“People buy experiences not products” – this was a consistent refrain throughout the summit. This year, Adobe unveiled an architecture to deliver on the promise of “experience driven commerce” by seamlessly connecting content, data and AI. The net result for marketers – consistent, personalized consumer experiences orchestrated across channels, fast. Marketers from Helly Hansen to Under Armour to RiteAid talked about the benefits of agile workflows, data-driven intelligence, enhanced metadata and testing, and most importantly, better consumer engagement.
At the core of the philosophy: content fragments laddered up to experience fragments laddered up to configurable digital experiences — integrated across Creative Cloud, AEM, and Adobe Commerce, and enhanced by the real-time customer profiling and AI capabilities of the Experience Platform. A mouthful for sure, but one with a lot of value.
Helly Hansen Puts Content + Commerce in Action. Helly Hansen said connecting commerce and content will transform it into a “platform agnostic consumer brand by 2022.” Knowing that their consumers have many different interests (from skiing to sailing to mountain rescue) across myriad countries and languages, they are using AEM as a cloud service to accelerate content velocity with a seamless workflow between designers and content authors. AEM assets are available in both Photoshop and Magento, experience fragments are pushed in real-time across channels, and Sensei intelligence is automatically being applied to create smart tags and smart crops. (For more watch: 7:16-10:30 and 19:00-23:20 here.)
Content Strategy Defined. “Content should be easy, but it’s not.” So true. Adobe presented a system for enabling the content velocity described above – bringing creation and syndication together into a cohesive strategy. In this model, the assets are the car, AEM is the garage, metadata is the fuel, and content architects are the drivers. The role of a content architect: managing the overall content supply chain in order to drive scalable reuse of content fragments. (For more watch: 22:30+ here and 6:22-10:22 here.)
Content Analytics: From Customization to Individualization. We’ve all seen the stats - people buy experiences, and those experiences must be personalized. While the industry at large has invested heavily in segmentation and targeting and dabbled in segment level personalization the next frontier is 1:1 individualization. As Forrester analyst Brendan Witcher suggests, this means marrying “customer intelligence” (demographics, psychographics, and behaviors) and “content intelligence ” (physical and emotional metadata with actual performance.) This is a powerful thought that will grow in importance in the coming years. (For more watch: 7:28-11:20 here.)
“Most organizations don’t understand how this is working. Leading organizations do, and they put equal priority on understanding the customer AND the content. It is the puzzle pieces together that make personalization work. No matter which piece is smaller, that’s how successful your personalization strategy will be.”
Commerce requires personalization which requires content. While most marketers believe in the vision, connecting those dots has been elusive. Adobe has taken a huge leap forward in turning the vision into reality by investing in the enabling pipes and intelligence. Now is the time for marketers to focus on the people and processes to realize the full value of their technology investments.