Adobe’s highly anticipated European Summit took place from May 3rd – 4th in Excel London, attracting some of the biggest global brands, demonstrating how the Adobe stack has been applied across multiple industries. The event showcased a host of key speakers including Victoria Beckham, World heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua, Actor and comedian Rob Brydon and CMO of Virgin Atlantic, Claire Cronin.
The summit held a diverse range of breakout sessions with live demonstrations of Adobe’s tools, accompanied by case studies from the likes of Shell and the Australian Tourist Board.
Across the two days, the recurring theme was “customer personalisation” and the idea of tailoring creative to ensure it is relevant and resonates with an audience.
One of the tools used by many brands to achieve this was Adobe Advertising Cloud. The automation of creating digital artworks means that only one dynamic asset is needed. The asset can then be resized and adjusted based on the platform it will be viewed on.
For big campaigns that require multiple sizes of assets to work across a range of digital and social channels, such a tool would enable the designers to create one version and then use Adobe Advertising Cloud to customise this for the viewer and the device used.
A surprising trend identified within the financial services industry is that, rather than start-ups disrupting the industry, it is the innovations from the big established banks that are creating the biggest competition. This marks a significant change from as recently as 2 years ago, when the likes of Stripe and Amazon threatened to steal market share from traditional banks and demonstrates the willingness of the bigger banks to adapt and innovate.
The conference also focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and its use within the development and execution of creative campaigns, with the term “content intelligence” being highlighted throughout. One of the most impressive examples of this was the use of Adobe Sensei. A tool that uses AI to discover new opportunities, speed up tedious processes and personalise experiences for customers. This appeared in numerous live demos and proved a show stealer. In one demo, as an example, a number of animals were sketched on a piece of paper. The paper was then scanned using the Adobe app via mobile. Sensei then recognised the features of the animals from the sketch, found similar images online, and positioned them in the same way the sketch had outlined. Similarly, in another example, a photo of a desert backdrop was used. A foreground was selected and then Sensei was asked to replace it. The program then read the image, recognised the desert setting and selected numerous images it found on the internet that would fit in seamlessly instead. This proved very impressive in the demo, and will certainly be interesting to see what designers think of it in real-world scenarios.
The Adobe workshops introduced both Steven Hicks from Lloyds Bank and Eugenia Gibbons from BBVA Bank. Hicks is presently heading up the integration of mobile within Lloyds. He spoke in detail about the integration of teams; having a siloed “mobile” team is not the way to build a mobile-first bank, so instead the entire organisation needs to prioritise mobile objectives.
In Eugenia Gibbons’ workshop, she spoke at length about the overall Adobe integration for her team, and the time it has taken BBVA to really create a personalised experience for their customers.
The primary focus for both banks was how Adobe Experience Cloud has allowed them to manage the customer journey as a whole, by combining creative with experience and customer identity. One thing that was noticeable was the size of the retail divisions for both banks. BBVA has around 14 million retail customers, while Lloyds Bank has around 16 million. For Adobe’s personalisation feature to work effectively, it does require substantial and detailed audience lists to work with. Not always possible when it comes to smaller banks with less customers!
Adobe has made massive strides in improving the automation of so many processes, worked tirelessly to break down barriers to personalisation and increased the opportunity for greater focus on creativity. The technology is proving to be as disruptive as expected but still leaves room for improvement and the need for personal expertise, input and oversight. The event itself, as expected was hugely entertaining and informative. The only question now is, when’s the next one?