Adobe Summit: Make Experience your Business


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Remember how you felt when… Experience is one thing that sticks with us and leaves a lasting impact on our perception, taste and sentiment. As marketers, we are currently at a pivotal moment. We need to move away from marketing our products and instead provide an engaging and positive end-to-end user experience.

Last week at the Adobe Summit this theme took center stage. Many great sessions and inspirational speakers explored the idea of truly making experience your business.


Make Experience your Business

Adobe’s Executive Vice President & General Manager, Brad Rencher, really set the stage for what it means to make experience your business, defining it as: “the sum total of a customer’s interactions with a brand at every touch point; from awareness, to purchase, to consumption to use”. For businesses to achieve this, they must have a holistic view of their customer and wow them every day with great interactions.

Brad warned, that the “Experience wave” is the battleground where we will all be competing in the very near future. In fact, he shared research that found that experience leaders have an average NPS score 22 points higher than laggers and experience leaders out-pace laggers by double-digits in revenue growth.

But, what is ‘experience’ and how can marketers transform their strategy to become experience ambassadors? Adobe suggests focusing on 4 key tenets:

  1. Know me & respect me: anticipate, predict and deliver what your audience wants, even before they ask for it. But make sure to do all these things while respecting and considering the privacy of your customers.
  2. Speak in one voice: and always in context. Marketing, sales, and product teams should always deliver a relevant and consistent message.
  3. Make technology transparent: this lets the consumer set the terms for your interactions, because, after all the medium is not the message, the experience is.
  4. Delight me at every turn: while today’s experience may wow me now, it will disappoint me tomorrow if it is not adapted. The expectations of our consumers will constantly and consistently elevate.

The shift in how industries approach experience is becoming more apparent. Adobe shared a few examples of this, including some immersive consumer interactions with businesses in the travel, retail, automotive and even banking sectors. Domino’s Pizza, for example, has made it their business to improve the experience of ordering. While 60% of their orders currently come in via their website or app, they actually have 12 different ways you can order including tweeting pizza emojis or conveniently asking via your car through Ford Sync.


Experience in action

By far the most insightful examples, however, were shared by Adobe keynote speakers from some of the world’s most well-known and loved brands including the NBA and National Geographic.

Pam El, Executive Vice President & CMO of the NBA, spoke on the importance of connecting with fans, on and off the court. The NBA has set an excellent example of providing a fluid customer experience; not only are players outstanding athletes, but they know that their influence is bigger than what happens on the court.

With their hashtag, #thisiswhyweplay, the NBA sets an example of how important it is to connect on a global scale with their fans. In fact, the NBA is so huge and their influence spans so far that less than 1% of NBA fans ever see a game from an arena. For this reason, the NBA knows that they have to take a different approach to connect with the 1 billion fans that interacted with the brand last season alone. They often use technology to facilitate this. For example, the NBA InPlay app allows fans to interact with the game, while they are watching live. Or, fans located abroad can experience the excitement of the game from around the world with the League Pass on their tablet or smartphone.

National Geographic’s CMO, Jill Cress, also shared her take on providing an outstanding customer experience. National Geographic has historically been an industry leader in visual storytelling, and over time they continue to push the limits of sharing nature and exposing their audience to various cultures, one picture at a time. In fact, they have the largest social following of any brand, with an amazing 72 million Instagram followers.

National Geographic analyzes the content and topics most relevant to their followers, such as climate change, to create more pertinent and engaging pieces that will really speak to their consumers. For example, last year they partnered with Leonardo DiCaprio to showcase the science behind climate change just before the presidential election. Their documentary was showcased across all channels and is the most-viewed documentary of all time.


Measuring Experience

Like any marketing initiative, it is essential to measure the impact of the experience you’re providing in order to optimize your efforts. As marketers work to make every little touchpoint as memorable and relevant to consumers as possible, they can measure the true impact of these touchpoints and campaigns through a number of performance related metrics.

The NBA, for example, measures the Q Scores of their athletes. These scores measure the popularity and marketability of each of their players. Q Scores can be applied and regularly reported on in multiple industries in order to really understand the appeal of a brand, company, personality or media product.

Additionally, marketers can get a sense of how consumers feel by measuring the overall sentiment of their campaigns. The key is to gather and report on this information on a regular basis and to make decisions around their data in order to continually refine interactions and experiences with one’s brand.


Has your organization set out on the path to making experience your business? Share your top metrics for measuring & optimizing the customer journey!

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Holly McKendry

Sweetspot Marketing Director. Wakeboarder & travel enthusiast. Communication Studies graduate of Texas State University, San Marcos.

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