ON THE SCENE: At Adobe Summit 2018, Adobe Urges Companies to Enter the Experience Business

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Consumers no longer simply buy products—they buy experiences, Adobe’s chairman, president, and CEO told attendees during his opening keynote at the Adobe Summit 2018 user conference in Las Vegas in late March.

“It used to be that products were the basis of differentiation, but not anymore,” Shantanu Narayen said. “Businesses must now deliver great experiences to win in this increasingly competitive world, competing for the hearts and minds of all their customers and exceeding the ever-increasing expectations that consumers have during every point in the journey.”

Narayen went on to say that making experience their business is as essential for B2B companies as it is for B2C ones. “People’s expectation of this experience doesn’t change the moment they go into their office. Every organization needs to get up and break through this noise and speak to the customer in this unique, genuine voice to leave this lasting impression.”

With this message in mind, the company introduced the next generation of its Adobe Cloud Platform. It features Experience Cloud Profile, which unifies customer data across the enterprise via Experience Data Models. More specifically, Experience Cloud Profile combines back-office data with data from across Adobe Experience Cloud to compile a complete, real-time view of customers along their journeys.

Adobe also used the conference to introduces some of the changes it’s made to Adobe Advertising Cloud, Adobe Analytics Cloud, and Adobe Marketing Cloud. 

Adobe Advertising Cloud now features Advertising Cloud Creative, a self-serve platform that expands the Dynamic Creative Optimization offering by giving marketers control over basic design elements, such as advertising copy and assets used in display ads. Additionally, creative assets designed in Adobe Creative Cloud will be automatically available in Adobe Advertising Cloud Creative.

Two key features added to Adobe Analytics Cloud include Adobe Analytics for streaming audio, which enables organizations to gain insights into online and offline audio, including listening behaviors, streaming quality, and monetization opportunities; and Adobe Experience Cloud Device Co-op, which leverages Adobe Analytics Cloud and Adobe Sensei to aggregate anonymous device data from customers to help businesses recognize actual consumers, not just devices, across digital touch points.

For Marketing Cloud, the company introduced innovations in Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Campaign, and Adobe Target. Experience Manager has new Sensei-powered content capabilities, including intelligent image discovery, tailoring of images for different screens, and automated personalization of content. Additionally, native support for Experience Manager in Creative Cloud applications unifies creative and marketer workflows. 

New features in Campaign include a creative designer to simplify email creation and email templates prebuilt with Adobe’s Behance. Adobe Target now lets users customize their algorithms.

Adobe also introduced Adobe Experience League, a customer enablement program that provides guided learning for Adobe Experience Cloud, and Adobe Experience Index, a self-assessment tool to help participants determine their position in their development journey and next steps.

Another major theme of the conference was the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR), reflected in a day -two panel discussion between Narayen and Jensen Huang, founder, president, and CEO of NVIDIA. 

VR, Huang said, is “a wormhole for us to travel to virtual worlds,” while AR is “the way for artificial intelligent agents in these virtual worlds to wormhole into us. They’ll be sitting right there in front of us in augmented reality, mixed reality, and the way we go into their world is to travel through VR.”

Adobe and NVIDIA, which have collaborated for more than a decade, also announced a strategic partnership aimed at enhancing their AI and deep learning technology. More specifically, the duo will work to optimize Adobe Sensei’s AI and machine learning framework for NVIDIA graphics processors. 

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