Do Not Let Your Mobile App End up in the Wasteland: 10 Best Practices

Marketing Cloud

We are all guilty of it: as soon as we have a free moment to ourselves, we pull out our phones to check in. Even parents of young children are pulling out their phones when faced with tantrums. There is something so helpful about having entertainment at the tips of our fingers. But with this ease of access comes competition. There is always a new app to try, a new game to play, a new video to watch. How are average consumers to choose which apps they use most often?

In this day and age, mobile apps are considered part of most brand experiences. However, having an app is not an end in itself. If your app does not reflect your brand or have a purpose, users can download it, become unimpressed, and never use the app again.

So, when you are crafting your mobile-app strategy, it is important to understand how you can get your users to not only download the app, but also come back to it again and again. Users who are regularly engaged are much more likely to take the next step in the conversion process, become brand advocates, and engage with your brand in other mediums. So, how do you get people to engage regularly with your mobile app? Here are ten things you can do to make your mobile app more engaging:

  1. Have a Purpose — If your app is created off the cuff, it is entirely possible that there is no real reason for users to engage. As a result, the first rule of engagement is to make sure that you give consumers a reason to engage. It seems simple enough, but many apps fail to serve a purpose in their users’ lives.
  2. Understand Analytics — It is so crucial to understand how your app is performing. Analytics can help drive your optimization and targeting strategies as well as encourage users to reengage.
  3. Conversion Plan — There are many ways that apps can convince users to convert. Whatever the goal — whether to encourage social sharing, drive actual purchases, or teach users to use your product in a new way — there are many ways to measure conversion on a mobile app. Understanding what your conversion goals are is the foundation for creating a conversion plan that helps users engage regularly with your app.
  4. Test Regularly — Once your app has been built, you can begin testing versions to see which improvements make it easier for users to engage and encourage them to come back regularly and remain in-app longer. Just because the app has been built does not mean that has to be the last version of your app; mobile apps can constantly be iterated to make the app as engaging as possible.
  5. Deep Linking — Whatever users click on in your app should take them to the same product, service, blog post, or information in your browser. Users should never feel as though they have been taken “out” of the path that they were on. Instead, give them a consistent brand experience across platforms and channels to increase the ease of use to the point that users come back regularly because your user experience is so much better than that of your competitors.
  6. Push Notifications — If you do not have a push-notification strategy, it can be incredibly beneficial to develop one. Many brands are pushing weekly newsletters but are not also trying to bring users back to their app by using weekly push notifications with the same goals in mind. If you have an existing strategy, it is worthwhile to test and optimize it. Without testing whether your push notification is relevant to your audience, there is no guarantee that you will be able to use notifications to draw your users back to your app consistently.
  7. Targeted Advertising — If your advertising options do not match your target audience, it can be a turn off to your end users. In fact, if they are wildly inappropriate, users may decide not to come back at all.
  8. Gamification — If you have ever thought, “I just need to beat one more level of this game,” then you are familiar with gamification. Making something fun, giving users a goal to beat, can encourage them to regularly return to your app. Candy Crush is an excellent example of this, but it also extends to games like Farmville and beyond. Some loyalty programs implement gamification strategies; if you start looking, you will notice gamification everywhere. This is an excellent strategy for getting users to engage regularly with your mobile app.
  9. Social-Sharing Convenience — Being able to share updates on social media is a great feature for any app. But more than just being able to share updates, it needs to be simple to share updates as well. If it is difficult, it is unlikely users will engage. In a world where time becomes more and more precious, customers will not likely go over the top to try sharing your message for you.
  10. Use Offers — If you want people to return to your app, it can be worthwhile to develop loyalty programs or use offers to entice users to reengage. This needs to be a strategy that is well thought out, as offers that are incorrectly targeted will not just leave a bad taste in users’ mouths, they can prevent users from opening the app again in the future.

We see many brands with teams that do not really own mobile. Someone is tasked with developing an app, he or she creates an app without really planning a true mobile-app strategy, and then the app sits unused by anyone for months or years. Instead, if you develop your mobile app with a strong engagement strategy from the get-go, you can encourage the type of engagement that will lead to increased conversion rates down the line.

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Join Adobe Summit Keynotes Online

Marketing Cloud

Experience-led business is taking center stage at Adobe Summit this year. As marketing continues to be revolutionized, marketers are realizing that experience-led business is no walk in the park. This is why we’re bringing together great thinkers who have revolutionized the world through their personalized experiences, to take the main stage at Adobe Summit.

For those of you not able to attend in person, here’s your chance to join the experience from home.

Known for his global humanitarian efforts as much as he is for his career in entertainment, George Clooney will join us to talk about his career (two Academy Awards, four Golden Globes including the Cecil B. DeMille Award, four SAG Awards, one BAFTA award, two Critics’ Choice Awards, an Emmy and four National Board of Review Awards) as well as his efforts as a messenger of peace.

Spanning five decades of entertainment, Donny Osmond has made music history by celebrating 50 years in show business and the release of his 60th album. Today, Osmond performs at the Flamingo Las Vegas with his sister, Marie. The show began back in September 2008, originally scheduled to run for six weeks. The response was so overwhelming that the Flamingo immediately asked for an extension.

Long known as one of the most intense competitors in U.S. history, Abby Wombach is the #1 all-time leading scorer in international soccer history with 184 career goals. Wombach is the leading voice for women’s sports as well as for her generation of female soccer players and athletes.

See the full list of speakers and read in-depth biographies here.

Unable to join us in Las Vegas? Join us from your desk for the Summit keynotes, online. Sign up now.

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Testing, Personalization (and Everything in Between)

Marketing Cloud

In my six-plus years consulting for Adobe Target, I have had the absolutely humbling opportunity to work with hundreds of unique and amazing customers spanning every industry under the sun. After countless meetings and calls with teams large and small, it was hard not to notice common threads that wove through conversation after conversation. “We want to personalize our site,” the customer would say. “Awesome!” I would retort, knowingly anticipating the follow-up. “We have these great personas, and we want to target content to them.”

“Hold up” (my inevitable reply).

In this post, I will discuss how to drive true value out of personalization and how to build a program based on data-driven decision-making to make the case that simply targeting content does not a personalization program make. I will also highlight key Adobe Summit sessions that will help you get your personalization PhD. But first — Personalization is not always persona-ization!

Personalization is awesome; let us start there. I get warm and fuzzy when a site or app starts to know me enough to recommend things that I did not even know I wanted. I had been Googling “how long to cook chicken” more than a few times lately after having just bought a new frying pan. The meat thermometer that was recommended to me looked fantastic because I certainly did not want to die eating my first chicken pot pie. So I bought it. True story. Thanks to personalization, I live to blog another day. I also firmly believe that Spotify’s “Discover Playlist” is one of the coolest breakthroughs in music since the start of streaming and that every company on the Internet should be taking lessons from them — a blog post for another day, perhaps.

That said, personas pulled out of a meeting room or boardroom may or may not be valuable, and even if they are, they may be less valuable than simple targeting based on device type, time of day, or marketing channel, for example. The beauty of Big Data is that it empowers us all to let our customers tell us how — and if — they want to be identified, organized, and messaged.

So what am I trying to say? Resist the temptation to think that you and your team already know how to organize and personalize to your visitors. Stay strong and data driven by following these three easy steps to get from testing to personalization.

Test and Learn First

One of the most common places personalization seems to pop up is on homepage heroes; and oftentimes, those are homepage carousels. I dislike carousels, and I would wager that you dislike carousels, too. Most of the data I have collected over close to nine years of testing indicates customers do not like carousels. Does anybody know why we still use carousels for our websites? If you do, email me, and we will write a blog post together — and, likely, make millions.

Ranting about the finer points of web design aside, my point is why try to personalize your homepage carousel if your visitors do not like it in the first place? The road to personalization is paved with the countless lessons learned from having a highly disciplined testing program. Before you start engaging your design team or agency to create personalized content, it is important to understand the parameters that they need to design under first.

So what do I do? One of my favorite things to do is imagine webpages as a blank canvas. Where a business stakeholder sees a 900×500-pixel rotating banner with three slots, I see opportunity. From here, devise a strategy to attack this piece of real estate by focusing on layout, functionality, look/feel, and visuals — the copy, call to action, colors, etc. Perhaps your carousel should have five items instead of three, or three instead of five. Perhaps they should auto rotate — or maybe they should not. How fast is too fast until the next panel appears? How slow is too slowly? Should they rotate? And — wait a minute — should this piece of real estate even be one large offer? What if we have one large offer and one smaller offer? What about six offers in a grid? Is blue better than red? Is Snapchat still cool? What should this thing look like? Above all else, what key business metric are we trying to drive, and how does this design or layout support that goal?

As you can see, the questions add up quickly, and the answers are always fun and extremely valuable. It is also easy to see how your entire personalization strategy can change if you suddenly have a grid of six offers in a space that used to house one at a time. All of these questions relate to just one tiny piece of the puzzle that is your web property or app. Run through this exercise on every part of every page for optimization nirvana. For even deeper insights on consumer psychology and behavior, check out S904 at Adobe Summit this year and learn the 3 key steps to cater to the customer and turbocharge conversion.

But you are not done yet!

Build on Your Tests With Insights From Segmentation

Before you start executing your shiny new optimization roadmap, take the time to add segments to your tests so you can best suss out high-value consumers — no matter what they look like, where they appear, or how they engage with your digital platforms. Even better? Learn about how Adobe Target was redesigned for powerful optimization and marketer control in S905, integrate Adobe Analytics with Target as the data source for your reporting, and unleash the full power of segmentation. This session — Adobe Target: Redesigned for Powerful Optimization and Marketer Control — will help you make the most out of the unexpected groups that pop up who do not look quite like the folks you are normally personalizing against. Paydirt!

The takeaway, in a nutshell? Do not panic about the strangers — AKA, the anonymous site visitors — lurking around your site, the ones who maybe are not getting the kind of relevance delivery they are craving. With Adobe Target’s out-of-the-box targeting capabilities surrounding mobile, geolocation, temporal, and behavioral data, it is easy to augment your own data with third-party info to take your personalization to the next level. And those anonymous users? Soon enough, you will be delivering relevant touchpoint after relevant touchpoint, taking in the real-time twists, turns, and pivots and connecting these consumers with a high-value, highly personalized experience. And just like that, they are not strangers anymore — they may even be your next best pal and brand advocate. Who knows? But without culling insights from segmentation, you will definitely never know.

Soon enough, Target will even be able to take things a step further with automated Segment Discovery — more on that to come, but here is a hint: it is awesome. Check out S906 to learn more about automated segmentation and continuous optimization “Because You Have Bigger Fish to Fry Than Testing Button Color.” If you are a true data geek, we have sessions for you. Keep reading to learn the final piece of the personalization puzzle.

Personalize the Right Way (for Value)

Last — and definitely not least — is personalizing for maximum value, maximum value for both sides. During your testing and segmentation, there is no doubt that some segments or segment combinations shined while others fell short. Next up? Leverage Target Premium’s automated personalization feature, unleashing the machine and ensuring the right consumers are getting the right touchpoints in the right context — all hallmarks of effective relevance delivery. You can even layer in personalization as part of an A/B workflow; it is that user-friendly and compelling to the end user. Learn more about the algorithms used to optimize consumer experiences at Summit in S351, Algorithmic Techniques for Personalization in Adobe Target. If you prefer to go even deeper, unleash your inner data scientist in S909.

So, yes, I stand by what I said at the beginning of this post. Personalization is the best, plain and simple. But to make the most out of the data, resources, platforms, and even talent you have on hand, you have to build out the right personalization program — and that goes a lot deeper than simply targeting content or recommending a meat thermometer. Test and learn, use segments to build on those results, and be sure you are personalizing for all-around value, and without a doubt, you will be on the path toward optimization success. To see what all of this looks like in real life, check out S911 at Summit to make your vision a reality and build a personalization roadmap.

Until then, though, can we cool it with the carousels? Thanks.

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Third-Round Winners Selected for WhichTestWon’s Annual Adobe Target Awards

Marketing Cloud

I am excited to announce the winners of the third and final round of WhichTestWon’s first-annual Adobe Target Awards. If you have not been following the contest, we asked Adobe Target users to submit their best A/B tests for a chance to win a free trip to Adobe Summit 2016 in Las Vegas. This time around, the winners include Steve Rude of Thomson Reuters for Web and Wendy Melemed of The McClatchy Group for Mobile. Wendy and Steve will join our other four winners at Adobe Summit in less than two weeks for session S910 Step Right Up and Guess the Test Winner: WhichTestWon’s Adobe Target Awards.

Without further ado, here are our final winning tests and the people who submitted them.

For the Web Category, Steve Rude

For the Web category, Steve Rude, Senior Optimization Specialist at Thomson Reuters, submitted a test that demonstrated the power of simplification. Steve works in the Legal Division of Thomson Reuters, which provides solutions, support, and print products for those in the legal profession throughout the U.S. and around the world. He wanted to apply the learnings he had gained from testing a site redesign that experienced huge success because it simplified the visitor’s experience, reducing their “cognitive overload.”

In the test submitted for the contest, Steve simplified the purchase process. The winning variation not only increased one-time purchases, but also overall projected annual revenue — the real measure of success for this test.

Steve was a part of the beta testing team for Adobe Analytics for Adobe Target, which he views as “outstanding.” He notes “There’s nothing we can’t do that we want to do as far as post-test analysis goes. Without that integration, if you don’t think of all the questions you want to answer up front, you can’t get to that data. With that integration, we can get to everything — even things we didn’t know we wanted. It’s so powerful!”

He is also a big fan of the visual experience composer of Adobe Target. He appreciates that non-technical people can easily set up tests from start to finish — even when adding scripts and layering experiences on top of each other. This opens up a much bigger pool of candidates when the time comes to further expand his optimization team. Plus, he says it is much easier and faster to set up the main success metric to measure interaction with a specific element on a page. He just navigates to the element on the page, selects it, and he is done — a process that used to take up to 30 minutes and now takes about 5 seconds.

Steve loves how willingly people in the testing and optimization community share their experiences and help each other, noting that WhichTestWon exemplifies this attitude. He is grateful for the opportunity to share back at the Adobe Summit session.

For the Mobile Category, Wendy Melemed

For our Mobile category, Wendy Melemed, Analytics Testing Specialist of The McClatchy Group, submitted a test that focused on one of the most heavily used elements of any digital channel: the navigation bar. The McClatchy Company is a leading newspaper and Internet publisher working with well-known newspapers such as the Sacramento Bee, the Miami Herald, and others known not only in their local markets, but also across the U.S. The McClatchy Group oversees and optimizes these newspapers’ websites.

Wendy explains that, due to the shift of their audience to mobile, the company has taken a “mobile first” approach to optimization in which mobile means smartphone and tablet. She explains that, given the tight real estate of mobile, “It’s easier to expand from mobile to desktop than the other way around.” In practical terms, this means that they optimize for smartphones and tablets first and then translate the experience to desktop. However, they measure the impact of everything they test on all three — smartphone, tablet, and desktop — because they have discovered time and again that users respond differently on different devices. This test supported that truism yet again.

In the test she submitted, Wendy tested the impact on page views per visit and time spent per visit when hiding or showing the navigation bar when scrolling down or up the page. It turns out that tablet users responded very favorably to one test variation over the others, increasing both key metrics.

For Wendy, when it comes to mobile, one of the most valuable capabilities of Adobe Target is its advanced targeting to specific segments. She notes, “I can set up rules-based targeting, and all I have to do is click a button, and all of a sudden, I’m targeting mobile.”

Wendy recalls that when she first started using Adobe Target, working with Adobe Target consultants proved extremely valuable. She says, “They don’t just give you test ideas; they ask about your business goals and what you’re trying to achieve. They also posit things that you wouldn’t necessarily know, such as testing every element on the page to see what has the most impact.”

To learn about the tests that won the previous rounds, read my blog posts about the first and second-round winners. Better yet, join us at Adobe Summit on March 22, for session S910. In that session, Andrea Warner of and I will highlight each winning test, let the audience guess which test-experience variation won, and hear from the winners as they explain the backstory and any key takeaways of their tests. Plus, we will announce the Grand Prize Winner and let the audience vote for the winner of the People’s Choice Award.

I hope to see you there!

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Why an Integrated Marketing Cloud? Because Tom Tom Club

Marketing Cloud

A long time ago, in our very own galaxy, I saw Tom Tom Club in concert. Tom Tom Club is best known, apart from some pretty great music, as being The Talking Heads but without front man David Byrne.

Now, I like Tom Tom Club, but I have to say, I really really love The Talking Heads. What is the difference? Well, the difference is David Byrne, duh. The opposite is also true (for me anyway). I like music David Byrne has done on his own. He is pretty great. But I LOVE The Talking Heads with David Byrne. I love them a lot. I could go on. The Rolling Stones. Radiohead. Destiny’s Child. (Okay, maybe not Destiny’s Child.)

So what is my point? My point is, individual people, musicians, lots of things can be pretty good. But together? Together, magic happens. Suddenly, 1+1=5. Suddenly, actual synergy happens, making things together much greater than the sum of (even really good) individual parts.

To bring it all down to earth, that is also true of software, in particular, digital-marketing software. You can implement point solutions that do email really well. You can get some analytics from some random letter company. But when you get eight already best-in-class solutions from the undisputed leader in both creative tools and digital marketing and call it Adobe Marketing Cloud? Now we are in Wu Tang Clan territory.

Why an integrated marketing cloud from Adobe? (Or, as Forrester calls it, Enterprise Marketing Software Suites, or as Gartner calls it, Marketing Hubs.) Why not just buy point solutions and avoid the dreaded “vendor lock in?” I am so glad you asked. Let me count the reasons.

  1. Point solutions create complexity with multiple and silo’d objectives and myriad channels, initiatives, teams, and political battles to wrangle. Your objectives and goals may have complexity — your tools and partners should not.
  2. Integrated platforms actually cost less. There is a reason you buy a car and not a collection of parts. The pieces are built to work together. And yes, some of the technology came from acquisition — but we have integration teams whose entire job is to make all the parts work like they are part of one happy family. Over the years, analysts have come to the conclusion that enterprises will typically spend 27 – 37 percent less on a marketing platform than on a passel of loosely associated parts.
  3. An integrated marketing platform brings less risk. You know the parts work together, and for those gaps or special situations, Adobe has experts and partners to help, folks who know the platform inside and out and have done what needs doing so often that confidence is high and risk is low.
  4. There is a reason Adobe serves all 10 of the top-10 computer software companies, 4 of the top-5 Internet retailers, all 10 of the top-10 commercial banks, all 5 of the top-5 media companies, and all 5 of the top-5 auto companies. Enterprises recognize that an integrated marketing platform, a Marketing Hub, an Enterprise Marketing Software Suite, gets them to their business and marketing objectives better, faster, and safer.

Everyone loves bulleted lists of benefits though, right? How about a quick bulleted list just to show you the robustitude of the Adobe Marketing Cloud advantage?

  • Less IT involvement, fewer integrations to manage
  • Server-side data transfers
  • Prebuilt data connectors and APIs (application programming interfaces)
  • Fewer technical resources needed
  • Single interface and code base
  • Reduced contract and vendor management
  • Quicker QA (quality assurance) times
  • Single code source
  • Less dependencies on other systems
  • Single data source and customer definition and reporting
  • Reduced training costs
  • Greater alignment across requirements
  • Quicker to go to market
  • Greater accountability
  • Faster communication
  • Simpler escalation path
  • Improved site speed
  • Faster campaign launch cycles
  • Less time consolidating data and more time generating insights
  • Fewer systems to learn and maintain
  • Greater scalability
  • Consolidated workflows
  • Increased ability to test and learn
  • Single contract and pricing structure
  • Fewer approvals required from procurement and legal
  • Easier to maintain data standards and governance
  • Lower cost of ownership
  • Lower training costs and human resources

Think of Adobe’s magic sauce as the same magic sauce that powers the coolest train in the world: Japan’s Maglev. To quote Wikipedia, “Maglev is a transport method that uses magnetic levitation to move vehicles without touching the ground. With Maglev, a vehicle travels along a guideway using magnets to create both lift and propulsion, thereby reducing friction by a great extent and allowing very high speeds.”

Adobe Marketing Cloud has all the parts for marketing success. And to really separate Adobe from the pack, we also have magnetic levitation. It is our secret sauce, our magic bullet.

Because unlike other marketing suites, bundles, and products that are an incomplete collection of point solutions barely interoperable much less integrated, Adobe Marketing Cloud is a comprehensive set of best-in-class, integrated solutions, all built on a common data and content platform with a common set of powerful core services that create value beyond the considerable sum of its parts. Adobe Marketing Cloud maximizes the value of customer data and optimizes the customer experience at every touchpoint on every channel, creating a user experience that is compelling, continuous, and consistent. Adobe Marketing Cloud leads the industry, validated by analysts, valued by customers, helping marketers make what matters.

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Let’s Chat About the Future of Marketing

Marketing Cloud

The digital marketplace has changed dramatically over the last several years, and that isn’t going to stop any time soon. Marketers need to adapt as quickly as possible to make their customer experiences and interactions memorable. In a business where the only constant is change, how do marketers anticipate what’s next?

To answer this question and more we’ve created the “The Future of Marketing” series live from Adobe Summit. The series is open to everyone, and we’d love to have you participate. Let’s take this conversation outside the walls of the Venetian and Palazzo. Here are the details:

The Future of Content Marketing: The emphasis on content marketing has never been stronger. With every brand becoming a publisher, how do you stand out from the noise? And if you do have a great content marketing program in place, what’s the best way to scale? Find out in Mack Collier’s Twitter chat live from the Summit floor.

When and Where: Tuesday, March 22 from 5-6 pm PT. Follow @MackCollier and #BlogChat to tune in.

The Future of Data Science in Social: “Likes” aren’t the only way to measure social success anymore. Analysts are learning more about their customer’s habits and preferences on social media more than ever before. Join business strategist Jay Baer and our very own Tamara Gaffney from Adobe Digital Index for a discussion around the future of data science in social.

When and Where: The podcast will go live Tuesday, March 22. Listen anytime at or on iTunes.

The Future of Brand Experiences: It’s no longer about the product. Brands are now using experiences to sell to their customers. What brands are doing this well and what’s their secret? Pam Moore is back as one of our Summit Insiders and will host her weekly Twitter chat on the topic live from Summit.

When and Where: Wednesday, March 23 from 3-4 pm PT. Follow @PamMktgNut and #GetRealChat on Twitter to follow along.

The post Let’s Chat About the Future of Marketing appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Digital Transformation on the Rise

Marketing Cloud

Last December I was preparing a session on Digital Transformation for our annual sales conference. It was really no surprise this topic was in high demand, as Digital Transformation is top of mind for many if not most firms. In fact, IDC predicts digital transformation initiatives will more than double by 2020, from today’s 22% to almost 50%. This forecast seemed reasonable. In any given day, I can find numerous articles focusing on digital transformation and it is the topic of many conversations that I have with our clients. But as additional validation, I decided to ask our search team to do a trend on the keyword “digital transformation.” The result below certainly provided further confirmation that the interest in this topic is on the upswing.

The objectives of digital transformation span a wide spectrum, including increased revenue, cost reduction, improved customer satisfaction and enhanced differentiation, and ultimately mitigation of the risk of digital disruption.  Firms are investing heavily in customer experience as a cornerstone of their digital transformation strategies. But what is the focus of these digital transformation investments?

Google Search on Keyword %22digital transformation%22

Digital Experiences are the new IP

Customer Experience ranks as one of the top three investment areas in support of digital transformation initiatives. A recent survey (Gartner) found that companies across a broad range of industries estimate they will spend 18-20% of their marketing budget on customer experience initiatives and 89% of companies plan to compete primarily on the basis of customer experience by 2016 (rising from 36% in 2012). Moreover, organizations believe that investments in customer experience will enable them to differentiate themselves in often crowded and hypercompetitive markets. Yes- customer experience is becoming the focus of meaningful and lasting differentiation. The focus on customer experiences is a reflection of the shift to an information economy- whereby the importance of physical objects are diminished and intellectual or creative products gain importance. Investments in customer experience can provide even greater lift for firms – that is lasting differentiation. Because great customer experiences are often difficult for others to copy- meaning that experiences are providing many of the benefits of intellectual property- protection from imitation.

The creation of compelling customer experiences is becoming table stakes in all industries and there is a great opportunity to dig deep into the topic by joining us at Adobe Summit–which is NEXT week. This year we have a fantastic line up of Tech companies who will be sharing their own digital transformation stories and revealing how they are creating compelling customer experiences. Please register, if you haven’t already, and hear companies like EMC, CSC, VMware, NetApp, Palo Alto Networks (to name a few) discuss best practices on topics like:

  • Predictive nurturing
  • Account Based Marketing
  • Evolution of B2B ecommerce
  • Connecting marketing and sales
  • Developing a personalization roadmap

Join us at Summit:
March 20–24, 2016 | Venetian | Palazzo, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Get Ready to Think, Learn, and DO at Adobe Summit 2016

Marketing Cloud

There is nothing like Adobe Summit. Each year, thousands of insiders from all corners of the digital-marketing universe descend for a week of sitting back, leaning in, and absorbing the seemingly endless tips, tricks, must-tries, and sweeping insights and content that emerge. But this year, we are doing things a little differently on the Personalization & Optimization track; this year, we are putting you — the attendees — in the driver’s seat with countless opportunities to roll up your sleeves right then and there and get down to it. You will learn from us, you will learn from you and your fellow participants, and, together, we will all get a little smarter, a little savvier, and a lot more in-the-know.

Sounds pretty good, right?

We have several workshops lined up, each designed with this very purpose in mind. No matter which you choose, you will dig in with your colleagues via facilitated interactive discussions tied to hot-button topics like mobile, personalization, building out optimization teams, mapping the customer journey, and how we should be looking at it all through today’s lens of being always-on and always consumer-focused. Here are some workshops to check out:

S904 — 3 Key Steps to Cater to the Customer and Turbocharge Conversion

This hands-on session is all about turbocharging your marketing by getting back to basics, including core consumer-behavior principles and data-driven know-how to give your customers more of what they really want. The end result? Clear-cut test ideas you can take back to your business, plus marketing tactics to boost your conversion rates.

L307 — Adobe Target: A/B Testing, Automated Personalization, and Recommendations

This interactive lab will teach attendees to create optimization activities in just minutes, ensuring they walk away better equipped to deliver targeted automated-personalization content using the new Adobe Target interface. Activities will include building an example activity using our Visual Experience Composer, syncing with Marketing Cloud, and taking full advantage of the new UI (user interface).

S905 — Adobe Target: Redesigned for Powerful Optimization and Marketer Control

Adobe Target is all about streamlining and simplifying for today’s digital marketing, but at the same time, delivering massive value through innovative, integrated capabilities. With the new release, there are so many game-changing features, and this session will dig in, ensuring you make the most out of each and every one.

S906 — Because You’ve Got Bigger Fish to Fry Than Testing Button Color

There is more to testing and optimizing than the red button versus the blue button, especially when you are using Adobe Target. This session delves in with a truly holistic point of view: helping marketers tap in to automation, optimization, personalization, and testing to gain big wins — the kind that impact your business’s bottom line.

Some other sessions?

S706 — Mobile Can Be a Goldmine: Make Money By Optimizing Mobile Websites and Apps, which focus on optimizing the onboarding flow for new app users to give them truly engaging, personalized mobile experiences.

S901 — Personalization & Optimization Workshop 2016: 2 Hrs of Ideas & Inspiration dedicated to pushing ourselves and our optimization limits far beyond the bounds of what we have done before, including a lively best-practices exchange and plenty of success stories to inspire.

PLUS, three more must-experience labs:

L327 — Optimizing Your Mobile Apps With the Mobile SDK, Adobe Analytics, and Adobe Target

Helping attendees implement the Adobe Mobile SDK (software development kit) in their apps to better optimize and MONETIZE mobile efforts — who is not interested in that this year?

L321 — Target Everywhere: Power Experiences Across IoT Using Adobe Target APIs

APIs (application program interfaces) focus on the IoT (Internet of Things) and how to create consistent, continuous experiences across a wide range of digital touchpoints.

S909 — Unleash Your Inner Data Scientist With Adobe Target

Adobe Target is helping marketers — any marketers — tap in to the power of data science to maximize personalization and optimization efforts starting right now.

If you are joining us in Las Vegas next month, you really cannot afford to miss out on these hands-on sessions. Register now and start filling your schedule with these unique interactive workshops led by some of the best and brightest in the industry, including many of you and your colleagues. Layering these in is a great way to bring together the best of both worlds — you will listen, you will learn, and you will do in the most dynamic forum and with the most dynamic presenters and co-conspirators around. At the end of it, you will emerge ready to take what you have learned and integrate it at your organization — and that is really what it is all about, right?

See you at Summit!

The post Get Ready to Think, Learn, and DO at Adobe Summit 2016 appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

2016: the year we finally start to monetize those mobile apps…

Marketing Cloud

We have dug into conversion-rate optimization. We have layered-in content personalization. And now, we push onward and upward into the third major pillar of 2016: monetizing mobile apps.

And it is about time, right? You have invested a ton of resources and, of course, budget so you could roll out these compelling mobile experiences. But chances are, despite all of the blood, sweat, and (maybe) tears, you still have not seen a meaningful return on that sky-high app investment.

Know This: You are Not Alone
More than three million apps are available for Androids, iPhones, and iPads, but less than one percent will be “financially successful,” says Gartner. Even the money-making paid apps are not kicking up that much cash — 90 percent make $1,250 or less per day. Why? Because, of course, the only way those apps can be successful is if people purchase them — but, writes IBT, “people simply aren’t.” But that is only the first step. Eighty to 90 percent of apps are downloaded, used once, and never opened again. Two in three are downloaded and never used.

But it should not be that way. Mobile is one of the only platforms that truly blurs the line between marketing and customer experiences — and that is a very powerful space to occupy, especially now. Effectively, through your apps, you have a 24/7 marketing touchpoint that is inches from your audience at all times — even when they are asleep! Mobile devices know where he is and what he is doing, and they have a keen lens into each individual user’s motivations and behaviors in real time. There is nothing else quite like mobile — and nothing else that can so readily feed into the conversion and spot-on relevance conversation.

So, step one: start thinking about your apps as part of the customer experience, not simply a product, and then build the rest — the conversion KPIs (key performance indicators), the optimization, the personalization, and the overarching plan — from there.

Mobile and CRO (conversion rate optimization)
For starters, it is important to remember that “converting” in 2016 looks a lot different than it did even a few months ago, and a big reason is because of mobile and apps. Today users are moving through the desktop funnel, the mobile funnel, and often, both — or, even, both at the very same time. The touchpoints and actual conversions we are putting through the CRO lens, then, are not what they once were. While an app-download is a conversion for sure, it can no longer be a be all and end all. It simply cannot stop there. If that user is never going to open your app again — and remember, the majority will not — is it really a conversion?

At the end of the day, that is the root of the mobile-monetization (or, more appropriately, lack thereof). Chances are that you know how to drive your audience to download your app, but then what? This is the year we need to take it all to the next level: getting users to want to open that app regularly and use it. Maybe the app helps them to be productive and meet their goals. Maybe there is a real, tangible value tied to its use that just cannot be ignored. Maybe it is just fun and convenient — still a powerful combo! — and they cannot put it down. It really does not matter. What does matter, though, is that they download it and come back for more.

Getting to true conversions takes two things: changing the way you and your organization think about conversion, and second, being wholly data driven — so data driven that you can effectively and efficiently tear down the silos that separate mobile moments from the rest of your brand experience. Data helps tear down barriers by ensuring brands treat consumers like the individual, cross-platform players they are. By letting data inform decisions and journeys, you will avoid bucketing desktop and mobile separately; most consumers today simply are not. Instead, you will be allowing users to exist in an area in between, an area ripe for momentum that enables consumers to jet from one experience to the next across platforms, channels, and targeted brand extensions.

Not only will this approach help you tee up the best possible experiences for your customers, but at the same time, it will make the conversion path more relevant, more valuable, and more of-the-moment. No more calling a dud download a conversion and then waiting for that (non) user to make a move. No more delivering a solo app experience and then, maybe, picking the user back up on your website but ignoring what could have been — a rich, meaningful, multi-channel relationship with greater conversion potential. That is where monetization lives, and that is where ongoing, long-term app success is born.

And Then, There Is Personalization
Personalization is another critical piece of the mobile-app and mobile-optimization evolution. Why? For starters, are the reasons you would expect — consumers crave relevant content, experiences, touchpoints, etc., etc. — but there is also the added consideration that innately comes with any mobile journey — AKA context.

Sure, personalization inherently relies on context — specifically how, when, and where users are consuming your brand experiences — but those pieces are factored in even more when you talk about mobile and mobile apps. It is a small screen. The consumer might be on the go. He is likely doing something else — or consuming other media — while he is engaging with your brand. She has limited time, a limited attention span, and a limited tolerance for content and touchpoints that miss the mark.

Context is, hands down, one of the most essential considerations when it comes to making the most of your mobile apps. It is central to optimization, and it is central to delivering an overall, topnotch experience. Get context right, and you are closer to CRO success. Look at HBO NOW; you no longer have to pay for HBO on your cable box to access its quality content. Two million people have jumped in, downloading the app and taking an even more meaningful conversion step — they have signed up for the free month, and many have even become full-fledged paying customers. The content is well organized for mobile and offers easy, unlimited access anytime, anyplace. A serious win.

But this is not just for apps with subscription models. Looking again at the numbers tied to app abandonment, it is clear that — no matter how you monetize yours — it is essential to engage and re-engage with relevant content. If yours is free with in-app purchases, those content- and experience-driven conversions are what will take yours from just a button on a home screen to a daily must. If you have a paid app or subscription model, it is that content curation and delivery that equals value in users’ minds.

Above All, Have a PLAN
It all sounds simple enough, right? It is … and it is not. All too often, a brand rolls out a mobile app because it feels like it has to. It happened in the social space — the boom in brand-monitored Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, Instagram accounts, and the like — with no real customer-focused value or strategy. It even happened way back when the Internet first popped into our collective consciousness. How many companies had to have a website back then just because?

While there is something to be said for keeping up with the digital Joneses, it is important to funnel those have-to-have urges into something productive, well aligned, and high value. Like I said in my earlier post, apps for apps’ sake is a little like Field of Dreams brands deep in development, assuming that if they build it, the consumers will come. That attitude got us in this current state of clutter with millions and millions of apps taking up space on our devices but not in our day-to-day life. It is a recipe for disaster or — at best — apathy.

That is not to say that your brand should not invest in apps or mobile experiences in general. I am advocating, though, that to ensure you are effectively and efficiently harnessing the power of this optimization moment in time, you drill down on the specific business goal tied to your app first and foremost. Understand the end goals from consumer and brand perspectives. Know which KPIs matter, which do not, and — taking it a step further — the broader way your organization defines success from a customer-experience perspective.

Be sure stakeholders and marketers are in step. Get everyone crystal clear on how these experiences play into your overarching brand universe as well as your current marketing mix. Then, pull out those high-value touchpoints and see how you can transition them from simple, consumer-focused moments in time to meaningful monetization. It is going to take a sharp focus on optimization and the delivery of relevant mobile experiences at scale, but I am confident we are just about there — and more importantly, that once we settle in, we will start seeing results.

Beyond that, though, let us not forget that this is not just an app conversation; there is even more value to be gained from the conversion conversation. Sure, your mobile experience and your website have some similarities and some differences, but make no mistake that your app plays a big role in converting today’s always-on, always-addressable consumer. That is going to not only continue, but also get even bigger and more critical in 2016 — mobile-app usage was up 58 percent in 2015 with personalization and productivity apps leading the pack in terms of growth. Definitely something to think about.

We are at a pivotal intersection in the app conversation, and I am incredibly confident this is the year the tides turn. Collectively, we have invested too much time to have it any other way. This is the year the legwork pays off, and that, in many ways, will be fueled by CRO and personalization — and vice versa. By thinking about your apps as a critical piece in the customer journey, and not as a standalone product, you are well on your way to turning a corner during this vital moment in time. Once you recognize the power that you have — because you can get directly in the palms of consumers’ hands — you can start thinking differently about personalization, optimization, and being data driven. From this vantage point, it is easier to see what “conversion” really means in 2016 as well as how context feeds into whether you hit those conversion goals. And from there, you can make a plan — a real, tactical, actionable plan — that helps you deliver more relevance more often. That is what is going to inspire more-meaningful consumer experiences — that, in turn, will drive ongoing usage and adoption — and catapult your monetization efforts across mobile and even beyond!

The post 2016: the year we finally start to monetize those mobile apps… appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.

Everyone’s Optimizing: How More and More Industries Are Getting in the Game at Adobe Summit 2016

Marketing Cloud

When you think about which industries were the early adopters of personalization and optimization, travel and ecommerce instantly spring to mind. For at least the last decade, marketers at our favorite shopping and travel-booking sites have been in a heavy “do” period, leveraging analytics and testing in an effort to make the most of every data point to improve the customer experience, and of course, conversion. The end result? Massive gains in everything from bigger carts and fuller airplanes to higher average-order value (AOV) and increased rewards-program signups. Hands down, big wins for these industries.

But what are these industries up to now in 2016? And what about everyone else — all the other industries that have plunged headfirst into digital transformation as of late? As far as optimization goes, every vertical’s getting in on the action. Financial services, insurance, media and entertainment, auto, B2B high-tech — if you can name it, they are likely in the process of sweeping, optimization-focused shifts right now. In fact, some of the relative newcomers to digital are among the most aggressive adopters of more advanced testing techniques and personalization strategies. That bank is not just setting its digital-marketing sights on getting new customers; it is also trying to get the most out of existing ones through cross-selling and targeting-product recommendations. A credit union can see who is tapping into specific loans, and from there, tout relevant credit cards that deliver the perks a person in that life-stage — a new homeowner, empty nester, or renovator, for example — would likely want. Telco is all about leveraging the data to construct the best, most spot-on relevant packages. Even B2B companies are getting into customers’ heads to better understand personas (but, as a side note, not in a creepy way). From there, they can connect their audiences with more of what they want when they want it, substantially cutting down months-long — or even years-long — sales funnels, and as a result, delivering more value to both sides.

Bringing It to Life at Adobe Summit

We are planning to bring many of these hot-button topics to life at this year’s Adobe Summit. During one particular session, “Building the Case for Optimization”, we are digging into the financial-services industry with American First Credit Union. The financial-services industry is a really interesting vertical when it comes to optimization and personalization because there is so much to it. Credit unions, like AFCU (America First Credit Union), have access to tons of data and can identify countless high-value moments in time — think buying a home or putting a kid through college — based on products and services that clients are tapping into. From there, providers can better deliver meaningful, spot-on relevance that boosts the customer experience and drives increased satisfaction and long-term advocacy.

AFCU has countless tips, tricks, and tactics that, for them, have shown tremendous value on their path to optimize and deliver great digital experiences to their members as a result. Think focused testing and challenging endless assumptions with those tests — the model of a data-driven, optimizationally mature organization. Another great example hitting the stage at Summit? The Home Depot, who is pushing the envelope in the optimization realm with incredibly sophisticated systems in place surrounding automation, A/B testing, and audience targeting. Like AFCU, Home Depot will share its optimization experiences as well as explain how Adobe Target was central to maximizing value and customer experiences.

More to come on industry-specific optimization evolutions and who is truly moving the needle, both on the blog and at Summit. For now, though, start examining your optimization efforts, not through an industry lens but through a conversion or strictly KPI-focused (key performance indicator) lens. What are you trying to achieve? What are your conversion goals? What is working — and what is falling short? If you have answers but are still seeing a gaping hole or two separating you from where you need to be, you might need an optimization intervention. And now, regardless of your industry, you have plenty of best practices, integrated solutions, and data-driven opportunities to road test.

If you are heading to Adobe Summit this year, be sure to pre-register for these high-demand and highly valuable sessions, all on the Personalization & Optimization track. Do not miss out!

S905 – Adobe Target: Redesigned for powerful optimization and marketer control

A few years ago, we made Adobe Target easier to use and more accessible for all marketers, regardless of the level of personalization and optimization experience. The introduction of a guided workflow and interface let marketers feel like they could just open the door, sit down, turn the key and drive. As each new release hit the showroom floor, we added more features and game-changing capabilities.

S916 – Building the case for optimization: Lessons from financial services pros

Getting internal buy-in for testing and optimization isn’t easy, particularly in the tightly regulated, highly scrutinized financial services industry. But as with any program, demonstrating value more readily sways opinions more than any other tactic. In this session, America First Credit Union (AFCU) discusses several proven tactics for showing value to gain the all-important buy-in.

S903 – Holistic experience optimization at The Home Depot

We all know The Home Depot—the epicenter of home improvement for do-it-yourselfers and contractors. But you might not know about their trailblazing approach to full experience optimization that leverages automation, A/B testing, and audience targeting. In this session, The Home Depot offers a glimpse into what’s possible when you expand your thinking about how to drive value with personalization and optimization.

S706 – Mobile can be a goldmine: Make money by optimizing mobile websites and apps

From onboarding new users to effectively moving folks thru a conversion funnel, many opportunities exist to improve your mobile experiences.  In addition, consumers expect personalization via the data they provide to you including their preferences, customer history, behaviors, and location.  In this session, Adobe experts will show you how to optimize and personalize mobile web and app experiences for real business results.

S901 – Personalization & Optimization Workshop 2016: 2 hrs of ideas & inspiration

We’re all on this personalization and optimization journey together. We’re learning new ways to leverage data to optimize and personalize better than before. We’re discovering what types of creative, content, designs and approaches work. Some of us are reaping the benefits of automation. We’re stretching beyond what’s been done before. And we’re recognizing what it takes to build strong optimization programs.

S711 – The new frontier: Measuring and optimizing wearables and connected devices

Apps are no longer just for our smartphones and tablets. With the advent of wearables such as Apple Watch and connected TV consoles such as Roku and Apple TV, marketers need to know how to measure and enhance the app user experience for these new device categories. Learn how Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions and core services support this new frontier for digital marketing.

The post Everyone’s Optimizing: How More and More Industries Are Getting in the Game at Adobe Summit 2016 appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.