May 6, 2015 ↘︎

Adobe Summit London 2015 Recap

In true Adobe style, this year’s Summit was truly an event to behold. In excess of 4000 people rocked up to the ExCel London, and although intended to cater for Europe there were people from across the globe. Everyone who attended got a free subscription to Photoshop, and a free jacket – mine came in very handy as I, yet again, failed to remember just how cold it is in the UK at this time of year.

A massive wrap-around screen, that could best be described as overwhelming, beamed images of the speakers to the attendees at probably over 300 feet with a sound system that would make any teenager jealous. And who was there?…Well, only Professor Brian Cox OBE and Benedict Cumberbatch.

benedict cumberbatch

OMG – we think we have big data problems. Try standing in Brian Cox’s shoes and dealing with 600 million data points per second. That’s what comes out of the Hadron Collider. And they’ve managed to map the universe – billions upon billions of data points in a 3D map! Our ‘big data’ pales in comparison.

And Benedict, well, ramblingly humble, funny, astute, and apparently not on social media;

“The narrative of perception is usually out of one’s control in this age.”

A number of other amazing keynotes were there too, including Kevin Jorgeson (@kjorgeson) who scales mountains for kicks. Incredible story – especially #whatsyourdawnwall – Google that.

‘Marketing Beyond Marketing.’

What does that mean?

It means that marketing has now devolved beyond just the marketing departments. And in many cases, it’s being led by digital teams. Those digital teams have to work with many other teams: IT, Marketing, Legal, Product, Compliance, Security etc.

Marketing today is not about just releasing a campaign and going on to the next thing. It’s about continuous optimisation; not only of the spend, but also the user experience. It’s about utilising a myriad of tools and technologies to seamlessly deliver on that experience for everyone.

“Have the balls to unshackle your teams from corporate challenges to deliver great customer experiences!”

Our customers expect consistent and continuous experiences across each and every device these days. When they put down one device and pick up another, they expect to restart where they left off. And Adobe has the right integrated product line up to deliver on those customer expectations.

“IT teams need to think about the customer, not just the project or the timeline.” – Mark Steel, Argos

A pretty large announcement made at Summit was a partnership with Microsoft for their Dynamics CRM platform. Details are yet to be released in terms of capability, but it will be big for sure – especially for those customers already running Dynamics.

New features and core services.

Did you know there have been 590 new features launched across the Marketing Cloud over the last 12 months? Wow. Way to go Adobe.

And I think we’re seeing the fabled ol’ pinwheel slowly make a recovery. In addition to all of the regular products, Audience Manager has come of age and left home to stand on its own. Yes, Audience Manager is now a point solution.

The Marketing Cloud Core Services were also heavily featured. The core services tie multiple products together and become the starting point for many organisations.

Dynamic Tag Management (DTM) is now part of the Activation Service – along with other features this one gets you started.

Audiences is also heavily featured here, with the capability to load CRM and other data directly in via the Customer Attributes feature. This feature is particularly useful if you’ve got more than one product, for example, Analytics and Target.

They also announced their purchase of Tumri, designed to expand Media Optimiser capabilities.

Of course, we had the usual optimisation and personalisation discussions – a sought after goal for everyone, but everyone still struggles with it.

Another 7 winners from Ben.

Ben Gaines delivered a couple of absolute dynamite presentations with his 7 tips and tricks.

1. Cohort Analysis – use the Mobile Marketing Services to see this in action.

2. Statistical functions within Ad Hoc that you need to be aware of – I’ll cover these in more detail in a later post.

3. Interactive segments in Report Builder – recast your data using segments in drop-downs directly in the sheet.

4. Page Load Time – an updated plugin to help understand how long pages are taking to load. Create classifications to group load times into buckets, and then use realtime reports to monitor for spikes. Check out

5. Push calendar events – seems like we always had it, but we actually always wanted it – the ability to push calendar events to users, without them needing to select them

6. Page visibility – the time-spent metric is easily distorted. But this new plugin allows you to accurately measure the time users spend actually viewing your page, as opposed to when pages are open but in the background or minimised. Check out

7. Customer Attributes – now you can import customer attributes directly and target them in Adobe Target.

Derived Metrics are coming.

And this will be huge! They’re currently available in Ad Hoc, and if you’re a serious user, you’re probably already using them. But, to summarise, within Analytics you’ll be able to:

  • Create calculated metrics from other calculated metrics.
  • Create calculated metrics using segmented values.
  • Create metrics based on IF statements (and a whole bunch of other).
  • Sequenced segments can be applied to metrics as well.

Hello! Xmas anyone?

I’m going to cover this off in more detail on a later post, as a bit of a how-to, but, here’s a couple of sneaks, courtesy of Bret Gundersen at Adobe:

Weighted Bounce – pushes the ‘interesting’ traffic to the top and bottom of the report. Sort or reverse sort this metric on the pages report to find dogs and diamonds. Be sure to include the real bounce rate in the report:

 =(mean(bounce rate)*(1-(pageviews/maxv(pageviews)))+(bounce rate*(pageviews/maxv(pageviews)))


Standard Deviation – the number of standard deviations an item is away from the mean. Use this in a ranked or trended report to identify outliers in the report:



Filtered RPV – revenue per Visit for products with non-trivial traffic. Uncovers products with opportunity for promotion, while filtering out products with high revenue per visit but little traffic and, therefore, little opportunity:

=if(visits>100, revenue/visits, 0)


Estimated Revenue – estimate what a piece of content would generate in terms of revenue if it were promoted such that it was in the 85th percentile, weighted at 80% because conversion isn’t as high for high trafficked pages.



Ha, try doing that lot in GA.

Contribution saves millions

And then John Bates put on a great demo of the Contribution Analysis that is available in full for Premium customers or a limited version for Standard customers. It’s an awesome feature that saves hundreds of analysis hours digging out the what. He presented a series of case studies where millions had been saved because of the outcomes of contribution analysis. Look out for my standard view of Contribution Analysis and how to use it more effectively that I’ll be posting in the next few weeks.

So, all in all, a good Summit. Looking forward to July when The Adobe Digital Marketing Symposium will be in Sydney.

Thank you Adobe.

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