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TAdobe summithis year’s Adobe Summit had a central theme around “experiences” — delivering and enhancing our day-to-day experiences across many aspects of our lives.  

Given Adobe’s pedigree as a data giant, it was only natural that data would play a central role in enabling these experiences.  Throughout the sessions at Summit, it was clear that Adobe has been focused on liberating data from its traditional boxes to form connections between a variety of pairings in order to drive those experiences, including:

  • Shoppers & stores
  • Computers & the Internet of Things
  • Brands & other brands

Shoppers & Stores

In a bid to bring the personalization of online experiences to offline retail, Adobe rolled out a concept for using personal shopper information and data-driven product recommendations into stores. The concept, which Adobe wants to bring to market in partnership with retailers by the end of 2016, uses technology including body-scanners to help people find the right size, and Microsoft Kinect. It brings the digital experience, with its personalization potential, full circle for in-store shoppers.

Computers & the Internet of Things

Adobe clients have generally come to love the features and control which the Adobe Target platform provides: it’s a polished platform giving marketers the ability to test and customize website content based on audiences and other triggers.  Adobe is boldly working to extend the reach of Target by stretching its capabilities to also embrace the Internet of Things, or IoT — the network of physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data.

Adobe showed off some impressive new Target features which enable you to customize the content delivered across the IoT.  Think of changing the lighting and music in a store’s fitting room based on the person in there (with their Bluetooth phone enabled), or customizing the messages on a connected fridge for different members of the family.  Adobe also demonstrated a connection between Target and the Amazon Echo, enabling you to create personalized responses and actions based on the speaker.  

While much of the excitement around this development lies in the potential impact as opposed to immediate implications, two things are clear: 1) Adobe isn’t standing still — they’re enhancing some of their most beloved products to help clients drive their marketing forward, and 2) the potential impact of putting greater control over emerging technologies into the hands of marketers is huge, especially when you consider the fact that Gartner is forecasting nearly 21 billion IoT devices to be in use by 2020.

Brands & Other Brands

Companies are eager to find new ways to drive revenue, and the massive amount of data which companies collect through their website, marketing communications, user profiles, and other methods (collectively known as 1st-party data) presents revenue streams ready to be unlocked.  Two key ways to monetize this rich data includes selling the data outright, and sharing the data with other related companies to improve targeting and drive sales (known as 2nd-party data to the company buying the information).

In the past, doing so was tough from a technical standpoint, and solutions built exclusively for this purpose were few and far between.  Often, advertisers would have to get creative and ‘hack’ Floodlight tags to package and distribute their data.  This sort of off-label approach left the data sellers exposed to risk via loss of control of their data.  

Now, Adobe is providing users of their Audience Manager DMP a streamlined way to collect, package, and broker data sets to other organizations.  Companies can now choose to share audiences built within Audience Manager to other users of the Audience Manager platform.  For large companies with multiple brands, this is a welcomed and powerful development as it would now enable a company like P&G to more easily share audiences between Old Spice and Gillette.  Selling these audiences to unrelated, non-competitive brands is available as well.

Adobe is breaking down some of the technical hurdles that have kept the promise of making money through data from being realized, again helping marketers get smarter about the experiences they deliver to prospects and consumers.

This year’s Adobe Summit showcased the ways in which Adobe is unlocking data from its native silos in order to build connections that drive better experiences.  Adobe is keeping an eye on the future while giving marketers some real-world capabilities to take advantage of today.  By shortening the distance between data and action, Adobe is helping marketers turn potential value from data into real progress.

Comprehensive coverage of the Adobe Summit 2016 can be found here.


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