Your Prescription for Content: Healthcare and Digital Asset Management

Marketing Cloud

You wake up one morning with a mind-numbing headache. Or maybe it’s sudden ear pain or a mole you never noticed.

Before you grab a pain reliever, you might head to your laptop and do a quick online search of your symptoms and pinpoint one of a dozen conditions it could possibly be.

It turns out you’re not the only medical Googler in America. More people are searching for health information online, with some even using the Internet to self-diagnose. Searching for health information is the third most common online activity and four out of 10 Americans do it, according to the Pew Research Center.

As more people turn to the Internet to learn about their health, it’s more important than ever for trusted sources to provide this information.

Today’s healthcare organizations need to create more and better content, and this content needs to be designed for reuse across channels — sometimes with localization and customization for specific audiences and platforms. The right system — such as digital asset management tools — can help healthcare organizations quickly and efficiently create and manage large volumes of content, so they can get relevant information to the right people, at the right time, in the right way, or via the right device. The key is having your content where your customers are, when they are there. A digital asset management system not only can help these organizations streamline content creation, it’s a valuable tool that allows healthcare organizations to achieve something even more important — loyalty and trust with their target audience and improved consumer health education.

Healthcare’s big content play.

Digital is forcing more industries to focus on customer experience. Healthcare is no different. Not only are consumers searching online for health information, they’re using their smartphones and computers to manage every part of their lives — whether it’s everyday tasks like grocery shopping and vacation planning to booking doctor’s appointments. Consumers now expect convenience and value at every touchpoint, and as they increasingly turn online to make their healthcare decisions, producing informative and useful content is a key way healthcare brands can engage them.

Some healthcare organizations already realize this. According to research conducted by Adobe in 2017, 29 percent of healthcare organizations plan to prioritize content marketing in the next few years.

“Content is gradually earning its place in healthcare campaigns, and the next few years will see content creation and storytelling emerging as prominent, very in-demand skills,” according to Econsultancy.

However, the healthcare sector faces unique challenges in integrating content into its marketing efforts. The industry is highly regulated, so gathering the data necessary to tailor content to specific audiences requires these consumers to opt-in or to authenticate their identity. Consumers also have a wide range of medical concerns and medical histories, so it isn’t always easy to segment audiences in healthcare in the same way a retail brand can.

But an even greater challenge may be how healthcare companies structure their content organizations and content management process.

“With some companies, it’s a manual or a completely disjointed digital method,” says Tom Swanson, head of Healthcare Industry Strategy at Adobe.

Tom says different business units may have their own siloed collection of assets and their own digital asset management systems, none of which speak to each other. This hinders efficiency, but it also creates an even bigger problem with revision control.

“If you have the same piece of content existing in multiple locations, if for some reason that content needs to be pulled or changed, it’s a very manual process of identifying where all of those different versions are housed and making sure that the revised version replaced the old version. In healthcare, that can literally be a life or death situation,” Tom says.

The benefits of digital asset management.

Having a centralized digital asset management system within a healthcare organization can address this problem and make the content production process much more efficient.

Healthcare organizations create a lot of content and often have distributed workforces across multiple offices and time zones, so they need a robust tool to help them execute their content strategy and deliver effective communications.

A digital asset management system offers multiple capabilities to streamline content production. It safely and securely stores all the content assets — including text articles, photos, audio files, video clips, animations, banner ads, and brochures — and supporting materials an organization needs to deliver health information to its audience. And it allows content creators to design their workflows and easily take a piece of content from concept, to review and approval. Everything is tagged, properly categorized and organized into a hierarchy with consistent taxonomies, so companies can easily find and reuse content in different ways, tailor it to various channels and audiences, and review performance data to optimize their campaigns. Tom says even with all the benefits a digital asset management system offers, it’s also important for healthcare organizations to ensure the system they’re using is HIPAA compliant (if required) and features tools that provide a clear audit trail for regulatory agencies like the FDA.

“If you have centralized management, you are mitigating the risk of version control. You are also mitigating the resources required to monitor this content,” he says. “You’re also reducing the amount of content that needs to be approved by your legal and regulatory bodies and you’re increasing reuse. All of this drives down costs in multiple areas.”

Some healthcare organizations are already seeing these benefits. Alere, which manufacturers point-of-care diagnostic tests, used a digital asset management system to centralize its global content creation. The company delivers content to 29 countries in 15 languages, so it used the DAM to ensure brand consistency and design, while allowing content authors to customize each asset for a local audience. Using a DAM cut down the time Alere’s content authors spent creating new content, reducing asset duplication by 53 percent across the company’s 2,000 web pages. The tool also helped Alere create a self-service asset library that reduced asset requests by 80 percent, which is remarkable considering Alere’s creative services team handled 70 such requests each week.

Covidien, a leading manufacturer of medical devices and supplies, also relied on a DAM system to improve the content production process. The company had to deliver multiple messages to different audiences, including employees, sellers, patients, and providers across different platforms and in different languages. Covidien faced risks with waste and inefficiencies, version control, legal and regulatory compliance, and ensuring that the wrong audience didn’t receive the wrong message. A DAM helped the company mitigate these challenges by enabling dynamic content authoring and regional approval workflows; by simplifying the creation of seller collateral, presentations, and e-learning content; and by creating a robust content stream to the company’s CRM and automated marketing tools — all within a secure, analytics-driven, cloud-based system.

The approach led to significant cost savings and reduced risk for Covidien — it created a single FDA-validated system for content creation, approval, distribution, and revision control; improved speed to market by 124 percent and content reuse by 200 percent; and led to $1 million in printing and warehousing savings, $1.2 million in translation savings, and $1.8 million in savings from creative redundancies.

“Centralizing content management provides the benefits of having a single source of truth for content,” Tom says.

As more consumers head online for health information, providing truthful and accurate information will be the most effective way for healthcare companies to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, and build trust with their audience. But trying to manage the content process without a centralized system opens the doorway for all kinds of risks, waste, and inefficiencies that healthcare organizations can’t afford. A basic CMS doesn’t give these organizations the capabilities they need to produce, publish, and distribute large volumes of content, and it certainly doesn’t provide the version control and auditing trail necessary for legal and regulatory compliance. But a digital asset management system does. It helps healthcare organizations deliver the right message to right audience — whether that’s a new patient, a healthcare provider, or your average medical Googler.

Read more about digital asset management and healthcare by exploring Adobe’s healthcare content.

The post Your Prescription for Content: Healthcare and Digital Asset Management appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

TV’s Big Bet on Audience-Based Advertising

Marketing Cloud

Not so long ago, in a television universe not so far away, Nielsen families gathered in front of the TV and scribbled notes in their diaries documenting their viewing habits. Nielsen’s sampling methodology and number crunching would tell advertisers the age and gender (more or less) of people watching almost every program on the dial. Advertisers bought media against their brand goals based on this information. For example, because the majority of NFL viewers on Nielsen’s panel are men aged 18-49, Sunday afternoon football is awash in ads for beer, cars and brokerage firms.

But advertisers never really knew who exactly was watching. They could guess what the audience might want to buy, but they weren’t certain. Are all men in this age group interested in drinking beer? What about women who watch football and don’t like beer?

Today, Nielsen families continue to keep diaries, but there are more ways to consume media than just linear TV. Digital platforms have leveraged audience data to transform how viewers engage with content and how advertising is transacted. Media sellers in the TV space are now trying to apply a lesson from digital by embracing audience-based ad sales.

“Advertisers are constantly looking to reach the right audiences and something that’s more complex than just age and gender,” says Hosana Thomas, an Adobe Product Marketing Manager. “The goal with audience-based advertising is to help advertisers understand where their audiences are spending their time and what motivates them to make a purchase or choose a specific product — and the way you do that is by using data.”

Why audience-based advertising?

The ability to access your favorite shows anytime, on virtually any connected device, is great for viewers and an opportunity for advertisers. More content channels have made achieving a unified view of the consumer difficult, but at the same time, technology has made it possible for advertisers to target specific audiences with niche interests. Audience-based advertising allows brands to segment and target their audiences beyond age and gender, while providing more granular measurement than traditional buying. It leads naturally to more effective ad buys with less waste by reaching consumers in whatever corner of digital media they might visit.

The most talked-about converts to audience-based advertising are some of the biggest names in media: Fox, Turner, Viacom and NBCU. In March, Fox, Turner and Viacom formed a consortium to offer audience-based advertising across their TV ad inventory. That same month, NBCU announced it had set aside $1 billion in ad inventory to sell based on data other than traditional Nielsen demographic guarantees.

This new model is a bid to drive parity with digital advertising’s data-driven targeting capabilities. Audience-based advertising allows media sellers to understand how and where their audiences are spending their time and what motivates them to purchase. Because it permits analysis of variables beyond age and gender, media sellers can use the data to learn more about their audiences than ever before and share this information with their advertiser and agency partners. This form of data-driven advertising helps media buyers reach audiences more efficiently, enables media sellers to command higher prices for ad inventory, and improves the viewer experience by delivering more relevant content.

Ad executives say they welcome the ability to buy advertising based on audience data — in addition to traditional Nielsen guarantees— especially with increased consumer demand for more personalized experiences.

“About 78 percent of consumers want to receive relevant, personalized ads, but only 20 percent felt they were actually getting them. That’s what’s driving the shift to audience-based advertising,” says Pete Kluge, Group Manager of Product Marketing for Adobe Advertising Cloud.

“The desire for better measurement also is a factor,” says Jeff Chi, a digital marketing expert and COO of Krush Media.

“It’s important to give advertisers the ability to have different options of targeting that are more precise and backed by measurements that can show what worked for campaign performance and what doesn’t work, so they can optimize both their existing and future buys and help these campaigns perform even better,” Jeff says.

The challenges of audience-based advertising.

Until recently, TV consumed the lion’s share of advertisers’ budgets. However, digital ad spending surpassed TV for the first time in 2016, according to eMarketer, and that trend is expected to continue as digital ad spending grows from an estimated $83 billion this year to more than $129 billion by 2021.

The growth in digital suggests that a more integrated, multi-channel approach is the way of the future for TV companies and ad buyers. Jeff says this may spur more collaborations between TV and digital media companies to give advertisers the audience, measurement, and tracking they crave.

“Audience-based advertising is such a hot topic right now, and you have a lot of big companies finding a solution for this,” he says. “I think what we’re going to see is more linear companies and digital media companies merging in the near future to combine their offerings — whether that’s their data, technology or reputation — to solve an industry challenge, which is the lack of integrated data.”

Data integration is one hurdle, but media sellers also need to address data accuracy and how audiences are defined for audience-based advertising to be successful.

“It’s a matter of coming up with a consistent audience definition across media sellers, since there are still challenges around match rates, how advertisers are buying those audiences, and how they match up with the sellers’ audiences,” Pete says.

While Fox, Turner and others are experimenting, media sellers will need to find the right technology solution to collect, filter and analyze all their disparate data sets. That solution will need to collect and combine information from various offline and online channels — and especially traditional TV and digital formats. This will allow media companies to define and identify the audiences for an advertiser’s campaigns across all channels, and ultimately improve viewer retention and advertising revenue long term.

Kyle Morehouse, Senior Solutions Consultant at Adobe, says the ultimate goal of audience-based advertising is to bring the targeting and personalization power of digital advertising to television.

“Whether consumers are looking at a screen, at a laptop or they’re watching a television show, we want to make sure that people can still find the right eyeballs regardless of what screens they are looking at,” he says.

“The payoff there is that we want people to build an audience in one place,” he adds. “Historically, in the digital world the assumption is that you’re combining all the data and building an audience to activate in paid media to buy banner ads, to buy video and to buy mobile display ads. What we’re saying now is that same effort of building an audience should be leveraged in every channel, including television. This is the central place to build a single concept of an audience that can be activated anywhere.”

To find out more about Adobe’s solutions for Media & Entertainment, visit

The post TV’s Big Bet on Audience-Based Advertising appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Financial Services Companies Are Catching Up with Digital

Marketing Cloud

The financial services sector is undergoing a digital marketing transformation as companies embrace new technology to improve targeting and deliver better customer experiences, both online and off.

According to Adobe’s 2017 Digital Marketing Study, the percentage of financial services companies that view themselves as advanced in terms of digital maturity nearly tripled from 7 percent in 2016 to 19 percent this year. Digital maturity is an indicator of a company’s technical skills, use of automation, and level of data integration.

While the financial sector still lags behind the overall industry average of 24 percent, it’s gaining ground. Overall, more than half (59 percent) of financial services marketers view their companies as either advanced or focused in terms of digital maturity. The survey, which is designed to help you better understand the pace of the digital marketing transformation, included financial services companies from across Europe and North America.

Overall, marketers that categorize their companies as “digitally mature” more than doubled between 2016 and 2017, from 11 percent to 24 percent. That means a quarter of the 1,165 companies surveyed are transforming their business processes in order to better understand and use their data.

As financial services companies increase their investments in digital technology, they are becoming more mature in terms of how they use the people, tools, and processes required to deliver personalized content that is consistent across both online and traditional bricks-and-mortar channels.

Embracing digital technology.

One example of a digitally mature financial services company is Bank of America, the ninth largest bank in the world in terms of total assets. The bank is on the leading edge of an evolution, from a fragmented, bricks-and-mortar industry to a digitally savvy ecosystem that understands the importance of integrating data in order to both optimize operations and improve customer experiences.

Cathy Bessant, the bank’s chief operations and technology officer, recently told Forbes that data is the company’s greatest untapped resource. “I think of it in terms of how we take the big universe of data and make it usable in a way that changes product opportunities, changes lives, changes worlds, and makes things better,” she says. “That takes brilliant architecture, brilliant storage, brilliant transportation of data, and well-protected data.”

In fact, Bank of America is a trendsetter in an industry that is embracing digital solutions. The 2017 Digital Marketing study underscores the importance of this shift. Looking ahead, the top three priorities for financial services marketers in terms of digital marketing strategy are audience reach (68 percent), whole customer views (66 percent), and attribution modeling (65 percent).

Overcoming challenges and legacy solutions.

Some companies in the financial sector are implementing digital technology solutions faster than others, which is not surprising in a complex and highly regulated industry that has historically relied on doing business in person. While the number of companies who view themselves as advanced increased over the past year, more than 40 percent of  the financial services marketers surveyed still describe their company’s level of digital maturity as either emergent (34 percent) or nonexistent (7 percent).

Although the industry is making strides in terms of digital solutions, it has to reconcile massive data silos, offline distribution channels, and a bricks-and-mortar transactional culture. “It’s very difficult for financial services companies to operationalize and unify massive amounts of data,” says Christopher Young, director of industry strategy and marketing at Adobe. “They also struggle with being able to identify individual customers across these channels, engage them in a meaningful way, understand their needs, and ultimately match them with the right products and services.”

Brand differentiation is a motivating factor.

For industry leaders, brand differentiation is one of the big benefits of using digital tools for marketing. But it’s a different story for the industry laggards — 11 percent of whom say technology is not differentiating their digital marketing efforts. This disparity, Christopher says, reflects the reality that while many financial services companies have one foot in the digital world, the other one is still firmly planted in the physical world.

For banks to be able to leverage their data and become more customer-centric requires more than just a centralized digital platform. “They still have to figure out how to really innovate and organize themselves around the customer,” says Christopher. “They need the processes and the skill sets to integrate their entire operations, not just their digital technology.”

Another reason the financial services industry is lagging behind other sectors is that it has been slower to embrace the use of technology for omni-channel and mobile marketing. “They’re playing catch-up, which explains why many North American financial services respondents didn’t feel digital maturity was a differentiator,” says Jim Goldschlager, general manager at Slalom Consulting in Hartford, Connecticut. “They’re investing just to reach the same position as other industries. In mobile, for example, they’re behind the curve. Mobile banking should have the same ease of use as buying products on Amazon or ordering drinks on Starbucks.”

Leveraging data is key to moving forward.

While data silos have been a constraint for the financial services industry, Christopher says the industry overall does a good job with data integrity and normalization. The ability to track and analyze individual customer interactions is a potentially significant advantage when it comes to target marketing across multiple customer touchpoints.

Financial services companies are taking the lead in terms of leveraging data as part of an evolving digital maturity. Christoper points to Erica, a mobile chatbot developed by Bank of America, as a harbinger of what’s ahead as financial services companies embrace digital technology. The bank’s new digital assistant leverages artificial intelligence to help power a mobile app with 22 million users.

“What Bank of America is doing that’s really interesting is introducing all sorts of innovative capabilities in their mobile app,” says Christopher. “They are trying to replicate a meaningful one-on-one personalized interaction on a mobile screen that would normally take place with a human. This is a really useful tool that is delivering a consistently good customer experience.”

Kevin Lindsay, director of product marketing at Adobe, predicts that the financial services industry could rapidly go from a laggard to a leader in terms of digital technology. “In financial services — particularly banking — we have seen some of the most aggressive options of machines learning based, automated personalization,” he says. “Financial services is an industry that wants to measure very precisely, and that should drive the adoption of analytics technology. The industry also historically has embraced a holistic customer view, and digital integration fits nicely with that perspective.”

Financial services decision-makers are poised to invest in new technology, and that should fuel more digital integration. “I think there’s a realization that the industry has to play catch-up and accept that there is a timeline by which they need to get there,” says Slalom’s Goldschlager. “I’ve seen a really positive response in the industry — there’s a lot of great momentum.”

Learn more about how your financial institution can benefit from a digital marketing transformation by implementing technology solutions to improve customer experiences and boost your conversions.

The post Financial Services Companies Are Catching Up with Digital appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Slide Show: The Next Big Disruptors In Travel & Hospitality

Marketing Cloud

Evolving consumer mindsets and behaviors, emerging technologies and platforms, and the relentless need to innovate and bypass competitors are among the biggest challenges and opportunities for the travel and hospitality industry brands.Indeed, a recent study by Expedia Media Solutions found that travelers are more concerned with their experiences than they are with getting the best deal early in the decision-making process. That puts the pressure on travel brands to truly think outside the box — across all stages of a traveler’s journey.
For the slideshow below, we dug into some of our most recent travel industry content to identify the tech catalysts for change and how companies are meeting customers’ expectations.

To learn how you can prepare your travel and hospitality company for the dynamic channel of voice-enabled technology, read this.

Giselle Abramovich is the Senior & Strategic Editor of

The post Slide Show: The Next Big Disruptors In Travel & Hospitality appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Get Smart: Automation Tools Give Financial Advisors More Time to Focus on Clients

Marketing Cloud

Morgan Stanley, one of the world’s leading brokerage firms, is using machine-learning algorithms to enhance customer experiences and automate routine tasks in order to free-up its 16,000 financial advisors to focus on providing value-added customer service and advice.

Agent-broker relationships with customers are being redefined by technology tools ranging from robo-advisors and chatbots to automated trade recommendations and personalized email reminders. By automating customer interactions, financial services companies can facilitate self-directed, self-service solutions that enable advisors, to spend more time answering questions and customizing solutions.

According to Jeff McMillian, chief analytics and data officer for Morgan Stanley, the company is leveraging customer data and machine-learning to improve user experiences. “We’re desperately trying to pattern for you and your behavior to delight you with something you may not have even been asking for, but based on what you have been doing, that you might find of value,” says Jeff. “We’re not trying to sell to you, we’re trying to find the things you want and need.”

Improving service and efficiency.

“There is only so much time in the day,” says Christopher Young, director of financial services strategy and marketing at Adobe. “Most financial advisors are only engaging with a portion of their book of business, and prioritizing the customers of highest value.”

An integrated digital platform gives brokers and advisors real-time access to the data they need to create more meaningful client interactions. Harnessing the power of digital also enables content to be personalized across all channels of interaction, from email to mobile. “Digital not only creates efficiency for financial advisors, it also offers companies a way to meaningfully engage with customers without an advisor, or in-between in-person interactions,” says Christopher.

In an industry in which face-to-face interactions are still essential, automation enables financial advisors to better serve more of their clients. Providing self-service tools for customers is another win-win for both advisors and their clients. “If customers can easily look-up account information, update or administer accounts, and even basic transactions, it frees-up a significant amount of time for advisors,” says Christopher.

Because financial advisors still provide “white glove” service to many clients, brokerage firms are looking for ways to give brokers increased bandwidth to engage personally with more clients. Morgan Stanley’s decision to provide more self-service functionality underscores an industry-wide trend toward using technology to streamline interactions with customers, both online and in-person.

Think digital, not analog.

Moreover, Christopher says, the financial services sector, including  brokerage firms and life insurance companies, need to think beyond “this is how it has always been done.”

Replacing legacy systems goes hand-in-hand with replacing legacy thinking. An integrated digital platform can facilitate much more personalized and efficient one-to-one communication. “For example, a lot of tasks can be done on tablets, such as sharing content and interactive presentations,” says Christopher.

Winnie Sun, managing director of Sun Group Wealth Partners, agrees that financial services firms need to automate as many routine tasks as possible, such as digital signing of documents. In addition, she says, “financial advisors need to be able to communicate with clients more quickly and efficiently  — whether that’s through email, social media messaging, or, in the future, hopefully through texting. We need excellent technology to better serve our clients, and everything needs to be done real-time.”

Dynamic content generation also can be used for target marketing and to ensure follow-up. For example, sending a client the right packet of forms or market commentary based on their investment portfolio. The ability to dynamically create a document or automatically follow-up with a client is indicative of how technology can streamline the interaction between financial advisors and their customers.

Analytics provide insights.

While improved efficiency is a major benefit of implementing a technology solution, the ability to better personalize and target customer interactions provides a significant opportunity for financial firms to transform the customer experience. Behavioral data, for example, can be used to better inform interactions with each individual client.

From a marketing perspective, integrated analytics give advisors better insights into what content a client or prospect has been viewing on the company’s website, which can help facilitate personalized investment recommendations. The ability to track customer interactions across devices also enables advisors to become more proactive. For instance, knowing when someone started filling out an online form for a quote, but didn’t submit it.

“The ability to harness this data allows financial advisors to have more meaningful interactions with their clients,” says Christopher. “These tools are just as important, by the way, for empowering independent brokers as they are for in-house financial advisors.”

Understanding the customer journey is the cornerstone for developing insights to personalize marketing content and, ultimately, increase conversions. That means unifying customer intelligence related to every aspect of the journey, from email interactions to data related to which programmatic ad resulted in a lead. “This needs to be aggregated in a meaningful way and integrated with your CRM data,” says Christopher. “You also need to share data through an API so your advisors can respond to customer needs in real-time.”

Digital investment is increasing.

Financial services organizations are inherently data-rich, which offers tremendous potential for customer insights. “The digital-first companies in the sector are concentrating their data efforts on the customer, by collecting all key data points on the customer journey and continually testing it,” says Christopher.

The financial services industry also is starting to implement more integrated digital technology platforms that provide improved efficiency for customers and brokers while, at the same time, ensuring that compliance and privacy concerns are addressed.  While there are still regulatory hurdles, says Winnie, “our industry, as well as the regulators who are monitoring our industry, are realizing that it’s not something you can shy away from. We just have to find solutions to make it safe, and make it work.”

According the Econsultancy/Adobe 2017 Digital Trends report, data-driven marketing is a key strategic priority for 73 percent of  financial services companies. Targeting, personalization and customer journey management are the highest priorities for financial sector marketers in 2017, and 55 percent plan to increase investment in personalization in 2017. “It’s clear that the sector understands the need for data-driven marketing and is making it a priority,” says Christopher. “And more than half (53 percent) are increasing their investment in marketing analytics in 2017.”

The trend data bodes well for a sector that is still playing catch-up in terms of technology and digital experiences. “Every other industry is so much ahead of our industry that if we don’t keep up we are not going to do our job, which is to manage people’s money, manage their expectations, and attract new business,” says Winnie. “So, it’s really about survival of the industry, there’s no other way around it. We have to get to the point where we can communicate and handle our clients in a native digital world.”

For additional insights on how financial advisors and brokers are adopting new technologies for more personal customer experiences, read more from our digital marketing FSI series.

The post Get Smart: Automation Tools Give Financial Advisors More Time to Focus on Clients appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

A Recap of the Top Summit Sessions from Spring 2017

Marketing Cloud

A Recap of the Top Summit Sessions from Spring 2017

We just held our Summit kick-off meeting for Summit 2018. Wait, what? I’m still trying to absorb all the goodness shared at Summit 2017 from this past spring in Las Vegas and London. So before all that great content gets lost in the excitement of planning for next year, we’ve pulled together a quick summary for each of our top Summit 2017 Adobe Target sessions. Give a read through; click on the session title to watch the replay video for great tips, real-life customer examples, and best practices. After all, thanks to the Internet, even if you didn’t attend Summit this year or were unable to attend a session that you wanted to, you don’t have to miss a thing. We’ve even included some of our top EMEA Summit sessions, too.

1. Traits of a high-flying optimization program.
Are you about to launch your optimization program or struggling to move it forward? If so, get on this flight path for success. In a session that often feels like part comedy routine, Ahmed Eleman of major Canadian airline WestJet details how his optimization team built and now maintains a high-flying program that tests booking flows and other areas for big wins — for example, a test of the seat selection layout in the reservation flow that yielded a 30 percent increase in revenue. Brilliant. Adobe consultant Adeel Abbasi complements this with sound advice on building a powerhouse optimization program based on years of private industry experience and helping numerous Adobe Target clients.

2. How Comcast transformed its marketing architecture for business success.
In this session, Joe Sanders from Comcast and Adobe consultant Arina Levchenko knock it out of the park. They clearly describe how and why Comcast completely rebuilt the way the company collected visitor data using a data layer along with the dynamic tag management of Activation. This new data collection approach delivered a single view of the visitor for more holistic customer marketing. It also helped the company increase its testing velocity, improve page load performance, expand personalization capabilities, and transform from siloed to collaborative marketing across marketing solutions. Learn more about how Comcast re-blueprinted its marketing architecture and the lessons learned along the way.

3. Building your mobile-first optimization program.
Are you pushing a mobile-first optimization program in your company? As a byproduct of doing that, are you hoping to build a dynamic, fulfilling career? If so, listen in as Summit favorite Russ Lewis gives valuable tips for building a mobile-first optimization program along with proof positive that doing so can help you carve out a successful career you love. You’ll quickly see why Russ gets asked to speak year after year — he’s got a wealth of experience helping Adobe Target customers succeed in their mobile web and app optimization and knows how to share it in a down-to-earth, understandable style.

4. Marriott’s mobile app: Driving revenue and loyalty through personalization.
In this session, Marriott’s David Menda and Adobe consultant Kollin Killian discuss how they optimized the hotel company’s mobile app that customers use to look for, reserve, and check into hotel rooms, and get on-site assistance. They wanted to buck the norm of 75 percent of app users stopping app use just 90 days after install through things like testing the optimal number of push messages and providing customers with personalized, highly useful content. Because app code is typically baked in and only changes with each app release, they also needed a way to deliver this dynamic test and personalization app content within the app based on real-time data feeds — something that had never been done before. They found a way, and Marriott provided yet another example of how they constantly push the envelope of what’s possible with Adobe Target.

5. CRO on steroids: How to identify and convert high-value customers.
When companies have invested years in building a strong optimization program, they tend to amass a wealth of practical, experience-driven advice to share. That’s certainly the case with Sprint. In this session, Lori Mabe of Sprint and Kendra Jenkins of Adobe describe three different approaches the major telco took to identifying its important customers — manual segmentation, along with Adobe Sensei-powered propensity modeling in Adobe Analytics and automation in Adobe Target. Then hear about specific ways Sprint used each approach to optimize and personalize for amazing conversion rate lifts and useful tips they uncovered along the way.

Top EMEA Summit sessions

But why should Las Vegas get all the love? The sessions at our EMEA Summit in London also had some great content that’s worth taking in:

1. Tap into the power of using automation in A/B testing and personalization.
This session should get you excited about venturing into the world of AI and machine learning powered by Adobe Sensei and available in Target. In it, my colleague Jason Hickey explains why today’s experience business needs automation to power personalization at scale. Then he describes the four flavors of automation powered by Adobe Sensei in Adobe Target — Auto-allocate, Automated Personalization, Recommendations, and Auto-target. By the way, those last two are available for Adobe Target Premium users only. You’ll learn when to use each flavor, and get a good sense of the possible gains each offers. If you’re not already using these automation capabilities, after listening to this session, I suspect you’ll be ready to dive on in.

2. CRO on steroids: How to identify and convert high-value customers (EMEA version).
Yes, it’s the same theme for the session presented in the US, but in this one UK telco giant EE puts its spin on identifying your important customers so you can cater to them with optimized, personalized experiences. EE’s Will Harmer and my colleague Drew Burns together provide examples of using each at EE, along with tips to help you along a path to progressively deeper personalization.

3. A contest: True tales of mind-blowing optimisation.
Just about every year, we hold an optimization contest that encourages Adobe Target customers to submit their best test or personalization activity. Last year it was the WhichTestWon contest. This year’s incarnation was True tales of mind-blowing optimisation. Selected customers get to present their test onstage at a dedicated Summit session, and the audience votes for their favorite. Consider participating in this year’s contest once it’s announced. It’s a great way to get some recognition for all the hard work you and your optimization team members do.

Honorable mention

While the other sessions were the highest rated or most attended, I’d like to extend an honorable mention for a session that included a fantastic live demo of using Target APIs to personalize responses from Amazon’s Alexa. That’s Target everywhere: Power experiences across IoT using Adobe Target APIs. You don’t want to miss it.

Guess what? Registration for Adobe Summit 2018 is live!

I hope you get a chance to listen in on these sessions and any others that you have missed at Summit this past year. Registration just opened for Summit 2018 — in Las Vegas this year, too. Sign up now for early bird pricing, and then get ready for more incredible insights, customer examples, tips and tricks, and glimpses into the future of optimization and personalization.

Submit your Summit session ideas and nominate speakers

By the way, we are actively seeking ideas for Summit sessions and speaker nominations from our blog readers, customers, and employees. So if you’ve got a great idea for a Summit session related to Adobe Target, optimization, and/or personalization, or want to nominate yourself or a colleague as a Summit speaker, just click here and give us some quick details. We’d love to hear from you.

The post A Recap of the Top Summit Sessions from Spring 2017 appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Adobe Target Introduces Actionable AI Insights

Marketing Cloud

Artificial intelligence (AI) is generating a lot of interest from digital marketers. And for good reason — in customer experience personalization, it has huge potential to maximize conversion lift, remove human bias, incorporate visitor context, and eliminate the need for manual data analysis. A recent BrightEdge survey revealed that 32 percent of respondents view artificial intelligence (AI) as the “next big thing.” I couldn’t agree more. But what might encourage marketers to dive into using it more?

In this post, I’d like to introduce some new reports in Adobe Target that we’re releasing in beta and rolling out to participating customers now, and that will be available to all Target customers this spring. These reports show how we’re helping you get even more out of the AI and machine learning capabilities in Adobe Target, powered by Adobe Sensei. You’ll quickly see that the reports offer benefits well beyond conversion rate increases, so that you can start using the AI-driven personalization from Adobe Sensei in Adobe Target even more.

Tapping into the thought process of the machine learning algorithm.

Many of you have been using Auto-Target and Automated Personalization, two of the AI and machine learning capabilities available in Adobe Target. The algorithms beneath these capabilities use all available profile data for each visitor — first party data like geolocation and behavioral variables, as well as any customer record (CRM) or third-party data that regularly feeds into the solution. It then learns what attributes best predict conversion for each experience. The algorithms are driving wildly successful conversion lifts. For example, one customer who heavily uses Auto-Target regularly sees 20 percent to 80 percent conversion rate increases. That’s awesome. But what can you learn from those wins (and any losses) to inform your next marketing campaign?

Currently, you review the Insights reports associated with your AI-driven activities in Target. These reports show you how each experience performed and indicate which individual profile attributes most influenced the algorithm’s decision to deliver a specific experience. But what if you could go a level deeper with these insights? What if you had more visibility into why the algorithm made the decisions it did and could understand things like which audiences or combinations of profile attributes drove the algorithm to deliver a given experience?

Now you can.

New Insights reports offer visibility you can act on.

Adobe Target is adding three new tabs to the Insights reports of your Auto-Target and Automated Personalization activities. These tabs give you access to three new tabular reports that become available once your algorithm has finished pre-processing the training data and is actively delivering personalized content. As the algorithm self-optimizes over time, these reports update to reflect changes due to seasonality, trends, and other factors. The new Insights reports include:

Audience Insights
This report lists the top 10 audiences of a certain size threshold based on the defined conversion goals. It answers the critical question, “Which audiences converted at a higher rate in the algorithm?” The report surfaces important, complex audiences the model identified by evaluating countless combinations of profile attributes — a task that’s almost impossible to do manually.

Before this report was available, you could only see which individual first-party data attributes most influenced the model, along with a rating for each attribute. For example, you’d see that people from California liked a specific offer or people on Android smartphones liked a specific offer. Assuming you feed additional customer record or CRM data into the algorithm along with your first-party data, this new report can show you that men from California on Android smartphones who like skiing responded best to a specific offer. You can then create far more personalized content for this complex audience.

Offers Insights
This report shows the two highest performing and lowest performing offers by audience for audiences of a certain size threshold. It answers the key question, “Which offers performed best (or worst) by audience?” For example, the report might reveal that an offer you developed for city-dwelling Millennials actually performed best with a much different audience — suburban empty nesters. That would lead you to reconsider the type of content you want to create and deliver to each audience.

Influencers Insights
This report rates all influencers of the model by their contribution to the model. Again, an influencer can be a first-party customer attribute, second-party data like that from your CRM system, or third-party purchased data. This report answers the question, “What individual profile attributes does my machine learning algorithm view as most influential in its decision to deliver a specific experience?” It could show you that a model input you thought was unimportant, like number of years as a customer from your CRM, actually drove a significant contribution to the model. This learning can steer you toward developing experiences and content based on this attribute.

More features on the horizon to unleash the power of AI.

With these new reports, Adobe Target essentially is serving up valuable insights on a platter — you just have to unfold your napkin, tuck it in, and enjoy. In the future, look for features that let you pull more levers of the algorithm, but with safeguards in place so that you don’t pull those levers so far that you lose all the goodness the algorithm has to offer. These types of new features reveal the path we’re on to give you more control of the algorithm and transparency into how it works — all with the ultimate goal of letting you fully unleash the power of AI in Adobe Target for personalizing at scale.

The post Adobe Target Introduces Actionable AI Insights appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Digital Transformation Paves the Way for Delivering Great Customer Experiences

Marketing Cloud

Marketing across industry sectors is undergoing a profound digital transformation as companies implement customer-centric technology to deliver the right content to the right user at just the right time.

Companies are investing in digital technology in order to better position their brands in the marketplace. Market leaders are increasingly focused on the people, processes, and tools required to integrate technology across their enterprises, resulting in a digital maturity effect that impacts everything from differentiation to conversion rates.

To help you better understand the pace of digital marketing transformation, we surveyed 1,165 digital marketers across Europe and North America. According to Adobe’s seminal Digital Marketing Survey 2017, companies that categorize themselves as digitally mature more than doubled between 2016 and 2017, from 11 percent to 24 percent.

Marketing leaders  in every industry — except retail — reported an increase in digital maturity. As a result, their companies are benefiting from stronger technical skills, increased use of marketing automation, and more integrated data. Moreover, a quarter of the companies surveyed believe their companies are at an advanced level in terms of transforming business processes and better understanding and using their data. The percentage of companies that consider themselves in the top two categories of digital maturity increased from 48 percent last year to 65 percent this year.

“This represents a tipping point in terms of the majority of companies identifying as digitally mature,” says Kevin Lindsay, director of product marketing at Adobe. “We see an increase in the number of companies that identify as being advanced as far as digital maturity goes, and a decline in those that identify themselves as having emergent or very low maturity.”

Increasing focus on customer engagement.

The transformation of a company into a digitally mature enterprise reflects a recognition that integration of marketing and operational data is a competitive requirement in today’s marketplace. One common denominator among digitally mature companies is a 360-degree customer view. This is the use of data to develop a holistic perspective on customer engagement with your brand.

Developing a complete customer perspective is achieved by integrating and acting on data from across the spectrum of customer interactions. “Getting a more complete view of customer engagement continues to be the most important digital marketing strategy,” says Brad Rencher, executive vice president and general manager of digital marketing at Adobe. “But audience reach, mobile app engagement, and mobile app analytics are all gaining in importance.”

In fact, digitally mature companies are investing in developing integrated digital marketing technology platforms that include: the ability to combine and leverage data sources, identify and target audiences, improve analytics, and optimize campaigns for web and mobile apps using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Companies in the vanguard of digital maturity also plan to invest in digital technology in the year ahead. Looking toward the future, the top three areas for increased investment for mature companies include: technology to facilitate optimization (65 percent), personalization (61 percent), and advertising (60 percent).

Automated personalization is on the rise.

Data-driven marketing solutions are among the leading tools that companies are using for web and mobile optimization. In order to understand and act on their data, enterprise leaders are also using analytics to create more personalized user experiences.

In fact, 52 percent of advanced brands said they are using integrated analytics to augment their marketing efforts.

“Analytics have evolved from providing basic data and reports to delivering important and revealing insights about customer behavior,” says Kevin from Adobe. “The ability to look at the data for insights is now fundamental. It’s the most important aspect of digital maturity.”

Automation for better targeting, Kevin adds, is “the next step” in digital maturity. “It’s great to understand what’s going on in your business, and to have lots of data insights,” he says. “But the real key is being able to use that information. Automation and targeting enable companies to act on their data, and that technology is an important part of the digital maturity story.”

One company with unique insight into digital maturity is Merkle, a technology-focused marketing agency that has worked with Fortune 1000 companies for more than 30 years. “The market is accelerating incredibly quickly,” says George Gallate, Merkle’s chief marketing officer. “The proliferation of marketing technology and opportunities means that companies have to meet customer expectations in real time.”

Digital maturity facilitates differentiation.

The need for differentiation in the marketplace is driving digital transformation for many companies. Not surprisingly, more advanced companies are highly focused on differentiation strategies that give them a competitive edge.

Overall, the survey found that 89 percent of companies believe their digital marketing efforts definitely or somewhat differentiate them in the marketplace. The quest to differentiate their brands is fueling investments in technology with the goal of better connecting with customers across different channels and devices.

When it comes to digital marketing, the ability to access and understand customer data and then use that data to personalize content across different channels is a way for companies to differentiate themselves from the competition. Success requires analytics that effectively measure cross-channel engagement and, ultimately, sales conversions.

From Merkle’s perspective, says George, that differentiation requires a three-step process that includes developing a unified customer data platform, integrating both internal and external customer data sources, and organizational alignment with both internal teams and suppliers. “This is a fundamental organizational change,” he says. “It requires the creation of a data-driven organization that has an integrated planning process and the ability to deliver meaningful customer experiences at every level.”

Redefining customer experiences.

Hotel giant Marriott is a standard bearer for defining digital maturity. “They are the quintessential brand as far as best practices,” says Kevin. “They are thinking about the entire customer experience from the moment that someone engages with an app to the guest experience when a customer is checking-out. They also have a very mature approach to how they look at data, and how they use it to refine customer experiences.”

A cornerstone of Marriott’s strategy has been mobile engagement. “We are unleashing our scale and our personalization capabilities across a community of 100 million-plus members,” says Andy Kauffman, VP of digital marketing for Marriott International.  “Mobile is a key, key part of this, and it has been a tremendous success for our company.”

Kevin adds that Marriott’s focus on mobile is indicative of the wider trends identified in the 2017 Digital Marketing Survey. “The biggest change in terms of digital marketing strategy that we see has to do with mobile,” he says. “We see a big bump in the survey in terms of how people view the importance of mobile app analytics as well as mobile app engagement. We also are seeing some really specific tactical areas around mobile, particularly with mobile app analytics and personalization.”

Driving higher conversion rates.

One of the most interesting data points related to the digital maturity effect is the impact it has on the bottom line. According to the survey, digitally mature companies — with highly integrated data and content — have much higher conversion rates than companies with emergent or non-existent digital maturity. Desktop conversion for advanced companies was 5 percent compared to 3.9 percent for the least mature companies. On mobile, average conversion was 4.6 percent for more mature companies compared to 3.7 percent for those less tech-savvy organizations.

“Based on the levels of maturity, advanced companies have better integrated data and content, as well as clearly defined best practices and automation strategies,” says Brad at Adobe. “The survey also shows that factors such as cross-channel support, automated KPIs, and personalization of content, all factor into better conversion results.”

What mature companies recognize is that to be relevant in today’s omnichannel marketing environment, you have to be able to deliver targeted, personalized content at the speed of light. “Consumers expect to find what they need online fast,” says Brad. “You can’t have latency. You can’t have non-relevant content, and you can’t get away with not personalizing.”

The good news is that digital marketers understand the importance of investing in technology. Overall, 95 percent of those surveyed said their companies plan to invest in expanding their digital marketing efforts in the year ahead. “Companies are making big investments in digital technology,” says Brad, “because you can’t get there incrementally, and they realize that.”

Being really good at just marketing, just optimization, or just analytics used to mean a competitive edge. But not anymore. “Today,” says Brad, “you need a well-integrated platform in order to optimize your ability to deliver great customer experiences in real time.”

Learn more about how your company can benefit from digitally transforming your marketing by implementing data targeting and analytics solutions that will help wow your customers and boost your conversions.


The post Digital Transformation Paves the Way for Delivering Great Customer Experiences appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Digital Marketing Analytics: Four Things Adobe Does Better than Anyone

Marketing Cloud

For the third year in a row, Adobe Analytics was named a leader in Gartner’s 2017 “Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Analytics“ research report1. Of the 12 vendors evaluated, Adobe was positioned as the highest in “completeness of vision” and the second highest in “ability to execute” in the Leaders quadrant of the classic industry report.

So why does Adobe Analytics continue to fare well in this and other analyst evaluations? We believe the role Adobe Analytics plays in the larger Adobe strategy has everything to do with it.

Think about the experiences your customers have with your brand in digital, mobile apps, email, social as well as connected cars and even voice assistants. Are they experiences that your customers and prospects enjoy? Do they make your customers love you more, or wish they didn’t have to deal with you? Do your digital experiences accomplish the goals you’ve established for them?

We’re now in the era of experiences. Experiences are considered the difference between what makes a brand a leader and a laggard in any industry. In fact, using customer experience data to evaluate both transactional and subscription businesses, Harvard Business Review found that customer experience is a major driver of future revenue growth.2 As consumers, this finding shouldn’t surprise any of us. As digital marketers, we’re all trying to figure out – how do I create digital experiences that my customers will love?

In my experience working with customers of all industries and sizes, one thing stands out – customers who are truly insight driven are outperforming their competition. They create compelling digital experiences based on customer insights. They use the best-in-class analytics tools to measure their customers’ journey across devices and channels and then translate that data into behavioral insights. The customer experience leaders are moving beyond standard reporting to customer analytics including advanced segmentation and prediction. Of all the vendors in this report, Adobe facilitates this the best because we have the most in-depth behavioral pathing, the most powerful segmentation, and we deliver it within a user-friendly experience, Analysis Workspace, that is second-to-none.

With different objectives, purchase cycles and marketing strategies, most marketers and analytics teams are still struggling to move beyond standard reporting. In fact, according to Econsultancy, most cite “improving data analysis” as a top factor to how they expect to improve the customer experience.3

To help you develop better insight about your customers, here are four best practices that use the powerful capabilities within Adobe Analytics:

1. Flow Exploration & Fallout Analysis: the first step to delivering great customer experiences is having an understanding of how people are navigating your digital channels and where they are hitting stumbling blocks—some people call this “behavioral pathing.” One of our behavioral pathing tools in Analysis Workspace is called Flow Exploration. It lets brands visualize customer movement through digital experiences, showing the steps taken from entry point through to conversion or churn. Users can easily overlay key metrics to further break down and explore user behavior, allowing them to drive improvements on content and flow which increases the likelihood of conversion and retention. When you discover a common usage pattern, you can now create a dynamic audience segment of that cohort of users.

2. Analyzing Cohorts: Suppose that you want to analyze how customers who sign up for your newsletter or install your app engage with your brand over time. Does signing up for your newsletter increase a customer’s likelihood to purchase over time? Are customers who install your mobile app more likely to remain loyal in 6 months? A Cohort Report within Analysis Workspace allows you to isolate a specific event and then see how often the same users completing that event go on to complete a future event. It’s a powerful analysis tool that helps you better understand how your digital experiences are impacting your customers lifetime value.

3. Comparing Customer Segments:Segmentation is a core strategy crucial to any marketer’s success. Segment Comparison within Analysis Workspace intelligently discovers the differences—and similarities between your sets of target audience segments through automated analysis of all underlying metrics and dimensions. In speaking with customers, we see analysts spending an incredible amount of time comparing various segments in order to understand the actionable differences between them. Segments often overlap with each other or have non-obvious differences lurking deep within the data, and uncovering these insights is like picking a needle out of a haystack. With Segment Comparison, marketers and analysts use the simple construct of a Venn diagram to gain new visibility into which segments are most important to their businesses and why, so they can acquire and convert customers much more efficiently—saving time and budget.

4. Enrich Customer Profiles with Offline Attributes: One of the most helpful ways to improve your ability to understand your customers is to enrich your first party behavioral data with offline customer attributes such as CRM data. This helps analysts and marketers develop better customer segmentation enabling more effective measurement of your marketing campaigns, messaging and digital experiences. Some common examples of enriching your customer profiles through what we call Customer Attributes include: applying loyalty, demographic or lifetime value to your visitor data. This revolutionizes the way you see your customers, leading to better insights. Better insights inevitably lead to better targeting, messaging and optimization of digital experiences.

These best practices are just a sampling of what our leading customers are using to extract insight about their customers and put that insight into action. It’s no longer enough to simply be data-driven. Organizations need the systems and tools to be able to turn data into insight and insight into action as quickly as possible to optimize digital experiences. The cost of companies satisfied with status quo insight tools is the difference between being a leader and getting left behind. Standard web analytics will no longer suffice. In the era where experience is the differentiator, organizations need the best-in-class customer intelligence tools and best practices.


1. Source: Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Analytics, Martin Kihn, Christi Eubanks, Lizzy Foo Kune, October 4, 2017. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.



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