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10 Things We Learnt At Summit EMEA 2017

Last week, the CMO team attended the 2017 edition of Adobe Summit EMEA, where we were treated to two full days of fascinating insights from leading digital marketing experts from a huge variety of brands and industries.

Although it would be impossible to distill every highlight into this round-up, I’ve brought together 10 of the more interesting takeaways as well as links to the rest of our Summit EMEA reporting, which lead to more in-depth coverage.

1. Brad Rencher, executive vice-president and general manager of digital marketing at Adobe, revealed his thoughts on how marketing has to evolve to keep up with the always-connected, increasingly demanding customer: “It’s no longer about marketers telling people what a company offers. Consumers are now telling us what they want, where they want it, when, and how. They want amazing experiences which close the gap between them, and the people, and the things that are important to them.”

To hear more from the day-one keynote, featuring Rencher and Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Narayen, read Customer Experience Is ‘All Or Nothing’

2. “By 2020, 100 million consumers will shop via augmented reality,” according to Ivar Berntz, the research director at information technology firm Gartner. When it comes to AR, games are only the beginning, “with shopping already a big opportunity for brands.”

Check out more strategic predictions from Berntz: CIOs And CTOs: Get Ready To Ride The Wave Of Digital Disruption

3. “Technology changes society whether we like it or not,” said LJ Rich, BBC Click’s technology presenter and musician, and that’s why she implored us to keep up with technological advances. One of the most eye-opening developments involves “sensing technology,” where your washing machine would know it was breaking down, order its own part, and book an engineer before you even knew there was a problem. According to the room full of delegates, 72% of us would be happy for tech to do something for you without you knowing.

Read more from Summit’s Marketing Innovations track, featuring LJ Rich and speakers from Beano Studios, The Empathy Business, and Mr & Mrs Smith: En Route To ‘Deep Experiences’

4. James Sommerville, vice-president of global design at The Coca-Cola Company, claimed that the challenge for the brand was “to remain relevant to consumers in the age of experience.” Sommerville revealed their solution to this was to “put design back at the centre of what they do.”

Read more from Sommerville’s session: Coca-Cola And Adidas Put Design At The Centre Of Customer Experiences

5. Within FSI, there’s a challenge to understand customer journeys, as the average time taken for a lead to convert into business can take much longer than in any other industry. Chris Worle, digital strategy director of Hargreaves Lansdown, gave an example: “We picked a client at random and found that his conversion journey took four months, and involved 12 visits to our website from three devices, and included one call to our help desk. He looked at three products and came through three advertising partners.”

Find out more how three financial services businesses talked about their journey to become more customer-centric: How to Build a Customer-Focused Business in FSI

You can also hear more from the speakers featured in these interviews:

Digital Strategy Director Chris Worle Learns From Unexpected Journeys

Raiffeisen’s Wenger Brings The Benefits Of Centralisation To 270 CEOs

6. Chaminda Ranasinghe, head of digital sales and marketing at ANZ, revealed the impact of personalising content: “We have a current campaign running in partnership with a large shopping centre, and we have about 1,800 permutations of content personalised to the audience. The click-through rate (CTR) is about 30% higher than the industry benchmark.”

For more insight, check out ‘Great Data And Strong Content’ Are Chaminda Ranasinghe’s Winning Combination.

7. “Being there for the whole journey” was a vital factor in Hostelworld’s digital transformation, according to its CMO Otto Rosenberger. The company has gone from being a purely transactional booking engine to a customer experience business. “We want to provide the best experience so users get relevant offers and invites to go to events like a pool party, or a walking tour at their destination. Now we have nearly half of our bookers using the app during the trip, and 90% say they had a better trip because of the app.”

To hear more from Rosenberger during Summit’s day-two keynote, including the insight from John Mellor, vice-president of strategy, alliances, and marketing at Adobe Systems, check out Emotion Is The New Currency Of Experience.

8. Lucy M Donaldson, head of digital customer experience at Lloyds Banking Group, reminded delegates not to forget one key group when implementing change in your organisation: “The main thing we’ve found is that, if you’re starting on a digital transformation process, you can’t leave your colleagues behind because they are the people who will be delivering it.”

Hear more from Donaldson, and other speakers from the Customer Experience track: Digital Transformation Is ‘Like Teenage Sex,’ Jokes Deutsche Post DHL Group’s VP.

9. When asked how Mr & Mrs Smith can become both the first and last click for hotel bookers online, Tamara Lohan, founder & CTO, revealed her philosophy: “Don’t just serve intent, but create it.” Mr & Mrs Smith does this by creating original content around extraordinary yet accessible experiences. “In a world of disconnection, disintermediation, dislocation, customer trust isn’t freely given—it’s earned. It’s where the human meets the digital connection that a meaningful relationship is made.”

To read more insight from Lohan, check out The Physical World Is Major Stop On Digital Journey.

10. According to Sagren Pather, executive head of digital, direct marketing, and marketing analytics for Standard Bank Group, they saw a 300% increase in online revenue thanks to three principles: “real marketing insights, standardised marketing data, trustworthy information and analytics.” These principles allowed the ecommerce team to realise the potential of the website as an online store, guide the design of the site to improve customer experience, and amplify the number of prospects to leads by delivering contextual digital marketing.

More insights from Pather: Web Analytics Can Lead To Surprise And Delight.

You can watch Adobe Summit EMEA keynotes on-demand here.

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