Be an ‘Experience Business’ or be out of business – What’s your choice?

The Adobe Sum­mit EMEA 2016 is com­ing at a time of unprece­dent­ed change in all aspects of business.

This year’s Sum­mit in Lon­don is devot­ed to the the shift we are all fac­ing in cus­tomer pri­or­i­ties as users across the globe are demand­ing per­son­alised, con­tex­tu­al­ly rel­e­vant, and real-time expe­ri­ences. Con­se­quent­ly, everyone’s new brand is the sum total of ‘expe­ri­ences’ that they deliv­er across chan­nels, and that everyone’s new prod­uct is the ‘cus­tomer jour­ney’ that they enable. We are all now in the busi­ness of deliv­er­ing expe­ri­ences or ‘expe­ri­ence busi­ness’ as we call it, and over the course of two days with over 100 break­out ses­sions, hands-on labs, and stim­u­lat­ing keynotes, we will explore how to achieve this new focus at the Summit.


Users every­where crave expe­ri­ences that are sim­ple, intu­itive, and amaz­ing. Dig­i­tal Trans­for­ma­tion has brought us all to this piv­otal point and in order to sur­vive and thrive dur­ing this dis­rup­tion, organ­i­sa­tions must deliv­er the expe­ri­ences that con­sumers have come to expect. This will require a new approach as well as tech­nol­o­gy-enabled capa­bil­i­ties across all chan­nels and touch points to build, man­age, and deliv­er expe­ri­ences that both sur­pris­es and delights con­sumers at every stage of their jour­ney with a brand.

How­ev­er, before we reimag­ine our tech­nol­o­gy-enabled approach for the future, we have to under­stand the past and maybe put a dif­fer­ent spin to it.


Tech­nol­o­gy-enabled busi­ness trans­for­ma­tion has under­gone mul­ti­ple waves of evolution. The third wave is upon us – and it’s rein­vent­ing how prod­ucts and ser­vices are cre­at­ed, deliv­ered and mar­ket­ed. First came the “back-office” wave, with soft­ware solu­tions for in-house process­es like inven­to­ry con­trol, pay­roll and account­ing. Then came the “front-office” wave, which helped firms stream­line their data to bet­ter inter­act with cus­tomers. With both waves, ear­ly-adopters of enter­prise soft­ware enjoyed a sig­nif­i­cant advan­tage over rivals. Today, we find our­selves in the ear­ly stages of a third wave, a wave con­trolled by cus­tomer expec­ta­tions rather than cor­po­rate interests. There’s only one way for brands to ride this new wave: become an Expe­ri­ence Busi­ness. Com­pa­nies have to cre­ate a per­son­al­ized, com­pelling cus­tomer expe­ri­ence at every link of the rela­tion­ship, from web­sites and mobile apps to retail environments. In addi­tion, trans­for­ma­tion affect­ed by 1st and 2nd wave were not imme­di­ate­ly vis­i­ble to your com­peti­tors, as most of this trans­for­ma­tion was inter­nal to your organ­i­sa­tion. How­ev­er, trans­for­ma­tion affect­ed by the expe­ri­ence busi­ness wave, by its very nature, is vis­i­ble to both your cus­tomers as well as your competitors. This means any com­pet­i­tive advan­tage gained through a super­fi­cial trans­for­ma­tion can be erod­ed very fast and, to enable such a trans­for­ma­tion to be sus­tain­able and scal­able, a deep­er organ­i­sa­tion­al change is required.


Expe­ri­ence Busi­ness means dif­fer­ent things to dif­fer­ent organ­i­sa­tions and indus­tries. This will be dis­cussed exten­sive­ly at the Sum­mit, but here are some ideas to get you think­ing as you work to trans­form your organisation.

1. **Embrace design-cen­tric think­ing in your organ­i­sa­tion. **I dis­cussed this in depth in anoth­er post, but basi­cal­ly this means that every­one in your organ­i­sa­tion should con­sid­er them­selves to be an expe­ri­ence designer.

2. Map out your customer’s whole jour­ney. Cre­ate a map of all pos­si­ble touch points from lead gen­er­a­tion through post- pur­chase cus­tomer ser­vice. Show how all depart­ments impact the cus­tomer experience.

3. Take a deep dive into each touch point. Iden­ti­fy pol­i­cy choic­es and com­pa­ny process­es that could unin­ten­tion­al­ly cause an adverse cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. For exam­ple, does your pay­ment pro­cess­ing func­tion force cus­tomers into actions that help the account­ing depart­ment but cre­ate a dis­ap­point­ing cus­tomer experience?

4. Adjust your choice of met­rics and mea­sure­ment sys­tems. Chang­ing inter­nal process­es and mind­sets is only half the bat­tle. You must also pick new met­rics to mea­sure cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion through­out their jour­ney with the brand. With the robust ana­lyt­ic tools pro­vid­ed today, mar­keters can become data scientists.

5. **Be con­sis­tent across dig­i­tal and off-line chan­nels and touch points. **Your cus­tomer expects to see con­sis­tent con­tent and per­son­al­i­sa­tion whether they are using a desk­top at home, a tablet or lap­top at work, or the brows­er on their smart watch.

6. **Get the tim­ing right. **Offers and per­son­al­i­sa­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties must hap­pen on the customer’s ****time frame, not yours.

We hope you will join us for the excit­ing dis­cus­sions, led by Adobe cus­tomers, experts, part­ners, to pro­vide you with insight about how to trans­form into an Expe­ri­ence Busi­ness and to make your organ­i­sa­tion future-proof. See you there!

Adobe Sum­mit EMEA