The ultimate guide to understanding Adobe Experience Platform

Waleska Bustos
Content Manager
August 18, 2022

Improving your customers’ experiences is a big deal. But how can a brand make sense of all the information out there, reach out to their customers in a meaningful way, and not get drowned in the noise?

The Adobe Experience Platform is designed to address those modern marketing challenges.

As the number of information teams must manage grows, achieving a robust strategy for digital customer experiences gets more complicated.

Your customers are interacting with your brand across multiple channels, and you have to be able to engage with them in real-time. All without overwhelming your team or creating a disjointed customer experience.

This situation presents both a huge opportunity and a significant challenge. But with the right tools, challenges can become the biggest opportunities.

SUMMARY:

  • The demands of evolving customer experiences call for integrated solutions: Rethinking Real-Time Customer Experience Management.
  • Understanding the Adobe Experience Platform.
  • What challenges are marketers facing, and how does Adobe Experience Platform fits into them?
  • Looking into the future with Adobe Experience Platform

The demands of evolving customer experiences call for integrated solutions: Rethinking Real-Time Customer Experience Management.

The Adobe Experience Platform is a real-time customer data management platform that allows brands to unify customer profiles by sourcing data points from multiple channels.

You can quickly and easily make informed decisions about your customers, products, services, and marketing campaigns by using Adobe Experience Platform as your single source of data truth at the speed of business.

Since it's all based on real-time customer data, you'll be able to deliver the right experience in any context.

đź’ˇAEP works in real-time. It takes less than 100 milliseconds from consumer action to decision and experience delivery.

It's like having a workforce of marketing, sales, IT, and revenue professionals at your disposal.

We'll dive into the basics of the Adobe Experience Platform with practical information vetted by experts in the field. 

Our goal? To help you become a brand that excels at providing memorable customer experiences.

Understanding the Adobe Experience Platform.

With Adobe Experience Platform, you get a customer data management suite created from the ground up to satisfy the needs of marketing and tech professionals looking to build, optimize, and manage customer experiences.

The main selling point of the Adobe Experience Platform is the ability to act as a single source of customer data truth. 

Meaning, your one-stop shop for accurate, updated, and actionable customer data is powered by best-in-class solutions for content management, analytics, and marketing automation.

What challenges are marketers facing, and how does Adobe Experience Platform fits into them?

Today's digital world is an exciting and constantly-evolving space, with new challenges and shifting customer expectations that need to be met. 

  • Consumers' evolving preferences
  • Privacy concerns
  • Too many martech tools
  • Customer journey orchestration
  • Data governance, silos, and fragmentation
  • Lack of automation
  • Different customer touchpoints
  • Delivering seamless omnichannel experiences
  • Personalized content

Let's break them down and explore how Adobe Experience Platform will help you overcome them.

1. The challenges of data collection: Forget about manually managing data.

Most solutions are not created to work together, so if you use multiple software from multiple vendors, chances are you are running data management issues. Let’s explore them:

  • Manual management

The lack of automated management solutions increases the chances of human errors and prevents data from being widely accessible and actionable across the organization.

  • Data silos and fragmented data

For many brands, the marketing, sales, and customer service are each their own silos: each has their own software stacks, processes, and their slice of customer data. This leads to every department having only part of the customer dataset, with mostly no way to share data with others.

To truly harness your data and use it effectively, you need an automated solution that will help you manage all those different software and vendors, making sure that:

  • Data is where it needs to be
  • Everything works in real-time and is connected
  • Everything is streamlined and accessible for everyone involved
  • Everything can be measured for ROI

Adobe’s Customer Data Platform solves the data challenges.

With a data-driven approach, your Customer Data Platform (CDP) will be the foundation of your customer-centric marketing strategy. It’s become an integral part of most CMOs’ and CX designers’ arsenals, as organizations recognize its essential role in their ability to drive business value.

Adobe’s CDP It’s an application built natively on the experience platform. It collects, unifies, segments, personalizes, and activates customer data across multiple channels. It acts as a centralized source of customer data, capable of stitching together data fragments from multiple sources to create real-time customer profiles.

CDPs are designed to help you get the most out of your marketing efforts by giving you a single place to look at your customer information and ensuring it's correct and up-to-date. With it, you’ll be able to collect and share information across departments (marketing, customer service, IT, data science) and lines of business (B2C, B2B), breaking down silos.

They not only complement your marketing knowledge and experience but reinforce it.

Read more about data challenges: Customer Data Platforms: Your go-to solution to customer data challenges

2. Start delivering personalization at scale

“Personalization” is no longer a buzzword. It’s one of the golden rules of modern marketing and goes back to one fundamental principle: understanding your customer and delivering experiences that feel tailor-made for them.

What consumers say about personalization:

  • 91% are more likely to shop with brands that make offers and recommendations that are relevant to them.
  • 80% are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences.
  • 63% will stop buying from brands that use poor personalization tactics.

Source: Adobe: Thinking beyond the third-party cookie.

Deliver personalization with the Real-Time Customer Profile

Adobe Experience Platform enables personalization at the individual level with the Real-time Customer Profile feature, which builds a full view of each customer by combining data from multiple channels, including online, offline, CRM, and third-party.

“Adobe Experience Platform will help empower our team to understand our customers better, ultimately resulting in more personalized and valuable engagements, a powerful tool for any brand looking to succeed today.” - Susie Emmerling - VP of marketing operations at ServiceNow

It consolidates customer data into a unified view to offer an actionable, timestamped account of every interaction. 

Here is how the Real-time customer profile feature can help you:
  • Get a 360-degree view of each customer by registering all the ways they interact with your brand.
  • Map the journey to identify trends and behaviors. Knowing where your customers stand in their journey, you can develop strategies to get them closer to the purchase.
  • With the power of AI, you can ingest data faster than ever and use it to personalize experiences.
  • Get quick automated reactions. AEP capabilities let you get millisecond-level access to data and trigger contextual experiences.

With a clear view of each customer’s journey, you’ll be able to deliver more relevant and consistent experiences across your entire organization.

3. The Martech software stack problem

We currently have thousands of martech software solutions, and that number will only continue to grow.

How, then, are marketers still facing significant challenges if so many solutions exist? It's mostly due to a lack of integration, which goes back to silos and fragmentation. 

Most tools are not made to be compatible with most of the others, and the integration process may require talents the brand may not have immediately available.

How does Adobe Experience Platform solve the martech stack problem? 

Adobe Experience Platform's ultimate goal is to provide the integrated tools and services brands need to make data-informed decisions for a better customer experience across channels.

It uses Adobe’s existing assets and capabilities to provide a comprehensive solution.

If your team already uses any products in the Adobe ecosystem Experience Platform is a unified platform with native integrations that streamline processes, unify reporting and analytics, and provide a complete view of customer data.

4. Data governance, security, and privacy

In the last decade, there’s been a push for more transparency about the data brands collect from customers and how they use it. You’ve probably heard a lot about:

  • Legislation such as GDPR attempts to regulate its use.
  • Features like iOS 14.5’s App Tracking Transparency prevent smartphone apps from tracking your activity in other apps (potentially devastating return-on-ad spend in the process)
  • Web browsers like Safari, Firefox, and Chrome are cracking down on third-party cookies.

All of these changes lead to a safer experience for users but also less accessible user data for marketing teams and a much more fragmented web in general.

Read more: What does "no cookies" mean for marketers and CX designers?

Make the best out of these challenges while protecting your customers' privacy.

When it comes to your customer's privacy, it's important to take a proactive approach. Adobe Experience Platform helps you make sense of these rules and regulations.

  • Keep customer data safe.
  • Understand and comply with regulations, standards, and terms of customers' consent while providing excellent customer experiences.
  • It’s easier to manage individuals' requests and comply with global regulations.
  • In addition to providing built-in data security measures, the fact that all data is stored in a single database reduces the possibility of leaks by reducing the number of places in which the data must be protected.
  • Trust a powerful, extensible architecture built to keep up with future privacy regulations.

You’ll have the tools to make the best out of these limitations while keeping customer data safe.

Looking into the future with Adobe Experience Platform

Being a relatively new platform, diving into Adobe Experience Platform is an exciting learning process into a software already shaping how brands interact with the customer journey.

As such, there’s still much to discover. Over the past year, we’ve used it in different projects across multiple industries. In that time, we’ve learned a thing or two about its inner workings, but more importantly for you, we now understand client needs better.

This deeper understanding has led our Data and Insights Practice Leader, Alexis Artus, to come up with 3 key elements you should keep in mind when choosing an Adobe Experience Platform implementation partner:

  1. Look for a partner who can discover and categorize all your data sources, use cases, and customer journeys to create an architecture that fits the reality of your brand. This will allow you to obtain better insights and design better experiences.
  2. Must be able to implement that architecture in AEP by setting all the schemas, datasets, and connections used to create the customer profile.
  3. Must be able to guide your brand to useful insights from the solution that will satisfy their use cases and improve the customer journey.

Exploring such a vast set of tools will take time for both implementation partners and clients to understand and get comfortable with, but you can rest assured that Adobe Experience Platform is here to stay, and it will become an essential part of the martech and CX spaces for years to come.

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