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At Adobe Digital Marketing Summit, Adobe Adds to Campaign and Experience Manager, Marketing Cloud
The vendor prepares for an era where "the product is the marketing."
For the rest of the May 2015 issue of CRM magazine please click here

It has been only about five years since Adobe entered the digital marketing space, and the last year alone has been crucial, as more than 7,000 attendees at this year's Adobe’s Digital Marketing Summit found out.

Adobe isn't finished innovating, CEO Shantanu Narayen told those gathered for the event in Salt Lake City in early March. "Marketing is on a reinvention journey. More people are connecting to the Internet from something other than a computer. We're in the era now where the product is the marketing," he said.

That was a theme echoed throughout the conference. Brad Rencher, senior vice president of Adobe, kicked off his keynote presentation with that same message. "Gone are the days when marketers came up with a unique value proposition that could be broadcasted so often and so loudly that it could change behavior. That doesn’t happen anymore," he said. "Customer experience has become the brand of your organization and the gauge for your success. Marketing has been leading this transformation."

So it's no surprise, then, that Adobe has spent a lot of time and effort upgrading its offerings for marketers.

Rencher promised that the new Adobe Marketing Cloud is more "comprehensive, integrated, and actionable" than ever. Though each of the six existing solutions within Adobe Marketing Cloud were updated, Adobe Campaign and Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) received the biggest facelifts.

Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe's digital asset management and delivery tool, now offers a complete cloud delivery model, enables creative teams to connect directly to AEM assets, and includes 30 new asset management features. The solution integrates with Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target to leverage analytics and personalization in a single product within AEM and has added capabilities for marketing in brick-and-mortar locations. With the introduction of AEM Screens, brands can use the same digital experiences they create for responsive sites or mobile apps to launch displays on digital screens at physical venues.

"We're talking about taking an interaction that a customer is having with a brand through his mobile device and sending it to a screen in a retail location with a single flick of the finger," Loni Stark, senior director of strategy and product marketing at Adobe Experience Manager, explained in a separate session. "It's just like dragging and dropping something from one tab to another on a desktop, except you can do it from one device screen to another," she said.

Adobe significantly upgraded its Campaign solution as well, introducing Adobe Campaign Standard specifically for email marketers. The solution is natively integrated into the Adobe Marketing Cloud with a single sign-on and enables users to share audiences across all solutions. Adobe Campaign Standard also offers a single marketing view of all customer data and empowers marketers to react in real time to individual behaviors, automatically change and personalize content in email, and create and manage campaigns across mobile devices.

On top of the improvements made to its original six digital marketing solutions, Adobe debuted two new solutions for its Digital Marketing Cloud—Adobe Primetime, a platform that will enable brands to manage and monetize video content, and Adobe Audience Manager, Adobe's new data management platform. Both are logical extensions of Adobe's existing functionality, according to Rencher. Adobe Primetime will become the force behind real-time streaming on mobile devices and computers, he explained, while Audience Manager will allow users to expand their audience lists significantly.

As day one wrapped up, attendees were impressed by the sheer volume of updates Adobe rolled out. Adobe's announcements reached beyond its Marketing Cloud, with a number of upgrades to its Core Services. The Profiles and Audiences Core Service, for example, can now internalize CRM data for use across the cloud. This was a long time coming, Paul Greenberg, president of The 56 Group, says. "The CRM data integration was smart but sort of an obvious thing to do. CRM internal data becomes a data source for providing more personalized efforts with customers. [The move is] not revolutionary, but just smart," he says.

Other analysts were pleased with the company's trajectory as well. "So far the announcements are coming fast and furious, [but] they have been pretty impressive," Brent Leary, a partner at CRM Essentials, says. "[It's] a real mix of new products, important enhancements to current products, and deeper integration among the products underneath the Marketing Cloud umbrella. All of that adds up to the Adobe Marketing Cloud making it faster and easier for customers to use data and tools to create more personalized digital experiences across the board."

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