Adobe Campaign & Multichannel Campaign Management
Last month, Gartner has once again migrated its little dots around to publish its annual Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Campaign Management and has named Adobe a leader for the fourth consecutive year. The vendor placed furthest in the Leaders quadrant for “completeness of vision” and also improved in the Leaders quadrant for “ability to execute.” In light of Adobe’s consistent recognition in the space, our Tech Reporter Laura Myers reached out to Kristin Naragon, Director of Product Marketing for Adobe Campaign to learn more on the most critical elements to creating successful multichannel campaigns as well as to get the inside scoop on Adobe’s future plans for their MCCM platform:
During the interview, first, Kristin underlined the fact that their success in the space actually comes through their customers’ success, as the more they grow their businesses, the more challenging it gets for Adobe to meet with their business needs thus she sees it as the main drive behind Adobe’s success in innovating and delighting our customers and says: “Not only for our product innovation but also we are taken into account for more than just technology.” What she means by this is that with Adobe Campaign, part of Adobe Marketing Cloud, the vendor also added packaged services engagements for specific tactics, along with use cases to facilitate advancement along an Adobe-created multichannel campaign maturity framework which allows Adobe account managers to understand client maturity and develop a roadmap of Adobe Campaign activities and objectives.
Having an Evangelist Leverages Cross-Channel Experience
When it comes to the critical capabilities buyers must have to thrive with multichannel campaign management, she made an interesting point and said: “First and foremost, brands really need an internal advocate who sees the big picture. This could be anybody in the marketing or the IT organization but it should be someone who is well equipped to build a plan and a strategy, and able to create the business momentum to see the change happen.” She also added: “For having the cross-channel campaign management success and driving amazing experiences, it is really a matter of building a right business case and finding the right internal ally to support it.”
I definitely agree with Kristin on the importance of having an evangelist within the organization because when the features don’t get used, people start devaluing the platform. In fact, to tackle this issue, Heather MacFayden, Vice President and Director of Production at Falcon-Software, also suggested the same tactic in her exclusive interview and said: “It should be someone who is proactive with using the features and functionality, knows how to use it, what the platform can do, and, more importantly, someone who consistently looks forward to figuring out what the organization's use is the software to get the most out of it.”
Relationship between Adobe Experience Cloud & Adobe Campaign
Adobe Campaign featured in the Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Campaign Management report is part of Adobe Marketing Cloud which is one of the components along with Adobe Analytics Cloud and Adobe Advertising Cloud under the new umbrella product, called Adobe Experience Cloud that was announced during Adobe Summit last month. Hot on the heels of the announcement, here at CMS-Connected, we interviewed Adam Justis, Director of Product Marketing for the Adobe Experience Cloud at Adobe to discuss the differentiating factors of newly announced Adobe Experience Cloud and he said: “The ability not only to have the tools delivering personalized experiences in real time but to augment and accelerate those through artificial intelligence capabilities. When you look at Adobe, we probably have over four dozen algorithms driving functionality in Adobe Experience Cloud today. That’s our differentiator.”
For those who haven’t leveraged any of those other solutions in the Experience Cloud, Kristin believes that Adobe Campaign is a really great place to start to work with Adobe Experience Cloud as the product provides users with multidimensional segmentation, campaign creation and orchestration, real-time customer interactions, and reporting.
Roadmap of Adobe Campaign
One of the things she said she is passionate about is the integration between Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Campaign and she calls it “Bringing the magic of Adobe Creative Cloud directly to the fingertips of cross-channel campaign management folks.” It means that all of Adobe’s creative tools that transform pixels into really magical digital experiences through solutions like Photoshop, Dreamweaver, or InDesign will leverage the success of the cross-channel campaigns. For instance, Kristin claims that 60 percent of marketers start their email creation process with Adobe Dreamweaver. Now that it has a direct integration with Adobe Campaign, the platform will save marketers and organizations time as well as the pain of going back and forth with their internal agencies. She said: “It streamlines the process for them and allows them to be more engaging, more proactive, more reactive, and more creative in their business processes. And we are very exciting about innovation on that.”
In the report, Gartner cited “While Adobe Campaign is positioned for both B2C and B2B marketing, its strength is B2C.” So she also elaborated on that saying: “Despite that our offerings traditionally have been in the B2C space, we have got pretty much any type of business leveraging Adobe Campaign to build this cross-channel experience. What we have found out there in the marketplaces for B2B marketers is that there is absolutely a lead meant like a core lean management process in scoring and lead routing which is important. But typically B2B marketers leverage our email marketing mostly.”
Additionally, in terms of broadening the platform’s footprint for more roles and functions of B2B companies, she believes that Adobe’s recently announced expanded strategic partnership with Microsoft and the tight integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM will provide a valuable use case of bringing sales and marketing together more closely and being able to really coordinate those cross-channel communications to prospects in the sales funnel.
What Buyers Expect from MCCM vendors
According to Gartner’s report mentioned in my opening paragraph, there are four specific capabilities that customers expect the MCCM platforms to deliver:
Personalization and personalization engines: By 2018, Gartner predicts organizations with fully functional online personalization will outsell companies without it by more than 30%. For instance, Netflix has spent years building and improving its recommendation engine and even sponsored a $1 million contest to improve its algorithm. As a result, this huge demand for personalization capabilities is now driving MCCM vendors to add personalization engines to their offerings. It means that instead of purchasing a stand-alone tool for personalization engines, buyers will expect an MCCM platform to natively deliver those capabilities.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence: For thriving cross-channel marketing campaigns, today artificial intelligence and machine learning are must-have capabilities for almost all the advanced platforms, and the MCCM platforms are no exception. Gartner states that MCCM clients can benefit in areas such as improved forecasting and pipeline management through capabilities powered by machine learning and AI.
Success Teams: In the report, it is unveiled that buyers want support in establishing processes, best practices, milestones and key performance indicators. Adobe’s customers, for instance, gave feedback to Gartner emphasizing Adobe's strength in service and support. After all, they are looking for the vendors that can add value by offering services that support more relevant, personalized digital commerce and digital advertising efforts.
Campaign journey analytics: Gartner found that more than one-third of the marketing budget goes toward the very analytics capabilities that MCCM vendors are integrating into their core platforms. Even this figure alone is strong enough to demonstrate how big the demand for analytics and how important for MCCM vendors to have advanced analytics functions, including predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics and campaign optimization baked into their platforms.
A multi-channel strategy is imperative not only for effective customer engagement but also for productivity within the organization, as for marketers, nothing is harder than dealing with the challenges associated with managing a multitude of content, and distributing that content globally in multiple languages if they do not have the right tools. Therefore, they are looking for the systems that can provide all these capabilities from a single platform which they can access anywhere. In the recognition of this demand, Adobe has been investing a lot of its resources into the best and quickest way to innovate and disrupt the industry. To that point, frankly, Adobe has ridden the crest of the cloud shift as the vendor executed such a smooth and successful shift for desktop software and its software development process.