Q] Please share some key highlights from Adobe’s recently launched Digital Trends Report 2023.
This year, we saw a lot of customers leaving brands that they were once loyal to. These brands just weren’t that good at executing their Digital customer experiences to meet the needs of customers in a fluid environment when the pandemic had started. So, customers turned to brands that are capable of being there in their time of need. Prior to the pandemic, there was a huge focus on driving customer acquisition, but now the top priority for marketers is customer retention. So, brands are over-indexing, trying to retain all these customers that they’ve acquired, while at the same time, bringing back the customers that were lost during the pandemic.
The one thing from this year’s report that I find interesting is that for the first time we’ve seen that there has been a slight reduction in the number of businesses that have identified themselves as leaders. Last year, 24% of participants identified themselves as leaders, and that has dropped down to 20% this year. The reason behind this is that there is some degree of cost-cutting, freezing of investments, etc., due to which, some of the participants don’t feel as confident of their customer experience delivery as they did last year. What continues to be the same though is the gap between leaders and laggards. More importantly, the gap between leaders and the mainstream, which continues to increase. Another interesting observation is that going into this year, there is a more conservative approach towards investing into MarTech from North America, but on the other hand it is much more optimistic in the APAC region. So, the future looks very bright for APAC.
Q] What role does content play in driving growth for businesses today?
Content is certainly getting a lot of focus this year. From Adobe’s perspective, we say data is the voice of your customer, and content is how you respond in return. So, to some degree, brands are starting to understand their data in order to create big macro segments of customers, and within this macro segment there are small nuanced segments, and we break them further down into smaller segments. As you start to identify these new interesting audiences, you need content to engage with them, and hence, you create more content.
As per Digital trend data, only 25% of businesses have the ability to create and generate this kind of content. So, there is a massive opportunity for Indian businesses to step up their content creation, ideation, and production. Then comes the usage of tools like Adobe Workfront.
Q] What kind of brand collaborations are you exploring? Tell us about the most interesting campaigns and clients you have worked with during or after the pandemic.
We’ve worked with a number of different customers. In terms of Indian customers, we’ve worked with HDFC Bank, Asian Paints, Vistara, some of the big Telcos, and Indigo Airlines, among others. Indian companies are really starting to push forward when it comes to advancing their capabilities around customer experiences. Indian brands are risk takers. They’re willing to adopt new technologies like machine learning to leapfrog western businesses, and be at the forefront of customer experiences. Some of the brands that I’ve mentioned have been early adopters in this regard, delivering amazing customer experiences across multiple channels.
Q] How is Adobe leveraging AI to power commerce for brands, and helping them in their growth journey? Please share some examples.
Artificial intelligence is getting a lot of attention at the moment, and Adobe is a leader in AI. We have machine learning capability built into our technology to make it easy for our customers to identify interesting audiences, to create content that hopefully has an emotive impact, and then to work out the type of content that needs to be delivered for the right type of downstream results. If you’re not using AI, you don’t have a technology vendor that has AI built into its technology set that you are using. You need to really think about the right partner for yourself.
In our analytics tool set, we help customers identify interesting new audience segments from the data that they collect. We call the segment IQ, and that is by using machine learning. We also have the ability to project forward the impact if you’re a retail business, and have an image-based recognition system. We use image recognition to add meta-tags or keywords to campaign images to make them easy to find. Furthermore, we use image recognition to make recommendations. We also use machine learning to help you optimize your advertising, spend, how you go to market, and what channels you should engage customers through in order to deliver the best possible experience. All of this technology is wrapped inside our tools.
Q] How important is the Indian market for Adobe? Where does India stand compared to other markets in APAC for Adobe?
Adobe has been investing in India for a very long time. We’ve been here for 25 years and about 40% of our employees are actually based in India. Adobe has a continued commitment to India. The country is one of the top growth markets for us from an APAC perspective, and we’re starting to see more Indian brands, not just local, but also multinational, who are implementing our technology to reach out in a very effective way.