Between April 26th-29th, I had the pleasure of attending Adobe Summit 2018 in Las Vegas, where Gigya, now a part of SAP, was a Gold sponsor. As always, it was a whirlwind three days, packed with both conceptual and prescriptive content about the world of digital marketing.
But, there was something different about this year’s summit that became obvious the moment Brad Rencher, Adobe Experience Cloud EVP and general manager, took the stage to kick off the event with a thoughtful and comprehensive keynote.
Beyond the aesthetic excellence of the presentation, what really jumped out at me was this year’s theme, “making experience your business”, and how, while laying it out, Rencher positioned Adobe’s Cloud offerings in an entirely new way. While the idea of customer experience as the center of commercial success is nothing new, what was new in Rencher’s presentation was what he described as the center of customer experience: the unified customer profile.
Specifically, this year’s Summit served as the official unveiling of a revamped Adobe Experience Cloud, with the inclusion of the Experience Cloud Profile. The company describes this new offering as enabling a “complete, real-time view of customers”, which includes the ability to integrate data from outside the Adobe Cloud suite.
In a blog post from March 27th announcing the updated solution, Adobe VP of Product Engineering, Anjul Bhambhri, described the need for businesses who want to deliver a better omni-channel customer experience to capture, analyze, and take action on what Adobe calls “experience data.” This includes behavioral data from web interactions, mobile devices and IoT, as well as data from systems of record like point-of-sale and CRM systems.
With the introduction of Experience Cloud Profile, Bhambhri wrote, the Adobe Cloud Platform is now a “semantic platform…making data, content and insights available to experience-delivery systems to act upon in real-time, yielding compelling experiences in the relevant moment.”
Here at Gigya, we’ve been beating this very drum for some time now. We’ve learned through more than 700 enterprise implementations of our customer data management solutions that, without the ability to unify all types of data from disparate sources into a unified profile, true one-to-one marketing can be difficult or impossible to execute.
Beyond driving more engaging and relevant digital experiences, putting a unified profile at the center of digital transformation projects supports another vital element for success in an era of evolving data regulations: consumer privacy and control.
Consider the news cycle of late. As Facebook dealt with the fallout from the ordeal involving Cambridge Analytica’s harvesting and use of Facebook-sourced data, co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to apply many of the stringent standards of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to the entire global Facebook network. This is a clear signal from one of the largest technology companies in the U.S. that consumer privacy is now top-of-mind not only for organizations in the EU, where GDPR will be applied on May 25, 2018, but also for companies in America, and around the globe as well.
With a unified customer profile centrally governed and orchestrated across the technology stack, it’s finally possible to manage consumers’ profiles, preferences and consent settings throughout the entire customer journey. Adobe appears to agree. During his keynote, Rencher specifically called for the need to “break down silos”, and pointed out that legacy ERP and CRM — once the accepted “single source of truth” for many companies — are simply not up to the task of unifying consumer data for a modern Marketecture stack.
My takeaway? Adobe’s announcement — along with the recent acquisition of MuleSoft by Salesforce — firmly reinforces the market need for what Gigya has had on offer for more than five years, and that we continue to refine and expand upon.
Our solutions are focused on helping organizations drive business value with permission-based, first-party consumer data, and built and implemented with “privacy-by-design” principles and practices to encourage customer trust and loyalty, ever more important in an age of practically unlimited choice.
To learn more about how our solutions help businesses like yours build more trusted and valued customer relationships while addressing consumer privacy compliance, check out a recent webinar featuring global consumer goods enterprise, FranklinCovey.
By Jason Rose