Adobe Summit puts the light on data, analytics and AI to optimize customer experience
Do you know many tech conferences making you think: "oh, I so wish my own customers could come and attend these sessions" ? The Adobe Summit is one of them.
The annual Adobe event took place in London this week, drawing 5,000+ people from 60 countries. And through the core audience and messaging of the event is around marketing, you could feel this year that Adobe is back in the professional IT world and wants to engage companies on a broader scale, as digital transformation is, indeed, a corporate-wide matter, not to be left to marketing departments alone.
Most of the customer testimonials were of course about customer experience, but they also illustrated how an organization has to transform itself (with people and processes in mind before even thinking of technology) to address this challenge. In this regard, they were full of good advices and best practices you wish - both as a consultant and as a consumer - every company out there would hear and make good use of it.
Many compelling stories were shared by industrial companies who do not usually sell directly to consumers - such as Ford, Airbus, BMW or Adidas. This kind of corporation is traditionally organized around a product, with a focus on design and manufacturing, while the interactions with the customers are left to local dealers. Transforming these companies from product-centric to customer-centric organizations is a real journey, that involves pretty much the same ingredients:
- a commitment from the top management, as the organization and the business models have to change;
- an effective internal communication about digital transformation as well as a change management program;
- a dedicated team, willing to change things and not afraid to fail fast & often, leading the way*;
- a flexible and open technology platform, allowing an easier integration of applications and data (both inside and outside the company) - which definitely involves the CIOs;
- an extensive use of data, as well as a program to embed the analytics culture throughout the company.
In regard to this last item, Adobe is, like many other tech companies, building its own artificial intelligence system, Adobe Sensei, and many AI-based virtual assistants to help people do their jobs. In our view, this is a major step in democratizing analytics and scaling data-based initiatives such as personalized messaging and experiences.
Infusing a data-driven culture within organizations is critical in the digital world, since everybody wants a personalized experience. However, as HostelWorld Group CMO Otto Rosenberger put it during the conference, you shouldn’t stop to data-driven decisions, you need to go to the next level by focusing on passion-driven decisions. Because, at the end of the day, consumers are not just buying machines, they’re people willing to live great experiences. Amen to that.
*Digital team should also not be afraid of "Coffee machine terrorists", as stated HostelWorld Group CMO during the keynote (photo) - most inspiring quote of the event!