Use Your Data to Build a Better Customer Experience

Marketing Cloud

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Brands Lay Out Their Top CX Priorities, Themes, and Challenges for 2017 and Beyond.

Marketing Cloud

Companies worldwide are transforming their businesses with one goal in mind: ensuring that each customer receives the most personal, compelling, and memorable experience possible — and then returns for more. To gain insight into this shift, we partnered with eConsultancy to survey 14,163 online marketing, digital, and e-commerce professionals; and thus, the Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends report was born.

Here, we present key trends that brands should heed in 2017 — most importantly, that customer experience (CX) be regarded as the primary way for marketers and agencies to differentiate themselves from competitors. This digital transformation isn’t an easy one, but the so-called ‘experience economy’ we’ve been teased with since the 90s is coming to fruition, and — ready or not — we’re all part of it.

Brands’ Top CX Priorities and Themes for 2017
Survey respondents indicated that CX is the primary means through which organizations plan to differentiate themselves in 2017. As a result, they’re prioritizing organization-wide initiatives to update skills, break down silos, and infuse their cultures with a customer focus. In fact, three-quarters of respondents named a cohesive strategy, digital-marketing skills, and a customer-focused culture as key drivers for brand success in 2017.

In keeping with this, personalization initiatives — such an improved ability to connect customers with relevant content — are also one of the top three priorities for one-quarter of all client-side marketers this year. Client-side marketers list refining data-analysis capabilities, optimizing internal collaboration between creative and marketing teams, and improving internal workflows as “very important” — all of which lend the agility and insights needed to deliver highly personalized experiences in customers’ moments of truth.

On an even more granular level, a design focus is considered the next step to digital transformation, as:

  • 86 percent of respondents said design-driven companies outperform other businesses;
  • 80 percent believe that creativity is highly valued within their organizations; and
  • 77 percent are investing in design to differentiate their brands.

This shift comes as brands view design as the not-so-secret strategic weapon for delivering compelling CXs. “Design impacts every part of a customer’s experience and so should impact how companies go about delivering that experience,” according to the report. This design-led mindset is rooted in survey respondents’ emphases on creating the most personalized, relevant, and valuable CXs possible.

Top Challenges to Delivering a Winning CX
The era of CX is definitely here. However, as businesses jump into the experience game, many of them overextend themselves, and thus, neglect to care for the basics. To deliver personalized design- and content-driven experiences, brands must focus on four areas of development.

1. Data & Analytics
To ensure the CX is valuable, businesses need a strong foundation of data, coupled with analysis capabilities. As mentioned previously, nearly two-thirds of client-side marketers agree that improving data-analysis capabilities is ‘very important’ for delivering great CXs.

Despite this, brands are not matching enhanced analytics budgets with enhanced efforts. While 97 percent of respondents plan to either increase or maintain their marketing-analytics budgets, they’re putting more effort behind other marketing activities — design, social-media marketing, content marketing, personalization, and video advertising, for instance.

Still, as we reviewed other top challenges, we found the root of brand problems is often a fragmented or weak data foundation. “Without prioritizing data, marketers will fail to bolster their understanding of customers, hindering their priority to optimize the CX,” the report concluded.

2. Cultural Change
While 13 percent of companies rated breaking down silos to adopt a collaborative, cross-team, and customer-focused approach as the most difficult thing to achieve, 12 percent consider it the easiest. This highlights a gulf between organizations’ abilities to deliver winning CXs but serves as an opportunity for brands to gain a competitive advantage.

In fact, most companies expect to compete over the next five years by focusing on delivering optimal CXs, and therein lies the challenge — so many companies are CX-focused that, to compete successfully, brands must continuously strive to improve. This means a boundless, organization-wide obsession with the customer and his or her changing needs is in order.

Consequently, brands must understand that data scientists don’t have to reside in silos based on their statistics and data-analysis degrees. Yes, this expertise has its purpose in the experience business; but with the right tools in place, anyone can use data science to create greater relevance for customers.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) trained their entire organization in testing and optimization. Thus, even RBS board members can solve customer problems without relying on IT or the company’s analytics geniuses to do it for them. With company-wide training and the strategic placement of support tools, one RBS rule helped drive company-wide action: for every insight surfaced, members must pair one action to improve the CX. To win in the experience era — like RBS has — brands must get their entire enterprises on board with using data science.

3. Design Processes
One-half of those surveyed don’t have the processes and collaborative workflows to achieve a design advantage. Strategy, user-experience (UX) design, and process development top client-side respondents’ lists as more difficult elements to master in their transitions to customer-focused environments.

To develop a design advantage, brands must first focus on creating strong data foundations. Remember, balancing content and data often requires a change in organizational culture to adapt to the experience era. Content — whether copy or creative — that isn’t fueled by data often misses the mark. Using insightful data, creatives can determine how design variations help (or hurt) their campaigns in the long run, discover compelling directions they may have dismissed previously without the necessary data to predict success, and narrow down creative ideas to deliver hyper-relevant CXs.

The goal should be to deliver compelling, personalized campaigns — not just make things look pretty. Each design component should be tested to ensure it meets targeted recipients’ needs. By testing and swapping out images and copy, L’Oréal targeted two segments using the same design template but with personalized imagery and content to meet customers’ needs. Like L’Oréal, with the right tools in place, you can sync your data, design, and content teams to deliver the CXs customers demand.

4. Customer Expectations
Keeping up with customer expectations is another big challenge respondents cited, “driven in many cases by industry disruptors (from Uber to, which often set new standards in terms of UX and delivery.” Adjusting to meet customer expectations means adapting the system to quickly and flawlessly deliver relevant value. Difficulties arise in organizations when systems focus too much on CX components as opposed to the journey in cohesion.

The good news is, 23 percent of companies placed the highest emphasis on creating ‘valuable’ experiences. In doing so, they create the agility, customer-oriented culture, and collaborative processes necessary to be future industry disruptors — instead of the disrupted.

Key Themes for The Future
Despite these challenges, brands are optimistic about the prospects that connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) will bring over the next three years as well as the roles of artificial intelligence (AI) and bots in driving campaigns and winning CXs.

This appreciation for IoT, AI, and bots, however, isn’t shared equally by all. European marketers are generally more excited about AI and bots than their Asia-Pacific and North American counterparts are; and marketers in Asia-Pacific are slightly more excited about enhanced payment technologies, such as mobile wallets and e-receipts, than their European and North American counterparts are — a finding that isn’t remarkable, given the growing popularity of digital payments in the region.

In a Nutshell
No matter your region or what excites you about the future of digital marketing, remember that content, design, and data are key building blocks in providing great CXs. This means that you need to focus your efforts on each of these areas, combining them to create hyper-personalized customer experiences. Understanding the role each plays in creating great CXs should help any organization pioneer the internal change needed for success in the experience-business era.

Learn more by downloading our 2017 Digital Trends report.

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Advanced Data Analysis — the Process Behind the Insight

Marketing Cloud

One of our most recent Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) reports focused on the evolution of digital advertising. The scope of the project was broad, including many different sources and the impact of different advertising types — search, display, video, creative resource, web traffic, e-commerce, online video, and TV Everywhere (TVE), for instance — on business. Our strategy was to create a holistic view and then delve into larger questions, develop themes, and build a story.

Five Tips for Working Through Advanced Data Analysis
With any analysis, particularly one containing new data, you start with the basics — metrics every business unit needs to understand, such as year-over-year growth or market share, before exploring new questions. Once the baseline is established, I’ve found that following the lead — rather than burying it — helps uncover meaningful insights. Here are five tips — a best-in-class “how to” for understanding the process behind the insight — for working through advanced data analysis.

1. Understand the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Data.
All data has strengths and weaknesses, and becoming familiar with them is essential. Spend extra time talking to experts — both technical and business — to not only reveal assets and liabilities, but also determine what the data does and doesn’t measure or capture. Data from marketing technology, for instance, measures what it was built for and not necessarily the entire market. Gain a sense in the beginning by working with the data to resolve simple questions — such as share of traffic by device — and comparing those answers to other sources to see whether they make sense. Not everything you carry out in this step will make the final analysis, but it will build invaluable knowledge and experience and prevent skewed numbers from entering the process.

2. Become a Polyglot: Learn at Least Three Languages to Work With Data More Easily.
Working with such a wide range of data means using different technology stacks. We used standard SQL (web traffic), Hadoop (raw video advertising data), Splunk (TVE event logs), R (customer retention), and even Excel (yes, it still plays a role). Rounding out your skills across a variety of technologies allows for better integration of data from technology silos. Learning the difference between ‘top,’ ‘limit,’ and ‘head’ seems to be a minor point, but being able to seamlessly flow from one language to another is a critical skill.

3. Explore Relationships Across the Data — in the Right Order.
Telling the whole story around data involves finding a common thread and building a narrative. Understanding how one fact relates to another is a logical step in data analysis, but the key to maintaining structure is to prioritize in the right order. I’ve found it best to use a three-step method of understanding the basics first, then looking at relationships across data sets, and finally identifying new relationships.

At ADI, we work to discover insights not previously reported upon. In the United States, for example, we found that desktop-formatted ads were completed less than half the time when viewed on mobile devices — effectively doubling the cost of reaching that audience. This idea led to exploring the creative executions used in video ads and identifying what worked and what didn’t.

4. Review Academic Journals to Find What’s Topical in the Academic World.
Another often-untapped resource for analysts is the world of academia. Explore research and journals, and if you find something interesting, reach out to the author or authors. Talking to academics can lead you to a new line of questioning. Based on research surrounding the increased “cost of attention” in advertising, we compared the cost of digital advertising to inflation (ad cost is rising much faster) and looked back in history to see when the introduction of technology changed how consumers interacted with content and, ultimately, affected the cost of ad delivery (1997 seems to be a tipping point).

5. Aim for Continuity.
People make decisions based on relative changes rather than absolute numbers. For example, “10,000” doesn’t reveal much, but “an increase of 10 percent” does. To uncover those meaningful comparisons and trends, you need to have baseline data. However, as industries evolve, research methods do too. If you’re changing how things have been done in the past, be respectful of what came before and do your best to build from a common foundation before venturing into new territory. That said, uncovering strategic insights — the “I didn’t know what I needed to know” facts of life — often comes from looking at different perspectives.

In Conclusion
Fleshing out threads of information that will uncover meaningful insights in complex data requires a strategic process. As an analyst, you need to develop (through repetitive work and exploration) the ability to understand relationships between data sets. True insights come from looking for context, exploring academic research, developing themes, and following the lead. Don’t be beholden to preconceived notions of hypotheses — instead, let the data take you to the story.

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Adobe Named the Only Leader in Forrester Wave Report on Digital Intelligence Platforms

Marketing Cloud

Earlier today, we announced that Adobe has been recognized as the only leader in the recently published report The Forrester Wave™: Digital Intelligence Platforms, Q2 2017—the only vendor whose current offering, strategy and market presence scored high enough across 26 evaluation criteria to earn the title of “Leader” in the report.

The “Leader” designation is a familiar position for Adobe. Adobe pioneered the Marketing Cloud category and has had an uninterrupted tenure as a leader in this category since its inception. With the expansion of the roles and requirements placed on marketers, Adobe unveiled Adobe Experience Cloud, a comprehensive set of cloud services designed to give enterprises everything they need to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Core to any solution designed to facilitate the creation, delivery and optimization of personalized experiences is a purpose-built platform—capable of aggregating, interpreting and taking action on digital intelligence. Adobe Experience Cloud running on the Adobe Cloud Platform excels in this space. Emerging as the leader among Digital Intelligence Platform Vendors in this latest report underscores Adobe’s leadership position when it comes to helping brands deliver exceptional and personalized customer experiences at massive scale.

What is a Digital Intelligence Platform?
According to this latest Forrester report, companies are pushing for digital intelligence platforms to help them “unify the understanding of customer digital interactions and to deliver consistent, continually improving experiences.” These requirements have long been the goals and objectives of digital marketing. Today, every division within a company needs this holistic view of the customer and the ability to act on insight provided.

In this report, Forrester clarifies that “the habit of piecemeal purchasing of digital analytics and optimization technologies in isolation for use by different teams (e.g., marketing, product management, and customer support) stymies attempts to track and keep up with the customer at scale across all digital touchpoints. Enterprises and their vendors are now starting the move toward consolidated technology platforms…”

What are the key pillars of a Digital Intelligence platform?
1. Digital data management technologies
2. Digital analytics technologies
3. Digital engagement optimization technologies

The Forrester Digital Intelligence architecture comprises 15 technology capabilities across these three pillars. These include: data warehousing and tag management (digital data management); application analytics, cross-channel attribution, digital performance management, interaction analytics, IoT analytics, predictive analytics, social analytics, spatial analytics, voice-of-the-customer, and web analytics (digital analytics management); and behavioral targeting, online testing, and recommendations (digital engagement optimization).

In this evaluation of Digital Intelligence platform vendors, vendors were given a series of scores for their ability to integrate and deliver customer value across 26 evaluation criteria, which ultimately graded the strength of their current offering, the strength of their strategy, and their market presence. In the end, Adobe emerged with the highest score for current offering and strategy, and tied for the highest score for market presence. In fact, Adobe received the highest scores possible in nine categories, including cross-channel attribution, social analytics, web analytics, behavioral targeting, online testing, tag management, partner ecosystem, digital intelligence revenue and number of enterprise customers—which we believe is a testament to the robust digital intelligence capabilities provided by Adobe Experience Cloud solutions.

Here’s what Forrester had to say about Adobe specifically:

“Adobe continues to have strength and depth in digital intelligence, primarily for optimizing customer experiences and engagement, all within the framework of its marketing cloud platform in a marketing and eCommerce context. … Looking forward, the vendor aims to continue to entice and extend its customer base through partnerships with Microsoft Azure (to strengthen its appeal to enterprise sales teams) and Adobe Sensei (to focus its AI efforts on scaling customer experiences).”

We’re thrilled to receive the recognition and see it as further validation for our strategy of enabling our customers with Adobe Experience Cloud and the Adobe Cloud Platform to become experience businesses. Adobe has long maintained that data without intelligence is merely history. Data with intelligence is the fuel that drives excellent experiences.

Download the full report from our website HERE.

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Keeping Customer Trust in an Era of Brand Safety Concerns

Marketing Cloud

It may take years for a brand to earn a customer’s trust, but it only takes minutes to lose it. An example of this is when a brand’s ads appear alongside extremist, hateful, or inappropriate content. Brand safety is not a new issue, but it’s one that’s on the rise — and it’s keeping advertisers awake at night.

In just the past two weeks, major companies all across the globe have pulled advertising spend or significantly limited display advertising because their ads have appeared next to undesirable content such as that containing hate speech, extreme violence, and other extremist content. In February alone, DoubleVerify reported that eight million ads were blocked from appearing on pages it classified as containing hate speech — up threefold from January.

Adobe’s Commitment
As a leader in digital marketing, we believe that we have an obligation to provide our customers with solutions that are secure, transparent, and in accordance with their values. In advertising, Adobe is committed to helping marketers achieve their goals without compromising brand safety, media quality, or transparency.

Digital marketers and advertisers are understandably worried. According to a recent survey conducted by Adobe Digital Insights, 58 percent of marketers report that their concerns about digital ad fraud have increased in comparison to 2016, and one-half of media buyers surveyed identified “media quality” as the biggest challenge facing the industry.

Enhancing Brand Safety Through Third-Party Integrations
With that in mind, today we’re enhancing our brand safety capabilities with the integration of yet another trusted third-party anti-fraud technology — Grapeshot. Grapeshot provides pre-bid filters that scan for objectionable content on a page before an ad is placed there. It joins Adobe’s existing third-party brand safety and fraud integrations with Integral Ad Science, Proximic, and White Ops to offer maximum brand safety for advertisers.

The Full Scope of Adobe’s Preventative Measures
In addition to these integrations, Adobe Media Optimizer demand-side platform (DSP), part of Adobe Advertising Cloud, provides customers with proprietary brand safety features, including automated tools to prevent ads from appearing alongside objectionable content and a manual site-screening process performed by a team of quality assurance specialists.

The full set of preventive measures Adobe provides for its customers’ protection includes:

  • Site- and app-level screening performed by a specialized team of experts who review quality and content, excluding any unsafe inventory (e.g., pirated content, malicious content, etc.);
  • Contextual targeting that enables advertisers to target only pages containing content that is relevant to their ads as well as exclude those containing certain topics;
  • Pre-bid filtering to proactively detect and prevent ads from being delivered on pages with objectionable content before the website or app loads — a crucial point because it proactively protects the brand’s image and prevents their ads from appearing alongside hateful and extremist material; and
  • Third-party brand safety and fraud integrations (noted above).

We’re also asking advertisers to put these features to the test by offering Grapeshot’s filters and other brand safety technology integrations at no cost through the end of June 2017. The technology is available on Adobe Advertising Cloud’s DSP across desktop video and display inventory.

Adobe’s focus is to do what’s best for marketers, and as such, our DSP automatically refunds purchase impressions identified as fraudulent by our partner White Ops. But, as Brett Wilson, VP and GM of Advertising for Adobe, notes, “making bot traffic immaterial is only one piece of the puzzle; contextual brand safety has always been equally paramount. We’re proud that the adoption of our brand safety tools is effectively protecting our customers from both.”

About Adobe Advertising Cloud
Adobe Advertising Cloud, which launched at Adobe Summit last month, is the industry’s first end-to-end platform for managing advertising across traditional TV and digital formats. The platform already manages roughly $3.5 billion in annualized ad spend on behalf of more than 1,000 global clients, including Allstate, Ford, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Liberty Mutual, L’Oréal, MGM, Nickelodeon, and Southwest Airlines. Learn more about Adobe Advertising Cloud.

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Transcend Tags and Deliver Experiences

Marketing Cloud

The number of webpages and marketing tools has exploded. In 2011, there were roughly 100 different web-based marketing technologies, and now — just five years later — there are more than 3,800.

This explosion of web-marketing tools has given marketers a plethora of options when it comes to delivering compelling experiences, but these marketing tools have also given marketers a few unwieldy problems — more products that don’t work well together and more data to wrangle than integrate, for instance.

To develop an experience business, marketers need rich customer data — and there’s plenty of it available from companies’ very own websites. To capture this customer data, businesses use JavaScript tags that allow marketing tools, like Adobe Analytics, to find and store the data they need.

But, there’s a catch.

Bottleneck — Not a Scalable Solution

The availability of more than 3,800 web-marketing tools has ushered in a new reality. Setting up tags for your online marketing tools and managing them across hundreds of webpages is not something that can be accomplished manually with any degree of effectiveness.

With a traditional tag-management solution, you can streamline the process somewhat by using templates that simplify the deployment of these tools; however, even this is turning out to be a bottleneck instead of the scalable solution marketers thought it would be.

Data that flows through marketing tools should be integrated and immediately actionable. Instead, template tag managers place a wedge between marketers and the marketing tools they use by controlling when templates are updated and how they operate. Why should tag managers have ownership over templates that deploy third-party marketing tools? The answer is simple: they shouldn’t.

The Next Generation of Tag Management
It’s time for a new solution that will help marketers deliver exceptional experiences with real-time data that is both trustworthy and integrated. Adobe Cloud Platform’s Launch is a next-generation tag-management solution that enables brands to orchestrate and activate web-based marketing tools.

Launch, by Adobe, allows independent software vendors (ISVs) to build, manage, and update their own integrations that connect their products to customer experiences. This gives marketers easy access to a vast catalog of client-side technologies, enabling them to create compelling experiences more quickly than ever before.

Launch, from Adobe, will shift the way marketers gather and use data to deliver personalized, real-time experiences by:

1. Accelerating Time to Value by Simplifying the Deployment of Web Apps
Previously, Adobe customers who were using dynamic tag management had to search for the implementation codes of non-Adobe products. With Launch, marketers have one place from which they can browse, deploy, and configure marketing tools — whether Adobe-owned or not.

2. Delivering Compelling Experiences With Web Apps That Work Together
Launch, from Adobe, allows marketers to determine when marketing tools enter — or don’t enter — the customer experience. But, it also allows those marketing tools to take actions together and share data with one another.

Adobe Launch uses a marketer-friendly rule builder to determine what actions should be taken in each situation. This rule builder integrates the data and functionality of third-party marketing tags and tools by allowing extension authors to embed new capabilities — including events, conditions, actions, and data elements — into each part of the rule builder. Any marketing- or advertising-technology vendor can write a Launch by Adobe extension and build functionality onto the Adobe Cloud Platform.

For instance, let’s say a marketer wants to show a specific YouTube video based on anonymous data from Google Analytics and the customer’s actions on the webpage from Adobe Analytics. To accomplish this using Launch, a marketer would create a rule that states:

If a customer with a product affinity of “technophile” clicks on the “learn more” tab on a product page, then play a YouTube video that highlights the technical features that make that product great.

Because Launch, by Adobe, is built upon the Adobe Cloud Platform, three different non-Adobe marketing tools would be able to capitalize on its open nature by adding very specific capabilities directly into the Adobe Launch system. Doing this allows all three marketing tools to integrate as a single solution to deliver a more compelling experience.

3. Gaining More Accurate and Consistent Information With Unified Data
It’s not uncommon to have tags for 20 marketing tools on a webpage. Each tag generates data for a specific web app. Perhaps, three of those tags track revenue from the page. However, it’s also not unusual for each tag to capture revenue in a slightly different way, in which case, the three web apps that are tracking revenue are all using different data.

With Launch, from Adobe, you can define how your data — revenue, in this case — is captured and then point your marketing tools to that same correct data point. In fact, Adobe Launch listens to every byte of data that flows through it, allowing marketers and analysts to meticulously manage how data is collected, defined, and distributed across web apps. Launch empowers brands with trustworthy data to fuel the compelling experiences customers crave.

Transcend Tags and Deliver Experiences.
We once thought of tag management only as HTML and JavaScript that’s sole purpose was to put the tag on the page. Today, tag management is no longer about tags — it’s about composing the right data to serve great experiences. Since data is at the heart of tag management, selecting the right solution is critical.

It’s time to upgrade with a solution that’s completely open and extensible. With a flexible, yet sturdy, web foundation that can integrate, unify, and organize data, there will be more options for impacting and delivering on the top-notch experiences your customers crave.

Launch, by Adobe, will be available later this year. To remain up-to-date on the latest news pertaining to Adobe Launch and its release, click the “Stay informed” button on the Adobe Launch homepage.

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Announcing Adobe Experience Excellence Award (EXPE Awards) Winners

Marketing Cloud

At Adobe, our core values are to be genuine, exceptional, innovative, and involved — and embracing these core values in our daily lives includes highlighting, recognizing, and honoring our customers and partners who are using Adobe tools to bring imagination to amazing customer experiences.

The EXPE Awards recognize and celebrate customers and partners who are using Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) to transform their digital experience, solve problems, create new and unique experiences, and to innovate and engage with their customers at entirely new levels to create true business value. We started this program to build a community that recognizes and celebrates the success of many of our customers’ and partners’ incredible work around innovation and their dedication to customer success using Adobe technologies. The four categories in our 2017 North America EXPE Awards were:

  • Excellence in Digital Transformation: Transforming Digital Experience;
  • Excellence in Content Marketing and Velocity;
  • Excellence in e-Commerce and Transactional Business; and
  • Spirit of Experience.

Adobe’s 2017 North America EXPE Awards and Winners
For its inaugural year, we were blown away by the amazing submissions. It was humbling to see all the creative ways Adobe and AEM technologies are being used to deliver on the vision of the experience business. The winners were announced at the AEM Community day at Adobe Summit 2017 in Las Vegas.

For Excellence in Digital Transformation: Transforming Digital Experience — Wyndham Hotels With Accenture
In this category, we honor exceptional achievement in building a strong digital foundation to transform customer experiences. The winner was Wyndham Hotels (@Wyndham) in partnership with Accenture (@Accenture).

Wyndham Hotels partnered with Accenture to transform their digital experience by launching 11 brand websites to a responsive design that was both modern and transformed the guests’ experiences. They consolidated four digital asset management systems (DAMs) into AEM DAM. Then, they integrated Adobe Target and created content for 6,600 properties, resulting in a 40 percent conversion increase on responsive web and a 200 percent conversion increase on their app. Their mobile bookings grew from 8 percent to 25 percent of all bookings.

For Excellence in Content Marketing and Velocity — Coca-Cola With MRM/McCann
In this category, we honor exceptional achievement in delivering real-time dynamic experiences and capitalizing on user-generated content to create unique customer engagements. The winner is Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) in partnership with MRM/McCann (@MRM_McCann). Coca-Cola brought stories and news to life, humanizing the company and finding new ways to engage readers and inspire conversation on topics and passion points of mutual interest. Its company-centric global publishing network includes over 40 international editions of Journey serving 49 countries, a blog, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat accounts. Between 10 and 15 stories are published each week to Journey and the Unbottled blog. Since its inception, more than 4,300 articles; 27,000 videos; and 1,100 blog posts have been published that focused on universally appealing topics, social causes, and company news. Their Global Journey Editorial Network includes 150+ editors, leads, and publishers. From the time of its launch, Journey has had more than 131 million page views, averaging 1.4 million visits per month.

“Through this synthesis of a people-centric focus and stories that make a difference for the business, we work every day to produce stories that not only expand our reader base, but also challenge, delight and inform it. As social media spreads stories, both real and false, on brands every day, Journey represents our collective best foot forward to jump into the conversation — not to own, dominate or embellish — but to simply take part in the global digital dialogue with a voice that is uniquely Coca-Cola’s.” Doug Busk, global group director of Digital Communications & Social Media, The Coca-Cola Company.

For Excellence in e-Commerce and Transactional Business — ATCO With Wipro Ltd
In this category, we honor exceptional achievement in using a 360-degree customer view to anticipate customer needs, capture dynamic transactions, and increase conversion rates. The winner is ATCO group (@ATCO) in partnership with Wipro Ltd (@Wipro).

ATCO Group is a $20 billion enterprise — with approximately 7,000 employees — engaged in structures and logistics, electricity, pipelines and liquids, and retail energy. ATCO partnered with Wipro to achieve a seamless digital experience, regardless of the internal business unit. A customer can explore, learn, and purchase across ATCO’s entire offering. ATCO is creating a single catalog and checkout buy-flow across all business units. Regardless where the initial customer interaction begins, the combined cart not only allows disparate products and services to be added to the same customer’s cart, but also enables that customer to checkout in a seamless, intuitive way.

For Our Spirit of Experience Award — MasterCard
In this category, we honor exceptional achievement in using the platform for public good, inspiring everyone around for the greater good — and our winner is MasterCard (@Mastercard).

One-hundred ninety-three world leaders agreed to 17 global goals for sustainable development. If these goals are completed, it would mean an end to extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change by 2030. MasterCard’s goal is to enable 2.2 billion cardholders to automatically make donations to humanitarian organizations in 200+ markets. They created The Donation Platform, which acts as a global enabler in the humanitarian space by connecting consumers, merchants, banks, and humanitarian organizations and empowering them to collectively fight to support great causes while changing lives for the better. The cardholder knows that making donations — even microdonations — combined with the donations of many others, will make positive differences in people’s lives. By leveraging Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Analytics at the core of the donation experience-delivery engine, the donation platform — in partnership with merchants, banks, and humanitarian organizations — offers different ways to donate in 200+ markets. The donation platform creates communities that are collectively engaged in supporting great causes. So far, 28,000 Postepay Evolution MasterCard cardholders have signed up to donate each time they shop, contributing to nutritious meals being provided for children in school through the World Food Programme.

In Conclusion
We thank our customers and partners for sharing their great stories and congratulate the winners on their achievements. We look forward to the 2018 EXPE awards and hope to hear from even more customers and partners. We are super excited to see what great heights you achieve.

The post Announcing Adobe Experience Excellence Award (EXPE Awards) Winners appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Legacy DTM and the New Launch – A Closer First Look

Marketing Cloud

This past week at Summit, we announced our upcoming next-generation tag management capability Launch which is built into the Adobe Cloud Platform. At Summit, the Launch team was in high gear with a full slate of sessions around the Adobe Cloud Platform with: a demo on main stage during the keynote presentation; a full-day user group session on CAB day; four brand new, sold-out technical labs; and numerous presentation sessions to over 600 attendees. With so many announcements coming out of Summit, there’s been some confusion around the upcoming new Launch product release. Let’s take a look at the most frequently asked questions to clear things up.

What is Launch?
Launch is the next-generation of our tag-management capability, and it’s build into the Adobe Cloud Platform. Launch enables clients to:

    • Deploy client-side web products using integrations called extensions
    • Consistently capture, define, manage, and share data between marketing and advertising products from other vendors and from Adobe

An advanced JavaScript delivery system that evaluates conditions and executed actions to efficiently and effectively deploy client-side libraries and products, Launch also provides a highly scalable approach to managing and building extensions together with a robust set of APIs for programmatic interaction with the Adobe Cloud Platform.

I heard Launch is already available. How do I get access?
Unfortunately, Launch is not yet available in production. The product team is just finishing up the alpha program and we’re about to start the beta program. If you’d like to be considered for participation in the beta program, please email your account team and ask them to forward your request to the beta Program Manager.

If it’s not available now, when will it be released?
The official release date for Launch is “soon”. The product team is working very hard to make Launch ready for GA as soon as possible. As we close out the alpha program and start up the beta program, we are focused on making Launch the best it can be for a production release as soon as possible.

Is this just an updated DTM?
No. Launch is an entirely new product with a new code base. The system has been re-architected from scratch using modern front end development practices and an API-first approach – everything is built on a robust set of APIs which makes the system very powerful and very flexible.

Will legacy DTM still be available?
Yes, legacy DTM (the existing production version) will be supported for the foreseeable future. Adobe will continue to fix any significant bugs and ensure consistent performance. At this time, no major feature enhancements are planned for legacy DTM.

We’re working to make the migration process from legacy DTM to Launch as easy as possible so customers can take advantage of the more than twenty new features, extensions, and APIs available with Launch.

How much will Launch cost?
There is no additional charge for Launch, it will be available for any Adobe Experience Cloud customer.

Will I have to change the embed codes in my current DTM implementation?
Good news: no, you won’t have to change your Staging or Production embed codes if you’re currently using the existing (legacy) DTM system. You can continue to work in your current DTM Company and Web Properties without worrying at all about changing those embed codes. The product team has not finalized the migration process just yet, but we’re working to make it as easy and automated as possible.

I heard there are plug-ins now. What’s that about?
Launch is built into the Adobe Cloud Platform and it’s fully extensible. Customers, Adobe Partners, agencies, and marketing or advertising technology vendors will soon be able to build Launch extensions that add new functionality or modify existing functionality. The system allows our partners and clients to build, manage, and update their own integrations. This is just one way we’re opening up the Adobe Cloud Platform so customers and partners can build products and businesses on the Platform, and so everyone can more easily connect our technology to the marketing and advertising technologies from other vendors. Over time, this will be the place for customers to install and configure all of their client-side technologies.

Those extensions sound cool, but will all third-party tools be available right away?
When Launch is released, we plan to have extensions available for all Adobe solutions and for a select group of independent vendors. The product team is already working closely with several technology partners to ensure the availability of these extensions at GA. After that initial release of Launch, we’ll work to expand the number of extensions as quickly as possible. Since extensions can be built, managed and updated by the Extension developer, vendors won’t have to wait for Adobe engineering to build them, so this should be a very rapid process going forward.

When will clients or Partners be able to build extensions?
Launch will open its virtually self-service portal that extension developers can use to build their own integrations with the Adobe Cloud Platform after general availability.

Is Launch secure enough to meet my company security standards?
Yes. Launch is SOC–2 and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act ready. Launch also offers the capability of being self-hosted as the JavaScript libraries can be served from the customer’s own servers, or the CDN of their choice. For I.T. and security teams, this gives you the ability to run automated testing, to check the files into your own version control system, and to fully comply with any internal production migration processes, security-related or otherwise.

I have a project coming up very soon. Should I wait for Launch to, um, launch?
Customers who are already using legacy DTM, or are currently deploying DTM, should continue to do so – don’t wait. Move your projects forward using the existing legacy DTM and when you’re ready to move to Launch, we’ll have a migration process in place that’s as easy and automated as possible (no on-page embed code changes, and automated migration of Rules and Data Elements).

Which capabilities exist in legacy DTM that won’t exist in Launch?
None. All capabilities that exist in legacy DTM will be available in Launch.

Which capabilities exist in Launch that don’t exist in legacy DTM?
There are four major capabilities that Launch will offer that aren’t comparable to legacy DTM:

  • Deploy non-Adobe client-side browser technologies quickly and easily
    Using extensions, clients and Partners can control in-browser technologies simply in the interface, without managing custom code.
  • Enterprise-grade publishing
    Compartmentalize and control each piece of your libraries to deploy precisely what you need, where you need it, and when you need it.
  • Robust approval workflows
    Flexible approval workflows allow custom processes to match your existing internal approval processes.
  • Granular rights management
    Administrators will designate which extensions users can, and can’t use. They will also control which areas within Launch are accessible to certain users.

Does Launch support single page apps and my favorite framework?
Yes, Launch has capabilities to give users and Extension developers flexibility in collecting, managing, and distributing data within single page application experiences or Ajax-heavy pages or sites. This applies regardless of your development framework preferences whether that’s Angular, React.js, Ember, Meteor, etc.

Does Launch support dynamic data layers?
Yes, Launch includes an Extension that specializes in listening for changes in dynamic data layers.

Which event types does Launch support?
Event types are available through extensions. The pre-loaded DTM Extension includes 30 built-in event types. Other extensions may add additional event types. For example, the YouTube Extension includes four video event types: play, pause, end, and time played. Through extensions, Launch can support any other browser event types or synthetic event types like specific visitor activity sequences.

Will the new Launch speed up (or slow down) my web site?
Launch is designed to deliver and run marketing and advertising technologies on your web site as efficiently as possible using today’s best practices. When used properly, Launch has proven to improve performance of web sites over alternative methods of providing similar functionality.

Which browsers will Launch support?
Browser support in the Launch client-side libraries:

  • Chrome (latest)
  • Safari (latest)
  • Firefox (latest)
  • Internet Explorer (9 and above)
  • iOS 7+
  • Android 4.4+

Browser support in the Launch application interface:

  • Chrome (latest)
  • Safari (latest)
  • Firefox (latest)
  • Internet Explorer (11 and above)

In Legacy DTM we supported older versions of Internet Explorer, but over the last few years, the percentage of overall web users with older, outdated browsers has dropped to a very, very small segment for our clients. Most of our clients now leverage more modern web platform features in current browsers and create better user experiences like single page applications and interactive Ajax-heavy web sites and pages. As most of our clients move to more modern approaches with their sites, they demand a solution like Launch that enables those approaches.

Does the new Launch work on native mobile apps?
Adobe continues to recommend the Mobile Services App SDK to implement data collection and delivery in a native mobile app environment. With Adobe mobile services, we’ve streamlined the process with a single SDK that works with multiple Adobe Cloud Platform solutions. Going forward, clients will see additional tag management-like functionality in the Mobile Services interface as the Launch and Mobile teams continue working closely together for more seamless Cloud Platform access and user experiences.

Hey! You didn’t answer my question?!
These are the questions we’ve received most often from customers and Partners since the Launch announcement at Summit. If you have other questions, feel free to ask away in the Adobe Community on the main Launch page located here.

Launch is just one example of where our platform is headed – more open, more integrated and as always dedicated to customer success.

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