What Happens Behind the Scenes in Digital Marketing?

by Abi King

Posted on 03-09-2018

Wel­come back to our ongo­ing series of con­ver­sa­tions between influ­en­tial blog­gers from a range of fields, and experts from Adobe. These unique encoun­ters offer insight into how end con­sumers feel about dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, includ­ing how and when tar­get­ing is effec­tive, what makes for an appeal­ing cam­paign, and how mar­ket­ing affects whether these all-impor­tant influ­encers spread the word about spe­cif­ic prod­ucts and platforms.

Our fea­tured blog­ger is Abi King (AK). In 2007, after five and a half years as a hos­pi­tal doc­tor, Abi decid­ed to fol­low her dream of becom­ing a writer, and Inside the Trav­el Lab was born. This lux­u­ry trav­el blog is described as one of the best trav­el blogs in the world by Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Trav­eller and Lone­ly Plan­et. She’s s an award-win­ning jour­nal­ist and pho­tog­ra­ph­er whose work has appeared in Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Trav­eller, Lone­ly Plan­et, the BBC, Red, CNN and more.

She spoke to Adobe’s Michael Plim­soll (MP), Indus­try Mar­ket­ing Direc­tor. He is sea­soned, inno­v­a­tive mar­ket­ing strate­gist focused on dri­ving effi­cien­cies and improved return on invest­ment through the bet­ter use of data and ana­lyt­ics. Fol­low Mike @MichaelPlimsoll

AK: My name is Abi King and I’m the founder of Inside the Trav­el Lab. one of the world’s lead­ing trav­el blogs. I’m here in Lon­don, in Adobe’s offices, to have a talk about behind-the-scenes dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. And today I’m here to talk with Mike Plim­soll. Hi Mike, hello.

MP: Hi Abi.

AK: Can you tell me what do you do here at Adobe?

MP: I work in the prod­uct and indus­try mar­ket­ing team which means that our team is respon­si­ble for prod­uct devel­op­ment, prod­uct roadmap, strat­e­gy and indus­try positioning.

AK: Thanks very much for agree­ing to speak to me today and spend the time going behind the scenes. It’s real­ly inter­est­ing from a trav­el con­sumer point of view to under­stand how we’re mar­ket­ed to. Now, I’m a very visu­al per­son, I’m real­ly dri­ven a lot by what I see and that inspires a lot of my trav­el deci­sions. How can trav­el com­pa­nies use this or how are trav­el com­pa­nies using this?

MP: Expe­ri­ences are real­ly pow­er­ful when they’re visu­al and they’re appeal­ing to con­sumers, and they’ll change the way that a con­sumer will inter­act, engage, depend­ing on the cre­ativ­i­ty of it. We’re see­ing, not just trav­el brands, but all indus­tries look at dri­ving bet­ter design, bet­ter cre­ativ­i­ty to cre­ate that wow moment for cus­tomers, some­thing that’s going to break through the noise of every­thing else that’s out there, that’s going to engage with them on a one-to-one lev­el and be personal.

And then that gets them into that brand and starts them on that journey.

AK: So when we’re talk­ing about design we’re not just talk­ing about how things look at the moment, we’re think­ing about how they work as well.

MP: Oh yes absolute­ly, I mean, you know, cre­ativ­i­ty and the design is—yes it’s a pret­ty pic­ture, it’s a nice video, but it’s the entire user expe­ri­ence. How do you orches­trate a jour­ney from start to fin­ish, whether it’s start­ing with an email or the open­ing of an app? How do you ensure that the minute you open your airline’s app it’s per­son­alised and tai­lored and pulls you in, so you engage further?

AK: At the moment can machines—say, they work out that you’re going to Helsin­ki, because that’s quite an easy word to search for, are they able, at the moment to, for exam­ple, would [it] be able to say, “Hey it’s Mike com­ing in again, we know he always leaves it very late and he’s going to have to race round the shop so we’re going to tar­get things for that?” Can they work out that kind of behav­iour for peo­ple at the moment?

MP: Absolute­ly, and at Adobe we’ve got the Adobe Sen­sei frame­work, which is our own AI machine learn­ing frame­work. We’re very much focused on mar­ket­ing, and so look­ing at behav­iours, activ­i­ty that will ben­e­fit mar­keters, whether that’s image recog­ni­tion or next best action. But yes, we can start to look at con­sumer behav­iour. And start to under­stand trends around, you know, what the right next best action would be.

So, for instance, with the Heathrow exam­ple, if you know through my Heathrow loy­al­ty mem­ber­ship I may always go to the Nero cof­fee shop and I’ll col­lect my Heathrow rewards points. But now know­ing that, you can start to use machine learn­ing and AI to go, “Well Mike’s three hours away, this is the traf­fic, here’s an offer for cof­fee.” Adobe Sen­sei is our own arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence machine learn­ing frame­work. All of the prod­ucts and solu­tions from the Cre­ative Cloud, Doc­u­ment Cloud, Mar­ket­ing Cloud have had AI machine learn­ing built into them for many, many years.

You look at a prod­uct like Light­room, and the facial aware­ness or the object recog­ni­tion capa­bil­i­ty it’s got, or in the mar­ket­ing prod­ucts, as the anom­aly detec­tion capa­bil­i­ty. These AI machine learn­ing capa­bil­i­ties exist in those solu­tions, but what we’re doing is we’re cre­at­ing a frame­work to bring them togeth­er. We’re invest­ing sig­nif­i­cant­ly in the devel­op­ment of them and to enhance them and bring new AI machine learn­ing capa­bil­i­ty to our cus­tomers, which in turn will ben­e­fit their customers.

Should the end con­sumer be wor­ried or want­i­ng to know what Adobe Sen­sei is? Prob­a­bly not. What they should just be con­cerned about is get­ting the best expe­ri­ence that’s con­tex­tu­al, rel­e­vant, per­son­alised to them and that’s what Adobe Sen­sei will help deliv­er. And ide­al­ly they’ll nev­er know it exists.

As a con­sumer how impor­tant is it to have con­sis­tent expe­ri­ences whether it’s when you call their call cen­tre, or go onto their app, or to go on to their desk­top site—do you expect infor­ma­tion to be trans­ferred and pref­er­ences shared across mul­ti­ple chan­nels? Or do you under­stand that these are separate?

AK: So when you look at see­ing a trav­el com­pa­ny across, say, desk­top [and] mobile, and whether or not the infor­ma­tion is trans­ferred, I think I do expect it to be trans­ferred. I expect every­thing to be linked up by now, because that’s what hap­pens with my mobile phone any­way, you know, with Safari you open the brows­er and it says hey this is what you’ve got on your lap­top. So I would now expect that from trav­el brands, I’m afraid. I would see that as default. Is that a dif­fi­cult thing for com­pa­nies to do?

MP: I think that a lot of brands are try­ing to get to this point of hav­ing that sin­gle view, that his­tor­i­cal­ly every company’s been siloed, and shar­ing infor­ma­tion has always been dif­fi­cult. But as you say, con­sumers see brands as one enti­ty, they don’t under­stand that there’s HR, and legal, and mar­ket­ing, and dif­fer­ent prod­uct teams: they just see it as one brand.

AK: I think it prob­a­bly does real­ly frus­trate me if there’s some­thing that you can’t change on your mobile phone that you have to wait to get back to the desk­top. Depend­ing what we’re talk­ing about, but often with trav­el you are trav­el­ling, you’re on the move, so it does need to be even more mobile-respon­sive than per­haps some finan­cial soft­ware where you might be in a dif­fer­ent frame of mind—you know, you’re going to be at home with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, sort­ing out your tax return. You know you need a chunk of time, and you’ll be sat down, where­as with trav­el you are always trav­el­ling and on the move and on the go.

So you want to be able to pull up the hotel reser­va­tion to get the address for where you’re going. And if your pro­gram or if your app says oh no we can’t do that, you can only do that on the main site, the non-mobile site, then that prob­a­bly seems a fail­ure these days.

Thanks, Mike, for talk­ing to me today, and thank you for tun­ing in. Now remem­ber this is one of a six part series here in Adobe, and you can find the rest on their Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Blog Europe at blog.adobe.com/digitaleurope/. Thanks for watching.

Topics: Design, Creativity, AI, Travel, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA