Adobe Summit 2020: Create Advertising Impact With Connected Experiences

Woman laying of the floor with technology surrounding her.

Advertising needs to be more of a connected experience, said Keith Eadie, VP and GM of Adobe Advertising Cloud, during his keynote “Creating Advertising Impact with Connected Customer Experiences” for the first-ever all-digital Adobe Summit. The emphasis on connected experiences becomes even greater amid the current COVID-19 crisis.

“As we look out over the next few years, what’s exciting about our collective opportunity is that in many ways brands are demanding more from their technology vendors, as we move from what we call the ‘exposure era’ into the ‘experience era,” he said. “The exposure era was defined by using technology and lots of data to deliver messages across a wide variety of screens. But with little regard, typically, for how one interaction with a customer translated to another. We now must strive for something much more transformative as we move into the experience era.”

Delivering compelling, connected advertising experiences drives more revenue, Keith said, and brand equity for an organization.

Keith outlined four trends shaping advertising today. First, he said, we are entering a new era of digital privacy, one that will have profound implications on how we get messages to consumers. And as privacy regulations expand, we also have monumental changes happening in web browsers and how they restrict individual tracking. “The rising privacy tide shows no sign of slowing down, he said. “And it is going to make first-party data more critical to advertisers.”

The second trend, Keith said, is that the advertising landscape is bifurcating into the “open” and “closed” internets. On the closed side, you have the typical walled gardens, such as Google and Facebook. On the open side, there are publishers like NBC, Roku, and Hulu. Advertisers must look for ways to activate their data in both of these types of environments, which is something Adobe is solving in Adobe Advertising Cloud.

The third trend Keith pointed out was that advertisers are becoming more sophisticated in how they use customer data to decide what messages to deliver to a specific person, on a specific device, alongside a specific piece of content. That’s not possible without tight integration between a company’s advertising technology, customer data platform, and analytics. That, he said, is exactly what Adobe uniquely offers.

Finally, the expectation of consumers is rapidly rising — the current COVID-19 crisis is only heightening these expectations. This means that the old ways of advertising must evolve to meet those expectations, and so must advertising technology. Here is how he illustrates must-have features of the modern adtech platform.

How Rite Aid creates advertising impact

As part of the same keynote, Rite Aid Digital Marketing Manager Joe Tertel talked about how his company uses Adobe Advertising Cloud as part of its digital transformation.

Joe explained that in the past year, Rite Aid focused on moving many of its campaigns to digital platforms and enhanced its campaigns with interactive marketing for two main reasons.

First, its target audience consists of people “really digitally engaged with everything they’re doing in their lives, [and that means] everything from their mobile devices to their laptops,” he said. “They’re using digital to make decisions before they come into one of our stores to make a purchase or come to one of our pharmacies.”

The ability to measure a customer’s experience with all of Rite Aid’s many customer touchpoints is the second key reason for the company’s digital push. With this data in hand, Rite Aid can make smart decisions around how best to serve its customers.

“We can measure everything all the way through a website impression, through an in-store visit, and through an in-store purchase,” Joe said.

Rite Aid analyzes other website data such as sign-ups for Wellness+, its loyalty program. It also tracks the number of people who visit specific pages on their site to download coupons or see its digital circular.

Joe said this information contributed to Rite Aid switching its print budget to digital this year for its weekly circular.

“We can measure the success of people that are actually viewing one of our ads [online] all the way through to in-store purchase,” he said. “We are utilizing all of that data to improve our customer visits, to make better decisions, and to optimize our campaigns.”

Within the Adobe Advertising Cloud, “[Rite Aid is] utilizing search and optimizing all of the data for display, for native advertising, for connected TV, as well as programmatic audio to ultimately improve the customer experience throughout,” he said.

According to Joe, going digital lets Rite Aid serve its customers more effectively. The consumer data gives Rite Aid the opportunity to “provide a better customer experience and optimize our campaigns,” he said.