Part 2: Capturing and Leveraging Consumer Behavior with Adobe Marketing Cloud

09-26-2014

Back in April I talked in-depth about Adobe Marketing Cloud, including the organization’s aggressive growth and development strategy tied to six of Adobe’s best-in-class solutions. The alignment of these performance accelerators enables marketers to efficiently leverage cross-channel data sources, successfully forecast and, ultimately, deliver—and monetize on—increasingly relevant experiences across virtually any platform and device.

Beyond these well-known platforms, a major piece of Adobe Marketing Cloud’s success has come at the hands of its foundational platform and (free!) core services, spun from a combination of both acquisitions and homegrown systems. Recognizing the overlapping technologies in play throughout the marketplace—and within the Adobe solutions—we developed these core services to remove those overlaps and streamline and align the flow of data and content between solutions. Having any of the Adobe solutions is great, but without the common thread tying the lessons, metrics, and segments across your platforms, the overall consumer experience can wind up fragmented with significant opportunity left on the table.

By culling these commonalities from the solutions and into Adobe Marketing Cloud, these core services unify marketer efforts, creating consistent cross-channel experiences under a shared data and content platform. Depending on the organization’s needs and goals, targeted capabilities can be better leveraged across integrated solutions, weaving into both the framework and architecture of your marketing initiatives. Here’s a brief overview of these cutting-edge core services:

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Profiles and Audiences

When it comes to optimizing the consumer experience, the profiles and audiences core service—and, within it, the Adobe master marketing profile—has become the gold standard for audience management. The profiles and audiences core service takes a two-prong approach. The Adobe Marketing Cloud (not the solution) is able to set up and manage a shared visitor ID and make it available across solutions. But that’s only half the battle—you can’t do anything with just a visitorID. The real game changer is the second piece: the ability to create audiences, or segments, of visitors that can be shared between Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions.

Let’s dig deeper on the second piece. We know consumers crave personalized, relevant experiences. But those rich, contextual moments depend entirely on what we know about that consumer and the segment to which they belong. Having data points surrounding Consumer X’s engagement your website, mobile site, or social platforms is great, but what about when she’s moving from channel to channel, using different devices, and hitting a variety of touch points and experiences along the way? With profiles and audiences, marketers can view, manage, and aggregate users into meaningful audiences—and from there, the personalization and optimization magic can happen across solutions.

Assets

Asset core services provide a common interface and view into the Digital Asset Repository, enabling the marketer to use a single asset across multiple consumer channels. The implications for marketers are significant: think about the overlap in your day-to-day activities surrounding the collection and integration of approved assets. For one campaign, the art director is grabbing visuals from one source, while the email marketing manager is pulling copy and a hero image from somewhere else. The end result is different creative messages and, potentially, even disjointed or competing ones. And what about licensing images? By pulling assets from so many sources, keeping tabs on what’s expiring when can become a separate headache altogether.

Enter the asset core services. This piece of the puzzle can bridge that gap between marketers involved in the creative process. By disseminating approved assets across the organization from a single repository, brands can achieve cohesion, consistency, and brand compliance on every campaign, from start to finish.

Activation

All too often marketing resources, time, manpower, and funds are filtered toward the nuts and bolts of getting to “go” with each individual campaign and technical deployment. Another core service—activation, or dynamic tag management—seeks to eliminate these pain points, cutting down on internal resource reliance. The activation arm enables marketers to manage and act on Adobe and third-party tags in real time, initiating personalized experiences for individual consumers and audiences. Taking it a step further, the activation piece ensures brands can continue delivering relevance, even at scale, thanks to marketers’ newfound ability and versatility to optimize the technology on the fly based on real-time behaviors and the desired rules-driven executions.

Collaboration

Looking at the overall Adobe solutions portfolio, one thing is clear: we’re all about collaboration. Recognizing the pervasive lack of meaningful connections and communications within many organizations though, the notion of integrating a collaboration-focused piece becomes essential. Because of that, the collaboration core service evolved and integrated.

In that vein, this core service provides critical tools to keep marketing teams from all pockets of the company communicating and moving in tandem. Designed to inspire meaningful collaboration and creativity, this extension provides organizations with a centralized location in which the often-disparate stakeholders can share data and content via a “marketing feed.” Got something to add? Fuel the conversation with your comments, questions, and additional insights.

Admin and User Management

Arguably the least sexy of the core services, asset and user management is also one of the most important. This core service ensures that both marketers and IT teams have control over security policies, including who can access the organization’s critical marketing content and who can’t. It’s simple, it’s readily interconnected with your existing Adobe solutions, and overall, the interface is simple and highly user-friendly. Sign in once with one Adobe ID and you’re there, ready to manage and optimize product usage, data, and segments all from within the cloud itself.

Mobile

The mobile services within the Adobe Marketing Cloud help marketers understand and enhance app experiences and engagements, from usage patterns to ROI-drivers and more. A single SDK can be deployed within the development environment of choice, whether that’s native app development, Phonegap, Digital Publishing, or whatever preference you have. This enables the marketer with out-of-the-box capabilities to move from launch to monetization, and every step in between. These unparalleled capabilities ensure prompt, efficient, streamlined delivery, testing, and analysis throughout the entire channel, further fueling the funnel and delivering on the promise of personalized, relevant, and real-time mobile experiences.

Exchange

Rounding out the current set of core services is the Adobe Marketing Cloud Exchange, which is designed to promote data exchange and cloud engagement by connecting third-party data and content from 150+ applications, data providers, and social platforms. By simplifying the exchange process across all systems and solutions, brands experience even greater value in the overall Marketing Cloud.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg; there’s much more in the core services realm, specifically within profiles and audiences, assets, and collaboration pieces. I’ll take a deep dive into them over the next few weeks. As you’ll see, each capability uniquely feeds into marketers’ overall objectives, effortlessly enabling brands to connect consumers and target segments with meaningful, personalized, relevant, and real-time experiences. The results? Satisfied consumers, who gain momentum as they move through the soon-to-be loyalist funnel and, with them, bring greater ROI.  Thanks to these powerful integrated solutions, existing consumers as well as anonymous visitors you hadn’t even considered before will help move the KPI needle for your brand.

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