At Adobe Summit, Talk Focuses On Products And Privacy

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More than 5,000 people from 27 countries came together in Salt Lake City for the annual Adobe Digital Marketing Summit, where they have heard about Adobe's latest news from top executives, seen how clients and brands from a wide range of industries leverage these tools, and discussed trends and challenges facing marketers today.

The Last Millisecond: In Marketing and Baseball

Adobe executives compared marketing to baseball in the opening keynote: "We are tasked with delivering experiences in milliseconds," said Brad Rencher, SVP of digital marketing at Adobe, just like when a batter has milliseconds to hit the baseball. But unlike America’s pastime, if a marketer only gets a hit four out of 10 times, they aren’t in the hall of fame.

Data, he added, is how marketers can make sure they are hitting home runs instead of strikes. He discussed how Adobe’s five solutions—Analytics, Experience Manager, Target, Social, and Media Optimizer—can help marketers do that.

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen also spoke of the importance of data. Having access to data, he said, has "fundamentally changed how the product organization, the marketing organization, and sales and finance are working together collective to drive our business."

"CMOs and marketers are in a better position than finance to truly affect change and drive the business," he added.

"Only 25% of budgets today are spent on digital," he said. "We want all of you to get a bigger pierce of that budget pie. There is no question about the impact that digital is having on the bottom line."

Narayen also mentioned three marketing mandates: engage everywhere, embrace rocket science (and data), and connect the dots, especially within the organizational structure.

Rencher then highlighted how Adobe Marketing Cloud, and its new capabilities, can help marketers leverage data, break down silos, and work together across the organization on campaigns. David Nuescheler, VP of enterprise technology for Adobe, then demoed the new integration between Adobe Creative Cloud with Adobe Marketing Cloud, and other Adobe executives demoed the rest of the Adobe Marketing Cloud news and innovations.

Digital, Data, and Omnichannel: Adobe Clients Speak

Adobe CMO Ann Lewnes gathered industry analysts and executives from client companies for a Marketing Experts panel: Joe Megibow, SVP and GM of omnichannel and ecommerce for American Eagle Outfitters; Christopher Reynolds, VP of marketing analytics for Condé Nast; David Cooperstein, VP and practice leader of CMO and Marketing Leadership Professionals at Forrester Research; and Rob Roy, VP and GM of ecommerce and interactive marketing for Time Warner Cable.

The panelists: Roy, Cooperstein, Reynolds, Megibow, and Lewnes

The panelists: Roy, Cooperstein, Reynolds, Megibow, and Lewnes

"Digital is just fundamental," Cooperstein said when asked how digital fits in with companies today. "We’re already doing it everywhere and 85% of our marketing spend is in digital."

Megibow noted that American Eagle, as a retailer, is a modestly-digital company, focusing a lot on local and in-store outreach. "But if you think of our target demo, that is a very digital audience," he said. "The amount of engagement we get through social channels is amazing: 30% of our visits are coming through mobile devices."

But challenges remain, as the panel discussed privacy, attracting and retaining talent, how to communicate to leadership on an ongoing basis about digital strategies, data, and attribution.

For a media company like Condé Nast, Reynolds noted that "mobile and the digital edition was a huge push last year and wil be a major strategy this year as well."

Roy agreed on the focus on mobile, especially responsive design: "We see the biggest opportunity is within responsive and how you manage content across each one of those mobile screens."

In the discussion of privacy, Reynolds said, "We are sensitive about it, especially with our sites targeted towards teens. But as an industry, I think we need to do a better job of talking about what it is we do. No one ever talks about the fact that there are people like us who are talking about how to make the experience better for the user. This technology is used to make the experience better and, as a whole industry, we need to make the point that we are doing this to help."

Cooperstein agreed, noting that "privacy is an art and a science."

While nothing was completely figured out during this marketing experts panel, the conversation mirrored the issues being discussed at breakout sessions throughout the Summit and the challenges that Adobe and other technology companies hope to help marketers solve in the future.

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