Take Command of Your Customer Experience With Adobe Experience Platform

Learn how the Adobe Experience Platform (AEP) represents a major innovation in the delivery of personalized experiences across channels, devices and business units.

Marketing and IT leaders continue to face new and major disruptions to their data-driven CX strategies. AEP is meeting the challenge.

Marketing and IT leaders continue to face new and major disruptions to their data-driven CX strategies. AEP is meeting the challenge.
Marketing and IT leaders continue to face new and major disruptions to their data-driven CX strategies. AEP is meeting the challenge.

The Adobe Experience Platform (AEP) represents a major innovation in the development and delivery of personalized experiences at scale – across channels, devices, and business units. CMOs and CTOs looking to unify customer profiles from disparate sources and activate this data across their marketing stack – Adobe or otherwise – need to understand the power and opportunities AEP can unlock for their organizations.

Read this article to learn how brands use AEP to:

  • Unify and standardize customer data from any system, providing a central view of customers with connectors to and from Adobe and other martech applications
  • Enrich, analyze, and empower data in real time to enable advanced audience definition and delivery of more meaningful experiences
  • Better orchestrate, manage, and attribute value to personalized experiences for data-led decision making
  • Activate customer data in real time with safety and security, leveraging data governance features to comply with privacy, contracts, and regulations.
  • Integrate with Merkle solutions like Merkury and LoyaltyPlusTM to further propel the benefits of identity-based data throughout their tech stack

Content Summary

The Takeaway
The Context
Why AEP is Important
Unifying Data to Unlock Optimal Experiences
Extensible Connections
How AEP Adoption Benefits Marketers
Empowering the Customer-Centered Enterprise
Adopting AEP at Your Pace
The Criticality of First-Party Identity
How AEP Adoption Improves Business Outcomes
AEP x Merkle
Case Study – Hardware Brand: Customer Experience Transformation

The Takeaway

The Adobe Experience Platform (AEP) helps brands gain ownership of identity and orchestrate powerful, data-led customer experiences across marketing, sales, commerce, and service. AEP:

  • Provides a means for organizations to resolve customer data from multiple disparate sources and put it into action while ensuring a high degree of privacy, security, and governance.
  • Builds real-time customer profiles that can be enhanced, analyzed, and activated in real time.
  • Easily connects this data to other Adobe and non-Adobe systems to enhance their ability to deliver personalized experience at speed and scale.

The Context

The need to invest in data-led experience orchestration is driven by many factors, including:

Major disruptions are impacting data-driven marketing.

New legislation like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the US and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU is being rolled out to protect consumers’ data privacy.

These regulations are driving the deprecation of third-party cookies on some of the most popular browsers and apps, while players like Facebook and Google are closing down their ecosystems in walled gardens to monetize their access to data in the adtech space.

Therefore, relying on third-party data is simply no longer an option for marketers.

Enterprises are being burdened by growing complexity.

The delivery of personalized and consistent experiences is often complicated by challenges within the organizations that craft them.

As they grow through mergers and acquisitions, enterprises often need to solve for disparate legacy customer journeys.

The need to make sense of a growing number of technologies used to run both internal and market-facing operations often comes hand in hand with the growing size and complexity of the business.

The bar for connected customer experiences continues to rise.

Consumers expect the experience your brand delivers to be on par with the most rewarding one they were last offered.

The same principle now also applies to B2B buyers, who are beginning to expect to be served B2C-like experiences in their work environment.

Brands in all industry verticals are expected to meet these standards on an ever-growing number of channels.

Why AEP is Important

Experience marketers’ biggest challenges are:

Fragmented customer identities: Reconciling customer information from disparate sources can be extremely challenging but is crucial to the delivery of consistent experiences.

Delivering insights-driven experiences at speed: The inability to respond to customer inputs when it matters most means missing opportunities and delivering sub-par experiences.

Data governance and security compliance: Having to rely on multiple systems and various sources makes the responsible use of personal data complex.

How Adobe Experience Platform (AEP) solves them:

Brings data together

AEP unifies and standardizes customer data from any system, providing a central view of your customers with connectors to and from applications in analytics, advertising, commerce, and marketing clouds.

AEP provides native connections, so you don’t have to develop custom integrations.

In real time

The first advantage of implementing AEP is the real-time utilization of streaming and customer behavior data.

The second advantage is that by centralizing segmentation, you can create seamless, cross-channel customer journeys among all your activation tools.

Its capabilities allow marketers to glean rich insights and personalize experiences with predictive flows like next best action.

Builds trust and ensures privacy

The objective is to harness data from Adobe’s marketing cloud products and other sources in real time to a central system where the customer profiles can be dynamically updated for personalization.

This also makes it easier to ensure that data is stored and collected securely and that it’s deployed in line with usage constraints like privacy, contracts, and policies.

AEP enables brands to fully adopt a hyper-personalized marketing approach and provides them with the capabilities needed to deliver the total customer experience.

AEP enables brands to fully adopt a hyper-personalized marketing approach and provides them with the capabilities needed to deliver the total customer experience.
AEP enables brands to fully adopt a hyper-personalized marketing approach and provides them with the capabilities needed to deliver the total customer experience.

Unifying Data to Unlock Optimal Experiences

CDPs ingest and unify data from internal and external sources.

Adobe real-time CDP enables advanced segmentation and audience definition.

AEP also enables marketers to apply artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to derive and activate insights.

The set of marketing technologies and third-party technologies used by enterprises to support the customer experience continues to grow. As a result, customer data platforms (CDPs) have become an increasingly essential tool for organizations wanting to generate business results through a hyper-personalized marketing approach.

CDPs help marketers transform disjointed data points from a variety of sources into a single, unified profile of the customer. The data is stitched together into customer profiles that are accessed by the systems that power marketing, sales, commerce, and service experiences.

CDP point solutions in market today have limitations in their ability to manage and activate profiles in real time, provide meaningful data science features, and offer the governance and privacy tools required by enterprises.

Adobe’s real-time CDP addresses all of these needs and allows IT to use the same platform to power additional enterprise-wide customer experience management use cases. As customer interactions occur, the CDP ingests this data and instantly gives marketers a holistic customer view, normalized customer data, and the ability to activate personalized experiences everywhere in real time.

The Adobe Experience Platform also enables marketers to apply AI and ML, reducing the time to insights and empowering richer customer profiles for better personalization, targeting, and service.

Evolving Your Stack: From DMP to CDP

To enable and empower CX transformation, many companies are shifting focus to CDPs and away from data management platforms (DMPs) as the core component of their martech stacks.

DMPs are digital tools most often used to pull data from in-house systems and cookie-based third parties to generate audience segments for the delivery of targeted online advertising. They tend to use anonymous information with a limited shelf life, while CDPs aggregate and organize data into persistent profiles that are updated in real time.

This is critical, because consumer experience today is fragmented across mobile, desktop, voice devices, retail spaces and other touchpoints. CDPs help marketers fill the gaps, allowing them to know the individual journey of each customer and unlock true 1:1 personalization seamlessly across online and offline channels. Through this persistent data and orchestration, CDPs also multiply the performance of the other tools in the martech stack.

Extensible Connections

Thanks to its open platform and pre-built connectors, AEP connects with both Adobe and non-Adobe products through representational state transfer application programming interfaces (REST APIs). The platform also enables teams to build new services and custom cloud applications.

AEP connects with both Adobe and non-Adobe products through representational state transfer application programming interfaces (REST APIs).
AEP connects with both Adobe and non-Adobe products through representational state transfer application programming interfaces (REST APIs).

How AEP Adoption Benefits Marketers

Unified customer profiles: Combine customer data from multiple sources. Personalize experiences based on profiles enhanced in real time. Activate across multiple devices and channels.

Enriched, accessible data: Streamline data analysis with out-of-the-box (OOTB) or custom models. Run machine learning models for faster insights. Easily create data visualization with OOTB business intelligence (BI) integrations.

Fast, extensible connections: Build new services and custom cloud applications. Leverage REST APIs to connect with non-Adobe products and destinations. Extend AEP into your own environments and data lakes.

Security, safety, and compliance: Keep customer data safe with secure cloud technology. Establish data governance to comply with privacy, contracts, and regulations. Simplify the classification, management, and enforcement of restrictions.

Empowering the Customer-Centered Enterprise

The marketing mandate is evolving, and CMOs are required more than ever before to become agents of “preparedness” who can develop rapid-response capabilities for the business. However, as the number of systems and data sources involved in supporting the customer experience grows, marketing’s success becomes more dependent on a broader transformation of the enterprise.

This transformation can only occur by embracing operational adaptiveness from top to bottom across the business and by creating strong partnerships among all the constituents within the organization that support customer-facing systems and activities.

As the connective tissue that consolidates customer data from various sources across the enterprise, AEP represents an incredible opportunity to break down business silos, strengthen collaborations, and accelerate innovation. It gives CMOs and other leaders throughout the organization the insights and easy-touse tools they need to work with greater unity and efficiency in support of broader business initiatives.

AEP represents an incredible opportunity to break down business silos, strengthen collaborations, and accelerate innovation.
AEP represents an incredible opportunity to break down business silos, strengthen collaborations, and accelerate innovation.

Adopting AEP at Your Pace

As a platform that unifies disparate data sources from various cloud players, AEP can shape your next-generation data modernization strategies and enable their adoption at a pace that is performant and scalable for your organization.

Building a roadmap that phases the desired functionality of the platform (like the example above) allows the organization to gain quick wins while establishing the foundations of its implementation, unlocking exponentially more value over time.

Establishing use cases to prioritize which AEP functionalities are essential to the business comes hand in hand with establishing the discrete data sources that are needed to support them.

You can generate significant benefits by partnering with specialists who have subject matter expertise in data transformation, and first-hand experience in the platform to help define and execute your roadmap.

Crawl

  • Real-time data ingestion
  • Real-time segmentation
  • Journey orchestration

Walk

  • Data science workspace
  • Journey analytics
  • Data usage labeling and enforcement (DULE) governance

Run

  • External consumption via APIs
  • Offer decisioning

The Criticality of First-Party Identity

Enterprises will need to found their data infrastructure on identity.

AEP can propel the benefits of identity-based data throughout the tech stack.

Integrating AEP with identity and loyalty enhances the accuracy of its profiles.

Inspired by consumer privacy concerns, the revolution currently underway in the data space forces marketers into a paradigm shift. Third-party audience tracking and targeting will be rendered obsolete by the deprecation of third-party cookies and mobile device identifiers from major internet browsers, which have been longstanding currencies for online tracking and data use.

To gain a competitive advantage, companies will need to focus on bolstering their first- and second-party data. This calls for them to develop, grow, and maximize their first-party identity and data assets through more productive direct interactions with their customers and prospects, as well as the prioritization of strategic partnerships to procure second-party data.

Going forward, both marketers and publishers will leverage their first-party relationships to create owned “private identity graphs” that generate addressability while maintaining their own connections. These brands will be able to network their private graphs with partners and peers in a way that increases addressability for all in a privacy-safe way.

This transformation will require an underlying data infrastructure founded on an enterprise-level identity management capability.

As the data-led enabler for the orchestration of customer experiences across the enterprise, AEP is an intended primary beneficiary of first-party identity resolution.

Harnessing unified customer profiles, segmenting audiences, and activating personalized experiences across multiple channels are some of AEP’s core responsibilities. So it stands to reason that it can propel the benefits of identity-based data throughout the customer-centered enterprise’s entire technology stack.

How AEP Adoption Improves Business Outcomes

Deliver better customer experiences.

Orchestrate journeys that are informed by both online and offline interactions. Simplify and enhance the execution of personalization across multiple channels. Engage on the right channel at the right time.

Grow your customer base and lifetime value.

Activate to enhanced audience segments based on identity resolution. Optimize conversions with offers in the moments that matter. Enrich loyalty journeys with coordinated, targeted experiences.

Run a more efficient and secure business.

Centralize data governance to meet privacy regulations. Invest your marketing dollars on insights-driven initiatives. Simplify the execution of campaigns that involve multiple business stakeholders and systems.

Keep ahead of the curve.

Accelerate and future-proof data transformation. Secure connections and inject agility within your stack. Become a customer-centered enterprise that remains at the forefront of innovation.

AEP x Merkle

Merkle, a dentsu company, is a global data-led, technology-enabled customer experience management (CXM) leader and the first AEP specialized partner. Merkle is also a Premier Partner in Adobe’s technology partner program, with its Merkury™ identity resolution platform. Combined, Adobe and Merkle’s strengths provide enriched customer profiles used to do segmentation and activation across channels for marketers encountering difficulties in traditional identification, marketing, and analysis. Some of the ways Merkle helps brands make the most of AEP include:

AEP + Merkury

Merkury integrates with AEP to enable brands, media owners, and publishers to:

  • Own, build, and control a cookieless private identity graph.
  • Enhance insights and optimize first-party audience segmentation with person-based third-party data appended to customer profiles.
  • Grow and improve the accuracy of customer profiles for enhanced 1:1 personalization by identifying website, app, and email engagers at person ID level.
  • Extend addressable targeting reach in media without the use of third-party cookies.

AEP + LoyaltyPlus™

Merkle LoyaltyPlus integrates loyalty data with AEP’s unified profile so brands can:

  • Enrich customer profiles in AEP with loyalty-related behavioral data.
  • Optimize customer loyalty journey with personalized engagement activities and brand loyalty activations.
  • Build customer loyalty through enhanced segmentation, offers, and service interactions based on a more holistic view.
  • Prevent member churn with modeling and targeted experiences.

AEP Accelerators

Merkle AEP accelerators are purpose-built cloud frameworks that drive faster use case enablement, improve AEP performance, and enable rapid ingestion and activation of data to power personalized experiences at speed and scale. Accelerator solutions include:

  • Data ingestion: Transform, hygiene, and aggregate data quickly for ingestion into AEP.
  • Identity: Enable one universal ID with multiple associated person-based identifiers.
  • Industry focus: Build predefined schemas, experience data models, and reports tailored for specific industry sectors and business needs.

Case Study – Hardware Brand: Customer Experience Transformation

Challenge

A leading consumer hardware brand, focused on lighting products, partnered with dentsu to transform its direct-to-consumer customer experience. The program included an overall redesign of the brand’s global marketing platform with a focus on personalization.

Ultimately, the brand’s goal is to increase direct sales three-fold by the end of 2022.

Solution

  • The new marketing platform was designed to leverage the power of AEP’s unified customer profiles.
  • Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) was leveraged to create mobile-first, newly designed online journeys.
  • In-house e-commerce capabilities were built on Adobe Magento.
  • The existing email platforms were migrated to Adobe Campaign Standard.
  • A new personalization engine was built and deployed, thanks to AEP’s orchestration of real-time customer data and journeys, that included inbound web, transactional email, outbound email, and paid media interactions, powered by its integration with Adobe Target and Adobe Campaign.

Results

The new platform went live in less than six months. The organization was able to operate the AEP, Target, Campaign, and Magento-powered platform.

The newly acquired capabilities helped the brand set a sales record on Black Friday 2020 (+126% in comparison to the previous year).

In less than two quarters since the launch of the new platform, the brand is well underway to drive a 50% growth in incremental sales, thanks to the new journeys and personalization capabilities.

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