How Adobe Drives Its Own Transformation

by Eric Cox

Posted on 05-16-2019

In the Adobe Expe­ri­ence Cloud, we have tools that help busi­ness­es deep­en the con­nec­tion they have with their cus­tomers. In a world where the expe­ri­ence is now just as impor­tant as the prod­uct, our solu­tions help ensure that every time a brand engages a cus­tomer, the inter­ac­tion feels con­sis­tent and per­son­alised. It is a tall order—one that can only be met through ana­lyt­ics and an under­stand­ing of what makes peo­ple tick. For brands to lead in the cat­e­go­ry of Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence Man­age­ment (CXM), organ­i­sa­tions have to embrace data as a means to dri­ve key deci­sions that impact the customer.

At Adobe, we have a Cre­ative Cloud busi­ness that can tap direct­ly into our enter­prise tools. While we enable some of the world’s largest brands to trans­form their busi­ness­es, we had to engage in the jour­ney our­selves. A crit­i­cal piece of this process was the intro­duc­tion of our data-dri­ven oper­at­ing mod­el, or sim­ply “DDOM” as we refer to it inter­nal­ly. This mod­el fun­da­men­tal­ly shift­ed how we oper­at­ed by cre­at­ing a com­mon lan­guage around data. From indi­vid­ual con­trib­u­tors to the C‑suite, any deci­sion that impact­ed the over­all cus­tomer expe­ri­ence had to be made with insights and not pure­ly intu­ition or edu­cat­ed guesswork.

How we did it

The impor­tant first step was build­ing a sin­gle source of truth that every team could ral­ly around. We need­ed a foun­da­tion that stitched togeth­er insights across Adobe prod­ucts includ­ing Ana­lyt­ics, Expe­ri­ence Man­ag­er and Cam­paign, along with indi­vid­ual Cre­ative Cloud appli­ca­tions and third-par­ty sys­tems. With this as a base, we removed any incon­sis­ten­cies in how dif­fer­ent teams viewed data and the ways they used it to inform deci­sions. It also pro­vid­ed a mech­a­nism to knowl­edge-share across the organisation.

Once the foun­da­tion was built, we worked across teams to iden­ti­fy a new set of key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors (KPIs). The new KPIs enabled us to mea­sure the full cus­tomer expe­ri­ence in both finan­cial and non-finan­cial terms. We could now analyse the full cus­tomer jour­ney for Cre­ative Cloud users, which includ­ed dis­cov­ery, tri­al, pur­chase, usage and renew­al. And by doing so, we devel­oped the abil­i­ty to see cor­re­la­tions and sig­nals that drove cus­tomer val­ue and con­ver­sion. The KPIs were assigned own­ers and each were empow­ered to take respon­si­bil­i­ty for their cut of the user jour­ney. And by adopt­ing a com­mon vocab­u­lary and method of mea­sur­ing, it ensured bet­ter align­ment between teams and a laser focus on inter­ac­tions that mat­tered most.

With the intro­duc­tion of new tools, organ­i­sa­tions also have to be will­ing to change the way they work. Teams fall into long­stand­ing ways of oper­at­ing and any kind of change has grow­ing pains. With DDOM, every lev­el of the organ­i­sa­tion had to now think and oper­ate dif­fer­ent­ly. And while we had a task force of indi­vid­u­als empow­ered to lead the charge, crit­i­cal to this effort was exec­u­tive sup­port. Our lead­er­ship team was first-in-line to embrace the change and rein­forced the val­ue at every turn. By hav­ing a sin­gle source of truth, tight align­ment across teams and cross-func­tion­al plan­ning, our abil­i­ty to exe­cute has been height­ened and allowed us to very quick­ly take actions on things that mat­tered most to our customers.

The results we saw

Even at this ear­ly stage, DDOM has yield­ed incred­i­ble insights that informed how we oper­at­ed; One exam­ple is around mobile. For some time, a great deal of resources (and mind­share) had been focused on a few spe­cif­ic mobile apps that we had instinc­tive­ly felt were pri­or­i­ties for the com­pa­ny. What DDOM revealed to us—through the new KPIs that focused on user journeys—was that some neglect­ed apps were actu­al­ly dri­ving tremen­dous val­ue for our cus­tomers. It pushed our teams to divert resources and deliv­er new onboard­ing expe­ri­ences. These efforts have since dri­ven sig­nif­i­cant engage­ment and con­ver­sion for Adobe’s over­all mobile offerings.

DDOM has also affect­ed how we approach mar­ket­ing spend. The mod­el helped us iden­ti­fy that online search­es were mov­ing away from brand­ed search terms in our space—an insight we could take advan­tage of to opti­mize our search mar­ket­ing. This allowed the team to dou­ble down on resources and bud­get for areas that were bet­ter aligned with chang­ing con­sumer habits. With this and the mobile exam­ple, DDOM has been cru­cial in sur­fac­ing action­able insights that would have either been noticed too late or were coun­ter­in­tu­itive to the way in which teams were thinking.

The path ahead

The suc­cess of DDOM has encour­aged us to begin think­ing about what “DDOM 2.0” looks like. The Cre­ative Cloud use case has shown us the tremen­dous val­ue in using data to dri­ve deci­sion-mak­ing, and we plan to roll this out more broad­ly across the com­pa­ny. We also know the pow­er­ful con­tri­bu­tion that AI and machine learn­ing can pro­vide in the long term, and we have plans to lever­age Adobe Sen­sei in the future to dri­ve every­thing from fore­cast­ing to more pre­dic­tive modeling.

Topics: Adobe Summit, creative cloud, Customer Experience Management, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA