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The Adobe Summit – London 2016

27th May 2016 by Lauren Pearson | Data, Innovation, News & Events

Two weeks ago, a bunch of us Yardies put our out-of-offices on and grabbed our business cards ready to head to the Adobe Summit EMEA 2016 held at the ExCeL London. This year’s Summit (which is the largest of its kind in Europe) was the biggest yet, with 5,000 attendees from 50 countries and over 100 track sessions. We of course did our part to contribute to the 17,000+ social mentions with a reach of 200+ million.

yard adobe summit showcase sponsor

As Showcase Sponsors, we spent much of our time manning the Yard stand in the Community Pavilion, but we also managed to get along to some of the engaging talks on offer on the subject of ‘Experience Business’. The keynote on day one was opened by Brad Rencher, EVP at Adobe, who reminded everyone in the packed auditorium that as digital marketing is all about people – businesses need to be concentrating on selling experiences rather than products, offering a consistent, continuous and compelling customer journey. We noted down some of the most interesting facts and figures that came to light throughout the rest of the two days to share with you now:

adobe summit experience wave keynote

Heathrow Airport:

70 years since their first flight, Heathrow is considered to be one of the best airports in Europe and now they’ve set their sights on offering the best airport experience in the world. Their digital strategy focuses a great deal on specific customer personas as different passengers want a different experience – for example, the wants and needs of business travellers and tourists are clearly different. It’s not enough for airports to only offer the basics e.g. scanning boarding passes from phone etc, but by identifying ‘pain points’ (times where something could be offered to make things easier or better) Heathrow can continue to improve the experience they offer to the flyers passing through.

rbs analytics adobe summit digital strategy


RBS have 24 million customers across the world and aim to be the number one bank in the UK for service advocacy and trust. Head of Analytics Giles Richardson started off his presentation by focusing on why RBS’s digital strategy actually used to be terrible (his own words). Changes used to be made to the digital experience based on gut feeling, with no measurement of success and no testing, something Richardson referred to as ‘firework culture – light; run away and everyone claps’. The last few years has involved fresh thinking and the introduction of the Superstar DJs program, which is encouraging a culture of testing and learning at RBS. Richardson pointed out that this was necessary because 80% of all of the things that you do online won’t actually work out how you may have expected them to.

quiksilver email marketing adobe summit


One of the breakout sessions that we attended focused on the customer experience in regards to email marketing. Some people argue that email is dead and it was definitely a close call because of spam blasting, but it can still be effective – personal and intelligent email campaigns are the way forward. As Quiksilver view it – ‘you can’t stop the wave but you can learn to surf it and ride the waves of innovation.’

24% of emails go straight to trash, so the key is to send fewer emails but to make each one count. Quiksilver’s strategy has been to gather data from e-commerce and retail systems, social media, customer service etc; add adrenaline to the emails e.g. responsive design; and launch a loyalty program to build relationships. Quiksilver sell technical products based on a lifestyle, which means they can remarket based on a customer’s need for new products e.g. a wet-suit should be replaced every 12 months. Of course, it’s impossible to remarket if you don’t have data – in this case, the date that the customer last purchased a wet-suit.

adobe summit aston martin marketing strategy

Aston Martin:

Did you know that Aston Martin have only made 80,000 cars in the entire history of the business? That’s the amount of cars that Toyota make in three days. Simon Sproule, Aston Martin’s Director of Global Marketing Communications, gave an interesting presentation on building a luxury brand and their ‘goldilocks’ marketing strategy – making sure that all communications are ‘just right’. Aston Martin sold 950 cars in the UK in 2015 – in comparison, Ford sold 335,000 and BMW sold 167,000 and this reflects the brand buzzwords – that Aston Martins are rare, authentic and bespoke. If Aston Martin pushed to sell as many cars as BMW and Ford, those buzzwords wouldn’t apply anymore – they would no longer be selling the luxury Aston Martin ‘experience’. Sproule also touched on what is surely the ultimate marketing campaign – the partnership between Aston Martin and Bond…James Bond.

On that note, we’ll wrap this post up. Hopefully, you’ll find these snippets as interesting as we found them on the day and if you’re interested in hearing more about our technical marketing services and Adobe expertise just drop us an email at hello@weareyard.com.



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