The Next Level in Recommendation and Personalization Technology with Adobe Target

BrandPost By Aaron Goldberg
Sep 10, 2019
IT Leadership

For strategic marketing initiatives, personalization capabilities, especially product and content recommendations, are too important to be handled by dated technology. B2C and B2B businesses realize that recommendations have powerful personalization impact...

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For strategic marketing initiatives, personalization capabilities, especially product and content recommendations, are too important to be handled by dated technology. B2C and B2B businesses realize that recommendations have powerful personalization impact in accelerating visitors to conversions, offering additional relevant items and continuing a conversation with prospective customers.

Adobe recently announced several enhancements to Adobe Target, part of Adobe Experience Cloud, the most impactful of which is a fundamental upgrade to their recommendations stack.

According to Drew Burns, Group Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Target, “With many recommendation engines, customers and prospects receive more suggestions solely based upon the last thing they viewed or purchased, and based on that single experience, they are bombarded with 20 similar offers.”

 Repeatedly showing the same recommendations based on the last product can fatigue prospects you are trying to convert into buyers—especially if they bought that last-viewed item and have since moved on.

Adobe Target is taking a more nuanced approach, building recommendations from a much more holistic view of the prospect based on numerous interactions. As Burns notes, “When recommendations can be based on everything a brand knows about the customer, it’s possible to make recommendations that are broader, more varied and a better fit for the customer.”

That’s true personalization. What’s even better, recommendations can be based on omni-channel interactions.

Adobe Target also raises the bar for personalization of mobile apps. Rules-based and AI-powered personalization allow a brand to improve the visibility of relevant features, such as personalized navigation icons, and personalized value-added services within an app. And the technology works with most mobile apps without the need for extensive recoding or relaunching of the app. Adobe Target provides an SDK and sample apps and code that provide marketers and developers speedy guided implementation with a visual editor. What’s more, the mobile apps can utilize broad customer information, no longer “hived off” from the personalization data coming from other sources, such as offline interactions, or data from interactions taking place on other channels. That makes mobile an integrated part of the marketing equation. They’ve also added new SDKs for server-side deployment, providing greater flexibility of implementing Adobe Target to meet business needs, whether it’s implementing client-side, server-side, or hybrid in a single account.

Of course, in these days of GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act, you can’t talk about personalization without giving a good deal of thought to privacy and security.  Adobe Target shines here as well, continuing to build on its strong privacy and security foundation and remaining a trusted partner with their customers. Target incorporates restrictions around cookie lifetimes and expiration times, and it’s compliant with the new cookie protocols being enforced by both the Chrome and Safari browsers. For the most recent Apple Safari ITP 2.1 & 2.2 protocols as well as Google SameSite Chrome v.80 (coming in early 2020), Adobe Target will continue to work with the browser owners to help preserve the ability to deliver personalization across channels with these new protocols due to their server-side data collection.  

The Adobe Experience League

Adobe has also thought of this: Great new features won’t do you any good if your people on the ground find them too difficult to understand or implement. Through the Adobe Experience League, the company is posting “snackable,” tiered-learning modules that inform both marketers and developers on how best to design, implement, and deploy these new features so that they truly take advantage of them. The Adobe Experience League combines content from Adobe, skilled consultants and experts, and key customers to showcase how they are succeeding as never before with these technologies.

“This content covers the very beginning stages of adopting the new features and moves forward through specific use cases, providing concrete steps for becoming adept,” says Burns. It’s the sort of useful information that can shorten the “time to solution” for brands that want to get the most out of the new capabilities in Adobe Target.

The Adobe Target announcement represents a substantial step forward for both the personalization and the recommendation processes. Never before has it been possible to make recommendations right from the home page or to use category affinity marketing without a lot of complex development. With Adobe Target, brands can utilize key data, starting with each visitor’s very first interaction, to deliver automated targeted landing pages and provide optimized offers, content, and recommendations at any stage of the customer’s journey.