Our team has finally had time to decompress and process all the learnings from The Adobe Summit in Las Vegas, after a week of mingling with over 20,000 attendees and furthering our partnership with Adobe. We had the opportunity to connect with customers and partners, as well as meet some incredibly inspiring speakers and innovators.

We want to share some of the emerging trends and key takeaways we gathered from the event. Read on for all the details!

Your tech talent and tech stack matter… a lot

Right off the bat, we noticed an interesting trend this year: When marketing executives stopped by our booth, they were usually accompanied by technical teams. This wasn’t only a trend we saw at our stand—it was also a common theme in many of the talks we attended. It’s clear that recruiting top tech talent and implementing a solid technical base (including supportive processes) are absolutely vital in order for brands to provide a smooth customer experience. That’s not an easy task when competition for tech talent is high and there’s a complex ecosystem of tools and data sources.  

Key takeaway: The digital world is experiencing a data overload—making it vital to hire competent technical teams that can advise and inform decision makers in your organization on best-practices. To make sense of a complex data ecosystem, start by determining the question you want to answer, instead of looking at tools first. Push your tech teams to ensure your technology stack is as future-proof as possible.   

Customer experience is everything

By far the most prominent trend we noticed was an even deeper focus on the customer experience. For a few years, we’ve heard more and more about customer marketing— how important it is to not only market in order to acquire customers but to retain them and develop them into brand advocates.  

However, we noticed a shift away from traditional customer marketing and towards customer experience and engagement. Shantanu Narayen, the CEO of Adobe, even said in his keynote presentation, “To win in today’s world, every business has to transform themselves to become maniacally focused on the customer experience.”  

The idea of being maniacally focused on the customer was the underlying theme of many talks and strategies we came across. We heard BestBuy, Intuit, Microsoft, and other big brands talk about how they transformed their brand strategies to focus on customer experiences.  

Key takeaway: Understanding your customers’ pain points is only the beginning of exceeding their expectations. Companies need to move toward design thinking to improve and innovate the customer experience.

Data is key to personalized experiences

In a digital landscape where consumers are inundated with information, marketing campaigns, and brands, competition is fierce and consumer expectations are high. One thing we heard over and over is that consumers now expect delightful, personalized experiences when interacting with a brand.

That said, there’s no mistaking the fact that personalization is a tricky marketing strategy to execute. It requires the right behavioural data and can be a lot for bootstrapped marketing teams to wrap their heads around.  

Fortunately, there were a few speakers, including Adobe’s Head of ACS Voice of Customer Team, Jennifer Sun, who shed light on how to use the data you already have to create personalized experiences in bite-sized increments.

Key takeaway: When it comes to personalized marketing, start small and start with data you already have. Focus on behavioural data and filter out unnecessary information cluttering your overview. One tip we can really get behind: use a unique visitor ID to start unlocking bigger personalization opportunities.

Not only did we walk away from Adobe Summit with pages and pages of notes, but we also had countless interesting chats with customers, partners, and true innovators. We’re proud to be a Business Level Partner in the Adobe Exchange Partner Program, and we’re excited to repeat the Summit experience in London from May 15-16!

Learn more about our partnership with Adobe.