As over 5,000 delegates from more than 27 countries around the world gathered together in Salt Lake City, Utah, for this year's Adobe Digital Marketing Summit, the company's chief executive, Shantanu Narayen, took center stage to deliver the opening of the keynote.
Entitled "The Last Millisecond," he explained how Adobe is tasked with delivering experiences in milliseconds and the company needs to deliver the right experience this time, the next time, and the time after that.
Narayen emphasized the importance that digital plays in today's world. He acknowledged that while most companies on average are still only allocating 25 percent of their budgets to digital, Adobe dedicates 74 percent.
"We want all of you to get a bigger piece of that budget pie. There is no question that digital is the future and it has a significant impact on the bottom line," he says.
Continuing on the future of digital, Narayen urged the audience to take note of three mandates that he believes are most essential in order to strive going forward. These include: engaging everywhere; embracing rocket science; and connecting the dots.
To "engage everywhere," marketers need to be able to reach their audiences wherever they may be, he notes. They must understand where their customers engage physically (e.g., in the car, at home) and how they engage socially. "It's clear you have to go to your customers or they will not come to you," he says.
Narayen cited Delta Air Lines as a good example of a company working to create better engagement with its customers. "It's not just about the experience they have created on the back of their seats. They have reached their customers in all aspects, on all devices," he comments.
When "embracing rocket science," marketers need to leverage the power of big data and analytics, according to Narayen. They must have the ability to understand math and machine learning, and be able to deliver great last millisecond interactions.
"Having access to data has fundamentally changed how the product organization, the marketing organization, and sales and finance are working together in an efficient way to drive our business," Narayen says.
Lastly, in order to "connect the dots," companies need to try harder to reduce organizational silos. According to Narayen, the biggest hurdle in the industry at present is the organizational one and the disconnect between different areas of the business.
"If CMOs and marketers learn how to connect the dots and work together with other departments, then they will drive the agenda. CMOs are in a better position to predict future business than CFOs," he comments.
Narayen's three mandates come as Adobe announces a series of product developments that will assist digital marketers. The biggest one is a new interface for Adobe Marketing Cloud, the company's suite of products that includes Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Social, Adobe Experience Manager, and Adobe Media Optimizer.
The company also revealed its new mobile marketing capabilities to each of the five solutions on smartphones and tablets.
Brad Rencher, SVP and general manager, digital marketing at Adobe, says: "Marketers must think mobile first when developing strategies, campaigns, and content. We have added new mobile marketing capabilities to every solution in Adobe Marketing Cloud, so marketers can better meet the expectations of an increasingly mobile customer base."
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Melanie White is news and special projects editor at ClickZ, where she has worked since July 2012. White has been with Incisive Media (ClickZ's parent company) since 2009 where she was deputy editor/ US editor for one of the financial risk management titles, International Custody and Fund Administration (later Custody Risk).
In addition, White worked on FX Week where she was a senior reporter. She has also worked and contributed to a number of other titles, including The Accountant, International Accounting Bulletin, the New York Post, Independent Magazine (UK), as well as the broadcast title Sunday Live with Adam Boulton at Sky News.
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