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DMA 2014: As Data-Driven Marketing Gains Traction, Governance and Analytics Present New Challenges

has developed an even deeper understanding of the demographic. "As a result, they trust and follow my brand," he said. "The have become my brand ambassadors," he added, and urged marketers at his presentation to cultivate the same kinds of relationships by choosing the right marketing and data technology.

As the marketing space becomes increasingly competitive and vendors seek to differentiate themselves by providing the most cutting-edge solutions, real-time analytics is what sets the leaders apart, presenters at the conference agreed. Adobe, for example, introduced a new real-time remarketing capability at the event. The solution allows marketers to send personalized messages to customers who have abandoned their carts in order to bring them back to the Web site and close the sale.

The functionality is made possibly by a deep integration between Adobe Campaign and Adobe Analytics, both of which reside within the Adobe Marketing Cloud. Though competitors offer comparable solutions, most have a 24-hour waiting period or lag, creating a significant drop-off in customer interest and customer return. With Adobe's new cart abandonment solution, however, the messages go out within minutes or hours and include special offers or incentives to drive customers back to the site more effectively.

But personalization doesn't just play an important role in returning customers to their abandoned carts; it also plays an important role in delivering powerful brand interactions across channels. "Consumers have changed, and we as marketers have had to change the way we approach things...experience is the new brand," John Mellor, vice president of strategy and business development at Adobe, said during his afternoon presentation. "Digital, mobile, social disciplines come together with data to transform how enterprises interact with consumers," he added.

Christopher Reynolds, vice president of data and marketing analytics at Conde Nast, an Adobe customer, shared the stage with Mellor and discussed how Adobe has helped the publishing giant handle new marketing channels. Diversification across platforms was among the biggest challenges for Conde Nast, Reynolds explained, but thanks to Adobe analytics and marketing tools, the company found that leveraging mobile video would become a major opportunity for a "marketing evolution" for the brand.

Wrapping up the day's presentations, Mellor and Reynolds brought the conversation back to data responsibility, echoing the call to always keep the customers' preferences, habits, and behaviors in mind. "Have empathy for the other side of the 'data verse,'" Reynolds said. "Using data solutions to listen to your customers is key. They'll lead you to the right answers," he added.

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