It was great to be back in Las Vegas for Adobe Summit 2023, especially after such a long hiatus. There were several fantastic product and partnership announcements (one of them includes Merkle!) that demonstrate Adobe’s on-going commitment towards accelerating the scalable creation and delivery of content in support of one-to-one personalization. From Firefly’s gen-AI capabilities to increased Sensei AI integration across the DX stack, content creation and personalization just got a little bit easier.
In addition to the buzz, we were inspired by many of the sessions where Adobe’s customers spoke about the real-world use cases that power their businesses. Through formal networking sessions and informal dinners and conversations, we were able to connect with our clients, colleagues, and friends to discuss how the new product innovations will help them accelerate their business goals and make real the potential promised by the Adobe stack. Overall, the event was a thought-provoking and inspiring showcase of the latest trends and innovations in the digital experience space.
If you missed the event, don't worry, we’ve captured a few key takeaways.
Adobe's launch of Adobe Firefly was a hot topic for attendees, analysts, and press. It is part of a family of generative AI models that will enable users to create content from images, audio, vectors, and more. Firefly promises to bring a new level of precision, power, speed, and ease to content creation and modification workflows across Adobe's cloud platforms, including Creative Cloud, Document Cloud, and Experience Cloud. Through Sensei GenAI, brands will be able to leverage their investments in Adobe Experience Cloud to train generative AI models on their proprietary customer data in AEP, to create message variations via AJO for use across channels, as well as other use cases. Adobe is unique in the market due to their intent to protect creators and uphold copyright. I’m curious to hear more about how they plan to minimize bias in their algorithms – this was not an area of focus at Summit, but it is a critical issue that must be transparently addressed.
Jonathan Gagliano, Financial services industry: The launch of Firefly generated much discussion around its application, governance considerations, and how to test into the next generation AI. While it’s very early with Firefly still in beta, I predict that it will allow for more scalable personalization, for site personalization, decisioning, and internal creative automation within the financial services space.
Sylvain Panzani, High tech industry: Adobe Summit confirmed that our clients in the High Tech vertical are seeking greater efficiencies and are turning to technologies to make it happen. As we saw in real time during the Summit, the launch of Firefly embodies those needs. It’s generating buzz and clients are asking how they can use it and how fast they can get started with it.
Wendi Shulman, Retail industry: I attended the keynote session on Firefly and have been experimenting with it as part of the beta. In addition to the well-known benefits for retailers using AI, one of the obvious wins with Firefly is content development. Since Firefly offers the ability to easily edit and change images, retailers that struggle with less personalized creative cycles would see the opportunity to re-think their process and/or collaborate with their influencers and creative partners differently. Firefly sets up the opportunity for the consumer to customize their own shopping experience too. Because of Firefly's creative capabilities, everyday shoppers could have the unique ability to personalize images and pictures to try things on or “test” products. Think about the next evolution on current applications that allow a shopper to try on outfits or view a product in different colors or available styles.
Adobe is continuing to make significant progress in bringing together Experience Cloud with Creative Cloud. New features allow brands to create, deliver, and analyze content across teams through improved reporting and budget management, marketing calendar visualization, increased automation, and advanced goal tracking. Workfront continues to be the bridge between the clouds, but the beta launch of Adobe Express and NGC, also promises to simplify authoring and creation by making it more accessible to non-technical users. It’s too early to say whether these tools can scale to meet the needs of large, complex, global enterprises, but I am excited to see Adobe moving in this direction.
The ability to effectively leverage the data a brand has on its customers continues to challenge many organizations. Adobe Experience Platform offers a robust solution to this need through the use of real-time profiles; however, the solution takes time to implement and is use-case dependent. There were several announcements at Summit that will help brands make this task a little easier. First (and a bit selfishly), Merkle’s identity solution, Merkury, has initial integrations with Adobe Real-Time CDP (RT-CDP). The integration allows Merkury to identity anonymous users on site for 50%-70% increased site personalization opportunities and further enriches customer profiles within RT-CDP. Second, new AI-driven innovations will allow for the creation of multiple variations of audience segments, CX simulations across channels, and the ability to create generative playbooks. These innovations will make it easier for brands to derive increased capacity and revenue from their investment in AEP. Adobe’s focus on compliance and security, including Healthcare Shield, also reduce risk to brands.
In closing, the ability for brands to leverage technology to build meaningful connections with their customers (whether they are shoppers, patients, or creators) seems ever more possible through GenAI and other martech innovations. Achieving 1:1 personalization has the ability to change lives, particularly if it can help a patient get the care they need quickly and efficiently, or it can connect charities to the right potential donors. It could even help a harried parent find the best birthday present for their son or daughter on short notice.
However, as we already know, even simple things can be challenging to bring to life – and that is where Merkle can help. Technology innovation will continue to accelerate and that it’s essential to find a partner who can help create an agile, future-focused organizational culture that allows you to take advantage of the promise of the technology. Together, we can help you overcome change fatigue and organizational inertia through our approach, frameworks, and accelerators.
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