For the second year I was lucky enough to join Adobe’s Insider Group and attend the Adobe Summit. At its core, Summit is a user conference for partners who use Adobe’s suite of products such as Experience Cloud. The main conference is a three-day event, and it’s massive. Last year’s attendance was around 10k, and this year saw a 20% increase up to 12k.
The highlight of the first two days are its morning keynotes. The first day is typically focused on key product announcements from Adobe, and this year CEO Shantanu Narayen announced the Adobe Experience Cloud suite of products. The first day also included talks with NatGeo CMO Jill Cress (my fav) and the 2nd day’s keynotes were more on the entertainment side, opening with a performance by Penn and Teller, a talk with Peyton Manning and Ryan Gosling. It also included short talks from key executives from Facebook and the NBA.
And thanks to Adobe, you can view all these keynotes for free. Just click and watch!
The main focus of the event was Adobe challenging attendees to provide better experiences for customers, and using that as a way to differentiate from the competition. Also, one of the subpoints that dovetailed with this was the rise of emerging technologies such as AI, VR and AR. How can these technologies be leveraged by marketers to provide amazing experiences for customers?
One case study session that I really enjoyed was Taylor Guitars talking about how it leverages digital to better connect with customers and give them better experiences.
One of the ‘problems’ with emerging technologies is that so many brands are swept up in a FOMO and decide to jump on the bandwagon because of hype. The smart companies are the ones that don’t set out to use a particular technology, they set out to solve business and customer problems. In doing so, they may find that using a particular emerging technology solves their problem.
Case in point: A few years ago, Taylor Guitars started tackling a problem they discovered in their retail stores. The brand was finding that customers would be interested in a guitar, then check the price tag, then go to their phone to do research on the fly. Often, these customers would decide that they needed to leave and do more research before committing to the purchase. So Taylor Guitars decided to build research functionality into its smartphone app. Taylor accepted that if its customers were going to do in-store research, that Taylor wanted that research to go through an app that the brand had more control over. So Taylor customers can use the app to get the research they need on the fly, and they can even text Taylor to get specific product information in seconds, while in the store. Often, this research can give a customer the last assurance they need to complete the purchase.
The point here is, Taylor didn’t start out trying to figure out how they could start using the emerging technology of SMS and app marketing, instead they set out to solve a business problem: Too many customers weren’t completing the purchase in-store. Taylor discovered what was keeping customers from committing to the purchase, then leveraged emerging digital technologies to solve this problem for its customers.
BTW, while I was at the Adobe Summit, CMO.com interviewed me on this very topic..
So if you are using Adobe products currently at your company or agency, you should seriously consider attending Summit next year. It has amazing content that’s tailored to your exact needs, and the networking is phenomenal. Remember, you can view the keynotes for free, to give you a sense of how awesome this event is. Additionally, check out my Instagram feed to see the pictures I took last week at Summit.
And registration is already up for 2018, it’s again at The Venetian, which is one of my favorite hotels. Just make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes!
Disclosure: I attended Summit as part of Adobe’s Insider Group. I was compensated by Adobe to attend Summit and work with the company. My content and POV is my own.