Adobe Marketing Automation Updates 2023 | Research Brief
Updated 21 MAR 2023
Adobe Updates Focus on Chat, Event Management and Advanced Analytics
Adobe is holding its annual Summit event in Las Vegas this week. The company is making a slew of product announcements across its portfolio, but for the core Adobe Marketo Engage and Measure product lines, the announcements focused on three key areas:
- Dynamic Chat
- Interactive Webinar Management
- Advanced Analytics
The company also announced some strong new customer wins and solid momentum for the Adobe Marketo Engage product. Let’s dig in to these new and advanced features.
Dynamic Chat gets More AI and Improved Routing
Chat is obviously a top trend among marketers, especially as ChatGPT continues to both excite and worry a lot of marketing professionals. Adobe has made significant advancements to its Dynamic Chat capabilities inside Adobe Marketo Engage. And the company noted that it is seeing strong uptake for the feature set: with more than. 4,000 installs and nearly 1,000 high usage customers building engagement on the tool set, powering more than 5.3m conversations to date.
New advancements include improved sales routing, to get prospects inside an automated or assisted chat routed to the proper sales rep faster. The chat capabilities have also been expanded to include real-time notifications. As the use cases for chat expands to non-lead generation and to more nurture-based, being able to notify a wider swath of individuals that a pertinent chat is happening is a smart addition. The addition fosters a Converged Growth mindset, allowing for improved engagement in more post-sales phases of the customer journey. Also, Dynamic Chat now more easily integrates with CRM tools to add chat insights into the CRM record with minimal effort.
The hidden gem in the Dynamic Chat additions is the ability for Adobe Marketo Engage users to take advantage of generative AI to suggest content and responses once the chat is being handled by an internal human. As nearly everyone seems to be talking generative AI, this is not surprising but an addition that adds significant value in terms of potential productivity gains.
Interactive Webinars Drive Closed Loop Virtual Event Management and Measurement
As virtual events remain a common element of go-to-market efforts in the post-pandemic economy, Adobe has made significant improvements to the integration between its Adobe Connect webinar tools and the core Adobe Engage product. Users can now create and launch webinars from right inside Adobe Marketo Engage , reducing manual effort and potential cost reduction by not having to use third party webinar platform and management tools.
While registration and attendance tracking is common with event tool integration, Adobe is going a step further and collecting in-event engagement data such as Q&A and poll data and adding that to a contact or account record for richer scoring and nurturing. This is an important addition, adding the ability to identify distinct questions that an existing customer might ask that drive a potential upsell, for example. Also, using polls as qualifying questions can reduce the number of fields on web forms and create a more fluid progressive profiling strategy, and in general speed the time to qualify new prospects.
The webinar integration also allows users to automate the follow-up process to keep teams engaged with attendees in a consistent manner, to help accelerate pipeline.
Analytics: More Data Sources and Improved AI Modeling Tools
Adobe Measure includes two major additions. The first is all around increasing the types of data that can be analyzed. Measure now supports data from multi-CRM use cases, more customer data source support, and other buyer touchpoints. ANNUITAS finds this significantly important as we see more companies take a Converged Growth approach to creating a perpetual Growth Engine across both traditional pre-sales and post-sales steps in the customer journey. Now, growth leaders can use Measure in more “full journey” mode, analyzing more customer touch points than those typically found inside a marketing campaign or nurture outreach.
The offering now has more advanced modeling capabilities, leveraging the Attribution AI platform. This allows for the ability to perform more precise attribution analysis and modeling, including the ability to remove baseline effects on revenue before performing attribution analysis to more accurately measure how marketing and sales tactics affect performance. It is also easier to now have multiple, separately trained models against key criteria like industries, or analyzing new business leads vs existing customers.
Other additions in Journey Management and Account-based Marketing
In addition to these marquee announcements, Adobe has made additional updates across the former Marketo product line. The Journeys capability, the visual environment where non-technical users can build complex drip and nurture flows, has been updated to provide more error reporting and other quality assurance for users during the build process. Journeys can be exported, which we like as it allows marketing teams to share journeys with other growth-oriented teams to create a true full-journey orchestration of engagement. In ANNUITAS parlance, we see the tool better supporting the building of a Conversation Track Architecture, supporting a more dynamic and perpetual growth engine.
The company has also integrated its Workfront project management tool to make it easier for teams to create, inspect and deploy campaigns. Also, the company has improved the ability to segment and activate Account-based Marketing lists. For example, users can now quickly segment using unified person, account and opportunity data, and then activate audiences to LinkedIn for unified account data ABM paid media and contact discovery.
When it comes to the advanced chat capabilities – it is important to see this as a Nurture and Progressive Profiling capability, not merely as a lead generation tool – raising it to be more competitive with platforms such as Qualified. When we look at how the generative AI capabilities can help offer content and replies – we are excited about how this expands past the “pipeline building” stage and into a more holistic nurture. We will continue to watch how Adobe builds this out as a more cross-functional nurture engine.
As more and more businesses look to drive more focused, virtual (and in person) events, the interactive webinar additions are no-brainers. Being able to more seamlessly measure virtual event attendee behavior across multiple stages (and core marketing actions) has been a bit of a blind spot for a lot of marketers. Making it simpler to create, track and measure event behavior makes a lot of sense – and helps normalize this to other customer journey behaviors we are tracking and using to assess buying stage and intent. What adds a nice wrinkle is the ability to quickly analyze webinar data attendance and engagement from existing customers, for example, and utilize that information for retargeting, cross-sell, renewal engagement prioritization, etc. Also, similar to our comments about advanced chat capabilities, Webinars can become a more integral component of an orchestrated, multi-channel Engagement and Nurturing system – versus merely as a singular tactic – delivering customer journey stage appropriate content and driving buyer Progressive Profiling.
The additions to the Measure analytics is exciting from a Converged Growth lens that encapsulates pre-and post-sale milestones along the customer journey. By making Measure more flexible in terms of consuming external data sources, one can see how users can start to build engagement models based on buyer intent signals that originate well outside of Marketo’s historic wheelhouse of the pre-sale stages. The real-time modeling has promise, but still lacks some predictive ‘what if’ capabilities that will really affect how marketers learn from existing campaigns to better tweak and target for improvement.
Adobe’s updates to the Account-based Marketing functionality simply makes sense. As ABM is an integral component to Strategic Demand Marketing and to driving growth throughout the entire customer lifecycle, the product does need to support the ABM motions that are becoming more and more commonplace. And the Journey management tools can help build dynamic, account-focused engagement flows.
The former Marketo product line continues to be a solid player in the industry across multiple market segments, even after the Adobe rebrand. And much of these new features are included seamlessly with existing Adobe Marketo Engage and Measure contracts. So, users can quickly start taking advantage of the new additions.
While many may have thought the Marketo product would ‘get lost’ in the larger scope of the Adobe portfolio, it looks like this has not been the case so far. In fact, we are seeing some very smart integrations of other Adobe products like Connect and Workfront that add even more value for marketing users. Legacy Marketo users, and those considering the Adobe Marketo Engage and Measure products, should rest assured the product line is seeing active innovation across multiple functionality areas.