Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Explained


B2B buyers want engagement on their terms (they want to direct their journey), more channels to engage across, more convenience and efficiency with purchases, and relevant experiences throughout their whole journey. Conducting “business as usual” is no longer an option.

Why Use Adobe Experience Manager?

B2B buyer expectations have skyrocketed over the last few years. Ultimately, B2B buyers want engagement on their terms (they want to direct their journey), more channels to engage across, more convenience and efficiency with purchases, and relevant experiences throughout their whole journey. Conducting “business as usual” is no longer an option. Companies that effectively react to this new reality are reaping the benefits.

What is Adobe Experience Manager?

Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is a comprehensive enterprise content and digital asset management solution that helps organizations manage and unify their customer experiences across digital channels. AEM makes it easy for organizations to manage and deploy their marketing content more effectively, capture and act upon improved analytics, and provide seamless customer experiences. AEM’s modularity and scalability makes it a popular platform for organizations of almost any size that want to improve their digital marketing capabilities.

  • B2B customers desire for relevant, tailored, and easy experiences has risen dramatically over the past few years. B2B buyers have encountered exceptional B2C experiences and have come to expect this in their B2B buying experience.
  • This includes the expectation of relevant experiences AND more buying options.
  • The bottom line is B2B customers want engagement on their terms and you to anticipate their needs; more channels to engage across; more connivence and efficiency with purchases; and relevant experiences throughout their whole journey.
  • For business leaders, conducting “business as usual” is no longer an option — those brands are being left behind.
  • We’re seeing leading businesses expand their digital footprint to engage more buyers, engage them at the right time, and close more business online — and they’re gaining market share.
  • Leaders are making digital experiences personalized so that every interaction is more relevant and valuable — and they’re realizing more revenue.
  • The status quo is being broken by the leaders and they’re reaping the benefits.

As B2B companies look to address disruptions and buyer journey realities, some clear pain points arise. Each of these pain points are highlighted by common symptoms that need to be addressed to deliver customer experiences that accelerate pipeline and allow an enterprise to scale revenue. As the world becomes more digital, the need grows to deliver experiences in the digital domain that meet your customer’s expectations. As B2B companies look to address the disruptions and realities we’ve identified, some clear pain points arise.

First, we commonly see legacy technology stacks:

  • Legacy and duplicative solutions force companies to take on high maintenance costs and lean more on IT to maintain them.
  • Solutions may not use artificial intelligence and machine learning to the full capabilities of today’s offerings.
  • And the tech stack may not be able to address the changing needs of the organizations or different departments.
  • All of this can negatively impact the ROI of marketing efforts and the speed to market for campaigns.

Next, we often seen siloed data and inadequate insights:

  • A company might have duplicative and disconnected records in CRMs, marketing automation tools, and more, which leads to a fragmented view of lead and account data.
  • If you have siloed data, you’ll struggle to target the right buying group member or account with a relevant experience.
  • Pulling actionable insights out of your data might be time intensive and may not provide the information you need to optimize customer experiences and accelerate pipeline. You might not even be able to tap into predictive insights that help with prioritizing leads and accounts to engage with or determining the next best experience to move an opportunity to the next sales stage.
  • And determining the true impact of your marketing efforts on driving sales and revenue will be next to impossible.
  • When your company experiences these symptoms, your marketing team will miss out on upsell and cross-sell opportunities and a lower customer lifetime value.

Next, consider content and collaboration velocity:

  • If a business struggles with this, they may have content and assets spread across various locations instead of a single enterprise asset management system.
  • Content teams might be forced to spend significant time adapting assets for channels, locations, and different languages and It’s impossible to manage the amount of content needed for marketing efforts.
  • If team collaboration isn’t streamlined, there very likely will be delays due to lengthy review and approval processes, edits, or other project management challenges.
  • And all of this means your business will have higher costs, more delays, and be unable to produce enough valuable, relevant content for long content-hungry buying cycles.

The next pain point we regularly see is around cross-channel coordination:

  • When businesses struggle with this, they’re unable to coordinate experiences across channels by persona, account, or journey stage. And that journey isn’t continually analyzed and optimized to deliver the best experience possible that accelerates the account to the next stage.
  • Another common symptom is the transition from marketing to sales or online to offline is plagued with delays, miscommunication, and missing information. And this coordination outside of marketing doesn’t end with sales — many businesses also struggle to coordinate effectively with partners and resellers.
  • These have a negative impact on pipeline progression, conversion, and customer lifetime value.

This next pain point has a huge impact on a company’s ability to scale, and that’s a lack of self-service opportunities:

  • Today’s buyers expect to have self-service options available to them, so if you don’t, you’re not meeting their needs.
  • A lack of self-service options also means that sales is forces to split their focus between opportunities of all sizes, rather than putting their limited time toward the best and highest opportunities.
  • And if your customers always must reach out to get support or additional information they need, there’s added pressure and burden on customer success and service teams.
  • These results in a higher cost to sell and serve your customers, and place a limit on your growth potential.
  • For your internal teams, self-service relates to having easy-to-use tools that reduce reliance on teams like IT and data science. Your marketers should be able to engage with customer data and discover game-changing journey insights all on their own. It comes down to having tools and AI-powered automation that reduce time consuming tasks and reduce the need to up-skill the workforce.

And the final pain point centers around governance, privacy, and security:

  • Today’s enterprises contend with changing data regulations across borders. And not complying with those laws and result in significant fines.
  • People also want the information collected on them to be protected and respected. When you’re collecting more data than ever before, there are more challenges than ever before to make sure you’re managing it properly.
  • Any missteps in customer data management and usage can damage customer trust, which could be the deciding factor in doing business with you.

Key Features of Adobe Experience Manager:

  1. Robust data and digital asset management (DAM) to channel, synthesize, manage, and make available customer data across the enterprise to increase customer intelligence and insights.
  2. Enterprise content management and collaboration through streamlined workflows. This provides the ability for the broader enterprise to efficiently produce the content and experience needed to engage your customers.
  3. Omnichannel journeys where data and content are assembled and continuously optimized to ensure performance toward digital objectives. And digital self-service to help businesses scale revenue through buyer-led journeys.

Underlying all of this is a modern, extensible enterprise infrastructure that leverages AI and machine learning, is cloud-based, and integrates with your existing technology investments. This ecosystem of solutions helps you deliver the Next-gen experiences that some of our other customers are already seeing the benefits of:

  • We’re seeing B2B customers improve efficiencies across teams to save time and money.
  • They’re bringing together insights, content, and activation to optimize campaigns to improve the ROI on all marketing efforts and create more sales qualified leads than they ever had before.
  • And they’re driving more engagement to their digital platforms where they offer the relevant information that buyers are looking and the purchasing options they now expect.

So How Does Adobe Experience Cloud Enable This?

Earlier we described the foundational elements needed to create Next-gen B2B experiences.  Data Insights & Activation, Content Management and Collaboration and Omnichannel journey’s and scalable revenue.  

Lets take a closer look at how Adobe Experience Cloud integrates customer experience technology and data to simplify experience creation, execution, measurement, and optimization. Unlike other providers, Experience Cloud is purpose-built, extensible, and integrated with your creative tools.

  • First, you must start with a foundation based on data and insights.
  • Next, you need a platform to bring together that data from across the enterprise, and importantly to do so in real time. For real.
  • And, finally, you need a means to action the insights based on that data. Through the content you develop and deliver. And then by making every moment valuable for your customer. And by managing the journey that customer has with you, so their experience is seamless and connected.

Defining the Adobe Experience Platform

Adobe Experience Platform is the foundation of Experience Cloud, offering unified data, experience-focused artificial intelligence, and more. It integrates applications and services together with a common ecosystem of data. And because it provides a comprehensive set of APIs, brands can integrate with their existing enterprise data sets and other third-party CXM technologies.

Experience Platform is unique in the industry. AEP is purpose-built for customer experience. It’s open, it’s flexible, it’s powerful, and it changes the game for how businesses can manage and deliver experiences.

Benefits to this approach- centralized profile and segmentation engine:  

  • Single segmentation engine ensures cross-channel consistency.
  • Single customer profile ensures consistent cross-channel personalization.
  • Natively integrated applications reduce complexity and latency with sharing data

An important part of the Platform story is integration. AEP is built on open APIs, so enterprises can easily integrate the technology they’re already using, build custom applications, and integrate data from any source.

Adobe Experience Platform provides fundamental compostable services available to all applications, within and without Adobe Experience Cloud. Core capabilities like Identity, Profile, Ingestion, Privacy & Governance, and so forth.

Adobe Experience Cloud Applications

Applications are full-featured products designed to address broad customer experience categories such as analytics or content management. Our Applications connect to Adobe Experience Platform, allowing them to share data, insights, and audiences across the Experience Cloud portfolio.

Content & Commerce—content creation and customer experiences come to life via personalized, relevant content. Adobe helps you amplify personalized content efficiently across channels and manage assets to create AI-driven experiences. Commerce lets you deliver personalized shopping experiences across delivery channels through a single modern commerce platform.

Data Insights & Audiences—in addition to the data capabilities in Experience Platform, Adobe Analytics delivers applications and services to help you collect , organize, analyze, and draw actionable insights on real-time customer profiles.

Marketing Workflow—with the addition of Workfront’s market-leading enterprise work management capabilities, users of Experience Cloud can now more effectively connect strategy to delivery, integrate people and data across the organization, and manage work from start to finish for the delivery of measurable outcomes, all in one unified offering from Adobe. This addition, including services like Marketo Engage, enables your cross-functional marketing team to collaborate and align to strategic goals while managing resource capacity and integrating disparate systems to create and deliver personalized customer experiences at scale.

Customer Journeys and Customer Experience Management—user journey optimization gives you capabilities to personalize and orchestrate campaigns for every customer on every channel, and to drive account engagement, measure impact and personalize multi-channel campaigns across your target accounts (because customer journeys are both B2C and B2B.)

Altogether, Experience Cloud is the most comprehensive portfolio of CXM technology available in the market today. It’s a modern solution for the modern challenges that organizations face in serving massive numbers of customers on multiple channels.

Modern CXM can be a daunting task for any organization to undertake. But Adobe Experience Cloud has all the key capabilities and integrations that you need deliver meaningful experiences to every customer.

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