The urge of marketing executives to monitor click paths, results of online marketing campaigns and online key performance indicators (KPIs), has developed hand in hand with the internet and digital channels. Today it has become the cornerstone of the web analytics industry.

What started as a way to see when visitors abandoned websites, or how many clicks were generated from search engines, has evolved into a self-sustaining industry. The heyday of such web analytics tools started by using JavaScript tags to collect massive amounts of data that made the dream of an online marketer come true.

One of the most successful and renowned companies in this business field is Adobe that yesterday, for the second time, organized an impressive Digital Marketing Event in Singapore.

By now we all know that there is obviously more to ensuring to stay ahead of the game than just assessing web analytics programs and reviewing usage logs, this being Adobe’s main message to a crowd of 1000 digital marketing enthusiasts at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

Most things in life are about setting expectations and web analytics is no exception

Of course, the Adobe Creative & Marketing Cloud and how their combination is ground-breaking has been center stage, especially since Adobe’s leaders reminded the audience in all their speeches that a crucial part of the web analytics program is the implementation of the tools that can help generate new types of ideas, identify mistakes, or find ways to make it more efficient.

Paul Robson, President, Asia Pacific, Adobe opened the event with his speech on how to get the right strategies in place and to transform our businesses by pushing the boundaries for innovation and digital marketing, briefly introducing Adobe’s new research as well. The Adobe Digital Index “Best of the Best Benchmark” is available for the Asia Pacific region for the first time.

The report compares the overall average versus websites in the top 20% on six key performance indicators across six regions: Australia and New Zealand, Southeast Asia, India, South Korea, Hong Kong, China and the United States - key performance indicators are mobile and tablet traffic, stick rate (the percentage of visits that last more than one page), visits-per-visitor, time spent and conversion rate – revealing that marketers across Asia Pacific who deliver best practices are pulling further away from their competitors. Thus, the study kind of confirms that digital excellence can be closely linked to revenue growth and other business success metrics.

Businesses that can improve customer engagement and drive conversion rates via their digital channels will find themselves at the front of the pack, is the message Adobe wants to spread.

The highlight of the day, was without doubts the speech of Mr. Shantanu Narayen, President & CEO, Adobe on “The Adobe Story”, when he explained that Adobe’s method is still the same since the company started 30 years ago -  which is changing the world through digital experiences.

Indeed the company historically focused on the creation of multimedia and creativity software products, with a more-recent foray towards rich Internet application software development. Pointing out that Adobe is best known for the Portable Document Format (PDF) and Adobe Creative Suite, later Adobe Creative Cloud, Mr Narayen mentioned that in the 80s, John Warnock and Charles Geschke, the Adobe founders, developed the PostScript page description language, which has been licensed three years later by Apple Computer for use in its LaserWriter printers, which helped spark the desktop publishing revolution and the success story of Adobe.

“We have an incredibly rich history of innovations, but we are not resting on our laurel”, Mr Narayen said. “With over 12,000 employees all across the world, we continue to drive and be the leaders in digital media and digital marketing. Our focus as a company is actually to bring together the best of creative expression, as well as digital insights, to help you have the business impact you desire across multiple screens. Through the Adobe Creative Cloud we try to reimagine the entire creative process with the world’s best tools. And with the Adobe Marketing Cloud we are already the leader in providing the most comprehensive solution for marketers. We think, when you put these two clouds together the magic really begins to happen. Adobe is the only company on the planet that can provide this rich, integrated platform that spans the entire content lifecycle of content creation, management, measurement, mobilization and monetization. And that’s what we are focused on”, he added.

Indeed, the Adobe Marketing Cloud is a collection of integrated online marketing and web analytics solutions which includes a set of analytics, social, advertising, media optimization, targeting, web experience management and content management solutions aimed at the advertising industry and hosted on Amazon Web Services. Just in November last year, Adobe introduced mobile features to its Marketing Cloud, making smartphones and other mobile devices new targets for analytics, which is especially important for the “mobile first” Asian region.

“We started more than 5 years ago here in Asia Pacific”, Mr Narayen told the audience. “We were the leader in desktop products, but we realized that we had to reinvent the whole creative process and innovate our product cycle at a faster pace– aware of the fact that the computing power will extend from the desktop to the smartphones. What we learned on our journey is that we actually had to reinvent every aspect of how we are doing business ourselves: From how we create software, market or sell it, besides how we provide customer service and support.”

Adobe’s leader, however, knows well that every one of us is experiencing the same "digital transformation journey” and offers solutions: “In the digital era, we do believe that success over the long term doesn’t just come from people who have the biggest data. It doesn’t just come from those having the cleverest mobile application or the highest social sentiment. I think success will come from people who are singularly focused on bringing it all together for the customer. A delightful customer experience is increasing conversion and drives loyalty. But that is easier said than done and challenging every business to transform into what we call the “real-time enterprise”, which moves at the speed of digital. It’s powered by customer data and it’s certainly powered by insights that are needed to operate in that multi-channels, multi-screen optimized world.”

What’s needed is a unified view of the customer to be able to optimize and personalize every touch point at the speed of digital, he emphasized, but most importantly traditional functional silos have to be broken down.

“We all know that the real-time enterprise is not just about technology, but enterprises have to break down organizational silos and come together to listen to the voice of the customer. We believe the CIOs and CMOs have to work increasingly closer together to deliver that unified experience to the customer. Reinvention will require risk taking, but we believe that the rewards will be high. Of course creativity is needed as well to truly distinguish yourself above the noise”, Mr Narayen concluded his speech.

John Mellor, VP, Strategy, Business Development and Marketing, Adobe, picked up many thoughts of Mr Narayen in his following speech that focused on marketing in particular and its need to reinvent itself constantly in our digital era.

“We want to break down data and creativity silos. Instead of keeping them separate, we want to pull them together and we want to assemble that in real time, in the last millisecond”, he said.

And since the concept of reinvention is driven by people, processes (business transformation) and products, “we did design the Adobe Marketing Cloud as if silos never existed”, he highlighted, suggesting vividly that we should all “have a fine disregard to the rules of marketing”, because digital is driving the reinvention of marketing, which is a whole new game and not just an extension of marketing.

Constantly performing an honest assessment of marketing achievements is for sure useful to keep on inventing strategies and to reenergize teams and processes by setting the right expectations.

And Adobe’s Cloud Services are definitely a good companion on the journey to deliver seamless multichannel, multi-screen experiences for superior marketing and business performance.

By Daniela La Marca