Want To Survive Digital Disruption? Make Experience Your Business

By Giselle Abramovich, CMO.com

Following a far-out digital light show that was perfect for this 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love” in 1967 San Francisco, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen told the record Summit audience of 12,000-plus in Las Vegas that “digital transformation is all or nothing.”
Narayen, speaking Tuesday morning at the opening general session of the conference, said, “Digital technology is changing life like never before, which is creating fear and a mandate for companies to transform themselves.”

He explained that Adobe is in a great position to guide brand marketers in these digital transformation journeys because the company underwent its own digital transformation just a few years go. That entailed reinventing and refocusing Adobe’s various teams, with leaders at all levels stepping up to evangelize change based on a new, keen focus on customer-centricity.

“Now that we have navigated through all that, we are driving growth and innovating faster than ever before,” Narayen said. “Our own transformation could not have happened without our own Marketing Cloud. We are customer zero, and a great customer experience is the differentiator that separates the market leaders from the pack. Customer expectations are not standing still.”

With that, Narayen introduced Adobe Experience Cloud, a comprehensive set of cloud services designed to give enterprises everything they need to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Under the Experience Cloud umbrella are three core cloud solutions: Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe Analytics Cloud, and Adobe Advertising Cloud.

However, Narayen stressed that transformation requires more than just marketing technology. A big cultural shift within an organization is needed, as well, he said. “We understand what it takes,” he said, “and this represents a massive leap for all of us.”

Brad Rencher, EVP on the Marketing Cloud side of the business at Adobe, took the stage next, stressing the importance of experience, which he defined as the sum of all the interactions a person has with a brand. “Companies that have tuned into making people feel special are completely disrupting the status quo,” he said. “Making experience your business is good for business.”

According to Rencher, this shift to experiences has been inevitable since the very beginning of digital disruption. Experience leaders, he said, generally have higher NPS scores and higher stock prices.

So what exactly is an experience business? Rencher said that a true experience business will “know me and respect me, speak in one voice, always deliver relevant messages, make tech transparent, and will delight me at every turn.”

Carnival Cruise Lines was cited as becoming an experience business when it started with a data foundation and brought the entire organization together to create a common data repository. Using this repository, Carnival was able to ID an organizational catalyst to help drive better experiences across channels, resulting in the rollout of the Carnival keyless ocean medallion.

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