How Adobe Drives Its Own Transformation

In the Adobe Experience Cloud, we have tools that help businesses deepen the connection they have with their customers. In a world where the experience is now just as important as the product, our solutions help ensure that every time a brand engages a customer, the interaction feels consistent and personalized. It is a tall order—one that can only be met through analytics and an understanding of what makes people tick. For brands to lead in the category of Customer Experience Management (CXM), organizations have to embrace data as a means to drive key decisions that impact the customer.

At Adobe, we have a Creative Cloud business that can tap directly into our enterprise tools. While we enable some of the world’s largest brands to transform their businesses, we had to engage in the journey ourselves. A critical piece of this process was the introduction of our data-driven operating model, or simply “DDOM” as we refer to it internally. This model fundamentally shifted how we operated by creating a common language around data. From individual contributors to the C-suite, any decision that impacted the overall customer experience had to be made with insights and not purely intuition or educated guesswork.

How we did it

The important first step was building a single source of truth that every team could rally around. We needed a foundation that stitched together insights across Adobe products including Analytics, Experience Manager and Campaign, along with individual Creative Cloud applications and third-party systems. With this as a base, we removed any inconsistencies in how different teams viewed data and the ways they used it to inform decisions. It also provided a mechanism to knowledge-share across the organization.

Once the foundation was built, we worked across teams to identify a new set of key performance indicators (KPIs). The new KPIs enabled us to measure the full customer experience in both financial and non-financial terms. We could now analyze the full customer journey for Creative Cloud users, which included discovery, trial, purchase, usage and renewal. And by doing so, we developed the ability to see correlations and signals that drove customer value and conversion. The KPIs were assigned owners and each were empowered to take responsibility for their cut of the user journey. And by adopting a common vocabulary and method of measuring, it ensured better alignment between teams and a laser focus on interactions that mattered most.

With the introduction of new tools, organizations also have to be willing to change the way they work. Teams fall into longstanding ways of operating and any kind of change has growing pains. With DDOM, every level of the organization had to now think and operate differently. And while we had a task force of individuals empowered to lead the charge, critical to this effort was executive support. Our leadership team was first-in-line to embrace the change and reinforced the value at every turn. By having a single source of truth, tight alignment across teams and cross-functional planning, our ability to execute has been heightened and allowed us to very quickly take actions on things that mattered most to our customers.

The results we saw

Even at this early stage, DDOM has yielded incredible insights that informed how we operated; One example is around mobile. For some time, a great deal of resources (and mindshare) had been focused on a few specific mobile apps that we had instinctively felt were priorities for the company. What DDOM revealed to us—through the new KPIs that focused on user journeys—was that some neglected apps were actually driving tremendous value for our customers. It pushed our teams to divert resources and deliver new onboarding experiences. These efforts have since driven significant engagement and conversion for Adobe’s overall mobile offerings.

DDOM has also affected how we approach marketing spend. The model helped us identify that online searches were moving away from branded search terms in our space—an insight we could take advantage of to optimize our search marketing. This allowed the team to double down on resources and budget for areas that were better aligned with changing consumer habits. With this and the mobile example, DDOM has been crucial in surfacing actionable insights that would have either been noticed too late or were counterintuitive to the way in which teams were thinking.

The path ahead

The success of DDOM has encouraged us to begin thinking about what “DDOM 2.0” looks like. The Creative Cloud use case has shown us the tremendous value in using data to drive decision-making, and we plan to roll this out more broadly across the company. We also know the powerful contribution that AI and machine learning can provide in the long term, and we have plans to leverage Adobe Sensei in the future to drive everything from forecasting to more predictive modeling.