This year’s Adobe Summit 2019 in London, UK, included many interesting topics regarding customer journeys, personalization and the continuous focus on user experience. Besides keynotes, breakouts and labs, you get to mingle with fellow brands to discuss challenges, solutions, best practices or simply just share a lunch or a good cup of coffee.
One thing came apparent after spending 72 hours in center of analytics buzz words and marketplace for some of the best platforms within the space. That is, many brands tend to struggle with data quality and data accessibility in the pursuit of creating a single source of the truth by combining multiple different data sources.
In a rare occasion one might see a setup replicated from one brand to another, but most often setups are customized to the brand due to the great diversity of marketing platforms and vendor offerings. Not surprisingly this adds to the complexity of a Data Warehouse setup with multiple integrations to an increasing number of marketing platforms. The data also needs to have a certain high quality and just as important, it needs to be easily accessible for users. Because if the data is not directly available, it may not be used correctly or not used at all, eventually making it a very expensive data adventure. This is also one of the reasons that I think the Adobe Experience Platform (AEP) is right for its time as it also serves the purpose of a Customer Data Platform (CDP) and will solve many headaches in terms of data enrichment and user profiling.
A common advice I have heard by brands at the Summit who have succeeded in some way with building up a good data foundation, is to start small and get something up and running. Get the processes and ownership anchored within the business and expand the setup based on experiences, use cases and new requirements.
At Adobe Summit 2019, I talked to market-leading companies about the importance of data governance in marketing. In general, there seems to be a lack of operational options on the market. Most companies already have some form of data governance policy in place, although it is not necessarily comprehensively institutionalized. The systematic introduction of data governance is therefore, often an evolution from informal rules to formal control. Formal data governance is normally implemented once a company has reached a size at which cross-functional tasks can no longer be implemented efficiently.
At its core, data governance is about establishing methods in the organization with key goals such as minimizing risk, reducing costs and increasing the value of data - in short RCV (Risk, Cost, and Value).
8 out of 10 companies at Adobe Summit has data governance in marketing as a top 3 priority, however, it is probably not actively working on a solution. This is probably related to the complexity of data architecture and lack of RCV knowledge for large companies. Enterprise companies are spending hundreds of thousands of USD on software, and services such as Adobe, Snowplow or Google Analytics that help with analyzing data. However little or no budget on processing and validating marketing data quality from these important tools.
It’s been a pleasure to attend both the Adobe Summits – in Las Vegas and London. These Summits are of course quite similar, but yet they have a completely different feel to them. I would regard the London event as quainter with more of a neighborliness atmosphere.
The most interesting takeaway from this event was in regards to the overall knowledge of Apple’s ITP 2.1 (soon 2.2). Although it was a hot topic at both Summits, the general notion was that it held a greater focus in the US. This is predominately due to how companies in Europe have been profoundly pressured by the GDPR, and only now starting to place focus on it. I am thrilled to see where this focus will take us, and how both the GDPR and ITP has put us in a watershed moment.