It’s Day 3 and the final Keynote presentation of the Adobe Summit has finished, but its echos remain. It was one of the most in-depth sessions about the future of marketing, where the industry is heading, and how companies can stay relevant in an ever-changing world.
One of the ideas that struck the most was that content creators, analysts, marketers, designers, and sales are no longer different teams within an organization with different objectives and KPIs, but rather reflect one interdependent relation, with overlapping interests in most areas.
We learned again that visuals can lift sales with an astonishing 49%, and creative thinking and creative design are at the heart of modern marketing.
People buy experiences, not products. Experience is what drives marketing, and a great customer journey is the propeller that can lift up your business.
“The marketing is in the experience, the selling is in the experience because the experience is powerful and palpable, you keep coming back for more. Experience is the main differentiator, it’s the line between epic and epic failure,” said Steve Lucas, SVP, Digital Experience, Adobe, Marketo.
It is no longer enough for companies to think B2C. To adapt and survive, organizations need to widen their perspective and also think B2B, because the dynamics with customers and partners are rapidly evolving.
“20 years ago, Airbnb and Uber did not exist. Just think about that. How is that possible? These are the new institutions in our lives. And these are not only B2B, but they’re also B2C,” Lucas added.
Check our full coverage of Day 3 below.
Steve Lucas, SVP, Digital Experience, Adobe, Marketo
Adobe, to seal the deal, said they’d use extra bass, but this is unbelievable. The past six months have been unbelievable after being purchased by Adobe and thinking about what we can do. I’m so excited to be part of this journey.
People buy experiences, not products. That has stuck with me every day. Changing the world through experience has a unique lens to it when you think about B2B. We’re here to talk about the lens of B2B and changing the world through amazing experiences.
We’re excited to share with you everything on the cutting edge of B2B marketing.
The entire Adobe Marketing team is really world-class, they left an amazing impression on me.
Shantanu Narayen, President & CEO of Adobe
I remember the first day we met. Steve took the board and was quite animated. He started talking about his vision of marketing and Marketo. IT was very clear that his passion and his team’s passion for B2B marketing was client-centered. The vision was one that we both shared.
Then we also resonated with the empathy with the customers, the culture, and the vision.
It was very clear that we have a unique opportunity to bring things together. We said, “Let’s focus a bit on technology.” So we’ve taken a look at how Marketo experienced the customer experience, the vision, what you’re doing with analytics, and putting these things together felt like magic happened.
Adobe used to be a B2B2C company. We didn’t really know before who our customers are. That I think was the biggest revelation for us: understanding that at the end of the day, who’s your end customer, how are they using your products, and how you can engage with them.
Data sets you free on letting you focus on what’s important for customers. Adobe is also customer of all the things we talk about, so we really see the benefits of technology. The power of digital helps you serve your customers so much better.
We’ve committed to everything that Marketo has done. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with you and we’re waiting to see how the amazing technologies from our experience and ad cloud come together with the ones Marketo has to offer.
Steve Lucas, SVP, Digital Experience, Adobe, Marketo
20 years ago, in the Matrix, we were presented with a decision: do we take the red pill or the blue pill? If you take the blue pill, you wake up and nothing happened. If you take the red pill, another world unveils.
How do we convince our customers to buy our products and services?
There’s an opportunity defined based on what someone heard: someone listened, and then typed that information in.
Salespeople are “the worst” data entry people. They’re binding their entire sales strategy to a specific customer, about what someone heard. That’s how we rely on CRM today. It’s a flawed system, relying on what people say. But what people say and what people do are two fundamentally different things.
20 years ago Airbnb or Uber did not exist. Just think about that. How is that possible? These are the new institutions in our lives. And these are not only B2C, but they’re also B2C.
Experience has changed everything. When was the last time you saw an ad for one of these? The marketing is in the experience, the selling is in the experience because the experience is powerful and palpable. You keep coming back for more. Experience is the main differentiator; it’s the line between epic and epic failure.
Fyre festival was nothing more than someone believing that some tweets and some images are equal to a great experience. But a great experience takes some sweat, some difficulties, and then it’s worth it.
If you can create epic experiences over and over, you transcend it. For example, Coachella transcended a festival. It’s a part of our society.
Is every interaction with your customer epic? Do they come back for more time and time again? I’ve seen the passion in your eyes day after day.
My invitation and our challenge is to make every experience epic. But how do we do it? The question is how do we learn about our audience at the moment, second by second? We know that things change. Coachella managed to survive the test of time because it is constantly evolving. We at Adobe we have the tools and the technology to do that, second by second.
We at Marketo have to fuel to do whatever we dream about wanting to do.
In just a few short years, 10 million self-driving cars will be on the road. That’s not 20 years away, that’s not a jet pack from Jetsons, that’s like 2021.
By the end of 2021, 5.8 trillion dollars will be traded online every year. The online world is actually larger than many of some established countries and economies.
We can change the game. We will deliver end-to-end account-based experiences for you, and your customer will come back time and time again because of this.
And this starts with strategic partnerships. It starts with data. We can bring incredibly accurate and detailed data to what your teams are doing. And the integration with LinkedIn allows connecting with more and more B2B buyers. This is a game-changer. But it’s more than just this strategic partnership.
I’m excited to announce an industry-first partnership: conversational ABM.
Juli James, 2009 Marketo Champion of the Year
Don’t be afraid to experiment, try new techniques, new tools, new integrations, and don’t be afraid of failure.
My second advice would be to surround yourself with the right people.
Sarah Kennedy, VP Global Marketing, Marketo
Adobe was reinventing the whole idea of digital experience. Adobe became a catalyst, leading the digital marketing revolution. And it also leads me to discover my true passion: marketing. It created software that is immersive and enjoyable. In the last 2 years as CMO of Marketo, I was always asked: how did you set yourself apart so early on in your career? And the answer is simple: Adobe.
Without Adobe, I just couldn’t do my job. Adobe is for creators. In the era of digital marketing transformation, the need to take ownership of the stories you can tell made the role of content creator and marketer join together.
The one thing that set Marketo truly apart is our customers. We never waivered what was on the heart and soul of our company’s DNA. You push us to be better, and in turn, we help you be better. That motivation helps us push technology on the outer edges of what’s possible. We define the next decade of marketing transformation.
I joined Marketo as a first-time CMO. I was brought on to lead the transformation. And at Marketo, we had to rebuild many critical parts of our marketing team. We also had to completely rearchitect our instance of Marketo, and had to walk a delicate line of reinventing ourselves. It’s our job as marketers to lead change, to do whatever it takes to guide our organization through it.
My top 3 forever truths:
1. The customer is always the answer. The one thing that has never failed me is to lean in hard on the voice of my customers. Every time my team had to make an impossible trade-off, that journey always led me back to the foundation: you. Find a path that always leads you back to your customers.
2. The community. I am energized daily by how you support each other. What makes the marketing nation different is that you don’t feel you’re out there fighting the good fight alone. There are good people out there willing to help each other because we are better together. Communities, not companies, own the brand of tomorrow and leaders of tomorrow. Aspire to engage the most passionate member of your community.
3. The calling. Your calling is the single most important thing I can leave you with today. You need to be able to lead, to be a catalyst for growth, to take ownership of every state of your customer’s journey. You need to make every experience epic. You need to get out of the shadow, raise your hands! It is marketing’s time to lead. Your companies, customers, and communities need you to do so to thrive. You do not need to be in sales to talk to prospects, you don’t need to be in IT to suggest improvements. You need to fill the gap that has been often filled with fear when an opportunity arises. You need to be ok with not being ready in the exact moment, but being ready to accept the challenge. Jump, and find your parachute on your way down. Step into that divide, lead your companies from the front without fear.
The time to lead is now, so marketing nation, let’s do it!
Ann Lewnes, Adobe CMO
The craziest thing I ever did was to move from NYC to Silicon Valley. I took my Honda Civic and drove into the great unknown. I had always been techy. I ended up working at Intel. I stayed there for 20 years until it was a 40 billion dollar company.
My advice for professionals is to focus on results because in the end, that’s how you’re going to be evaluated.
I sleep with my phone in my bed, which I would not recommend. One of the first things I look at every day is web traffic. The first phase of our data-driven model is to bring people into the funnel. Everything we do brings people into our website. The traffic is the origination point for everything. They come to the site, buy something, understand how to use the products, and renew.
So web traffic is on top of my mind, on B2B and B2C objectives.
I’m super excited to be using Marketo. I remember my team: we were so excited about this acquisition. We call ourselves customer 0 inside Adobe. We’re first and foremost practitioners, we use our products, we try to see how we can make them better to help us. We are almost through our implementation with Marketo, which has been fast. I believe we’re going to get it up and running this quarter. This is the best B2B marketing solution.
The most effective thing we do right now across every media type is video. We’ve put together an amazing team, we just find the most engaging, the most compelling, and it converts really well. I’d say voice is another big thing. For example, for seniors being able to use voice for basic tasks, or for us using voice to help our customers active functions.
Matt Zilli, VP Marketo Digital Experience
I spent most of my career in marketing, the first 15 years. I was studying engineering, and in my last year, I had this itch, to get closer to the creative world, which had been missing from my studies.
I started to take a course to learn how to use Photoshop and Illustrator and to use them to put big projects together, such as websites. But it sucked, I had 0 creative talent. So I went right back into engineering. But it was on the data side of marketing I found more links with, specifically, data analysis.
But now, we can bring the art and science of marketing together in the hope of being able to answer the biggest questions we have today. How can we bring together 10x, 1000x the data that we work with today and make sure that AI can take advantage of it all? How can we combine everything we know about people and accounts? How do we break the bounds of marketing to do that?
Last year, we launched sales-connect, to ensure that every salesperson gets the most out of every interaction they have with their target accounts. It completes the Account-based experience. Unfortunately, because the 1:1 human interaction can’t scale, we need to figure out something that’s infinitely scalable: robots, under the form of chat-bots.
We’re excited to announce our partnership with Drift. You can now manage the account-based experience span even with 1:1 conversation.
Brian Glover, Director of Product Marketing
With Marketo, you can take advantage of the Experience Manager and add images directly from the library. You have the ability to access it directly. You can also edit all the images directly there, and adapt them to the device you’re targeting within seconds.
Ajay Awatramani, Senior Director, Product
The experience platform is not just for B2C, but also B2B. All your data, in one place, regardless of source or type, and a unified profile of any person and account. It will be like Thanksgiving for marketers.
Data by itself has an untold story inside. You need analytics to tell it. When we combine our B2B attribution data with a complete view of every person and account, it’s gonna get magical. We’ll have a view of a customer or buyer’s journey that’s better than ever before. We’ll get to a world of stunning visual analytics from Adobe.
Adobe Sensei accelerated our vision of bringing AI to every corner of the user’s journey. Events are where marketers spend around 25% of their budgets.
We have a huge vision for predictive audiences. We’re going to bring those to a lot more areas.
Without a solid strategic foundation, ABM strategies are bound to fail. The number one problem marketing tells us is they don’t know which account to go after for the most revenue.
Ads are critical to Account-Based Marketing, at every stage of the customer journey, whether you try to find people you haven’t yet met or people you already know.
LinkedIn, with millions of decision makers and influencers, is a goldmine. You can target all tags from Marketo into LinkedIn. With a new, shiny, ABM, you can now target key personas, engage buyers across LinkedIn.
Joe Reitz, 2019 Marketo Champion of the Year
Marketo Sky has so many enterprise features under the hood to improve daily workflow and allowing marketers to move quickly, but still comprehensively. It really enhances the experience for marketers and we’re super excited to be using this. There are a ton of cool features.
Jessica Kao, 2018 Marketo Champion of the Year
Everyone is trying to do ABM. Us as marketers, we get so excited, and we want to build that target account list, but bad things happen. The first thing I see is bad data. I know many face challenges with bad data, and there are a lot of holes, a lot of incomplete data. There’s also not enough holistic coordination across all touchpoints. It’s also about organizational alignment. Everyone wants to do ABM, but marketing is one place, sales in another place, sending different places, and they’re not coordinating.
One of the most important factors in ensuring ABM success is coordination. I saw a company trying to do ABM, which involved a lot of resources, but it fell flat. It didn’t have the data, the coordination, and the right strategy. The worst part is you get to the same ABM as marketing, but with totally different messages.
To be really successful with ABM is important to get your data clean and to determine the data you need. Data, just like everything else, needs to have a strategy. Determine the type of data you need first and then fill in the gaps. It’s a complete strategy. You need a coordinated plan of attack with your stakeholders. As a marketer, you need to lead the charge with sales, and just divide and conquer.
Alix Hart, Global Head of Digital Marketing, Nvidia
Together with Adobe, Nvidia and Adobe are technical partners, working to integrate Adobe Sensei with our platform.
25 years ago, our founders invented the GPU to handle the challenging task of rendering graphics. That technology, along with many others in the past 25 years, advanced. And today, the GeForce brand is a consumer brand, and the leader in the segment. What used to take months to compute, can now take minutes, thanks to AI, processing power, and GPUs.
Our customers are fearless, the Einsteins and DaVinci’s of our times. They’re winning Nobel Prizes in physics, and they’re designing self-driving cars, all powered by AI applications. They are changing the world. When we engage them as marketers, we need to engage with purpose, to inspire them as they create their work.
We focused on building a data-driven experience. We’ve overhauled every bit of our experience, from our website to our lead scoring models. We also partner very closely with our sales team to get feedback directly for what’s working. Iterating with sales early on in the process, we’ve been able to make faster progress.
We’ve had amazing progress the past years in turning data into insights. Now, we’re building models into brand trust to understand deeply how conversations with our customers are working.
At Nvidia, our goal is to make sure we’re intelligently engaging and connecting by bringing our data together. This is hard work, and after three years, we still have a lot of work to do. But this is where being fearless really resonates because we are passionate about our North Star.