Adobe Cloud Integrating Magento: Personalized, Experience-Driven Commerce Just Became a Thing

Adobe announced they are integrating Magento commerce cloud into the Adobe Experience Cloud at MagentoLive in Barcelona. What does this mean? Adobe will make every experience personal while Magento is making every moment Shoppable.

Magento has developed a reputation over the years as a shining example of what an open source community-driven development team should look like. Interestingly, much of its code originates from developers that are not even on the payroll.

However, this was always the point. It is less about where the code comes from and much more about improving the quality to enhance the service of its clients. There is an argument that the e-commerce giant has enjoyed massive success on the back of their community rather than being held back by internal processes like their competitors.

Many members of the community were understandably concerned that things would change when Magento was acquired by Adobe earlier this year for a cool $1.68 billion. While the global community debated what the new partnership would mean, an announcement at MagentoLive in Barcelona earlier this week attempted to ease any fears.

The Heart and Soul of Magento in Barcelona

Refreshingly, there isn’t a separate user and developer conference, the event encourages collaboration between the community, clients, and sponsors all under one roof. Despite the acquisition by a tech behemoth, from what I saw, the vibrant community is still the heart and soul of Magento.

Predictably, all bases in the customer journey are now being covered as Adobe announced they are integrating Magento commerce cloud into the Adobe Experience Cloud. In a nutshell, Adobe customers that have access to marketing, advertising, and analytics services will now be able to seamlessly add a shopping cart to their digital presences too.

Adobe makes every experience personal while Magento is making every moment Shoppable

Ironically, it’s the rising expectations of customers that are driving these changes rather than the tech giants. Whether it be offline and or online, the quality of the customer experience is rapidly becoming the new battleground for businesses looking to secure quick wins with engagement and loyalty being the ultimate prize.

Engagement Across the Full Customer Journey

In acquiring Magento, Adobe has secured access to every step of the customer journey and is making it easier for brands of all sizes to create engaging experiences. The speed of change is gathering pace, and everyone is expected to continuously adapt and move forward. But will big businesses struggle to keep up the pace when their legacy systems continue to hold them back?

The innovations we are bringing to market enable companies of all sizes and across industries to make every experience shoppable

In the same way that Blockbuster Video, Kodak, Polaroid and Borders failed to tackle digital disruption, I cannot help but think that we are heading for another showdown where household names will once again disappear. Our internet history has already taught us that no brand is too big to big to fail.

There is already a long list of big brands that users have fallen out of love with. Facebook, Electronic Arts, Sears Holdings, United Airlines, and even former tech darling Uber have all suffered a rough year. In many ways, they have become easy pickings for competitors to move in and provide superior experiences.

The experience curve is changing – it’s the new Moore’s law. – Shantanu Narayen

In a year of significant acquisitions, Adobe is leading the way in the experience industry by managing more than 233 trillion data transactions and $141 billion in online sales transactions annually. Make no mistake, experiences are not just another buzzword. It’s big business.

The Right Kind of Personalized Experiences

“If it moves, personalize it, and if it doesn’t, customize it anyway,” is a trap that a few could fall into. If done right, tools such as Adobe Target, powered by Adobe Sensei, which uses AI and machine learning could efficiently deliver contextually relevant shopping experiences.

Brands should find it much easier to drive customer loyalty and enable businesses to compete more effectively. Although personalized experiences make our lives easier and more efficient, you can still have too much of a good thing.

For example, there are occasions that I want to go rogue and look outside of what algorithms recommend for me. Whether it be on Netflix, reading an entire magazine or browsing through bookshelves, those happy accidents in life that lead to great discoveries are an experience that is equally as important.

I suspect that it’s the brands that get this fine balance right will be the ones that succeed. But, in a digital age, I doubt that the size of the business will not determine their success, it will be the experience they provide.

Why Campaign Monitor Has Merged With Emma and Delivra

Campaign Monitor recently revealed that it is merging with email marketing software providers Emma and Delivra. What spurred this decision? What will the merger mean for email marketers? And why email marketing is evolving far beyond opens, clicks and conversions.

2017 was a relatively quiet year for acquisitions and mergers. But it seems that the speed of change is ramping up this year as a brave new digital world begins to take shape. Microsoft has acquired GitHub for $7.5 billion, a decision which disappointed the developer community. Elsewhere, Adobe announced plans to acquire Magento Commerce for a cool $1.68 billion.

However, in matters much closer to home, the email marketing landscape is also about to evolve with Campaign Monitor revealing that it is merging with email marketing software providers Emma and Delivra. Essentially, Campaign Monitor is going to become the parent brand under an umbrella that encompasses both Emma and Delivra.

Rather than having three siloed platforms, the move will pave the way for a family of products and offer unique value by having all of the services under one roof. But, what will Campaign Monitor’s new suite of email marketing solutions look like? And what value will they offer marketers?

  • Campaign Monitor: This market-leading self-service brand focuses on delivering a better experience compared to freemium brands, with a primary focus on high volume email senders trying to drive more engagement with subscribers. With its easy to use marketing tool, marketers are able to send beautiful, targeted newsletters to grow their business.
  • Emma: Emma’s solution makes it easy for teams of all sizes to create and collaborate on beautiful campaigns. Its focus on delivering powerful personalization in an accessible way ultimately drives more conversions and sales. Emma also allows distributed business or franchised organizations to manage professional email marketing at scale.
  • Delivra: Delivra offers custom email marketing and automation solutions designed to meet the unique needs of every customer. Its service-centric model focuses on building more sophisticated, custom email solutions for businesses who have advanced email marketing needs but lack the resources to support it.

What’s Going on in the Email Industry? And What Spurred This Decision?

Campaign Monitor Chief Product Officer Cody Bender told me that one of the biggest motivations for the merger was that Insight Venture Partners back the three businesses. There was an epiphany of sorts that despite this, they were all competing for similar space in the market.

Rather than chasing the same part of the market, talking to the same customers and fighting over the same pieces of pie, could there be a more forward-thinking approach that could transform what they offer their customers? The end goal was to be better at serving email marketers by simply not fighting each other and working together to pick the spaces where all three of their products worked together as one enhanced solution.

How does the merger position the new entity among other tools?

The team at Campaign Monitor would probably admit that they are not in the same league as Adobe and Salesforce just yet. But there is a realization that they are flying higher than the MailChimp’s of the world comfortably in a mid-market position. The challenge for email marketers is to embrace and understand how they can leverage this comprehensive suite of tools across three SaaS platforms

What will the merger mean for email marketers?

In my conversation with Cody, he also advised that it’s about improving experiences for marketers and their results. But it’s also about enabling them to better at their craft. As email marketers grow in sophistication, their role is evolving far beyond opens, clicks, and conversions. The merger is aimed at helping marketers to start getting into the nuts and bolts of what’s going to drive improved results for their business.

Will other brands be joining this new family of platforms?

Cody admitted that he could easily see Campaign Monitor continuing to grow and hinted that the company would naturally look into picking particular market segments and aligning a product or a brand with them if it made sense.  There is a clear ambition to continue on the road ahead and to align the businesses with their diverse range of clients.

A joined-up approach will undoubtedly help their customers with their unique challenges and requirements. I would not be too surprised to see another addition to Campaign Monitors family in the future, but for the right reasons. As marketers are increasingly expected to deliver better results and experiences with less, it’s clear something has to change.

Will Campaign Monitor teaming up with EMMA and Delivra provide marketers with all the tools they need to drive engagement and revenue? Please share your thoughts on this latest merger by commenting below.

Direct Mail Can Fill Your Marketing Bathtub

Direct mail is very effective for prospecting thru follow-up. Many times marketers get caught up in the rush to use digital channels to the exclusion of direct mail. They forget how strong, good direct mail can be.

Most people are familiar with the bathtub theory of marketing, but let me just give a short overview before we start. Your business is the bathtub, it has cracks and leaks (customers leave, or go out of business). Your acquisition programs are the faucets that help to fill the tub with water (new customers). Some customers stay and make more purchases, some don’t need you very often, and then some leak out and move on. When people liked other tubs (your competitors) better, they leaked out and moved on. The trick to keep the bathtub filled is to keep the faucets going and plug as many leaks as possible.

This process focuses not only on acquiring new customers, but on keeping the ones you already have too. That is the real key to maintaining and growing. Direct mail is perfect for this. Direct mail is very effective for prospecting thru follow-up. Many times marketers get caught up in the rush to use digital channels to the exclusion of direct mail. They forget how strong, good direct mail can be. You need a constant flow of marketing to keep filling your tub. Whether you are a B-to-B company or a B-to-C one you need to continue to market effectively.

Now you can’t fill your tub with just anyone. You need to find the right people who need your business. The right people are the ones who need what you offer, can afford what you offer and have a history of using businesses such as yours. Direct mail can be a very powerful marketing tool for finding these people. When executed correctly you can see a great return on your investment. Creating targeted mailing lists is easy compared with other channels. A highly targeted list fills up your tub quickly. Once you have them in your tub, direct mail will help you with client retention too. This keeps the leaks in check.

These days in marketing, it’s all about the list. We gather more and more information on our customers and prospects so that we can better target our message. That is one of the great advantages of direct mail. There are many choices in mailing lists and with so much information out there about people, filtering the lists into segments for messaging is easy. You can even do this when you don’t know much about your customers. You can run a profiling tool on your data which can append psychographics as well as demographics. This will help you to find more people like your customers.

So, now that you have your tub, you have your faucets on full flow and your leaks are stopped up as much as possible, your direct mail marketing will keep this pattern for you. You cannot stop the process of acquiring new customers and keeping the existing ones. Your direct mail will be the valve that your faucet needs to keep the water flowing.