Davy Rennie's Adobe Summit Diary: Day 2

Adobe Photos (1).jpgFollowing his time in Austin, Texas, Davy Rennie, experience design director, The White Agency is covering the Adobe Summit 2017 in Las Vegas, exclusively for Campaign Brief.

Adobe Summit - Day 2
We're off for Day Two at the Adobe Summit, and the sheer scale of it is staggering. I get a seat up the back of the keynote, right in front of the speaker. It's all very Jobs-esque, but much more visually beautiful than anything Apple could pull off. It's bloody loud & bright!

Again, the buzzword of the year pops up: Experience.

We are presented with some incredible showcases of businesses who now make experiences their business; from Mercedes, to Dominoes, to National Geographic. All of these businesses have evolved into purveyors of experiences, rather than products. In fact (we are told), a number of studies have shown that businesses which focus on experiences are more successful and reliable.
Adobe 1 (1).jpgI believe that, but I don't believe that people really know what it means. Most of the time, I think, 'Experience' is confined to the mythical realm of theory and jargon, where it never translates into real, workable strategies. Adobe recognised this problem, and changed. They accepted that they'd take a sizeable hit when they transformed into an experience business, and they did. It sucked. In the long run, however, they went from a $1b to a $8b company in 2018.

Mercedes did the same thing. They recognised that cars are the ultimate experience centres. Going into the future, consumers will be able to control and customise virtually every aspect of their experience before they even step into the car: the temperature, the destination, the speed, etc.; all while it learns how you like to travel. Likening a car, to a phone, the most boring thing you do on your phone is make a call, and likewise the most Adobe 2 (1).jpgboring thing you will do in a car is drive, or listen to Nickleback. It's an experience. It's no longer a car.

Big businesses need to stop being so short-sighted. We understand that you have boards and stakeholders to answer to, but at the end of the day you'll have a lot more to answer for in the long run when your business is left behind in the dust of your competitors because you haven't implemented any changes. Change is like a freight train with no brakes. If you don't jump on board, it'll crush you.

This is not your Marketing Department's problem. This is a company-wide problem. Digital transformations generally focus on platforms and new data stores, and businesses continue to create siloed data that is generating a widening experience gap. Everything you own has to be connected; from eCRM, to Web, to Physical, to IMG_1389 (2).jpgIOT in order to create holistic, quality experiences.

Anyway, I better put my drum down- this is what Adobe thinks an experience business is:

    • They know and respect their customers: they know when they want to talk, engage and convert
    • They speak in one voice
    • Their technology and tools are transparent and easy to use
    • They delight at every turn in the market
That's one of the biggest and best software companies in the world's definition of experience businesses. It's simple to say yet hard to do, but you need to do it. We need to do it. We aren't even close, but we're changing. Changing the way we operate, changing the way we speak, changing the way we treat our teams. Changing for the ultimate goal of becoming an experience business.

Leave a comment