By Sue Aldrich
About a quarter of Adobe’s revenues ($1 billion out of $4 billion) come from its digital marketing solutions. Adobe’s Digital Marketing Suite provides digital marketers with multi-channel, cross-lifecycle marketing and customer experience management tools. The chances are that if you’ve been on the Web or if you’ve used a mobile app today, you’ve already received one or more Adobe-based personalized recommendations.
Adobe’s Digital Media Strategy
Adobe’s digital media strategy helps content creators develop and deliver rich content to run on any digital device. As part of that strategy, Adobe has shifted away from Flash and embraced HTML5 and launched the Adobe Creative Cloud for SaaS-provisioning of all the relevant tools that digital designers and developers need, as well as project rooms for sharing work in progress.
Adobe’s Digital Marketing Strategy
Adobe’s digital marketing strategy helps marketers maximize the impact of their digital experiences across devices and media types throughout the entire customer lifecycle. Key to that strategy are the rich tools that Adobe now has for tracking and monitoring customer experience across devices, and for delivery of personalized actionable content, e.g., recommendations to users when and where they will most value them.
This week, Sue Aldrich provides an in-depth review of two of Adobe’s strategic solutions for delivering personalized recommendations: Adobe Recommendations and AdobeTest&Target.
Strengths: “The key strengths of Adobe Recommendations span operations, technology, and relationships. Operations is a key Adobe strength, an area in which we think they are unbeatable. Because Adobe’s Digital Marketing business has been delivering SaaS since 1998, and because Adobe SiteCatalyst has such high usage—more than one trillion transactions per quarter—Adobe can claim the most scalable and best-tested hosting environment in the recommendations arena. This is a competitive strength.
Weaknesses: “The most important weakness, we think, is the manner in which Adobe Recommendations manages recommendation strategies. Marketers must specify a recommendation strategy for each area on each page where recommendations are deployed. Put the top sellers here; over here show the products that people bought after looking at this. We think that recommendations, a technique for personalization, will ultimately be very widely used. Perhaps for some sites, all content a visitor sees will be selected by recommendation. This is a lot of strategy to manage. We’d like to see Adobe automate more of this for marketers, perhaps by creating canned strategies to deploy (and of course tweak), perhaps by allowing a series of strategies to self-optimize. This is not yet a competitive weakness: this type of automation is currently rare.”
Adobe Recommendations: Personalizing the Customer Experience
Harnessing the Power of the Adobe Digital Marketing Suite
By Susan E. Aldrich, Sr. VP and Sr. Consultant, Patricia Seybold Group, August 16, 2012
NETTING IT OUT
Adobe has been serving recommendations since 2009 to more than one hundred retail, B2B, media, high tech, and publishing sites. Adobe Recommendations, one of Adobe’s personalization solutions, is deployed on five continents and in seven languages, with a majority of customers in North America and Europe. Adobe’s recommendation and personalization solutions are part of Adobe Digital Marketing Suite, a collection of integrated applications that share an open platform for online business optimization. This report focuses on two members of the suite, Adobe Recommendations and Adobe Test&Target.
The strengths of Adobe Recommendations, with the support of its complement, Adobe Test&Target, are the scalability and reliability of its services; the depth of testing capabilities; automatic integration with each other and with the rest of the Suite; a reporting interface that facilitates and enhances communications by marketing teams; and the accessibility of the customer profile data created by the solutions.
Adobe Recommendations should be on the short list of marketers in retail ecommerce, B2B ecommerce, media, financial services, high tech, or publishing who seek to personalize their customer experience and drive higher revenues.
RECOMMENDATIONS VS. PERSONALIZATION
What Personalization Means
As consumers, our lives are replete with personalized services and products. My checks, credit cards, and investment accounts have my name on them, and my financial suppliers seem to make adjustments constantly to the services I receive (especially after a late payment). While my shirts do not have my initials on them, I encounter “monograms” at every meeting I attend. I live by my Microsoft Word custom toolbar and Microsoft Office autocorrect file. My Dropbox reflects my current projects and relationships. Personalized products and services abound.
Download the full report in PDF. (Login required)