Adobe’s US Summit: Day One Recap

by Ryan Levitt

Posted on 03-28-2018

Las Vegas is the city of expe­ri­ences. From the moment you step off the plane and are con­front­ed with a sea of slot machines, to the cut­ting-edge check-in pro­ce­dures and ameni­ties in your room, every cor­ner of Sin City is designed to sur­prise and delight. I per­son­al­ly believe there’s no bet­ter place to host Adobe’s US Summit.

Day one saw over 13,000 atten­dees from every cor­ner of the world come togeth­er to learn about the secret sauce that goes into mak­ing an Expe­ri­ence Busi­ness. From Tourism Aus­tralia to Coca-Cola, brand after brand came on stage to share their wis­dom and dis­cuss how they have worked with Adobe to cre­ate magic.

In the words of our CEO, Shan­tanu Narayen: “We want you to have the tools you need to become Expe­ri­ence Mak­ers.” Day one cer­tain­ly pro­vid­ed a com­plete kit of options to draw from and be inspired by.

In today’s com­pet­i­tive mar­ket­place, peo­ple buy expe­ri­ences, not prod­ucts. Every con­sumer seeks phe­nom­e­nal expe­ri­ences, and suc­cess­ful com­pa­nies recog­nise that trend. But it doesn’t have to be about wow moments. It can be as sim­ple as mak­ing a customer’s inter­ac­tion more per­son­alised by tai­lor­ing it to their needs.

Tourism Australia’s man­ag­ing direc­tor, John O’Sullivan, expand­ed on this dur­ing his onstage chat, explain­ing: “It’s about know­ing where your cus­tomer is in the pur­chas­ing fun­nel. If they have already bought tick­ets, you don’t want to send them mes­sages that encour­age them to come to Aus­tralia. Instead, you want to tai­lor their expe­ri­ence so they receive infor­ma­tion that helps them make their planned trip even more spectacular.”

Tai­lored mes­sag­ing will be eas­i­er to do fol­low­ing Adobe’s major prod­uct announce­ments and demon­stra­tions, includ­ing the new Ad Cloud Cre­ative plat­form and Sen­sei capabilities—but more on that later.

Even Coca-Cola—one of the most icon­ic and recog­nised brands in the world—admitted it was going through an expe­ri­ence trans­for­ma­tion. David Gods­man, Coca Cola’s head of dig­i­tal, revealed that the com­pa­ny had kicked off a five-year dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion last year, begin­ning with a request to its “tra­di­tion­al brand mar­keters to become expe­ri­ence makers.”

Brad Rencher, Exec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent and Gen­er­al Man­ag­er of Adobe Expe­ri­ence Cloud, host­ed pro­ceed­ings through­out, kick­ing off the morn­ing by pro­claim­ing: “Busi­ness­es need to oper­ate as if they are always on, antic­i­pat­ing the needs of the cus­tomer on every plat­form and at every moment. Every organ­i­sa­tion needs to break through the noise and speak to the cus­tomer in a unique voice to leave an impression.”

Accord­ing to Rencher, there are three rules that every Expe­ri­ence Busi­ness needs to fol­low in order to achieve success:

  1. Design for bril­liance. Design is not just the way some­thing looks, it’s the absolute engage­ment you have with cus­tomers. Cre­ativ­i­ty and design have always been at the heart of Adobe. Focus­ing on expe­ri­ence design is worth the effort because com­pelling and intu­itive expe­ri­ences are a proven com­pet­i­tive advantage.
  2. Rewire for intel­li­gence. It starts with data to under­stand every person’s con­text in every moment. But data is not enough. To ensure that every indi­vid­ual gets the expe­ri­ence they need, you need intel­li­gence and this turns data into insights. Con­tent intel­li­gence is just as key. A deep under­stand­ing of content—how it is com­posed and delivered—is crit­i­cal. When you wire your enter­prise for intel­li­gence, you are putting con­tent and data to work at scale.
  3. Archi­tect for Action. Cre­ate a struc­ture that pro­vides cus­tomer expe­ri­ences. Make it intu­itive and ensure that it is designed to meet the expec­ta­tions of cus­tomers, rather than being designed around whatever’s eas­i­est for your inter­nal use.

What real­ly blew me away was London’s own Zarpana Kabir, who demon­strat­ed the Adobe Adver­tis­ing Cloud’s new capa­bil­i­ty which lever­ages the pow­er of Adobe’s Cre­ative Cloud and inte­grates it into the plat­form. I like to call it “From Page to Pro­gram­mat­ic,” as it can cre­ate new or draw from exist­ing assets on Cre­ative Cloud, and then instant­ly port over to Ad Cloud to deliv­er them.

For instance, you can see if the red back­ground on your ad isn’t work­ing mid-cam­paign, and change it to blue—within sec­onds. This means your cre­atives can do what they do best, be cre­ative and gen­er­ate fresh ideas, instead of focussing on frus­trat­ing, over­ly time-con­sum­ing design edits. Take a look at this demo and see for yourself.

Adobe CTO Abhay Paran­sis also wowed the audi­ence with a demo of Adobe Sensei’s AI-enabled func­tions, which include auto­mat­ic image tag­ging, con­tent sug­ges­tions and smart edit­ing, all of which are inte­grat­ed into Adobe’s exist­ing platforms.

“Intel­li­gence is foun­da­tion to every­thing we’re doing at Adobe,” said Paras­nis. “We believe that AI and machine learn­ing will trans­form every­thing we’re doing. Its impact will be even more trans­for­ma­tive than the birth of the inter­net or the emer­gence of the smart­phone era.”

By the end of the day I was exhaust­ed. Thank­ful­ly my room, tak­ing the lead from Mar­riott (one of Adobe’s cus­tomers), had an app allow­ing me to open my door with my mobile. So convenient.

Come back tomor­row for a recap of the excit­ing ses­sions sched­uled for Day two, includ­ing a chat with Sir Richard Bran­son and our ever-pop­u­lar Sneaks. I promise to make it an expe­ri­ence you won’t forget.

Topics: Digital Transformation, adobe Sensei, AI, CX, ML, summit, US Summit, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA

Products: Creative Cloud, Experience Cloud