Adobe Summit kickoff: Marketing Cloud connects to physical world

Salt Lake City – As Adobe Systems Inc. opened up Summit, its annual digital marketing conference, it announced a slew of updates connecting its Marketing Cloud portfolio to more devices – including screens in retail stores, video game consoles, and car dashboards.

The Adobe Summit expects more than 6,000 attendees this year at its marquee show for its Marketing Cloud service. The portfolio of products delivers digital marketing capabilities to eight out of 10 of the world’s largest agencies and a majority of companies on the Fortune 500 list, according to Adobe. An early preview of the news out of this year’s show includes updates that will help marketers reach consumers on devices connected to the Internet of Things and mobile devices. There’s also new capabilities to handle programmatic advertising and live streaming major events via the web.

Taking digital assets to bricks and mortar locations

Adobe Experience Manager - Screens

Marketers using Adobe Experience Manager will be getting access to Screens, a new feature that allows them to publish digital marketing content to screens typically found in retail stores, hotel rooms, vending machines, or even gas station pumps. That means the digital content that marketers were previously restricted to pushing out to smartphones, tablets, and web locations can now find a home in a new venue.

With e-commerce accounting for just 10 per cent of all transactions, marketers are looking for a way to continue the digital connection with customers as they engage in more traditional shopping experiences, says Loni Stark, senior director of strategy and product marketing, Experience Manager, at Adobe.

“One of the key differences between a customer that walks into any store today and 10 years ago… is we’ve become much more sophisticated customers because we’ve done our research,” Stark says. “We hit a frustration barrier, because how do we communicate where we are in the customer journey to that salesperson?”

Stark puts forward a scenario where a customer would be able to transfer information from the screen on their mobile device to a screen in store. That could serve as the starting point for a sales person to assist, or for automated direction to a specific product to be given.

Adobe also has new support for Apple’s iBeacon platform. The Bluetooth low-energy beacons can be used by retailers to communicate with consumer’s mobile devices, detecting proximity to certain products, and serving as a mechanism to trigger personalized offers or messages. Adobe Analytics will now help marketers vizualize the data collected from iBeacons to see how customers move about a store, how long they dwell in specific locations, and how they interact with push notifications and messages.

The idea is that marketers could reconfigure store layouts based on the data to be as effective as possible, Stark says.

Mobile marketing now comes in many forms

Adobe Target, the product used by marketers to segment their customers and deliver them content across a variety of digital channels, is getting support for even more channels. Now marketers can target Internet of Things devices such as an advanced car dashboard, a video game console, or the new Apple Watch.

Adobe Target - in-car dashboard
Adobe Target has been updated for more support for the Internet of Things – including car dashboard.


Marketers will be able to test content on wearable devices, making sure the presentation looks right on a variety of form factors, Stark says.

Users of Adobe Experience Manager will also get new mobile marketing powers. They will now be able to manage multiple mobile apps within one dashboard, programming them with content, monitoring usage, and charting out the conversion funnel.

Adobe Target - game console

“A lot of marketers see the hype around mobile apps,” Stark says. “They’re currently built as silos and we’re going to be able to, through Experience Manager, help marketers get a more holistic view of all their apps.”

Adobe Analytics - mobile apps funnel report
Marketers will be able to track the customer journey across several different apps within one dashboard.

Adobe also announced several new partnerships aimed at boosting its mobile marketing capabilities:

  • Ionic provides a mobile app development tool to complement Experience Manager.
  • Fiksu offers campaign performance insights such as media source attribution details and will enhance Analytics and Target.
  • Crittercism creates tools for mobile app performance management, boosting Analytics and Mobile Core Services. AppFigures will provide app store analytics and Kochava will provide mobile attribution.
  • Vibes is a mobile wallet and payment firm that will tie in to Analytics, Mobile Core Service and Audience Core Service.

Programmatic, Primetime, and partnerships

Adobe is also bringing programmatic ad buying capabilities to its Marketing Cloud with an new algorithmic engine that is integrated into Adobe Media Optimizer.

Marketers will now be able to have software automatically assign the best offers to customer segments they’ve created, identify customers that look alike, and validate the audience. Adobe will also offer a new audience marketplace that offers of anonymous third-party data for purchase, which will help marketers define their audience segments. Marketers will also have the option to sell their anonymous user data on this market.

“Marketers will be able to get much more personalized in the ads they are able to deliver,” Stark says. “Based on the past, you can predict customer behaviour into the future.”

The Summit will also see two new solutions introduced to the Marketing Cloud. Adobe Primetime allows broadcasters of major live events to manage and monetize their content with advertising, publishing, and analytics support. Adobe Audience Manager will serve as a platform to aggregate data from all available sources.

Finally, Adobe announced a series of new partnerships around the marketing cloud with some recognizable industry brands:

  • IBM Interactive Experience will offer services around Marketing Cloud.
  • Accenture will be offering a pay-per-use digital marketing service, using the Marketing Cloud as its tool of choice.
  • Partnerships with other companies and agencies included Rosetta, Razorfish, Brightedge, Gigya, SapientNitro, Searchmetrics and more.


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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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