This was originally published on LinkedIn on March 30, 2017.
I started writing this on my flight back east from Adobe Summit. I was listening to Bob Dylan’s Rare and Unreleased Collection. It’s Wednesday today and it’s time to post this.
So every day at Summit I was thinking “you should probably start writing the day’s takeaways so you can put together a good summary.” Well, so much for good intentions. I did post a lot on Twitter, so you can catch a bunch of “real time” perspectives at: https://twitter.com/philkemelor
Maybe the best indicator about what you think is important is what you can recall without trying to spend a lot of time reconstructing your memory. Here’s a few things that bubbled up.
Dynamic Tag Manager makeover
Called Launch, the new DTM is going to provide more flexibility in rules creation, customizations, and an open API. Here’s some good content on what’s new from Jim Gordon and Jennifer Kunz.
Here comes Adobe’s answer to IBM’s Watson and Salesforce’s Einstein — an artificial intelligence capability that provides high powered insights into customer experience that can be leveraged to develop even more customized content and marketing. The value proposition is that Sensei works across all of the pieces of Adobe’s Experience Cloud – Marketing, Advertising, Analytics, Document and Creative, provides near real time capability for personalization and can be configured from Audience Experience Manager (AEM), the content management platform. I suggest reading Dom Nicastro’s piece for additional insight on Sensei’s capabilities and how it compares to the other AI platforms.
The Experience Cloud – vision realized?
Adobe announced a reorganization of sorts, combining all of its services under the Experience Cloud. Powered by Sensei, this new framework is to deliver on the promise of complete integration of all elements of Adobe’s cloud services. For additional perspective on the Experience Cloud see what Stewart Rogers and Dom Nicastro have to say.
Since my days as an analyst covering Omniture, one thing the company could never be accused of is underselling itself. And certainly Adobe Summit has grown into an outsized pep rally that is big on vision and promise; with the daily opening session hall entry soundtrack suggesting that we’re all part of a transformative revolution. It’s all very energizing and seductive. But does the promise deliver? It’s a question that I share with many a seasoned Summit participant.
I certainly have no answers. But like other Summits, it does feel like there is somewhat of a gap between the announcements and a new feature’s “readiness for primetime.” It is a potentially difficult issue for Adobe, as customers who don’t see the value in the entire suite may consider other options for their MarTech investments.
On the other hand, there are many examples of successful case studies demonstrated at Summit. I saw a few by Lenovo and Kaiser-Permanente that stood out for me. Adobe has just provided access to the keynotes and breakout sessions through Summit Online. I suggest you sign up and take a look as a refresher if you were there or a good resource if you weren’t. I know I’ll be coming back to this.
One thing that is true in all of the case studies: The organizations presenting have all made an investment in MarTech…but they’ve also made an investment in resources, processes and change management. They are working hard on creating the organizational change to support the technology investment. In his keynote, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen recounted the company’s journey to go all in on digital transformation as their organizational strategy. I think it’s a lesson that many enterprises need to take to heart to get the best out of their MarTech investments. And this is definitely worth checking out through Summit Online.
The hole in the donut – what wasn’t being talked about
I think the blindside hit for marketers in implementing MarTech – whether it’s Adobe or any other set of solutions – are the details of procurement, license management and risk. Privacy issues are already on the table. While the childhood and adolescent phases of digital marketing have focused on the barrier to progress as the conflict between IT and Marketing, the new challenges to speed to market are going to come from attorneys, compliance and risk officers. It’s nothing new if you’re in financial services, health care or pharma. But these “soft” issues are moving from being simply a distraction to slowing down how quickly the cool stuff gets implemented.
PS – One of the best tracks on this Bob Dylan Rare and Unreleased collection – Foot of Pride – with Mark Knopfler on guitar.