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Marketing Technology
4 min

5 key takeaways from the Adobe Summit 2022

by Puneet Lamba April 15, 2022

I’ve been joining fellow Experience Makers from across the globe at the Adobe Summit for years. The event never disappoints, and this year was no exception.

Whether you prefer shorter 30-minute sessions, longer 2-hour training workshop-style immersion sessions (my personal favorites) or the not-to-be-missed Summit Sneaks, hosted this year by the entertaining Kristen Bell, there’s something for everyone.

After taking in a nice mixture of topics and formats, the following are five of my favorite highlights from the 2022 event, including some of the must-watch sessions.

Adobe Experience Platform was front and center, and rightfully so.

Adobe Experience Platform (AEP) is clearly the future and was the focus of a bulk of the sessions. AEP is much more than the Real-Time Customer Data Platform (RT-CDP)you see in the typical sandbox. This is where most of Adobe’s next-generation products are being incubated. Although the CDP is foundational, several products sit on top of the CDP and leverage its near-real-time, 360-degree view of the customer to deliver their magic. Customer Journey Analytics (CJA) is the next-gen Adobe Analytics (AA, or Omniture, for you old school folks). Journey Orchestration (JO) is the cross-channel glue on top of Adobe Campaign (AC) and Adobe Target (AT). Whereas AC would typically react to events like an abandoned shopping cart with an email or SMS/text message reminding the customer to complete their unfinished order, JO goes a lot further by nudging the customer with an alert on their phone reminding them that Starbucks is just around the corner, just in case they’re eager for a late afternoon pick-me-up on their way to that critical client meeting.

Workfront is the newest kid on the block as Adobe continues its highly successful strategy of growth by acquisition.

The first few years after any acquisition can be a bit volatile. But Adobe has been working hard to integrate Workfront into its family of products. It’s given the new acquisition a facelift and a new UX consistent with Adobe Experience Cloud (AEC). Workfront is Adobe’s project management tool (think Jira for digital marketing). Where Adobe shines is in its ability to leverage and build on its strengths to create an ecosystem of capabilities that are nearly impossible for its competition to grapple with.

Workfront creates a much-needed bridge between the creative and development ends of a digital marketing project by providing integrations and workflows that connect Adobe’s Creative Cloud products (Illustrator, XD, Photoshop, Premier Pro, Lightroom and InDesign, to name a few), collaboration tools like Slack, and AEC, specifically Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), where most of the creative content eventually lands in AEM Assets (aka the Digital Asset Manager or DAM). The Workfront session at the Summit was particularly notable because it didn’t just focus on how to use the product, but also on vital collaboration strategies that are critical to the success on any project.

AEM is in the cloud.

Adobe’s strong push to position AEM as a Cloud Service (AEMaaCS, or just CS) was also well represented in sessions and workshops. Adobe has done a great job of appealing to the mid-market by bundling CS with starter versions of its other foundational products (AA, AT) to create what they call the Foundation license. Innovation on the AEM front has continued at a frantic pace with significant advances in AEM’s Headless capabilities, with the introduction of the SPA Editor (for integrating with React or Angular-based SPAs) and a GraphQL layer to fine-tune the content you wish to syndicate from AEM to other consumers and channels in support of the Content as a Service (CaaS) model.

Adobe has been able to innovate without leaving current generation products in the dust.

Adobe Summit always includes plenty of content on current generation products so that no one feels left behind. A great example was the turbo-charged session on Email Deliverability, which should be of tremendous interest to AC customers. I have shared this session with many of my clients, and they’ve all been super grateful for the callout on a topic that doesn’t have a lot of good material in the public domain!

The Summit helped demystify confusion around Adobe licensing and terminology.

Adobe’s licensing model hasn’t always made it clear to customers whether they have access to features like Offer Decisioning and machine learning (via Adobe’s Sensei)—and what throughput they can count on when ingesting historical third-party data into the CDP to get it going. However, learning to ask the right questions remains the customer’s best bet when trying to pin down those details. That’s where working with a trusted Adobe Solution Partner (such as One North) can come in handy.

Another aspect of the Adobe Experience Cloud (AEC) that often baffles customers is the constantly changing and heavy use of terminology and nomenclature. For example, if you’re confused about the difference in AT between auto-allocate, auto-target and automated personalization, the session on Multivariate Testing might be just what the doctor ordered.

Adobe has made its Summit content available on-demand; I highly recommend browsing the library for the sessions that are most relevant to you. Hopefully this recap helped narrow down a few good places to start. Adobe’s stack of digital marketing products and capabilities continues to grow. I look forward to learning more about the latest the platform has to offer at next year’s Summit.

If you’re in search of an Adobe Solution Partner that can help you navigate all that the Adobe Experience Cloud has to offer and get the most out of your investment, we can help. Contact us to learn more.

Puneet Lamba
Director, Adobe Practice

Puneet is Director, Adobe Practice at One North. He holds over 25 years of experience designing custom enterprise solutions for Fortune 500 companies. Puneet has brought his deep expertise in the entire Adobe Experience Cloud suite of digital marketing products to clients in banking, finance, manufacturing and healthcare, guiding them on how best to maximize their investment.