The tremendous rise of digital and customisation at scale

The tremendous and relentless rise of digital was at the centre of our takeaways from Adobe Summit 2022, which delivered on all its promises with more than 26,000 connected viewers during the opening keynote. This amazing event, of which Visionary Marketing was a partner [disclosure], can be summed up in just 5 hashtags: #rise #digital #AI #personalisation #atscale. Here is a tweet-spangled fast-track report of Adobe Summit 2022 seen from my window.

Adobe Summit 2022: the tremendous rise of digital and real-time personalisation at scale

irresistible rise of digital-Adobe Summit 2022
Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s helmsman  at the introductory Keynote of the Adobe Summit 2022. During this mammoth event (26,000 viewers at the time I captured this image) Narayen described the irresistible rise of digital

The Summit began with some facts and figures delivered by Adobe’s top man Shantanu Narayen during his introductory keynote: it is predicted that there will be approximately “US$1 trillion in ecommerce revenue in 2022 in the US alone” he said.

Ecommerce is no longer small fry, it’s a whopping digital boom we are witnessing here. Long gone are the days (1997) when the boss of Abbey National, asked me, “Do you think that one day, Internet business could be in the major leagues?”

Customisation is not new, but the real challenge today is personalisation at scale

Large-scale digital customisation on the agenda

But to fuel this impressive digital wave (close to £700 m worth of revenue in 2019 in the UK alone, 50% of which being driven by EDI exchanges vs a mere 130 billion euros in France), personalisation is a must-have.

Not just any kind of personalisation, mind you. It’s true that “personalisation is not new”, explained Anil Chakravarthy, President, Digital Experience Business at Adobe, “but the real challenge today is to personalise at scale”, he added. This was really the heart of the matter at Adobe Summit 2022.

Why customise, you may ask? It’s because there is still a lot of work left on marketers’ plates. “80% of companies think they deliver good Customer Experience, but only 8% of customers agree with that!” Narayen added, citing a study by Bain and a figure that is not even new. This highlights rather sadly that things have not so much improved in this area in Europe.

All this means we don’t have a choice and so, …

The next step is to make the digital economy more “personal”

Which brings us to Shantanu Narayen’s recommendations on how to achieve this.

A relentless rise of digital … as long as your CX is personalised

Shantanu Narayen shared four golden rules with us for an improved personalised digital economy:

    1. Quality content from customers’ perspective: relevant and valuable to them,
    2. Customised customer journeys,
    3. CX,
    4. Work on actionable, clean and non-siloed data.

30% of BMW buyers ready to buy online. We have to make everything digital – Jens Thiemers

This unprecedented digital technology boom is not a pipe dream. The figures are real: Jens Thiemers, the boss of BMW USA, stated that a third of his customers are ready to buy their car online. The days when ecommerce was for £20-paperbacks are long gone.

For this to work, though, technology is needed and this is the promise brought forward by Customer Data Platforms, with the possibility of building marketing repositories capable of handling personalisation in real time and huge volumes.

Marriott’s three principles for achieving an exceptional data-driven customer experience

Yet, technology does not suffice. We were reminded of this by Susan Bloomberg of Marriott in an excellent presentation that we described on Visionary Marketing.

Based on her experience, here are Susan’s three rules for data marketing success at scale:

    1. Be customer-obsessed,
    2. Make assumptions and it doesn’t matter if they are wrong,
    3. Test and learn.

All this was pretty businesslike you might say, but the Adobe Summit also gave us the opportunity to talk of other things namely with Dame Vivienne Westwood, co-inventor of the Punk movement.

What has Punk to do with customer experience? You might add, and in that you would be very wrong, as Adrian Swinscoe rightly taught us with his Punk CX opus.

3 lessons learned from Adobe’s announcement on the Metaverse market

At this point in my recap, one had to talk about the inevitable Metaverse. Adobe aptly announced at this Summit 2022 they were positioning some of their products around the Metaverse in partnership with four main high-profile companies: Coca-Cola, Epic games, NASCAR and NVIDIA.

From this announcement, I derived a few lessons for the future:

  1. Virtual worlds are becoming more and more realistic,
  2. There is a dire need for 3D representations in ecommerce,
  3. Online representations of virtual objects and characters will be mainstream.

I have analysed this press announcement on this very website.

To find out more, you will need to refer to our full article on this topic.

Sneak previews of Adobe’s forthcoming new features

A review of Adobe Summit would not be complete without a tweet about the inevitable and unmissable Adobe Sneaks.

Adobe Sneaks are a series of 7 innovations presented by employees, who ask the audience to vote for their projects. 60% of these innovations end up being released by Adobe!

My preferred sneak was #demanddetector, an artificial intelligence widget that allows to correct inventory errors on ecommerce sites when a product is in high demand and customers cannot find it online.

That is a particularly apt conclusion for this recap of Adobe Summit 2022, with its strong AI-based customised ecommerce flavour.

Find all our “Adobe Submit 2022” Tweets here in English and French.

Yann Gourvennec
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