April 1, 2020
  |   AEM, Analytics, Ecommerce, UX / CX

Recap: Adobe Summit 2020 Keynotes

On March 31st, Adobe launched their virtual Summit event in lieu of their physical event in Las Vegas. Unlike the live event, all keynotes and breakout sessions were pre-recorded and available online for anyone to watch for free. For those too busy to watch all of the videos, we put together a recap of the keynotes.

“We’re in the Center of a Digital Revolution”

The first keynote kicked off with Adobe’s President and CEO Shantanu Narayen to welcome viewers and set the tone for the rest of the keynotes and sessions. He first addressed the unique times we’re in with COVID-19, stating, “While we’re facing difficult times now, I’m encouraged by the tremendous dedication and innovation of our employees and our customers. If we work together now, we all emerge from the situation stronger than ever.”

As Narayen later noted, we are currently in an exclusive digital world that relies on technology now more than ever. To help companies keep up with the ever-changing digital economy, Narayen introduced the Adobe Digital Economy Index. Using data from trillions of transactions, tens of millions of products, and thousands of retailers, Adobe is assessing the global digital economy in real-time.

When comparing online sales before and after the coronavirus crisis, here’s what Adobe uncovered:

  • 25% increase in US ecommerce sales
  • 2x increase in daily US online grocery sales
  • 62% YoY growth in click & collect sales

“We’re in the center of a digital revolution. The environment we face in 2020 is only accelerating the need and urgency,” said Narayen. Based on Adobe’s experience as well as insights from other companies, Narayen shared key themes that have emerged from leading digital transformations:

  1. People buy experiences, not products: Consumers expect their experiences to be well-designed, context-aware, seamless across channels, and secure. “Earning your customers’ trust and loyalty means you must understand them better than anyone else and deliver exactly what they want when they need it,” added Narayen.
  2. Design for brilliance, wire for intelligence: Adobe developed real-time customer profiles that tie together hundreds of insights across the enterprise to deliver personalized experiences.
  3. Strong partnership between the CIO and CMO: As Narayen put it, “It’s the decade of the CMO and CIO.” He’s found that the most successful digital businesses have a strong partnership between the CMO and CIO. IT is more customer-centric, and marketing is more data-driven. The result? The ability to deliver compelling customer experiences at scale.

Adobe built the Adobe Experience Cloud to help companies deliver exceptional experiences, from creation to acquisition through renewal. “It’s a platform built for the modern digital business.” said Narayen. With the right platform, people, and processes, companies can turn into a customer-obsessed culture and understand each shopper throughout their entire journey.

Download Blue Acorn iCi’s whitepaper “Amplify the Customer Experience with Analytics” to learn why you need CX analytics to win.

The CXM Playbook

Anil Chakravarthy, EVP and GM of Digital Experience Business Unit at Adobe announced the release of Adobe’s CXM Playbook (Note: CXM = Customer Experience Management). The CXM Playbook helps companies align around a common vision and deliver compelling experiences. The playbook includes best practices, self-assessments, and a customized plan.

This is one of the many tools users can find in Adobe’s Experience League. Experience League is a self-help instructor-led community that brings together over 2.5 million members. The community has its own panel that provides direct feedback to Adobe product teams to inform product roadmaps.

“CXM Starts With a Deep Understanding of Your Customer”

One of the biggest struggles Chakravarthy sees companies dealing with is integrating their CXM technologies. “CXM starts with a deep understanding of your customer,” said Chakravarthy, and this requires integrating internal applications and third-party tools.

Adobe Experience Cloud seamlessly integrates their internal platform, services, and applications with third-party systems. The platform, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), aggregates data across applications, CRM, POS, and third-party systems to form a unified view of the customer. Powered by Adobe Sensei, real-time customer profiles enable merchants to amplify their customer experience insights and deliver personalized experiences.

Latest AEM Advancements:

  • Modernized Data Collection: Uses Adobe’s new software development kits and worldwide data collection network to stream event-level data to any first-party or third-party destinations in real-time.
  • Experience Edge: Streamlines and accelerates data transfers, enabling globally distributed profiles, real-time audience segmentation, decisioning, and experience delivery.

To help companies capture customer data, orchestrate journeys, and leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI), Adobe Experience Cloud has the Application and Intelligent Services. One of the newest tools in this service is the Real-Time Customer Data Platform (CDP). The CDP simplifies the management of known and unknown customer profiles for holistic, up-to-date profiles that users can access in any channel and activate personalized experiences across the digital customer journey.

Chakravarthy announced a series of new capabilities included in the Intelligent Services: 

  • Customer AI: Uncover segments and target each with the right marketing campaigns.
  • Attribution AI: See conversion impact given by owned, earned, and paid media and make informed decisions.
  • Journey AI: Analyzes data to help companies activate experience at optimal times.
  • Content and Commerce AI: Analyze data to help you activate experience at optimal times.
  • Leads AI: Intelligently scores and routes leads to the right sales reps to maximize their effectiveness.

Sneaks, aka First-Look at New Adobe Projects

Each year at Summit, Adobe presents a series of new projects teams are working on, but only 60% of what they show makes it into product. To determine which projects are chosen, Adobe asks users to vote for their favorite project here.

Dually Noted is a collaborative editing app powered by augmented reality. Using the app, a user can scan physical pages and add comments—all while seeing comments someone added in digital versions.

Snippets leverages Adobe Sensei to present targeted summaries, headlines, and images for each segment. The capability ensures the summary is relevant to the article while appealing to the audience.

Segment Scout uses natural language to help users find exactly what they’re looking for in the Adobe Experience Platform, regardless of how the data is modeled or stored.

Clothes Swap lives in AEM Commerce and uses 3D modeling and AI to place clothing on different models at different angles. Each product automatically adapts to the model, making it easier for merchants to personalize entire product catalogs.

Access Ace gives marketers an easy way to make emails and pages more accessible. In Adobe’s email builder, Adobe Campaign, or AEM, a user can use the accessibility checker to scan the backend code, which then provides a score and recommendations based on mandatory guidelines. With the click of a button, users can fix the issues and improve their scores.

Bon Voyage uses AI and machine learning to evaluate paths a team created and looks at the paths customers are actually taking in the digital journey. Mid-stream, Bon Voyage will adjust the customer experience and present content that will take the individual down the ideal path.

Gluestick brings together Adobe products and capabilities without code. A user can create workflows and trigger events that span across products, such as AEM and Creative Cloud.

To learn more about Adobe products and how they can help you digitally transform your company, reach out to us here. Our team has implemented Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Analytics, Adobe Campaign, Adobe Target, and Magento Commerce Cloud for various companies across industries, including OCCU, SouthernCarlson, Web.com, and more.

Shannon Abel
After graduating from Clemson, Shannon started her career in marketing, focusing on content creation and engagement. As Blue Acorn iCi’s Media Marketing Specialist, she keeps clients and customers up-to-date on the latest trends and news in the ecommerce world. She also produces and hosts Blue Acorn iCi's podcast, The Funnel. In her free time, she enjoys running with her dog and checking out the local breweries in Charleston.
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