April 13th, 2016

Adobe Summit 2016: Recap & Highlights

We were among the 10,000 who descended upon Las Vegas’ Venetian Hotel for Adobe’s Annual Summit last week to hear where their platform is taking customers in the year(s) to come. The lavish, beautifully choreographed conference combines two days of upfront hands-on sessions with the standard “Rah Rah” Keynotes, star studded moments and well-rehearsed live product demos. Make no mistake about it, this is what Adobe does best and this year they didn’t disappoint.

As expected, Wednesday’s General Session, “Inspiring Experience Through Creativity,” was the week’s main event. Featured keynotes were focused on people and companies who are working hard to drive change and transformation within their industries and around the globe. The session kicked off with an affable, charismatic Donny Osmond, who as a Vegas regular, expertly “warmed up” the assembled crowd.

With a little more electricity now amongst the audience, Mattel’s COO, Richard Dickson, told the extraordinary story of Mattel’s rise, stagnation, repositioning and return to relevancy, showcasing the brilliantly executed relaunch of America’s most iconic doll – Barbie.

World Champion Soccer Player, Abby Wambach, shared her thoughts on entrepreneurship and her plans to actually change the world. And Cirque du Soleil’s VP of Sales and Marketing, Alma Derricks, showcased how the groundbreaking troupe was extending their brand experience in new and unique ways.

While each speaker was wonderfully inspirational, Richard Dickson’s story of how Mattel has reinvented and repositioned itself to recapture the hearts and imagination of our children was extremely motivating. Reimagining and reinterpreting such historic, iconic toys for our highly digitized and distracted children is no small task. Mattel seems to have tackled this challenge masterfully – Here are a few other examples: Codeapillar, View-Master, Thingmaker

One key takeaway for me was the need to realize a global reset of who our customers are and what they really want. So it’s no surprise that at the helm of this new wave of transformation sits the Customer Experience. It just so happens that this idea becomes a great segway into an ideal solution – The Adobe Marketing Cloud.

Before I share some of the product highlights let me just say this… If I had a celebrity barbecue, George Clooney would be my first invitee. Adobe CMO, Ann Lewnes, did a great job keeping Clooney from meandering too far off point, but there is no containing his narrative style. Beyond the F-Bombs and star-studded anecdotes, however, Clooney did wax statesman-like on topics such as social media’s positive impact on the quality of cinema, great access to new storytellers with the filming capabilities of the iPhone and the amazing ability to consume movies virtually anywhere. All great stuff for the industry.

George Clooney talking at Adobe Summit 2016
George Clooney on stage at the event

#AdaptiveStore was one of the favorite sneak peaks as it echoes DMI’s efforts in pursuit of a more relevant, mobile in-store experience (#MobileMaturityModel). Adobe Labs showcased a retail shopping experience which utilizes full-body scanning technology to accurately capture a person’s measurements to create a complete customer profile and provide tailored recommendations for a consumer’s next fashion purchase. Underlying these high-touch, self-guided interactions is the Adobe Platform, dutifully capturing every bite of data in order to further tune and optimize the customer experience over time, ensuring deeper affinity and brand loyalty.

Adobe Labs showcasing retail shopping experience with full body scanning technology
Adobe Labs showcasing full-body scanning technology

For marketers just getting started with Adobe Marketing Cloud, early sessions aimed to demystify the full breadth of Adobe offerings and how they can work together. General Motors Finance shared their own journey for implementing and integrating the suite to address multiple business challenges. 

Diagram showing General Motors Finance's Adobe Marketing Cloud integration
Diagram showing General Motors Finance’s Adobe Marketing Cloud integration

  • Delivery: Adobe Target, Adobe Campaign, etc.
  • Content: Adobe Experience Manager
  • Data: Adobe Audience Manager and Adobe Analytics

Adobe System’s bold reimagining and reposition is now almost four years in the making and if The Street is any indication, they have cracked the code for what Digital Transformation really looks like. Adobe joins ranks with the bell weathers of the new economy, applying the laws of digital reinvention and next generation customer experiences internally to then build relevant platform solutions for their customers. Like Amazon (AWS) and Google (GCP), Adobe has slipped comfortably over the questions and conjecture of their big pivot. At DMI, we look forward to a healthy and profitable relationship with the Adobe Marketing Cloud.

Anthony Pappas, President Brand Marketing & Customer Experience and Tim Wandell, Business Development Director

Tags: events

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