Adobe Debuts New Marketing Cloud Capabilities at the NRF Show

At the NRF Big Show in New York City this week, Adobe has unveiled updates to its marketing cloud, including a new feature that enables marketers to personalize the emails they send to customers with contextual information based on their geolocation, purchase history, and other pieces of data. Unlike past email personalization practices that personalized the emails before they were sent out, Adobe's solution ensures that emails are personalized at the time of opening to include the most up-to-date information in real time.

"We're living in a fast-paced world, and people are getting tons of emails a day. Not every email is opened right when it is received, so if a marketing email is sent out on Monday to promote a sale on that same day and it's not opened until Tuesday, then it's a total waste. The content needs to be relevant when it's opening, not when it's sent," Kerry Reilly, director of product for Adobe Campaign, says.

Content can be personalized based on several factors, including previous purchase history to drive more relevant discounts and current location to deliver to accurate recommendations. If a customer receives regular emails from her favorite coffee shop's location in New York City, for example, that email might include the current weather and the day's specials. If that same customer is on a business trip in Boston, Reilly explains, an email from that same coffee shop will feature information relevant to its Boston location.

Adobe has also updated its Core Services, whose functionality spans the six solutions within its marketing cloud. A key addition to the Core Services is the audience targeting capability, which enables marketers to create custom audience lists and implement those lists in any part of the marketing cloud.

One of the elements that Adobe's audience targeting tool allows marketers to monitor closely is when a customer is interacting with an iBeacon. The solution can determine when a customer's device pings an iBeacon at a brick-and-mortar location and add that customer to a specific audience list. The audience list can then be used in any of Adobe's six solutions, such as Campaign, Social, Analytics, Experience Manager, Optimizer, and Testing and Targeting, to generate an email that leverages the customer's location.

Adobe has also revamped user experience on its Experience Manager solution to facilitate content creation more intuitively through drag and drop functionality. Experience Manager has another "cool new feature" as well, according to Reilly. The solution now has an image personalization tool, which give marketers more creative freedom when it comes to email content. A company selling sports jerseys, for example, can drop the customer's name on the back of a jersey it's selling to create an personalized image of the item, Reilly explains.

Similarly, images can be embedded with hotspots that when clicked, trigger additional information about the product to appear in the email. "This is a really important tool, because it makes marketing emails actionable. It's not just a message that's going to sit in someone's inbox, but it's an interactive tool that can provide more information about a product that may be of interest. It's a more shoppable piece of marketing," Reilly says.


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