Behold the bold — announcing the 2022 Adobe Experience Maker Award winners

Behold the bold — announcing the 2022 Adobe Experience Maker Awards winners

Brands and businesses around the world are reimagining customer experiences using Adobe solutions. We brought their best breakthroughs to the big stage during the 2022 Adobe Experience Maker Awards virtual galas on June 22 and 23, where we showcased the accomplishments of our finalists and revealed the winners — those who are delivering the boldest customer experience transformations and helping make the digital economy truly personal.

Global category winners

This year’s Adobe Experience Maker Awards featured 13 global categories. We are proud to recognize the following individuals, companies, and teams for their achievements and their innovative use of Adobe Experience Cloud technologies.

The Advocate: Currys (nominated by Merkle UK)

The Currys online experience is firmly centered on customers, an approach that explains the company’s success and resilience during the global pandemic. But the online buying experience hasn’t always been streamlined for the British retailer.

With £12 billion in sales and explosive growth in digital revenue, Currys needed an efficient way to streamline online shopping for its customers as it moved away from being a traditional retailer. Its existing marketing system was unreliable and time-consuming to operate, so Currys turned to Adobe Experience Cloud solutions — including Adobe Advertising Cloud, Adobe Campaign, Adobe Commerce, Adobe Experience Manager, and applications powered by Adobe Experience Platform — to transform the user experience with dynamic content tailored to customers.

Engagement for welcome journeys has since tripled, and within a two-year period, the company increased customer relationship management revenue by 167% year over year. Currys also scaled the number of campaigns executed from 40 to 200 — a fivefold increase — reducing customer service costs by 25%.

The Ambassador: Moria Fredrickson, Lumen Technologies

Moria Fredrickson played a key role in leading Lumen Technologies’ transition to more digitally enabled sales using Adobe Experience Cloud. While the Fortune 150 global technology company’s marketing team was familiar with Adobe solutions, the product and IT teams had little previous experience.

Fredrickson trained the enterprise UX product design team on how to maximize the Adobe Experience Manager design system and coached the product and web development teams on best practices for Experience Manager and Adobe Commerce. To help bring new digital products to market in alignment with aggressive company revenue target goals, Fredrickson also developed templates and educational tools for product management and marketing.

Thanks to Fredrickson’s expertise and leadership, the design and development time for shopping carts decreased by 66% from over 6 months to 8 weeks.

The Analyzer: Verizon Consumer Group

Verizon Consumer Group’s “Digital as the Front Door” strategy aims to unify technologies across business lines into one stack and support omnichannel personalization at scale. This approach became essential as prospects and customers increasingly turn to digital channels for ecommerce, account support, self-service, and more.

The Verizon Consumer Group Platform Team consolidated data from retail channels, web and mobile app channels, internal call centers, chatbots, and viewership sites to inform the company’s marketing strategy. Using Adobe Analytics, Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform, Adobe Audience Manager, Adobe Customer Journey Analytics, and Adobe Target, the Platform Team gathered and provided insights that empowered the Consumer Group to personalize and improve the optimization of cross-channel campaigns.

These real-time insights have doubled Verizon Consumer Group’s conversion rates and led to an over 35% digital contribution to sales in one year.

The Architect: HESTA (nominated by AKQA)

HESTA, the largest pension fund for health and community service workers in Australia, knows that shaping seamless, personalized experiences is essential to building a frictionless member experience. To address data silos and support conversion, the company prioritized investing in connective tools to streamline communication and guide members toward better retirement outcomes.

The company leveraged Adobe Experience Cloud solutions, including Adobe Analytics and Adobe Experience Manager, to synthesize customer journey content and data management across teams and create six unique segments based on characteristics such as life stage, account balance, investment, product, and performance.

This technology ecosystem transformed HESTA member statements into interactive and personalized experiences, leading to a 16% increase in net promoter scores, with 70% of members reporting increased confidence in their financial future after viewing their statements.

The Changemaker: University of the People

As the first accredited tuition-free nonprofit online university in the United States, University of the People (UoPeople) faced unique challenges carving out its educational niche and scaling admissions. The university needed a better marketing solution to communicate with prospective students and support its mission to help high school graduates overcome financial, geographic, political, and personal barriers to collegiate education.

After adopting Adobe Marketo Engage as a central marketing hub, University of the People has grown enrollment from 200 students in 2014 to 117,000 in 2021 and an estimated 150,000 students by September 2022. The unique segmentation and personalization features within Marketo Engage allow the university to target more learners and communicate with students who might otherwise struggle to complete the application process.

The marketing hub has also allowed UoPeople to reach more refugee students and support Ukrainian students whose studies were halted by the recent Russian invasion. Today, the university has over 10,500 refugee students — more than all national colleges and universities combined.

Marketo Engage also supports the university’s environmental impact as a 100% green organization, eliminating the need for shipping documents.

The Collaborator: Aetna

Reducing compliance risk is crucial in the healthcare insurance industry, and Aetna was searching for a better way to deliver a secure audit trail for communications, eliminate version control issues, and organize the content development and approval process.

The company integrated Adobe Workfront, Adobe Experience Manager, and applications powered by Adobe Experience Platform to connect workflows across more than 20 teams and consolidate all content into one system with a single source of truth. These Adobe solutions reduced 23 marketing request forms into a single intake sheet, decreasing time for the requester by 63%. Adobe Workfront Fusion streamlines submissions and routes them to the right team at the right time with over 515,000 daily automations.

Teams also benefit from increased visibility into content development workflows, with more than 100 dashboards and over 300 custom reports. These work and experience management tools have saved the company 109,000 hours and $9.2 million annually.

The Disruptor: Material Bank (nominated by Imagination Media)

Material Bank is the world’s largest material marketplace for the architecture and design industry. Using Adobe Commerce, Adobe Experience Manager, and Adobe Target, Material Bank manages 100% of sales from its website, launching new features monthly.

The Material Bank commerce experience is innovative, intuitive, and extremely quick, allowing users to save months of time and find personalized items among hundreds of thousands of products with Adobe Live Search, powered by Adobe Sensei. Experience Manager empowers Material Bank to personalize experiences by serving over 27 million image assets from 450 brands to catalog shoppers.

Since switching to Adobe Experience Cloud, the company’s revenue quadrupled between 2019 and 2021, with sales totaling over $50 million in 2021. While materialbank.com is a B2B solution for professional designers and architects, the online experience resembles a B2C experience with its engaging content and features.

The Engager: Alma

As a membership-based network that aims to improve access to high-quality, affordable mental health care, Alma values engaging and nurturing customers through every stage of the customer journey. The organization’s funnel was fragmented at first, making it difficult to track how the marketing team was driving revenue, and Alma needed a central location to store data from multiple acquisition channels.

Using Adobe Marketo Engage and Marketo Sales Insight, Alma was able to scale and automate marketing processes, track revenue, and engage prospects with personalized information. These solutions transformed the sales funnel by driving 80% of the pipeline for business and allowing the company to re-engage and win back prospects with relevant, timely communications.

Thanks to data from Adobe solutions, the marketing team learned that re-engaged prospects convert at a higher rate than the rest of the funnel, with lower acquisition costs. These nurture initiatives saved Alma over $4 million since implementing Marketo Engage and Marketo Sales Insight.

The Illuminator: The Department of Health and Social Care UK (nominated by CTI Digital)

We’re inspired by the shining efforts of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in the United Kingdom, which demonstrated resilience and impacted the lives of thousands of people during the pandemic by distributing critically needed equipment to a range of health and care providers through a personal protective equipment (PPE) ordering platform for social care, primary care, and other eligible users.

To meet challenging delivery timelines for PPE distribution and reduce friction points, the Department worked with Adobe Partner CTI Digital to implement a new portal using Adobe Commerce and migrated 62,000 customers to the new system within 6 weeks, building upon the successes of the previous platform. The team at CTI Digital worked with the DHSC and commercial partners to ensure the portal met current needs and could adapt as policies changed. For example, the customer segments featured within Commerce helped the Department and NHS Supply Chain analyze organization types and eligibility to create personalized messages and save time for users.

Distribution statistics for the PPE Programme (of which the e-Portal is a part) are published on GOV.UK – billions of items have been distributed to date through both the previous portal and the current platform. The new platform is managed by NHS Supply Chain.

The Magnifier: Yahoo

Multinational tech company Yahoo needed to establish a single source of truth for data. It required an agile infrastructure that would allow quick and consistent communication across channels and products using targeted and personalized messaging.

Yahoo selected Adobe Experience Cloud to leverage the power of multiple Adobe solutions and maximize the customer experience. Drawing on data centralized in applications powered by Adobe Experience Platform, the company crafted more relevant and timely communications based on robust customer profiles. It also used insights from Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target to test and optimize experiences through various channels and drive impactful results at scale.

Yahoo’s center of excellence ensures the company is magnifying results by testing product, engineering, data, and campaign use cases and measuring and perfecting results for in-market activation. This tech stack and approach increased the company’s total weekly average revenue by 86% and reduced the time to market from more than 1 week to under 12 hours.*

Thanks to its improved ability to place impressions where they will yield the best returns, Yahoo experiences higher take rates — even where there are fewer impressions.

*These results are represented in quarter-over-quarter gains as reported by Yahoo.

The Maverick: Bungie (nominated by Rightpoint)

Bungie, the global video game studio and creator of beloved franchise multiplayer games like “Halo” and “Destiny,” aimed to build a commerce experience as unique as its in-game universe. After switching to Adobe Commerce, the studio can now tap into almost 10 years of player data. The migration improves Bungie’s analytics and personalization capabilities and allows players to buy at scale, in seconds, on the release dates for new games and products.

For example, the “Bungie Day” launch generated 23,000 orders within minutes. Catalog personalization enabled millions of players to purchase on demand and in real time during the launch.

Bungie can now sell ahead rather than plan ahead, leading to more alignment with the game development team and planning product launches. These changes have also led to increased customer loyalty and enthusiasm. Players enjoy showing off unique, personalized merchandise from the company related to in-game activities.

The Orchestrator: Qatar Tourism (nominated by Emakina)

Qatar Tourism leveraged Adobe products to align customer journeys across different channels, locations, languages, and platforms and to dramatically drive tourism outcomes. The organization harnessed Adobe Analytics, Adobe Campaign, Adobe Experience Manager, and Adobe Target to launch innovative, personalized, data-driven experiences, reaching over 200 million people to date.

As part of its efforts to expand business, Qatar Tourism developed customized digital experiences, including a responsive website, mobile app, personalized campaign programs, and marketing automation initiatives. These initiatives include the global integrated campaign “Experience a World Beyond,” which Qatar Tourism launched in 20 countries and 6 languages using TV advertisements, out-of-home advertising, and social platforms. The campaign features 6 CGI-animated characters who introduce travelers to destinations in Qatar and guides them through up to 11 tailored user journeys based on interests. The Visit Qatar app features 360-degree virtual tours and an interactive map to create an immersive customer experience.

The campaign’s results speak for themselves — using only 35% of the media budget, Qatar Tourism has gained more than 2 billion impressions, over 600 million video views, and over 100,000 new leads.

The Transformer: IBM

IBM prioritizes activities that guide organizations to innovate and keep pace with changing consumer behavior, and the company continues to lead by example. To deliver more compelling customer experiences, the American multinational technology company recently set about transforming its approach to people, processes, and technology.

The company consolidated its existing martech stack with over 40 technologies into a unified environment with 5 Adobe solutions: Adobe Audience Manager, Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Marketo Engage, Adobe Target, and Adobe Workfront. This digital transformation led to over $120 million in savings and a 75% faster time to market for new content and web pages year over year.

IBM also used this tech stack to build more customer-centric experiences by testing messaging and following up on interactions faster, reducing the response time from less than 24 hours to just 30 minutes. The company integrated Marketo Engage with other customer relationship management and data science applications to develop account intelligence packages and increase lead value for sellers by 7 times using interaction alerts. Since adopting Adobe solutions, IBM has streamlined 2,800 campaigns down to 100.

Regional category winners

We are excited to congratulate the following winners for The Experience Maker Executive of the Year, The Experience Maker of the Year, and The Experience Maker Team of the Year categories in each of our four regions.

AMERICAS

The Experience Maker Executive of the Year: Melanie Babcock, The Home Depot

Since 2016, Melanie Babcock, vice president of integrated media, has championed and led a digital transformation to customer-based marketing for the world's largest home improvement retailer, The Home Depot.

To streamline campaigns and respond more quickly to customers, the company launched the “One Home Depot” strategy to blend the physical and digital worlds and eliminate data silos. Building on the company’s existing Adobe Experience Cloud stack with Adobe Analytics, Adobe Audience Manager, and Adobe Target, The Home Depot added applications powered by Adobe Experience Platform, including Adobe Real-Time CDP and Adobe Customer Journey Analytics, to create a central hub gathering relevant online and offline data sources across the organization.

Adobe Experience Platform applications serve as the foundation for the company’s personalization efforts, allowing it to achieve efficient customer-based marketing and customization at scale while following strict data governance and privacy policies.

Thanks in part to Babcock’s leadership driving the digital transformation and vision for exceptional customer marketing and retail experiences, The Home Depot’s net sales reached $151 billion in 2021 (an increase of 14% over the prior year).

The Experience Maker of the Year: Nitin Ahuja, Verizon Business Group

Nitin Ahuja, director of marketing technology at Verizon Business Group, championed a collaborative approach to developing an architectural North Star between advertising, sales, and marketing anchored by Adobe Experience Platform applications.

Ahuja converted his team from a cost center into a profit center that is accountable for its own profit and loss. Under his leadership, the team expanded from one person to 14 and adopted cross-functional tiger teams, leadership forms, and partnerships across the company.

Verizon Business Group, a division of Verizon Communications that provides services and products for business and government clients around the world, uses Adobe Real-Time CDP, Adobe Customer Journey Analytics, and Adobe Journey Optimizer to improve customer journeys and consolidate disparate data sets into a single profile. This tech stack allowed it to increase speed to market by 86%, reducing the time required to create landing pages from 2–3 months to 1–3 hours.

Ahuja and his team launched the first use case of a data-driven upsell campaign with Verizon Business propensity models to provide email personalization using Adobe Experience Platform. They also led an abandoned cart nurture campaign.

Ahuja’s efforts to advance the North Star architecture and improve personalized experiences at scale increased sales conversion by over 50% and lifted sales conversion rates by 15%.

The Experience Maker Team of the Year: City National Bank

The marketing technology team at City National Bank worked collaboratively to transform the 38th largest bank in the United States from an organization with no digital marketing capabilities to one with distinct quantifiable digital success in under three years. The team unified its technology stack and organization structure around six key functions with a lead for each area.

Each lead cross-trained on multiple Adobe solutions — including Adobe Advertising Cloud, Adobe Analytics, Adobe Audience Manager, Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Target, and Adobe Workfront — to understand how to maximize the solutions together using an innovative scorecard methodology. This approach empowered the team to identify quick wins to demonstrate value and get buy-in from stakeholders.

For example, the team used Adobe Analytics to highlight the value of the bank’s website by identifying clients and proving that 80% of website visitors were prospects. Adobe Experience Manager reduced the time to market for landing pages from months to hours, leading to more marketing support. The team optimized forms with Adobe Target to increase paid media effectiveness and used Adobe Sensei for paid media bidding, decreasing cost-per-click by 26% and increasing conversions by 22.4%. These changes led to a 108% increase in digital lead generation.

ASIA-PACIFIC

The Experience Maker Executive of the Year: Amar Sane, HDFC Life

Amar Sane, senior vice president of customer relations at HDFC Life, took an instrumental role in driving digital transformation in customer experiences and inspiring his team through the transition process. This leading life insurance company in India needed new technology solutions to deliver timely and personalized messaging to its customers.

Sane’s vision and collaborative approach were essential in clearing roadblocks for HDFC Life and working toward best-in-class experiences for customers. The company selected Adobe Campaign and created over 10 complex journeys with staggered messaging to communicate life insurance policy deadlines to customers. The campaigns are 100% automated with integration across multiple channels, strengthening the company’s reach and efficiency.

Since adopting Adobe Campaign, the company’s click rates increased 1.8 times, open rates increased 1.5 times, and customer engagement increased 1.2 times. In addition, go-to-market time declined by 95%, and campaign management labor costs decreased by 70%.

The Experience Maker of the Year: Victoria Xiao, Transurban

As digital optimization capability lead at Transurban, Victoria Xiao headed the toll-road operator’s initiative to switch customers from call centers to digital support channels. The company manages multiple roads and businesses but organizing and syncing digital assets across disparate digital platforms to forge a complete customer journey was historically challenging.

To consolidate and analyze data across touchpoints, Transurban implemented Adobe Experience Cloud solutions, including Adobe Analytics, Adobe Audience Manager, Adobe Experience Manager, and Adobe Target. Using data gathered from Adobe Experience Platform Launch, Xiao identified common online issues for customers and proposed content improvements. She then leveraged Adobe Audience Manager to create segments and provide personalized content for segments using Adobe Target.

Because of Xiao’s leadership, the company’s digital self-service success rates increased by 15%, call center volumes decreased by 10%, and net promoter scores increased by 7.6% month over month.

The Experience Maker Team of the Year: European Motor Distributors (nominated by krunch.co)

European Motor Distributors, the local representative and importer for Volkswagen Group brands in New Zealand, completely restructured its traditional digital and brand marketing teams to create a customer engagement team within an intensive 6-month period. This organizational change was a key part of a larger goal to connect data and insights across brands to build loyal, lifelong customers.

The newly formed customer engagement team took on a collaborative approach to strategy, content, persona-based nurture campaigns, and customer lifecycle programs, shifting European Motor Distributors from a business-focused to customer-focused organization. The team overhauled the Audi lead nurture journey to focus on relevant content for individual customers rather than vehicle features. It also used survey data to develop five new personas and built a complex 30-email end-to-end customer journey.

The company’s structural transformation and innovative approaches have led to significant business growth and opportunities. Using multiple solutions such as Adobe Marketo Engage and Adobe Experience Manager Screens, the team more than tripled the top-of-funnel pipeline and increased lead-to-test-drive conversions by 30% between June and December 2021.

EUROPE, THE MIDDLE EAST, AND AFRICA

The Experience Maker Executive of the Year: Chris Brown, NatWest

As head of marketing analytics and technology at NatWest, Chris Brown cultivated a close relationship between the UK bank’s teams and Adobe. To improve data collection while matching online activity to existing customers, NatWest strengthened its tech stack with Adobe Experience Manager and applications powered by Adobe Experience Platform, including Adobe Real-Time CDP, Adobe Customer Journey Analytics, and Adobe Journey Optimizer.

The bank’s new digital ecosystem allowed it to manage online mortgage application forms and build customer journeys to email customers after loss of interest, reintegrating customers at the point where they left off.

Brown’s efforts established Adobe Experience Platform applications as foundational in the NatWest marketing and decision-making architecture, championing a “cohort of one” operating principle centered on using digital channels to understand and provide for customers’ needs. Brown's strategy of building out the Adobe tech stack while creating a cross-functional internal team to partner with Adobe Consulting Services to deploy and maximize value is reflected in NatWest's performance metrics.

Since adopting Adobe Experience Platform applications, the bank’s clickthrough rate following up on loan applications has improved from 3.5% to 6.5%, and NatWest anticipates an £11M benefit per annum from increased relevancy.

The Experience Maker of the Year: Laura Pezzotta, Barilla (nominated by Alpenite)

Laura Pezzotta, head of D2C personalization at Barilla, spearheaded the creation of “Dedicato a te,” the first customized ecommerce experience in Italy and a leading example of hyper-personalization in the global food industry. To support this campaign, the largest pasta producer in the world turned to Adobe Commerce to customize content and integrate with existing back-end and front-end systems.

The solution enabled Barilla to develop an innovative visual search engine that allows consumers to create and preview personalized products using a real-time 3D viewer. The company’s web pages also feature customized storytelling elements to engage customers throughout the entire sales and product development process and as the order is being prepared and shipped.

Pezzotta’s leadership in this effort has brought about 40,000 new customer leads and over 100,000 products sold. Customers widely endorse the experience, with surveys showing that 96% would make another purchase and 94% would recommend the product or service to others.

The Experience Maker Team of the Year: Boots

The marketing technology team at Boots applied massive organizational and process changes to deliver personalized omnichannel campaigns. Siloed data sets and time-consuming updates made it difficult for the UK's leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer to produce content quickly at scale, and Boots needed to reimagine its marketing systems.

Enter the Customer Journey Orchestration team. The new group within the Marketing Technology team focused on streamlining the process of developing and delivering personalized customer experiences through the retailer’s app and email. Every two weeks, the team held omnichannel strategy sessions to plan developments in technology integrations and upcoming campaigns.

One development included a personalization database, which connected datasets with over 2 billion records into one customer view. The database supports personalization across Adobe solutions, including Adobe Analytics, Adobe Audience Manager, Adobe Campaign, and Adobe Target. These innovations allow Boots to send personalized messages based on individual behavior, such as recommending products to purchase with loyalty points.

The new structure has changed the game for the company’s efficiency, reducing the time to update marketing and web content from days to minutes, lowering email delivery campaign time by 66%, and increasing email response rates by 40% with AI-generated content.

JAPAN

The Experience Maker Executive of the Year: Shinya Suda, Astellas Pharma Inc.

Astellas Pharma, a multinational pharmaceutical company, is on a mission to be at the forefront of healthcare change by turning innovative science into value for patients. As senior vice president of information systems, Shinya Suda was instrumental in leading a company-wide initiative to improve customer experiences with Adobe solutions.

Astellas Pharma adopted Adobe Analytics, Adobe Audience Manager, Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Marketo Engage, and Adobe Target to enhance user experiences for healthcare professionals, update product portfolios seamlessly, and understand its customers’ needs better. The company developed new key performance indicators to assess website performance and developed digital touchpoints and capabilities to contribute to healthcare providers.

Suda took the lead in promoting and unifying Astellas Pharma’s tech stack globally. He made major contributions to accelerating and stabilizing the worldwide launch, particularly in the United States, in the past year since the initial launch in Japan.

The Experience Maker of the Year: Ayumi Yoshimura, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.

As in-person contact became limited due to the global pandemic, multinational insurance company Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. prioritized digital experience transformation to optimize the content on agent websites and promote enrollment.

Ayumi Yoshimura, manager of the alliance promotion office in the digital innovation department, led his team in improving the online customer experience and incorporating new methodologies based on his previous professional experience in information media and human resources. Under his guidance, Tokio Marine deployed Adobe Experience Manager as a Cloud Service to create and store high-quality, customer-oriented digital content on the insurance agent’s website.

The solution strengthened support for partner insurance agents’ sales activities. Yoshimura also established a project request system using an in-house solution, creating accountability for content production within the sales department and damage service department.

The Experience Maker Team of the Year: Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corporation (nominated by NTTCom Online Marketing Solutions Corporation)

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corporation (NTT), a leader in the telecommunications industry, connected Adobe Marketo Engage with existing systems to improve sales efficiency and execute highly personalized recommendations and marketing. An internal team collaborated with partner NTTCom Online Marketing Solutions to develop systems and strategies, sharing digital marketing insights with other companies in NTT Group.

The tech integration with Marketo Engage allowed the team to build a digital platform that captures and combines detailed customer information, such as web behavior history, corporate attributes, service usage status, and response information, from inside sales to assign detailed scores based on customer interests for each journey stage. This scoring approach helped NTT implement highly accurate one-to-one marketing segments and streamline sales with a large volume of high-quality MQLs.

The team also created an automated email marketing program to deliver personalized messages based on the customer’s behavioral history. Year over year, these efforts have increased the number of website visits by 180% and the number of marketing qualified leads by 215%.

Congratulations to the 2022 Award winners

Congratulations to our bold winners who are transforming customer experiences with Adobe Experience Cloud applications. We thank all of the customers who shared their success stories with us for the 2022 Adobe Experience Maker Awards. These breakthroughs are changing customer experiences around the globe, and Adobe is honored to celebrate the high-impact ways they are transforming the digital economy.

Eric Hall is senior vice president for Adobe Customer Solutions (ACS), part of the company’s Digital Experience organization. In his role, Eric is responsible for the worldwide professional services business, customer engineering, and the customer success organization. This unified global team serves Adobe’s Digital Experience and Digital Media customers on everything from digital strategy to technology implementation, from training to technical support, and from initial onboarding to long-term value realization.