Connect the Content and Data Dots for a Superior Customer Experience

Ad creatives can leverage data to deliver content at high velocity and across multiple channels. But they must first overcome a few stumbling blocks.

by Adobe Experience Platform Team

posted on 11-28-2018

Two years ago, personalization looked a lot different. Two years ago, “Amanda” might have been presented with an ad that said, “Welcome back, Amanda.”

Cool. But not enough.

Today, advertisers know Amanda has a young daughter, that the family lives in California, and that she’s considering purchasing a new stroller. The content from those advertisers, then, starts to look more familiar — the next ad is a toddler riding in the stroller Amanda has been considering. Interest piqued, she clicks to learn more.

It’s a major evolution in how brands engage customers with advertising. And it’s driven by the notion that we live in a “time economy,” says Haresh Kumar, head of strategy and product marketing at Adobe Experience Manager. “As a marketer,” he says, “you have seven seconds at your disposal before a customer’s attention span wanes. If your experience isn’t relevant, timely, or consistent, the consumer will be ready to jump ship.”

The power of delivering personalized experiences

With that seven-second timer constantly ticking away, it’s clear a one-ad-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Now, more than ever, brands must deliver content and experiences that are hyper-personalized, relevant, and timely — and always presented in the right context and format.

This can only happen, Haresh explains, if these experiences are driven by data. “We need data, we need content, and we need content velocity since we’re dealing with multiple channels, multiple screens, multiple persona segments, multiple everything,” he says. “But the data is often spread across first-, second-, and third-party sources, which can make it tough to integrate, align, and act on holistically.”

When this disparate data, then, lands with creatives and marketers, they’re left comparing apples and oranges. There might even be different semantics in the data language — one source may call a customer a “shopper,” while another may use “cookie,” and a third may consider them “members.” To make effective use of the data, marketers first need to consolidate every data point with some level of uniformity.

When brands can connect their content to their data they can deliver stellar customer experiences — and, from there, the possibilities and ROI potential are endless. A recent Adobe-commissioned Forrester study found businesses that invest in technology tools to deliver exceptional customer experiences register 1.4 times more revenue growth than their peers, and 1.7 times higher customer retention rates.

How to connect content and data, starting now

To connect content to data, your brand should focus on these key steps:

Step 1: Consolidate data.

Since the data that will be used to inform content is fed through a variety of sources in a variety of formats, it needs to first be consolidated into one format. Marketers also need a way to ensure data is integrated effectively and with respect to privacy regulations, such as GDPR.

Here, Adobe Experience Platform truly delivers. Marketers can parse disparate data from CRM records to behavioral insights, conform to pre-programmed security standards, and deliver individual unified profiles — profiles that are updated in real time.

Step 2: Improve content velocity.

Consumers expect brands to deliver relevant, high-quality, and rapid-fire content, and that’s adding to marketers’ stress — 85 percent say they’re under pressure to create assets and deliver campaigns faster than ever.

To improve content velocity, marketers must automate more routine aspects of content creation, such as tagging and photo cropping. Adobe Sensei, the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning engine that powers features in the Adobe Experience Platform, automatically derives insights from the data. This can help you easily ensure you’re using visual content in your campaigns that is engaging your customers.

Step 3: Unify the marketing ecosystem.

“Brands today have so many different third-party technologies deployed to their website, and being used inside their mobile applications,” says Jon Viray, product manager for Launch by Adobe, an open-source platform to integrate and deploy native or web applications. “Wrangling those technologies can be difficult.”

In these scenarios, marketers need consolidated data so they can understand their customers. “They also want to integrate the functionality of the tools that deliver that data,” Jon says. “But when those tools are built on a foundation that is not standardized, it gets difficult to integrate things.” Creating a central platform on which all content and data-related apps are developed is key.

Using Launch by Adobe, marketers now have a foundation that serves as an effective data portal. They now have unified data from web and native mobile-app sources, including data that comes from third-party apps. “Also important,” Jon says, “the data is now portable and ready to be shared and analyzed from different vantage points, to deliver more insights about ad performance.”

From here, AI can read data feeds to select content for dynamic fields in ads. This creates a more personalized experience for customers.

Step 4: Figure out what to measure.

Just because the data is out there doesn’t mean it’s always relevant to your analysis or your goals. Email, display, social media, and campaign marketers “should come together and boil down what should be measured to the lowest common denominator,” Jon says. “They need to figure out what information should be captured for the different types of content they’re generating.”

Step 5: Combine data and creativity effectively.

Understanding the effectiveness of your ad campaigns is essential so you can easily assess which content hits the mark and which falls short.

“Get your measurement framework in place,” says Justin Merickel, vice president of Adobe Advertising Cloud Creative. “Once marketers have the content, understand what metrics they want to measure, and the analytics to process the data they are receiving, they can work on a feedback loop to deliver experiences that really resonate with the customer.”

Here, he says, Adobe Advertising Cloud Creative comes in. “Advertising Cloud Creative empowers marketers to build and edit creative assets based on the audiences they’re looking to reach and engage with — and make sure that those experiences are something they can control,” Justin says.

“That includes things like sequencing a series of ads against a target audience so they’re able to tell more of a story, rotate ads that resonate the most with the audience, or leveraging machine learning to center the experience in a more effective and scalable fashion to their audiences.”

The integrated Adobe Advertising Cloud DSP lets marketers launch a unified display campaign without having to create new content for each medium. What’s more, Advertising Cloud Creative combines with Launch by Adobe so marketers can receive data to create content that delivers more conversions.

Underscoring these workflows is AI powered by Adobe Sensei. This powerful machine-learning engine empowers marketers to deliver personalized and compelling customer interactions across platforms, at scale, and at high velocity.

By following these steps, ad creatives and marketers can marry data and content to deliver stellar hyper- personalized experiences for customers.

“It’s extremely important for brands to do this consistently, in a connected way, and in context of the channel and customer journey,” Haresh says. “If you’re just focused on the data and not the content, you won’t impact experience. If you’re just focused on the content and not the data, there’s no context. Right now customer expectations are very, very high.”

Deliver on those expectations by connecting your content to data and you’ll be able to satisfy the customer — and you’ll be able to do it within that all-important seven-second window.

Check out The Data Rush: How to Strike it Rich series on the Adobe Blog for more ways to enhance your data-driven experience delivery.

Topics: Digital Transformation

Products: Experience Cloud