Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen (right) and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sit down at Adobe Summit 2019 to discuss culture, tech trends customer experience and digital transformation in Las Vegas on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

Adobe kicks off its Adobe Summit digital experience conference next week virtually. It’s the third consecutive year the San Jose, Calif.-based digital customer experience software provider will host its annual conference online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event takes place March 15–17.

Adobe Summit’s 2022 global virtual event will focus on making the digital economy personal with new product and technology innovations in Adobe Experience Cloud that enable brands to deliver personalized experiences at scale, according to Steve Hammond, VP, Experience Cloud & Adobe Workfront.

The conference will feature more than 200 sessions and workshops across 10 content tracks. Keynotes from Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and President Anil Chakravarthy will highlight the growth of the digital economy and how organizations that develop personalized experiences will thrive and see business growth today and in the future. And, of course, Adobe will showcase its latest tech innovation. Mainstage sessions will focus on areas like commerce, B2B, work management and more, with brands including Panera Bread, HP and Honeywell. 

Late-2021 Digital Experience Momentum

Adobe’s last in-person event featured more than 20,000 attendees. On center stage will be innovations within Adobe’s Experience Cloud, which includes a suite of software products used by marketers and customer experience professionals in the areas of:

  • Content and commerce
  • Data insights and audiences
  • Customer journeys
  • Marketing workflows
  • Digital enrollment

Adobe competes in the digital experience software space with providers like Salesforce, Oracle, Sitecore, Optimizely, BloomReach and Acquia. Gartner named Adobe a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms published last month alongside Optimizely, Acquia and Sitecore. 

Gartner lauded Adobe’s DXP for its recognizability, broad set of functionality and extensive ecosystem while cautioning against its total cost to ownership, steep learning curve of complex digital experience management tools and lack of employee-experience-specific functionality. Adobe just today released some product news in customer experience and employee experience.

Adobe makes money in three categories: digital media (73% of revenue), digital experience (24%) and publishing and advertising (3%), according to Adobe's latest annual filing.

Adobe in December reported its first $3 billion digital media and first $1 billion digital experience revenue quarter. Digital experience segment revenue was $1.01 billion, representing 23% year-over-year growth. Digital experience subscription revenue was $886 million, representing 27% year-over-year growth. In FY21, Adobe’s Digital Experience segment revenue grew 24% YoY.

Not all financial news has been positive for Adobe with some recent earnings falling below analysts’ forecasts

In other news in December, Adobe promoted Anil Chakravarthy to president of Adobe’s Digital Experience business. He had been serving as executive vice president and general manager, Digital Experience Business and Worldwide Field Operations. The company also promoted David Wadhwani, chief business officer and executive vice president, Digital Media, to president of Adobe’s Digital Media business. 

Related Article: After a Decade of Digital Experience Software Acquisitions, What's Next for Adobe?

Marketers Want 'Single Products'

Adobe’s Hammond said Adobe Summit 2022 will unveil new products and showcase updates to existing offerings. Adobe will be announcing innovations across content, commerce, data insights, customer journey and marketing workflow as well as enhancements to AI technology and growth in new verticals, he added.

Marketers are seeking single products that can replace multiple point solutions with an integrated platform approach,” Hammond told CMSWire. “This way, it is easier to create and control digital experiences in one place.” 

Another advantage of a single product approach is data sharing, he added. Amid privacy moves by major tech companies, marketers are now focused on finding tools that can personalize digital experience delivery while remaining compliant with consumer privacy expectations.

“Adobe has led the way in these efforts with its Real-Time CDP (customer data platform), which allows brands to leverage first-party data across Adobe applications,” Hammond said.

Related Article: Will Microsoft Acquire Adobe?

What's the 2022 Digital Experience Forecast?

This year, Hammond predicts brands will no longer simply talk about delivering proactive and relevant experiences to millions of customers in real-time: they will have to make it a reality. 

“This can be accomplished,” he said, “by creating actionable, unified views of customers that are updated in real-time, allowing brands to tailor customer journeys that build loyalty and trust.”

Another way that customers will want brands to reach them is through the metaverse and other immersive experiences, which must be part of marketers’ strategies in 2022 and beyond, according to Hammond.

Scott Belsky, chief product officer and executive vice president of Adobe Creative Cloud, said that to be “Metaverse-ready,” brands should start creating 3D and immersive content now. “It will not only prepare them for the future,” he added, “but make their product design and creation of marketing and ecommerce assets better, faster and cheaper.”