Adobe held its digital marketing conference Adobe Summit, and made a slew of marketing-related announcements
"The product and partner announcements cover where marketing is going next: bringing digital experiences to the physical world, IoT and wearable devices, mobile marketing innovations for the entire app lifecycle, and the convergence of marketing and ad technologies," a spokesperson for Adobe tells WebProNews.
Connecting Businesses and Consumers via the Internet of Things
First off, Adobe Marketing Cloud is getting an upgrade related to the Internet of things (IoT). The company says it's enabling brands to bring "highly personalized experiences" to physical spaces like retail stores, hotel rooms, vending machines and other IoT devices. It's doing so by offering a new IoT SDK to let brands measure and analyze consumer engagement across any of these devices.
"What’s driving this is the digital transformation of the enterprise, catalyzed by the marketing department. Previously siloed, marketing data is now being used in concert with data collected by other departments like sales and customer service, creating a richer view of the customer," Adobe says.
“Marketing is moving beyond existing digital channels to include new physical experiences in the real world,” said Adobe SVP of DIgital Marketing Brad Rencher. "Adobe Marketing Cloud helps brands use their online marketing data to create unparalleled personalization in retail, entertainment, and travel and leisure experiences.”
In addition to the SDK, Adobe has new "Experience Manager Screens," which it says enable marketers to extend interactive content to these physical spaces with one author user experience to ensure consistency across devices. It supports multi-touch so content can easily move among screen sizes. It's all tied into Creative Cloud.
"Adobe Experience Manager Screens allows us to redefine the way clothing lines are designed and displayed," comments Jody Giles, SVP of Product Integration at Under Armour. "Instead of physical samples, we are able to create rich digital designs and experiences in record time and extend them to our Catalog app. We can also see customers using the technology in our stores and engaging with our brand on life-size touch screens.”
Marketing Cloud also has new "intelligent location" capabilities, which let businesses tap into GPS and iBeacon data to optimize their physical brand presences.
"With the visualization of iBeacon data, brands are able to view traffic patterns and customer engagements within retail stores, sports stadiums, airports, hotels, museums and other points of interests," the company explains. "Marketers can view and measure dwell times throughout the day, consumer interactions with push notifications and in-app messages triggered by iBeacons and more. The visualization of data enables them to reconfigure store layouts and optimize the display of merchandise to fully maximize ROI."
As Marketing Cloud users can now reach IoT devices, Adobe Target now supports digital content testing, optimization, and personalization across them. Content can be served on ATMs, gas pumps, game consoles, car dashboards, appliances, etc. based on users' personal interests. Adobe says it uses "predictive, yet anonymous" data including CRM and third-party sources to personalize content in real time. Businesses will be able to analyze engagement using Mobile Core Services and Adobe Analytics.
According to a consumer survey, the top IoT devices consumers want to interact with digitally are home electronics (61%), home appliances like thermostats, fridges, or ovens (54%), and cars (51%). 27% of those who don’t currently own a smartwatch say they are very likely to buy one in next 6 months, while 67% of those said they were very likely to buy Apple Watch (I wonder what percentage plan on buying a $17,000 model).
77% said it would be useful to receive promotions while inside a store (j84% for 18-34 year-olds), and 74% of marketers see great potential in impact of IoT and wearables.
Mobile Marketing and App Development
Also at the summit, Adobe introduced some new stuff for Adobe Mobile Services, including a new mobile app framework that brings together Adobe Experience Manager Apps, Adobe PhoneGap Enterprise, Adobe Analytics – Mobile Apps, and Adobe Target.
“Adobe Digital Index data shows a new record in the use of mobile devices and yet, building a successful mobile app experience today remains a mystery for many marketers,” said Matt Asay, vice president, Mobile Strategy at Adobe. “They struggle to synthesize a myriad of different mobile tools that address very specific needs. With Adobe Mobile Services, we will dramatically simplify this process, making it easy for marketers to build and optimize their apps.”
The framework includes tools to aid in development, user acquisition, app analytics, and user engagement. The spokesperson says it "delivers the complete, integrated solution in the industry for developing and managing apps, and is the first to eliminate marketers’ dependence on an array of disjointed point solutions."
Adobe has added six new app tech providers to its partner ecosystem, including: Fiksu, Vibes, Kochava, Ionic, Crittercism, and appFigures. Each is integrating its tools into the framework.
"Adobe Analytics clients will be provided with mobile app store data including: app downloads, app and in-app revenue, returns, ranks and ratings," a spokesperson for appFigures tells WebProNews. "Data provided by appFigures will be updated in near real-time. With app store data directly available in their dashboards, marketers and developers will have more insightful data to base their mobile decisions on."
That particular integration is expected to be available in Q2.
Data-Driven Marketing and Ad Tech
Adobe also introduced a new algorithmic engine and updates to its Marketing Cloud Audience Core Services to "bring together the worlds of data-driven marketing and ad tech."
This involves integrating programmatic buying natively to put the marketplace right in front of the marketer as they put it.
"New Audience Core Services enable brands to connect massive audience and behavioral data from a broad range of sources, including CRM systems, websites and apps while a new set of algorithms lets them reach those audiences with paid media through Adobe Media Optimizer," the company says.
"We believe programmatic efforts to date are broken and focus simply on display ad bidding,” adds John Mellor, VP of Digital Marketing at Adobe. “Having a one-stop shop for all your targeting and data as well as transparency into technology pricing and media costs is a big step towards true programmatic. The ability to share audience segments across other Adobe Marketing Cloud Solutions brings that data to life across channels and ensures that audiences are seeing the same message no matter where marketers connect with them.”
Partnership with IBM
Adobe has also partnered with IBM Interactive Experience, which is building specialized enterprise consulting capabilities for Marketing Cloud.
“A recent IBM Institute for Business Value study indicates that there is a disconnect between what consumers say they want from digital experiences and how they actually behave,” said Paul Papas, Global Leader, IBM Interactive Experience. “Today’s announcement will help marketers close the gap between expectations and experience using a combinations of Adobe Marketing Cloud and the services of IBM Interactive Experience, a unique digital agency that brings together experience design, systems integration and strategy consulting.”
Adobe is also expanding its alliance with Accenture with a new cloud-based managed service based on Marketing Cloud. More on that here.
According to Adobe, 76% of the Fortune 50 utilize Marketing Cloud, as do 9 of the top 10 internet retailers and all of the top 5 media companies and top 10 software companies.