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Takeaways from the 2019 Adobe Summit

As an Adobe partner, Curamando visited the 10th EMEA Adobe Summit 2019 held in London 15-16th of May for a couple of days filled with digital transformation and marketing.

The event itself has grown to be quite large with 6 000 attendees overall (largest so far) and 1 200 partner participants. It’s a mix of high-level keynotes from some of the world’s biggest corporations like Unilever, Warner Bros, Sky, Telenor and deep-diving breakout sessions on day-to-day marketing challenges.

So without further ado, here are our key takeaways from the Adobe Summit 2019.

Amplified product stack

2018 for Adobe was a year about acquisitions; the company bought e-commerce giant Magento as well as the marketing automation platform Marketo. Specifically, the Magento acquisition has elevated Adobe to a competitive positioning in the commerce landscape globally.

At Adobe Summit Adobe emphasized their focus on the data, rather than the tools, and Adobe wants to become the solution to breaking down marketing data silos.

(Adobe’s Adobe’s Customer Experience Management Platform (CXM) )

“Customer experience is everything”

Adobe officially launched the Adobe Experience Cloud, their central nerve system for customer experience data to help clients accelerate digital transformation. Many companies today are product- or -customer-led organizations however Adobe’s vision is laser-focused on the experience-led organization. For a company to accelerate digital transformation and put the customer front and centre, it’s all about the experience-centric model and actual experience you deliver to the customer (or soon-to-be customer).

B2B and B2C could soon be complemented by the notion of B2E, Business to Everyone. Using data to create amazing customer experiences should not be constrained to either business or private consumers but to all in a true omnichannel vision.

(An in-depth look at the Adobe Experience platform from data sources to output channels)

API-First or the key to transformation lies in connectivity

Enterprise data comes from myriad sources, all the time. Since the early 1990s, customer data— behavioural, transactional and operational— has grown faster than organizations could wrap their arms around. Adobe, SAP and Microsoft have created the Open Data Initiative which is an alliance for data to flow between their respective tech stacks and customers who are using several or some of those companies’ products can leverage this feature to avoid data dead ends and siloed processes.

Adding to this, Adobe and Software AG announced a partnership to help companies transform their customer experience management by bringing together customer data from across multiple enterprise systems (Software AG) into a centralised and actionable real-time customer profile (Adobe). Adobe and Software AG will create integrations between Adobe Experience Platform and Software AG’s webMethods Integration and API management services.

This connectivity cooperation is similar to how Salesforce acquired Mulesoft in 2018 to build on Mulesoft’s out-of-the box integration capabilities with 3rd party software.

Again, we see how Adobe is pushing the vision of data being more important than ever and why it needs to be accessible across an organization. Democratisation of data within the organisation is a key factor in successful transformations from product-centric to customer-centric business models.

Connectivity is where we at Curamando most often see clients having questions or need to assess where to go next and where to avoid going. Investing in the wrong or isolated tools is a costly and time-consuming event if companies then decide they need to back out of that tech investment.

Brands need the right foundation of content, data and intelligence to succeed with digital transformation

For the three brands whose executives took to the stage during the opening keynote, digital transformation has been about more than just new technologies. Unilever, illycaffè, and BT also made commitments to change the way their organisations work in their day-to-day work, from its operating rhythm to reporting cycles, to the platforms their teams use to collaborate and to bring digital experiences to life. A great point was made in a discussion about legacy applications: companies need to take a data-centric, rather than an application-centric point of view.

Building a digital experience is easier than delivering one, which is why Adobe is currently focused on helping companies turn data into actions that will improve their offerings. For many businesses, they become paralysed by organisational silos that impede cross-functional collaboration and make it impossible to work in a customer-centric way.

Building the right foundation is not always about having as much data as possible, it’s about having the right data for the objective you want to achieve.

If you plan to attend next year’s Adobe Summit I recommend planning far ahead. Lots of interesting topics and presentations to learn from, but also many opportunities to engage with people across the digital marketing industry.


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