Cloud Wars: Marketo Engage Adds Lightning to the Adobe Experience Cloud
Marketo Engage is a recent addition to the Adobe Experience Cloud, which is "the industry’s only end-to-end solution for experience creation, marketing, advertising, analytics, and commerce," according to Sarah Kennedy — VP, Global Marketing, Adobe Digital Experience. So Adobe, which was already a huge leader in the cloud wars when it announced the Marketo acquisition in 2018, became even more of a force.
Kennedy tells Target Marketing for the cloud wars overview that "unlike legacy enterprise platforms with static and siloed customer profiles, Adobe Experience Cloud helps companies deliver consistent, continuous, and compelling experiences across customer touchpoints and channels – all while accelerating business growth."
Here, Kennedy offers more perspectives.
What are marketers looking for in a cloud platform?
I think it’s simple. Marketers need a solution that delivers engaging and personalized experiences their customers expect, while driving business value. Customers want to be engaged with on their terms, wherever they are — web, mobile, or IoT devices — which is why it’s so important to deliver a personalized and connected experience, informed by their preferences and past interactions.
When it comes to actually using the platform, what capabilities are most important to marketing success?
There’s no one-size-fits-all [approach] when it comes to leveraging the right capabilities on a cloud platform, as marketers’ goals and challenges are as unique as their customers. However, I do believe that marketers seeking to deliver exceptional, engaging experiences will need the following capabilities:
- Cross-channel orchestration
- Content management
- Personalization and optimization
- A complete customer profile
Is there a gap in what marketers look for and need?
As a marketer myself, I know the challenges that come with the job. Other than the high-demand from the business and the lack of sleep (kidding!), keeping up with the evolving industry can be challenging. More specifically, marketers are often looking for new solutions to solve for a specific need or pain point. The challenge with this approach is that it creates multiple sources of disparate data. To truly have a holistic picture of their customers, marketers need a solution where everything can be integrated, and data can be centralized.
What capabilities are going to be more important for marketing clouds to offer during the next five years?
I think we’ll continue to see AI grow in importance for marketing. We’ll continue to see marketers leveraging AI to distill large volumes of data to drive predictive outcomes, such as content recommendations and to make better decisions. Another big opportunity for marketers is adaptive audience selection — leveraging data and models to automate the selection and targeting of audiences to achieve specific campaign goals.
What caused previous contenders to drop off of the list of Cloud War contenders? What’s changed since our previous coverage?
Not only has our industry changed drastically since “The Cloud Wars” series was last published in 2016, the entire tech industry has changed. For example, the massive amounts of customer data readily available today, coupled with rising expectations for delivering personalized experiences, can be overwhelming. If we aren’t able to address these challenges and deliver the impactful digital experiences customers require — at-scale, and in real-time — brands will not be successful.
What’s going to determine who wins “The Cloud Wars”?
To me, it all comes down to the experience. I can’t say that enough. And it’s not just about delivering a “good” customer experience. I’ve never believed “good enough” is good enough, and that’s the same way I view the experiences we create every day for our customers. It needs to be intimately unforgettable. Brands need to be able to anticipate and predict what their customers want in order to deliver an exceptional experience, and they need to leverage technology like AI to do it. Brands need to be able to leverage AI across the entire buyer’s journey — from using it to identify the right audiences, to delivering the personalized and compelling content customers want at the right time and on the right channel. More than ever, marketers are faced with delighting their customers, and they’ll need an end-to-end CXM solution to make it happen.