New Platform Addressing The Customer And Audience Buying Across Digital Channels Says Adobe’s Kao

AdobeAdobe recently announced its enterprise content management system, known as Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform (ADEP), which offers a series of integrated solutions (Customer Experience Solutions) across digital channels. Read the release.

Loni Kao, Group Manager of Solution Marketing, Digital Enterprise, Adobe, discussed the announcement and its implications. Do you see a fit between the audience buying world of advertising and Adobe’s Customer Experience Management solution?

LK: Yes, absolutely. One of the core pieces of Customer Experience Management is the idea that it’s not just about serving up content but making sure that it is relevant to a particular audience segment. This would play a role in the effectiveness of advertising and in terms of how ads get placed.

What target market within the enterprise does the Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform (ADEP) serve?

For the Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform, we actually have two key segments of buyers that we see. One is the marketing professionals at enterprises. They’re the ones that have a growing need to reach their customers through digital channels.

And the other market is IT because as we move things more into digital, there is pressure on IT to provide the systems and technology needed to provide rich interactions and also the agility needed to deliver across all these different audience segments.

The platform is ultimately a set of technology services that people can build out their own custom applications with, and then also a set of customer experience solutions. In terms of the integration with Omniture and metrics, at least with this release, we have much deeper integration with Web experience management, our Day Software acquisition (2010), the Web content management.

But across the board the overall strategy is to embed the Omniture analytics because one part of optimizing digital experiences is being able to listen to what the digital audience is doing and what they’re reacting to, and that’s been a real challenge for enterprises.

And the reason we’re releasing or have announced a set of customer experience solutions is because, the experience isn’t just about advertising or marketing at a stage where a customer wants to learn about something. It’s also at the point where they’re deciding to share their positive experiences with someone else, and that is a powerful form of advertising and making it easier to do that for customers.

What types of enterprises are the target customer here?

It would be large enterprises who have a desire to engage with the customer through the digital space. We’re seeing it across the board but certain industries where we’re seeing this is important is retail banking, retail e‑commerce. Retailers are moving from just providing a shopping cart to now “How do I manage the entire experience, and the brand, and the loyalty.”

Another area is manufacturers of consumer products who are looking to delve into more engagement with their consumers through a direct channel whether it’s to bolster their brand or customer loyalty so that they’re not just buying a particular product once but they’re continually coming back. Also, it can augment their offerings so the product isn’t just what the customer bought but the experience, maybe the online forums, the social elements that are also part of the digital experience. So using it as a way to augment the experience with the particular product or service.

So, is this the Adobe CRM platform?

Good question. There appears to be a lot of interest even from the analyst community, which has traditionally covered CRM, and now is looking at our customer experience management offerings. I would say that [what Adobe is offering is] different than what’s been realized with CRM. If you look at most CRM systems, there is a lot of data around the customer that is stored in a CRM system. One of the gaps is how do you deliver the compelling experiences out to the customers and make it actionable in the channel – that’s our focus.

First, define digital experiences.  And then, how does this platform with Adobe’s overall vision?

Digital experiences are all of the interactions that, in this context, customers are having with enterprises across channels that are served by technology.

So Adobe helps enterprises create compelling digital experiences. Our vision is to provide the set of solutions that help customers, enterprises, create those digital experiences through our Creative Suite and measure those digital experiences through our Adobe Online Marketing Suite, which is Omniture and then manage both of those offerings through the Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform.

What are the next big milestones that you see for Adobe’s Digital Enterprise Platform (ADEP) road map?

A couple of things on the road map.   If we look at ADEP today, what we are announcing is the web experience management of customer communication and integrated content review.

Another area of focus for the product road map obviously includes social. I think a lot of what enterprises and advertisers have been doing is looking at the current social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, with a desire to extend that experience to very branded social experiences that the enterprise may provide for their community.

Another area is the unified work space, which is very much targeted at the customer service piece for sales and service‑type functional areas within the enterprise. It’s about providing front line staff with the tools they need to see a complete view of a customer.

And then, the next level, which is being able to offer that to the end‑customer, which ties into another trend – the lines between within the enterprise and outside the enterprise are blurring.

These are not trends unknown to your audience. What I think is somewhat unique is the… or, it’s not somewhat ‑ which is, what is unique is our approach to it. And what we’re offering, and the market position, having understood the creative side of things, as well as the marketing and enterprise side of it.

How does the Omniture integration work in ADEP? And, how does it relate to audience buying?

Omniture is all about measuring and looking at audience journeys. The reason we are integrating with Omniture is so that each of these solutions has the ability to be personalized for that audience when it lands on your site, for example.

We originally launched the integration with Omniture in February and what we’ve done in this release is deepened it.  Two key integrations include SiteCatalyst, and the other is with Test&Target. With SiteCatalyst, this is within our Web Experience Management [solution set]. You’re able to connect with SiteCatalyst and actually see what’s coming out from the context screen, and map it to SiteCatalyst variables.

With Test&Target, you can define what the variables are, and design it so that different offers are shown to someone on a particular website based on their profile, and what you’re targeting. And this can be either a banner ad, or something much more like an offer for white paper or things of that sort. It’s worth mentioning that Adobe’s recent acquisition of Demdex, which focuses on audience management, is also relevant to this conversation.

By John Ebbert

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