Delivering the Volume, Variety, and Velocity of Content you Need for the Experiences Your Customers Want

How Adobe Experience Cloud and AI can unlock instantaneous, scalable personalization.

When you’re managing 50 campaigns each week and sending 3.5 billion emails annually, producing new content and getting that content out the door — not to mention to the right customers — can be daunting. It was for Travelocity, until they migrated their content delivery system.

“It took a lot longer to be responsive to deals,” says Tony Arbelaez, Travelocity senior database manager. “If we were to find out that an airline was having a fare sale, it would take us days to be able to respond to that.” At that point, they’d likely missed out on driving a good chunk of potential bookings, even though they had ample data and content at the ready.

More content, more targeted, and more timely

Many brands — Travelocity included — have no shortage of great content, for now. But, in the Experience Era, customers are turning up the pressure — they want great content but they also want that content to be highly personalized, and delivered the second they finish the last piece.

The challenge is clear: 85 percent of companies aren’t creating assets fast enough, and 71 percent say they’ll have to scale up asset production exponentially to keep pace with the increased number of digital channels alone. With Gartner estimating 20.4 billion connected devices by the year 2020, these demands are showing no signs of slowing down.

It’s a common challenge, says Elliot Sedegah, group senior product marketing manager for Adobe Experience Manager.

“Whether they’re in retail or in manufacturing, teams are tasked to grow content 10, 20, or 30 percent in the next year,” he says. “But their budgets aren’t increasing — and they’re not getting more people to create all that content.”

Pulling the pieces together, he explains, means first finding the right technology to bring the volume, variety, and velocity together. Once in place, it’s easier to accelerate meaningful content delivery, ensuring your customers have what they want when, where, and how they want it, every time.

Brands on the cutting edge

In Travelocity’s case, mastering volume, variety, and velocity meant migrating to Adobe Analytics and Adobe Campaign. Now, in addition to customized “My Deals” alerts, marketing teams using Adobe Campaign can create custom emails with no coding experience — and no added IT support.

For example, instead of creating a custom cruise deals landing page, the Travelocity email marketing team built a custom dynamic landing page in Campaign. Each week, Campaign automatically refreshes deal content, and deploys a targeted email that drives to the page.

“I haven’t had to touch the cruise campaign since implementation,” says Tony. “It’s completely automated, and it’s been a boon to our cruise sales.” The team, he adds, has saved countless hours while generating significant benefits to their bottom line, by delivering the right content — and a significant volume of content — to the right audience, quickly.

The team can also act on the fly, delivering content in a fraction of the time. After hearing CNN and ABC News declare August 23 “Cheap Flight Day,” the team sprung into action, creating a campaign targeting recent airfare shoppers.

“By evening our emails were live,” Tony says. “If you looked at our competitors, we were the only ones to react so quickly. The emails would have taken a week and a half with previous solutions, but, with Adobe Campaign, we were running in hours. Getting out there before anyone else gave us the opportunity to be more successful.”

How to start increasing volume, variety, and velocity

If your brand aims to improve content and delivery, it’s essential to lay the foundation for more — more content, more accessibility, and delivered with more velocity than ever. To achieve those goals:

1. Assemble a considerable content library.

To keep pace with customers’ content demands, you need a sizable, preexisting stockpile of content, including text, images, and video, that has been curated and meta-tagged.

2. Get a digital asset management (DAM) system in place.

Resist the urge to keep using siloed Band-Aid solutions, says Elliot. “When you think about all the different content needs that exist in each channel, it becomes clear that marketing and creative teams need to have access to a shared, central repository — like a digital asset management tool — to allow them to reuse and repurpose things and get out to market faster.”

3. Get analytics data.

Having lots of data is important. But to deliver with relevance and speed means understanding what works and what doesn’t (e.g., what content has been engaged with, what content generated a successful response, and what content customers want more of. This is the foundation for matching content with customers for personalized experiences.

4. Apply AI and machine learning.

“Once you get things set up right,” says Elliot, “there are so many opportunities to introduce AI into your environment.” In addition to using this technology to generate smarter placement of content, AI can also be applied to the production of content. For example, you can use AI to intelligently crop and resize an image for an ad, enabling the real-time delivery of perfectly sized content.

5. Automate process and workflows.

“Ask yourself, ‘When content comes directly into the system, can you provide automatic review and approval processes?’” says Elliot. “Can you make assets more searchable by automatically discovering tags and applying metadata to them?”

To keep up with customer content demands, it’s essential to automate delivery workflows — this simply isn’t something human resources can manage, especially as personalization and heightened content demands grow.

As customer demand for personalized experiences grows, brands will need to deliver more content that’s more relevant — and they’ll have to do it at a faster pace than ever. To ensure your brand stays in-step with these demands, it’s essential to keep iterating and keep refining your processes.

“I think it’s important to keep innovating because we are far from the end goal,” says Shane Lewis, Travelocity’s director of email marketing. “The end goal is a very complex, conversational message with our customers. Really, at the end of the day, it’s really just innovating for the sake of talking to customers in the best way possible.”

Discover how Adobe Experience Cloud and Adobe Sensei can help you master content volume, variety, and velocity, and deliver more personalized customer experiences. Read more in the latest Adobe Blog series, Experience Business – Now Do It At Scale.

Also, check out our best practices guide for designing standout email experiences.