Real World Digital Marketing and Analytics Tales AdobeSummit

The numbers don’t lie. Adobe’s digital marketing unit has reached the $1 billion mark in revenue.

The news came out at the Adobe Summit Digital Marketing Conference in Salt Lake City yesterday. Adobe also announced updates to its Adobe Experience Manager platform. 

The technology showcased yesterday's ballroom keynote looked promising. The music was great. The color tone in the ballroom was cool. Each speaker Adobe presented was clever and inspiring,  if you’re a digital marketer, that is.

Heck, some of the technology drew major applause from the crowd of a few thousand (more than 5,500 are attending this week): like when in a demo one click changed an entire marketing campaign across multiple devices.

This stuff can work. No doubt.

Overwhelmed by Analytics

But the battlefield in this space is truly in that audience, not on the Adobe Summit stage. Those are the digital marketers and analytics champions charged with returning to their cubicles next week and putting some great ideas into action.

The reality is that it's a scary world out there for a digital marketer. A challenging world.

It’s a world filled with obnoxious amounts of customer data and thousands of tools for analysts and marketers to not only sort through for purchase, but also to make sense thereafter.

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Scenes from the Adobe Summit Digital Marketing Conference Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Adobe.

It’s a world where Wendy Cotto, who works on the consumer insights team with Razorfish, sees many marketers and analytics folks simply “inundated” with data.

Organizations struggle, Cotto told CMSWire before an analytics session today, deciding what to focus on and making sense of data. By the way, we know marketers are struggling with analytics: an analytics breakout session from Adobe's analytics team Tuesday morning started 20 minutes late as the standing-room-only crowd arrived.

“Raw numbers don’t tell the big picture,” Cotto said when asked what convinces executives that marketing analytics matter.

And even if you have the shiny, new analytics or marketing tool? If you aren’t aware of its full arsenal, what good is it? Cotto’s seen plenty of organizations “not using the full functionality” of a tool or platform.

Further, she said, there’s often a disconnect between purchasing a new platform and realizing the staffing and resources needed for implementation.

Marketing Tool Goes Unused

Enter a story today from Rockford Yost, a senior analyst with Cramer-Krasselt based in Chicago. Yost talked about a digital marketing platform that was researched, vetted, purchased and then never used.

After a year of sitting on a shelf, the organization gave up the platform. It’s the perfect example of the tsunami of challenges and pressures digital marketers are facing today: knowing what tool to use, if they actually need a particular tool and deciding who’s going to champion the implementation cause.

Organizations can be “too quick to pull things in,” Yost told CMSWire yesterday. “You have to carefully consider your actual need sets,” he added. “What do you need to solve right now? And you really have to make sure you have a team or group of people you can depend on.”

This Stuff is Hard

How can organizations avoid buying a tool that goes unused? In addition to the pre-purchase homework, contract with a vendor that actually does more than “wipe its hands clean” of you once you pay for the solution, Prashant Yadav, practice lead for Adobe partner Youngsoft, Inc., told CMSWire.

“They should be providing training,” Yadav said.

Brad Brown, senior vice president of digital retail and customer support at REI, may have best surmised the challenges digital marketers face. Today’s technology “looks great,” Brown told the crowd yesterday, “but it’s really really hard, and that’s why we call it work.”

CMSWire is onsite from Salt Lake City covering the Adobe Summit Digital Marketing Conference. For any news or tips, contact us @cmswire or @domnicastro. Check out our prior coverage: