Monoprice's (left to right) Diana Toldoya, Nelson Fisher and Darla Sebastian at Adobe Summit.
Monoprice's (left to right) Diana Toldoya, Nelson Fisher and Darla Sebastian at Adobe Summit. PHOTO: Dom Nicastro

LAS VEGAS — Forget the loud musical intros and video montages, Hollywood stars yapping it up on the main stage or even the contemporary rock bands playing outdoors against the beautiful backdrop of the skyline of this desert oasis.

At the Adobe Summit at the Venetian Hotel here last week, San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe pushed “the business of experience.”

What does that mean for many of the 12,000 attendees who are Adobe customers? 

Can the Adobe technology help them better connect with customers and bring them valuable business data?

Adobe customer Dhawal Parekh, senior technical architect for Capella University, may have answered that question best. Although filled with excitement and anticipation especially about Adobe Sensei, he also expressed skepticism. 

“It’s usually not as seamless as they make it out to be,” Parekh told CMSWire during the Summit. He cited a “lack of documentation” and “far more engineering than anticipated” for some Adobe tech projects.

Progrexion: Loving the Suite

Steve Jones
Steve Jones

Steve Jones is director of marketing operations at 2,400-employee, Salt Lake City-based Progrexion, which owns www.credit.com. He said his team analyzes results from Adobe Target campaigns through Adobe Analytics. 

Adobe Target is the personalization engine within the Adobe Marketing Cloud, and analytics sits under the Analytics Cloud, each under the new Experience Cloud Adobe unveiled at the  Summit.

Integration wasn't easy, he said. Progrexion needed to add call tracking metrics because it does 90 percent of its business through the call center. It did so using an integration with Invoca.

“Not seeing the whole picture can hurt your business,” Jones told CMSWire in an interview at Adobe Summit.

A coder at heart, Jones said he spends time coding in Adobe Target to change the look of web pages and for proofs of concept. Adobe’s Target WYSIWYG is available but Jones prefers the coding.

LJ Jones, director of optimization at Progrexion, told CMSWire the company also uses Adobe Experience Manager (web content manager) to manage content. He added it’s nice to have control over the front-end in terms of managing content.

“It doesn’t have to be a two-week development cycle to change content,” LJ said. “We have a lot of control over marketing cycles.”

Pursuing Personalization

LJ Jones
LJ Jones

LJ Jones said personalization in marketing is always the goal, as Adobe pushed all last week.

But one-to-one personalization is “very difficult,” he said. “It sounds really cool,” he added, “but it's a challenge to get there.”

For now, it’s more like one-to-segment, and serving up content that’s the best fit for web visitors.

“The integration between Adobe products is something I really like,” LJ Jones said. “When testing integrates with analytics, it’s nice to have them all as one suite because they integrate very well together. Adobe Data Tag Management and Target were pretty quick and easy to set up. All of the products work so well together.”

Adobe music
Adobe customers hope the company's messages last week at Adobe Summit are music to their ears, hopefully as awesome as the music they heard all conference long at the Venetian Hotel.PHOTO: Dom Nicastro

Monoprice: Adobe-Microsoft Prospects

Monoprice, an online electronics and accessories warehouse, is in the midst of implementing Adobe Target, Adobe Analytics and Adobe Campaign.

Darla Sebastian, senior IT manager for Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based Monoprice, said Monoprice is a .NET Microsoft shop.

Their attraction to Adobe was serendipitous as Microsoft has decided to partner with Adobe in cloud hosting, CRM and business intelligence capabilities.

“Adobe was a nice fit for us,” Sebastian said, “and the Microsoft partnership was the icing on the cake for us.”

Integrations with Microsoft Dynamic CRM in the future will allow Monoprice to “make sure B2B customers get personalized campaigns.” 

Diana Toldoya, director of digital marketing for Monoprice, said Adobe Campaign is a good fit for her team because current systems force her to massage data before using it practically.

“We have a very lean team,” she said, “and we don’t have a lot of time to build out APIs. What was appealing about Adobe was to take analytics data and have it ready and available for campaigns.”

Darden: Integration Challenges

Erik Lindstrom, manager of digital analytics for Darden, an Orlando-based restaurateur, uses Adobe Target, Adobe Analytics and Adobe Campaign.

Getting campaigns to speak to analytics “is a little work.” Getting systems to integrate with Adobe Target to send and deliver more personalized emails takes some “serious integration work.”

“You’re going to have to work with IT teams and systems architects, and they’re all going to have to be kind of on the same page,” Lindstrom said.

“You have to have a scalable, flexible framework too. And it helps if you have an executive stakeholder who can really push that envelope or you.”