standard within social filters and effects added to pictures — the greatest example being Snap, who brought AR to the hands of anyone with a mobile device. Facebook has also expanded its AR offerings to match Snap and at F8 this past summer, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “We are going to make the camera the first augmented reality platform.” Whether it’s glasses, a headset, or through existing mobile phone technologies, AR is already deeply rooted within social.

In April, Facebook announced its VR social network Spaces. Through it you will have the ability to link with others using headsets in a virtual world. With friends and family all across the world, it’s a fun situation to think of being able to login to a Spaces account with some family members living in Florida to tour the Louvre in Paris for a few hours.

Design

I have experienced VR and AR in the real estate space where you can tour a home, make remodeling decisions, and even work with interior designers. Malia Probst had this to say about the work in design: “The best real-world use case of mobile AR right now is interior design. It’s difficult to imagine what a new sofa or table will look like in an existing space, and items like furniture have a higher purchase threshold for consumers — these are big-ticket items that are costly to ship and expensive to return. AR apps can reduce the “investigative phase” for potential consumers and lessen friction to buy — especially if integrated well into an existing ecommerce platform.”

Companies have also found ways to integrate VR into their existing products. Adobe has found usable ways to implement VR into its creative products to allow designers the ability to be fully immersed in their creative space.

Sports

A ticket on the 50-yard line to the 2017 Super Bowl cost about $9,000 according to Ticket City. That’s a price reserved for a very small portion of the population, but what if you could buy the same seat in a virtual environment for $50? Many sports are already on board and as camera and technology continues to improve, sports experiences are becoming exactly like being in the stadium with the same sounds, smells, and excitement.

My friend and VR expert Cathy Hackl had this to say: “2018 will be a big year for VR and one of the reasons will be 2018 FiFA World Cup. Companies like NBC Universal/Telemundo are betting on VR to bring the fans closer to the action of the world’s largest sporting event. Bringing fans to the sidelines of the matches will prove fruitful for brands that invest in VR for the event. It will help with further adoption of VR in the mass market.”

Retail

Last month I went to Costco for paper towels and I ended up with over $200 worth of goods. I partially blame the hurricanes in Florida for wanting to stock up on essentials, but it brought up so many questions for me. Has this in-store experience and potential for upsell been replicated online? I think many try to create that impulse opportunity, but haven’t fully succeeded in a 100-percent upsell like Costco did with me.

Virtual reality could be a key to producing the ease of online with the upsell potential of an in-store experience. I could imagine myself spending quite a bit of time in the virtual REI. There could even be gamified opportunities where people could purchase a $0.99 climbing wall experience along with their virtual goods.

Virtual and augmented reality may take some time and even a generational shift to be completely integrated into our daily lives, but it’s hard to ignore the investments that the four horsemen of the “techpocolypse” (Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook) are making towards making it mainstream. I haven’t jumped on the VR headset bandwagon yet, but you may find me enjoying the benefits of AR which is already at the fingertips of 95 percent of Americans who own a smartphone.

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Adobe Analytics Announces Breakthroughs To Help Experience-Led Businesses


Marketing Cloud

Adobe reached out to nearly 1200 digital marketing executives across North America and Europe to understand trends, their challenges, and priorities to put together its annual 2017 Digital Marketing Study, and the results have been nothing short of astounding! The number of companies with an advanced level of digital maturity have more than doubled (up 118 percent) in the last year. Diving a little deeper, more than 70 percent of the respondents consider “whole customer intelligence” and “connected (customer) experiences” to be “very important” investment areas over the next three years!

The Adobe Analytics Cloud team has been reading the tea leaves across the world’s leading brands, gleaning insights from their customer journeys across multiple marketing channels (devices and touchpoints) in an age of mobile and social where contextual clarity is indispensable.  As the market leader, Adobe Analytics has consistently been at the cutting edge delivering meaningful customer intelligence for its customers’ experience businesses.

Today, Adobe Analytics is announcing its 2017 Fall Release, advancing its vision to empower marketers, product managers, and business decision makers across all levels to understand user (or customer) journeys in all audience segments and instantly giving marketers additional insights that can guide the optimization of multi-channel campaigns and enact personalization strategies downstream.

It is doing so by introducing the following breakthrough innovations:

Shattering boundaries to inform holistic customer experiences.

Firstly, with the introduction of Audience Analytics, Adobe is breaking down boundaries across customer audience data and analytics to enable a connected bilateral data flow between its Adobe Analytics (with behavioral, engagement metrics) and its data management platform (DMP) Adobe Audience Manager, which will bring disparate data sources like media exposure, CRM attributes, 2nd and 3rd party data, and offline data.  This sea of (big) data from Audience Manager can now be woven together with site or app metrics and customer engagement data (collected by Adobe Analytics) to get a 360-degree view of a customer, and it can be subsequently processed in the analytics engine to derive people-centric “whole customer intelligence,” a capability that is much needed in the Digital Marketing Study.

 

 

A leading cruise line and subsidiary of Carnival Cruises, Holland America, is already seeing significant business benefits using Audience Analytics. By pulling in campaign data from Audience Manager into Adobe Analytics, they are now able to determine which campaigns are generating the most customer responses and thereby boosting direct-response campaign conversions by 30 percent.

Unprecedented business insights for everyone.

Secondly, Adobe is introducing several advancements to its widely-recognized Analysis Workspace — a drag-and-drop analytical canvas powered by Adobe Sensei-based AI and machine learning algorithms — to democratize data-driven decision making across lines of businesses — LOBs — (or what we would like to call the Modern Intelligence Team, which no longer needs to depend on their data-scientist colleagues for all analytics queries). The essence of making this happen lies in the ability to manifest complex, big, data-based analytics into simple, intuitive, and self-serve visualizations that can help take these LOBs from seeing descriptive reports to automated, real-time, and prescriptive actions.

 

 

Some of the new capabilities being introduced this Fall in Analytics Workspace include empowering more people to use Adobe’s AI platform, Sensei-driven Contribution Analysis capability; Map Visualizations to enable users to easily view their customer interactions in context of their location; Virtual Report Suite Component Curation to enable users to make data sharing easy, intuitive and relevant across multiple groups in an organization; and Zero-State improvements to make Analysis Workspace more intuitive and easy for novice users.

True context-driven customer journey analytics.

Finally Adobe is introducing the industry’s first context-aware session reporting capability to flexibly and appropriately define customer engagement with your brand across different channels like the traditional web, mobile app, or even a digital voice assistant. Why is this significant? Well, for the simple reason that users engage with brands across these marketing channels that have their own sweet spot or an average meaningful “session” length needed to get a task accomplished. For instance, you might have an average 20-30 minute session browsing on a company’s website researching something, then spend 4-5 minutes on the mobile app while on your train-ride home, and then maybe a quick minute asking your digital assistant about that brand while going to bed.

 

 

Context-Aware Sessions, as the name suggests, enables a flexible way of defining your session lengths (at report-time) based on channel-specific context and your objectives (in a Virtual Report Suite). This breakthrough innovation not only helps you define these sessions non-destructively — underlying data is collected on the server-side and remain unchanged — but also can be applied retroactively, making true multi-channel customer journey analysis a real possibility in the near future!

In conclusion, Adobe Analytics is announcing a series of innovations to advance the Analytics Cloud vision of being the core system of intelligence for the experience business by further helping brands glean connected, people-centric customer intelligence that can be democratized across multiple roles (beyond the data-scientist) in any organization today.

The post Adobe Analytics Announces Breakthroughs To Help Experience-Led Businesses appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Adobe Introduces Greater Context to its Advanced Analytics Products

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Marketing Cloud

SAN JOSE, Calif., – November 1, 2017 – Building a relevant and successful business comes with a multitude of challenges, not the least of which is how to thrive in the face of competition.  One of the most crucial elements to growing a business is having a deep analytical understanding of your customer base. Leading brands find that analytics powers every decision, from the strategic to the tactical; recognizing that a single valid data point could create the competitive edge that means the difference between success and failure. Whether a firm has a centralized data science team, or a single analyst, organizations need to democratize data to ensure it gets to every worker who is making decisions for the company.

To address these challenges, Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today debuted a series of innovations which arm teams and workers with intelligence that can be curated for roles throughout the organization, leveraging advanced analytics and Adobe’s data management platform (DMP), Adobe Audience Manager. Building on Adobe Analytics’ heritage of enabling enterprises to move from insight to action instantaneously by uniquely integrating insights and action, the new capabilities include Context-Aware Sessions, Audience Analytics, enhancements to Analysis Workspace (Adobe’s easy-to-use data discovery and analysis tool), as well as virtual report suite updates for mobile teams. These new capabilities enable increased collaboration, faster analysis and improved customer intelligence, allowing high-growth brands to derive meaningful insights faster, and with more precision.

“Adobe is the leader in marketing analytics, with thousands of brands leveraging our tools in unique and advanced ways,” said Bill Ingram, vice president, Adobe Analytics Cloud. “We are the only company that provides in-depth behavioral pathing and powerful segmentation that’s truly accessible to users at all skill levels, and today we’re ensuring that the analysis has even greater context to help drive business success.”

Nearly two-thirds of the Fortune 100 turn to Adobe Analytics Cloud to address today’s digital challenges, with the number of customers more than doubling between 2014 and 2017. These leading brands include G6 Hospitality, Major League Baseball, Home Depot, Carnival, ASOS.com and Royal Bank of Scotland.

“Our guest’s experience, from searching cruise destinations on a mobile device, booking an excursion on our Web site, and ultimately embarking on one of our ships is paramount to our success,” said Aaron Fossum, director of digital analytics at Holland America. “Adobe Analytics Cloud has transformed our engagement metrics, and allowed Holland America to treat each traveler as an individual versus just a profile. In just a few weeks of leveraging Audience Analytics, we’ve been able to improve the efficiency of our direct-response buys by 30%, ultimately impacting our bottom line by helping to identify which guests are the most responsive to our marketing activities across channels.”

New features in Adobe Analytics include:

  • Cross-Channel Journey Analysis On the Fly: Through Context-Aware Sessions within Analysis Workspace, marketers can flexibly define what constitutes a “session” to dynamically allow more precise analysis of multi-channel customer journeys. For example, an automotive brand may have multiple touch points with consumers through a mobile app: one might be a very brief interaction, such as someone remotely starting their car; another might be that user scheduling an oil change at a dealership. Both actions differ in the amount of time a consumer spends interacting with the brand. Context-Aware Sessions gives app development teams a way to more granularly define how long a user interaction with an app lasts, creating more meaningful context for analysis. These parameters can be redefined on-the-fly and can be applied retroactively, so brands can decipher better insights leading. Unlike other vendors who process sessions based on inactivity time-out parameters that are hard-coded on the mobile app client side, Adobe passes all behavioral data to the server and applies session definitions non-destructively on the server side. This helps Adobe give brands a more clear picture of how users are interacting with their experiences, helping them understand micro-journeys in mobile apps, while retaining the flexibility to still change session definitions again at a future point in time.
  • Continuous Audience Refinement: Available today in both Adobe Analytics and Adobe Audience Manager, Audience Analytics empowers marketers with a way to consistently track audience metrics and drive valuable customer experiences quickly and at scale. This is done through a new bi-directional integration between the products. With this deeper integration, for example, a personalization team at a publishing company can now identify segments with the highest engagement in Adobe Analytics, then push these segments to Adobe Audience Manager for use in an ad campaign. After the campaign is complete, those audiences along with their campaign performance data can be pushed back into Adobe Analytics for additional analysis and audience refinement to further refine the audience for use in the next campaign. This back-and-forth continuous improvement is unique in the industry.
  • New Location Context Visualized for Everyone: New map visualizations in Adobe Analytics allow users to easily view their customer interactions in the context of a mobile app user or digital channel visitor’s location. For example, a retailer can see that a promotion marketed within their mobile app has driven significantly more in-store traffic in the Time Square location than the Brooklyn one, ultimately allowing brands to change their promotional strategies to drive the behavior they want.

Adobe Analytics Analysis Workspace Map Visualizations

To learn more about these and many other new capabilities in Adobe Analytics, visit this blog and watch this video.

About Adobe Analytics Cloud

Adobe Analytics Cloud, part of Adobe Experience Cloud, is the customer intelligence engine that powers experience businesses by enabling them to move from insights to action in real-time, uniquely integrating audience data across all Adobe clouds. Adobe Analytics Cloud, which leverages privacy by design, combines Adobe Analytics, the industry-leading solution for modern customer intelligence and precision audience segmentation across all marketing channels and Adobe Audience Manager, the industry’s leading data and audience management platform. Built on the Adobe Cloud Platform, which provides open APIs, a standard data model, and Adobe Sensei, Adobe’s unified AI and machine learning framework, Adobe Analytics Cloud enables brands to better capture, aggregate, rationalize and understand vast amounts of their own disparate data and then translate that data into singular profiles of their customers.

 

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