Key Takeaways from Adobe Summit 2019

By Kirsten Oelrich 4 min read

Adobe Summit 2019 turned out to be the largest Summit till date, with over 17,000 delegates in attendance. Digital marketers from across the world had the opportunity to connect with their peers, interact with the speakers, and learn tools and techniques for keeping customers engaged and driving brand growth and loyalty. Last year, the focus was on ‘experience makers’, while this year the primary focus was experience management.

Here are some key takeaways from the Adobe Summit 2019:


Adobe made six different announcements, which focused on enhancing businesses to achieve greater success. Adobe’s partnership with Microsoft and SAP in 2018 launched a project called the Open Data Initiative (ODI). Initially, businesses were struggling to understand the customer operations and actions, as they were unable to bridge information trapped in internal silos. With the introduction and expansion of ODI, they are looking to standardize the way businesses trade, format data and organize. It will also make data solutions universally compatible and move data out of silos into an individual customer chosen data lake. Most marketers are aware of the issues of siloed data. They are trying to integrate CRM, ERP, behavioral and other data sets to have a better insight on each consumer. They are also facing challenges of integrating this data. With ODI it will be easier to transfer and merge data.

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Apart from their twelve new partners, the founding partners of ODI are bringing in system integrators, independent software vendors and agencies to get more insights. For instance, Unilever has utilized ODI by enabling one model to reduce plastic packaging and encouraging customers to recycle. It can link plastic data and inventory into Adobe data to encourage participation and enhance customer experience.

Adobe’s range of products and services are focused on integrating data collection enabling real time hydration of profiles to analyze the consumers, by using artificial intelligence and machine learning (Sensei), thus giving useful insights and solutions.

Business to Everything (B2E) is the latest buzzword from Adobe, after Marketo’s inclusion in the Marketing Cloud. It is larger than Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) and it rightly identifies the blurring lines in both marketers. Gender equality in the workplace, especially women in the workplace, the right attitude for leadership and their portrayal in the media were few trending topics for discussion. Recently there has been a great shift in society and it has influenced how men and women work together. Men and women need to unite and rewrite rules to transform the workplace culture. Up for discussion on the third day was on the portrayal of women. Around 40% of women don’t identify with the women in the media (advertisements). The portrayal of women in advertisements is unsatisfactory. Companies need to showcase diversity and strong women for women to connect.


Adobe focused on creativity, technology and purpose. Discussions were based on the need to empower the creative community, therefore encouraging people to bring their extraordinary ideas to life. Data and technology are the key foundations of creativity.

The role of purpose was one of the highlights, as customers generally look for businesses that are deeply invested in giving back- whether it is a business strategy or outreach. Technology too has played a major role in creating a platform for people to connect, communicate and share their thoughts and experiences.

During the event there were conversations that ranged in three user journeys for starter companies: 1. Companies who have not yet adopted solutions from tech firms like Adobe; 2. Companies using only one Adobe product and understanding how to use them to the optimum, as well as looking out for other products that can be beneficial to them; and 3.Companies that already have more than four Adobe products and are looking to make these products more efficient and beneficial.

Adobe engineers also shared their demos of the future technologies. There demos on Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) were very innovative and interesting.

  • Augmented Offers- It empowers businesses to increase customer engagement by delivering meaningful and relevant AR experience to customers.
  • Journey Genius- It enables marketers to examine the past and future predictions of the customer’s journey. This will help make intervention plans.
  • Data Unbound- It aims to bring Experience Cloud data to the user. It also makes data more accessible to Adobe customers beyond the standard interfaces.
  • Intelligent Agent- It connects the power of Adobe Document Cloud with Microsoft Cognitive Services to help customers understand contractual language much better.
  • Expert Assist- It is a solution powered by Adobe I/O. It uses the features of Adobe Sensei and natural language capabilities. It assists marketer by giving voice commands.
  • Phonic Filters- It is powered by Adobe Sensei and it assists marketers in making quick searches from their repositories by giving voice commands.
  • Car Smarts- It is highly beneficial to the automotive industry as it increases marketing efficiencies by powering OEMs with information on the status of the vehicles health from diagnostic information. It also predicts service requirements and breakdowns.

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Adobe along with Marketo focused on in-depth sessions about the future of marketing, the direction the industry is heading and how businesses can stay relevant in a world which is constantly changing. One idea that struck out the most was that different teams within an organization- marketers, analysts, content creators, designers and sales are all interdependent and are perceived as one. Their interests overlap in most areas.

What drives marketing is ‘experience’. People don’t buy products, they buy experience. Customer experience is extremely important. A business is successful because of a great customer journey. Earlier Adobe used to be a B2B2C company and it did not know its customers at all. Therefore, companies need to widen their perspective, adapt and survive. They need to think B2B, instead of B2C, as dynamics with customers and partners are evolving quickly.

Next Adobe and Marketo focused on Account Based Marketing (ABM). They are keen in delivering end-to-end account-based experiences for customers, as well as conversational ABM, which enables marketers to personalize every website visit. Conversational marketing can bring about a personalized experience to customers in a big way, by using information in the database (Marketo). Lastly, visuals play an important role in sales. The heart of modern marketing is creative design and thinking. Around 49% sales lift due to powerful creativity.

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Kirsten Oelrich

Written By

Kirsten Oelrich