Adobe Summit EMEA: Marketers Are In The Experience Business

Adobe Summit EMEA: Marketers Are In The Experience Business

Brad Rencher, executive vice-president & general manager digital at Adobe, opened the first day of the Adobe Summit EMEA at the ExCel London convention centre today by telling marketers that they are no longer in the products economy but are, instead, in the “experience business.”

“Digital marketing is not about you, or me, or even our customers. This is all about people, and we’re here to give them great experiences, it’s that simple,” he said. “As marketers, we need to realise we’re selling experiences—the actual item is just along for the ride.”

Delivering experience forms part of a third wave of disruption that will fundamentally change how businesses market themselves. Rencher said that it follows on from two waves of technology-driven disruption centred on improving enterprise processes, efficiencies, and sales and marketing conversations. “[Experience] will become the new competitive battleground for businesses,” he added.

This focus is prompting brands to carry out detailed journey mapping, and to use new tools and structures to optimise the experience offer.

As part of its transformation programme, London’s Heathrow Airport is on a mission to “deliver the world’s best airport service,” said Simon Chatfield, head of eBusiness and CRM at Heathrow.

To achieve this it has invested in the physical environment of its terminals two and five, turning them into “cathedrals to travel,” and explored the journeys of its wide range of customers from the earliest travel consideration through to moving through its airport terminal.

“This has helped us define interventions around pain points [with the aid of technology tools] and put that into the experience,” Chatfield said.

For Giles Richardson, head of digital analytics at the Royal Bank of Scotland, the challenge around experience came in taking control and insight back into the digital teams, so that the bank could use data insights to improve its connection with, and experience for, customers.

Its “Superstar DJs” programme led to the creation of a team of journey mappers, with the ability to react in real time to cross-device customer journeys.

As part of the programme, Richardson said: “This raised the questions of who in the team should become the data optimisation specialists. The answer is everyone, it’s now a frontline skill.”

From a cultural perspective, Richardson said, by giving its staff these tools “collaboration happened. We weren’t forcing this behaviour, we were enabling it.”