The vibe at Adobe Summit EMEA 2014

Adobe Summit EMEA 2014 kicked off just a few hours ago with the General Session presented by Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and Brad Rencher, SVP and GM of Digital Marketing. The hall was packed like a sardine tin with over 3000 people from 47 countries.

Also good to hear was that this year's event (the 8th) includes representatives from 9 out of 10 internet retailers, 5 out of 5 leading media companies, 9 of 10 commercial banks, 5 of 5 global auto manufacturers and 64% of Fortune 50 companies! But best of all was the vibe that we were getting from CEO Shantanu Narayen. I've tried to summarize my main take-away's from his keynote here:

1. Disruption is good

The theme for this year's event is 're-inventing marketing'. Why? Because there are a host of mushrooming, disrupting technologies out there that means customers now have new demands almost every single day: The ability to book a hotel online and then unlock your hotel room door using your smart phone;  the ability to share the cost for a round of drinks at the pub by clicking your smart-phones together. And yes, such technological advances are easy for start-up's to develop.

But they are much bigger hurdles for the enterprise company to keep a track of and manage. So as consumer trends and behavior are changing, the enterprise is being forced to react. To evolve. And that's a good thing. And at the heart of this evolution is marketing and the customer.

2. Customer experience is central

And that connects us to the next big challenge: placing the customer experience at the center of marketing, and indeed the enterprise. We all recognize a bad customer experience when we've had one. In fact, as the market becomes increasingly saturated with solutions, our tolerance for a bad experience gets even lower and our expectations get even higher. So to succeed in the digital era and to deliver on the expectations of the business, enterprises need to evolve into real-time animals that operate in the multi-channel, multi-screen world.

3. The successful enterprise requires an integrated view to and of every single customer

The right technology is not enough. In addition to delivering a comprehensive marketing  ecosystem, that ecosystem must be  integrated. Having the right technology is necessary - but it's not sufficient. Enterprises need to break down the silos and use all of the marketing tools at their disposal to listen to the customer and to be able to truly understand their pains and needs. So, whereas the enterprise used to transact with the customer every couple of years, today it's every single day.

A successful brand must therefore deliver a consistent unified experience everywhere they touch their potential customers. CMO’s, CIO's, CEO’s are all saying the same thing – they now need to transform their business in a faster way that really puts their customers at the center in a much bigger way.

4. Re-invent the enterprise through Digital Customer Experience

We now use a wealth of language that simply didn't exist a few short years ago; cloud, optimization, big data, monetization, personalization, engagement, responsive design, micro-bloggin, retention, and many more. Marketing professionals the world over are being forced to re-invent themselves literally as we speak. And in the process, to re-invent the enterprise business.

At the heart of this is the customer and Digital Customer Experience. It was actually very reassuring to hear how closely all of these points align with Clicktale and the 'qualitative' customer approach that Clicktale offers. Some of our killer advantages are intimately connected to these themes:

  • The ability to gauge real customer experience - Clicktale will tell you what customers click on, how far they scroll, their attention span and what really engages them.
  • The ability to focus on the experience of the individual user and specific Adobe Analytics segments - and not just the statistical mass.
  • The ease of integration - Clicktale, in addition to being a SaaS which is painless to implement, integrates in a big way to enrich the entire marketing ecosystem - Analytics, A/B testing, Voice of Customer and more.

All of these 'qualitative' advantages are going to be what makes the difference for businesses in the coming years as they grapple with the enormous challenges and potential benefits of disruption.

More from Adobe Summit EMEA 2014 coming today...

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