Adobe Summit EMEA 2018 Recap
Every year, thousands of marketing and analytics professionals descend upon the ExCel in London for one of the most prominent, anticipated events of the year; the 2018 EMEA Adobe Summit.
Alongside the two day event, I was also lucky enough to attend the prestigious Partner Day. Partner Day attendees have the opportunity to meet Adobe partners and gain an insight into how Adobe is supporting the developer community.
The behind the scenes development of Adobe’s Cloud Platform was one of the primary focuses of this years’ event, making this year’s summit of particular interest for me. Just a few months ago, I joined a fantastic team of experienced and passionate analysts and marketing professionals at an American-based company named Blast Analytics and Marketing, which is an Adobe Specialised partner.
This was my second Adobe Summit. The first I attended was in 2016, and although only two years ago, I have since ventured down a new career path as an Analytics Implementation Consultant, and can now quite proudly (and humbly) refer to myself as an expert Adobe Analytics consultant, making this event not only equally exciting but a particularly valuable experience for my new role.
Having graduated from the position of analyst, I expected this year’s Adobe Summit to be a different experience. Not only because this time I at least knew how to get to the ExCel (and which hotel to use). This year, I was eager to come away from the event with different insights and knowledge and couldn’t wait to take the opportunity to join the technical workshops. A few weeks prior to the Summit, I had already planned the sessions I intended to join, and in this post I will go into a little detail of each.
Adobe Summit EMEA Partner Day
I can’t say too much about partner day (it’s top secret, of course), but I do want to share a photo, depicting a potential upcoming feature of Experience Data Warehouse. For Data Analysts this sounds really exciting. Adobe has been developing their Data Science workspace features and I managed to snap a cheeky photo of the Experience Data Warehouse with what looks like SQL code in an Analysis Workspace interface. That’s all I know for now but let’s keep our fingers crossed for this exciting new development!
Extreme Implementation Makeover with Adam Greco
This was by far the best session of the summit and it was only 45 minutes long! Adam packed so much into this session that it was difficult to keep up, including Merchandising eVars, Abandoned revenue and Classifications. Here, I want to talk about an Adobe tip that really inspired me.
Using a Counter Event as a Denominator
The position of a product in a search results list can vary, day to day, hour to hour, making it a particularly tricky exercise to identify the average product position in Adobe Analytics. But fear no more! Adam has an outstanding solution, allowing us to make analysis far simpler through clever implementation.
I think many of us have tried sending the product position in a merchandising event.
Consider this scenario:
- A search is made and a jacket is shown 5th in the list. You would set `event1=5`
- A subsequent search is made and the same jacket appears 10th in the list. You would set `event1=10`
- Unfortunately when this data is available in Adobe Analytics, these values are cumulative for each product so the value of event1 is now 15.
What we actually want to identify is the average product position, which in this case would be 7.5 because two searches were made.
You may have tried dividing the value of event1 by the number of internal searches for that product, which will work okay in some cases but it’s likely that your event for internal searches aren’t actually product-specific or merchandised.
On this subject, Adam says you could always send in another merchandising event at the same time, which is your denominator, and always set it to 1. So let’s review this scenario again:
- A search is made and a jacket is shown 5th in the list. You would set `event1=5` and `event2=1`
- A subsequent search is made and the same jacket appears 10th in the list. You would set `event1=10` and, again, `event2=1`
- Now when this data is available in Adobe Analytics, event1 now equals 15 and event2 equals 2.
- Simply divide event1 by event2 to get the average product position in search results or a category list.
Your analysts will thank you for this! Not only does this method save significant time by simplifying the analysis process, but they’ve gained far more accurate data.
By using merchandising events, the solution is scalable for complex product catalogues; your analysts no longer need to create their own segmented calculated metrics to work this out for themselves.
You can create the calculated metric for them and share it with your whole group as an approved metric; data governance win!
And that’s just one tip – Adam shared multiple quick-fire tips in this session that blew my mind! I came out of this session feeling wholly inadequate with my current implementation skills but with so much inspiration to do better, smarter things.
Flexing your Analysis Muscles – Latest Tips & Tricks for Adobe Analytics
Flexing Your Analysis Muscles with Ben Gaines and Jen Lasser was a real highlight of the EMEA Adobe Summit. They presented eight tips for Analysis Workspace to improve analytical efficiency and ability.
I’m a regular subscriber of the Adobe Analytics Youtube channel (one that I would definitely recommend!) so it was great to put a face to a name.
Adobe Target for Developers: The Target APIs
Next up, an intense technical lab on personalised server-side content delivery by accessing the Adobe Target APIs.
We used Postman, which if you haven’t used it, is a desktop application for testing API endpoints and calls. Head over to Adobe to get the Postman collection offered by Adobe to start playing around with the Adobe Target API. For the Node.js developers out there, Adobe also developed an NPM package for accessing the Adobe Target API. For more information visit this site.
The idea is, instead of hosting your content and experiences within the Adobe Target platform, you can have different templates stored on your back-end server. This allows you to use Adobe Target as the engine to decide which experience users should be in. Call the Adobe Target API from your back end, retrieve the experience ID and then serve the content up with your current delivery framework. (Hint hint, no more flicker!)
Implementing Adobe Audience Manager and Customer ID Sync
This is the lab I was most excited about. DMPs are still a hot topic and with the release of Launch I wanted to know how to deploy this to a client’s website with the latest technologies.
Originally, in order to deploy Adobe Audience Manager with Customer ID Sync, you must have a custom AppMeasurement library and add the Audience Manager module manually to gain the benefits of server side forwarding. The Audience Manager Module for Adobe Analytics is a module like the Heartbeat Video module that is added to your AppMeasurement library.
However, since attending the lab, Principal Solutions Consultant at Adobe, Wouter Van Geluwe, reached out to me with some great news!
Update: “Manually adding the Audience Manager module to a custom AppMeasurement library is no longer necessary! Instead, a simple tick-box option within the Adobe Analytics extension has been implemented which, when selected, activates the AudienceManagement-module and AAM, meaning we no longer need to enter code manually; an elegant solution ensuring new code is now automatically updated.”
Event-Driven Experiences with Adobe I/O Events and Analytics Triggers
I attended this lab in the hopes of gaining a first look at the new Adobe I/O events platform and analytics triggers.
In this lab we created an API integration that posted information to a private Slack channel. This was just a proof of concept and the idea is that you send the information from Adobe API to your own database or remarketing engine.
There are a number of Analytics Triggers that you can create. During the lab, we set up a shopping cart abandonment trigger that sends a JSON object to the Slack channel whenever a user abandons a shopping cart. The information you receive includes the Marketing Cloud Visitor ID of the user, along with other useful information.
Depending on how much traffic you receive to your website, this means the analytics trigger could be firing hundreds of times every minute! However, the delivery of this information is instantaneous, meaning the days are long gone where you had to wait 24 hours to send a basket abandonment email; you can now do it instantly if you choose to do so.
Meeting A Client and ObservePoint Socks!
Alongside throwing myself into the various workshops and seminars I wanted to cram into the two days, I was also lucky enough to meet up with one of my clients – what better place to spend some time with, and get to know a client, than at such an acclaimed event! Web Analytics Manager Valter at the VF Corporation,was an Adobe Summit virgin, and I was eager to ensure he got as much out the experience as possible (and I don’t just mean a free pair of very comfortable ObservePoint socks).
As a first-timer to the summit, Valter was hugely impressed by the event and what it had to offer;
With around 5,000 attendees, more than 110 breakout sessions, multiple sponsors and top vendors present, it was a fantastic opportunity to meet with industry professionals, get to know the products available and their potential. Click & Tweet!
On one side, it’s a gigantic celebration of Adobe products, falling quite often into a sales pitch (considering it’s a paid event).
On the other hand, I really enjoyed the very inspiring plenary sessions and many of the breakout sessions I attended (Adam Greco’s was my best one).
Top 3 EMEA Summit Take-Aways
If I had to choose, my three main summit take-aways were:
- Adobe’s main claim was about “Make Experience Your Business“. The challenge is to fulfill the need to create and deliver digital experiences, personalized content and the ability to recognize and identify users and act on their specific needs. The need is to become “experience makers,” a mindset change for everybody.
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning are already an ally for delivering great experiences, and Adobe AI (Sensei) is already part of all products: creative, content and experience intelligence. We saw massive examples of it in use, as well as the benefits. Of course, no such change comes without the need for an adequate architectural setup, and in this case, Adobe is ready to provide support with all their well-connected products.
- Last but not least, it’s not just about tools, but a talent shift towards data science needs. More and more, we need people to identify audiences and patterns, or leverage the information that tools can provide.
On another note, Valter and I decided to take a brief break from the EMEA Summit to visit the beach.
The Adobe Summit EMEA Party
We work hard, we play hard! The Adobe Summit parties are legendary, and this years’ lived up to the hype!
Now, let’s get to the part that I know you’re all here for: The Food. Mac and cheese, wraps, pizza, burgers, wasabi sauce and more…well, of course I had to try it all!
After a long day of mind-boggling seminars, it would have been a travesty not to go back for seconds (and thirds, and fourths…) and after all the delicious food, there was plenty to do to burn off those burgers!
From the awesome LED-lit slide (with a one hour waiting time – totally worth it), to the roller rink (yes, a roller rink with disco ball), we were all kept well entertained until the band came on, and with beer and wine pouring, let’s just say there were some pretty impressive dance battles going on for hours into the night.
The Adobe Summit is an event I would strongly recommend; anybody can attend, including marketers, analysts, digital transformation managers, developers and more. Book this event into your calendar and be prepared to have a truly awesome few days, and not only because of the giant LED slide. Expect a truly inspirational few days, with something for everyone. You’ll not only learn from the experts but meet new, creative, and remarkably talented people.
If you attended, please share your experience and/or takeaways in the comments. Maybe we can connect at next year’s EMEA Adobe Summit. Any and all comments about the Summit and the shared Adobe Analytics tips are welcome.