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Buzzwords at Adobe Summit 2014

By: Chris Birkholm

Adobe Digital Marketing Summit kicked off in Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 24, offering online marketers a chance to listen to industry experts, and be entertained by the likes of Robert Redford of the Sundance Film Festival, Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks and Yancey Strickler of the crowd funding behemoth, Kickstarter. Attendees got a sneak peek into Adobe’s project pipeline narrated by Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family – as well as time to relax at networking events and enjoy the live music of Vampire Weekend, local beer, great food and likeminded marketers from around the world.

The event included over 100 different breakout sessions. It was nearly impossible to attend any one of those without at least hearing the words “personalization” or “Big Data.” The two buzz words of the year were reinforced in almost every conversation either in or out of sessions. If you didn’t know before coming to Salt Lake City, you now know, a data-driven approach to driving unique web experiences and tailoring it to the consumer is the focus of this year’s marketing conversation and rightfully so.

Focus on the customer

As one speaker put it, we are in the Age of the Consumer, and if you are not relevant to that consumer, you are not going to perform well. What does being relevant mean? It means understanding how to keep your marketing consistent across all channels. No more silo’d marketing channels delivering different incentives, like a 10% email discount vs. 15% off paid search and display offer. Instead, you want to align and reinforce these campaigns across all channels to send a more cohesive and consistent message to the consumer. Merge data from both online and offline sources, and create that connection that many consumers are not finding in most brands today.

Stay relevant

It is not enough to simply be consistent through all of your channels, you must be relevant. Understanding what your consumers want and need is paramount to your success online. By utilizing predictive analytics to create a non-intrusive, seamless transition between consumers’ desires and discovery, you can better anticipate what they are looking for and deliver the content that will pique their interest. One of the ways to stay relevant is to use cache data that you have access to in order to deliver the right information to consumers at the right time.

Test and experiment with personalization

The balance between eerie and invaluable personalization is a hard line to walk but necessary for success. It is only through constant testing and experimentation that companies today are able to straddle that border. Optimize and test the personalization strategy, whether it be an algorithm controlling homepage content, product detail page-level product recommendations, personalized emails or display retargeting – and do so without crossing the line into the realm of creepy.

There are so many combinations of offers, rules, content and other messaging that it can become quite difficult and arduous to discover what works and what doesn’t. Sorting and organizing all that data and the inputs in a consumable fashion will drastically help mitigate confusion and headache.

Incorporating both online and offline data with continuous testing and consistent messaging across all channels is the key to utilizing the plethora of information in the most efficient way possible. It is all about creating a connected profile and allowing it to be shared across all of your marketing channels. Doing so, will help you deliver a personalized experience across all touch points and create a higher level of relevance for the consumer.

If you don’t take away anything else from the Adobe Summit, you now know that it is all about creating a connected profile and allowing it to be shared across all of your channels. When you deliver a personalized experience across all touch points, you can create an elevated level of consumer relevance and big data will help you get there.

Personalization pays off

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