Top Trends and Highlights from Adobe Summit 2023
The Adobe Summit 2023 proved to be as remarkable as ever, featuring hundreds of sessions covering an extensive range of topics. As both long-time (Puneet) and first-time (Vinu) attendees, we were both blown away by this year’s event.
There were some exciting new themes this year that really stood out and deserve special mention. The following six topics are the top trends and highlights we found this year.
Adobe’s Firefly toolkit is an innovative new product that uses generative AI to create unique, custom content. Firefly takes in textual natural language descriptions (aka “prompts”) of an image and generates artificial images that match the provided description. For example, you could ask Firefly to create a “flat design logo for a towing company featuring a tow truck using grey and orange as primary colors,” and Firefly will produce several images to choose from and tweak
Users can customize various aspects of the generated content, such as aspect ratio, content type, styles, color and tone, lighting, and composition. Firefly can also generate text effects, and currently under development are features like vector recoloring, text-to-brush, and monetization for users who are using content to train Firefly. Firefly has some catching up to do with competing products such as Midjourney but does carry an advantage with its out-of-the-box, native integration with other Adobe products, such as Photoshop.
CDP and Next-Gen Products
While Adobe’s legacy products—like AEM, Target, Analytics, Launch, and Campaign—continue to evolve at breakneck speed, next-gen products—such as AEM as a Cloud Service/AEMaaCS, Adobe Experience Platform/AEP (platform/edge), Customer Journey Analytics/CJA (analytics), Offer Decisioning/OD (optimization/personalization), Adobe Journey Optimizer/AJO (campaign with OD), and Journey Orchestration/JO—are being built (and implemented) to directly feed off the Customer Data Platform/CDP (data lake) for real-time personalization at scale. All of these products are still evolving, and exciting new features like audience sharing and derived fields are being added to CJA in the coming months. This field is characterized by a perpetual cycle of innovation and learning, with no end in sight for either.
Universal (Visual) Editor (UE)
Adobe unveiled an editor-as-a-service that allows for pages to be edited from external applications, such as Microsoft Word and Excel, with stack-agnostic custom coding. The idea is to pair it with a headless implementation of AEM, but it also allows authors who don’t wish to be trained on how to author in headful AEM to take advantage of the tool.
Another significant value proposition of the Universal (Visual) Editor is the ability to source content from outside of AEM. Questions remain about how permissions will be integrated and whether publishing will still have to be initiated from AEM. UE is not to be confused with Content Fragment Editor (CFE) wherein the author cares only about the content, but not about the layout.
Adobe recently rolled out a Sensei-powered, self-serve solution that measures marketing campaigns and optimizes planning holistically across paid, earned, and owned channels. Marketers can leverage Mix Modeler to augment Experience Cloud data (analytics) with new and essential summarized datasets like marketing spend, walled garden, offsite engagement, and exogenous data. Mix Modeler provides answers to questions like “How will a 10% change to paid search budgets impact bookings” and is sure to be a game-changer.
Figma users itching to know how their workstreams will be affected by Adobe’s acquisition of Figma were left guessing as to what’s to come with this massive shift. As a Figma Agency Partner, we’ve been pretty curious ourselves. However, with some legal details pending—and the focus of the conference being on Experience Cloud rather than Creative Cloud—there was little to no mention of the much-anticipated acquisition and integration, which is likely to bring an end to the product roadmap for Adobe XD. Here’s to hoping the Adobe MAX event this October includes an update on this front.
Some of the best sessions included Red Hat’s discussion on CDP selection. We particularly enjoyed their comparison between store-bought cookies (third-party cookies) and homemade cookies (first-party cookies). Red Hat is an early adopter of the Real-Time CDP (RT-CDP) and was able to provide the audience with a recipe for how a CDP implementation should be executed.
During the Elevance (formerly Anthem) presentation, we were extremely impressed by their data-driven healthcare experiences. They provided a detailed explanation of how to effectively leverage data and take full advantage of the tools like AJO, CJA, and the HIPAA-ready Healthcare Shield (an AEP add-on, which is specifically designed to overcome Target and Analytics shortcomings). It was a step-by-step discussion that demonstrated the ability to push boundaries and learn from data in the healthcare industry.
The day-long immersion sessions we attended on CDP and CJA were also extremely useful due to the product deep-dives and insightful exchanges between a very knowledgeable audience and an accomplished instructor. The sessions provided the audience with answers to what’s on the roadmap for the next couple of years, how these products fit into the larger Adobe landscape, and which existing legacy products are going to be replaced moving forward.
Interacting with clients in person and keeping abreast of the latest developments proved to be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Specifically—we met with an Adobe client who was working on an exciting project assembling pages outside AEM and then using Workfront Fusion to integrate with AEM. A very interesting idea worth exploring further and seeing the possibilities in congruence with the Universal (Visual) Editor mentioned above.
During the lab on automating AEP deployments, we learned that Postman Newman is a command-line tool for running collections. For example, when implementing the CDP, you could prototype all your feeds before wrapping them up into something more robust using Python or Java.
Adobe’s App Builder is a framework for extending Adobe products that can, for example, be used to extend content fragments (CFs) to fetch external data or add UI elements. This extension works by composing calls to the REST APIs for all of the Experience Cloud products.
There is never a dull moment at the Adobe Summit, and this year was no exception. We were very impressed by many of the new technologies and tools mentioned that will continue to be at the forefront of marketing technology moving forward. Adobe has made its Summit content available on-demand, which we highly recommend viewing if you want to dive deeper into the sessions and topics.
We hope these highlights give you the starting point you need to further immerse yourself into the content and come out with a fresh and exciting outlook on what the future has in store. We look forward to learning more about these tools and can’t wait to see what they 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.
Photo Credit: Joel Filipe | Unsplash
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.
Vinu is the Director of Solutions Architecture at One North, defining technical architecture for complex marketing/IT systems and products, acting as a technology consultant for clients and working with One North’s Strategy and Design teams to define and implement solutions that will serve the client’s objectives now and in the future.