The lesson of the Adobe Marketing Summit – there’s a lot of moving pieces that have to be implemented, integrated and optimized.
I spent most of last week at the annual Adobe Marketing Summit. For those who are unfamiliar with it, Adobe technology notwithstanding, it is one of the largest digital marketing conferences in the world with over 7,000 attendees, vendors, partners, media and analysts. Throughout the sessions, there is a much talk about process, methodology and best practices as there is about software. In fact, while the event is a showcase for Adobe’s Marketing Cloud as a single unified platform, almost every one I spoke with, including Adobe staff, acknowledge that 90% of digital marketers are not looking at a single platform. They already have purchased many individual components like CMS, CRM, eCommerce and marketing automation solutions and they are not likely to rip those systems out any time soon.
The explicit message of the conference was that customer experience is the key differentiator for business today. It’s incredibly complex to do well. And it takes a lot of effort to make it work and deliver the intended value back to the business. But it’s worth it. The implicit message was that to be successful, a company needs to find the right partners to craft the right strategy, target the appropriate audiences, design a dynamic experiences to engage those audiences, implement and integrate all the pertinent technology and then run, test, and optimize.
The community hall was full of the giant global partners like Accenture, Deloite, Sapient & Razorfish (both part of Publicis) and IBM. Speaking to their representatives, they are there to help their clients through the digital transformation needed to drive results from customer experience. But also it became clear they are focused on the same Fortune 500 audience, who are ready and able to sign multi-year consulting contracts for hundreds of millions of dollars. For those companies who aren’t ready or able to make that size commitment, there weren’t many options apparent.
It is precisely that gap in the market that we are trying to fill at Tahzoo. Yes, our competitors are 100x our size, but we believe size alone should not be the deciding factor when looking for a CX partner. In fact, from listening to many of the case studies presented at the summit, often size gets in the way of innovative thinking and there is a big demand for consulting firms that can enable companies to serve their customers along the entire length of the lifetime customer journey and across the full breadth of the omni-channel world we’re living in. It is more important the way we approach the business than the size of our bench.
So the lesson learned from the Adobe Marketing Summit was, it was great seeing where the technology is going. I met with a lot of potential partners that are solving many of the CX technology problems in unique and innovative ways. I heard a lot of good stories about how organizations are tackling the big problems of breaking down internal silos, working across departments and disciplines and beginning to think more holistically about customer experience. But the biggest takeaway was simple, if you don’t get going on customer experience you will fall behind, because it’s a safe bet everyone of your competitors was probably at the summit, heard the same things and is going home to get things