Adobe announces co-op for the Adobe Marketing Cloud

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Unless you work for Google or Facebook, one of your biggest pain points is probably distinguishing which channels are performing best. When attributing conversion credit across your online channels, you or your digital marketing agency analysts may use a variety of methods to determine who gets the win. Do you use the last touch model, giving credit to the desktop site where your customer closed their transaction? Do you try to spread allocation evenly across all devices and channels in case your customer realized they wanted to purchase while surfing your social media sites from their iPad? Do you think that first touch introductory email promotion is more valuable? Or do you just feel like giving up? We feel your pain.

Until now, Google and Facebook have enjoyed a tight premium on solving this problem. Because these social media platforms use single sign on technology that allows customers to travel between devices while easily logging in (and subsequently staying logged in) to a variety of connected applications and sites. Because these platforms also log their users’ name and personal data rather than simply assigning them a number or unique identifier, it’s easy for these organizations to track their users’ exact behavior across all devices and channels. Every time a customer visits a site – regardless of device or whether or not they feel inclined to enter their login information again – Google and Facebook can easily track their behavior. Of course, companies are eager to get in on this premium information, and happily pay a premium price for it.

Without a partnership with Google or Facebook, companies had to attempt to cobble together a picture using user cookies, cross referenced with their IP address, cross referenced by any login information that user deigned to provide. In other words, an incomplete picture. Last week, Adobe announced they’d be making a huge stride toward closing this knowledge gap in the new Adobe Marketing Cloud. Enter the first cross-device co-op.

What is Adobe Marketing Cloud’s cross device co-op:

Adobe Marketing Cloud’s cross-device co-op will allow companies both big and small to submit a variety of customer data to a highly secured “cryptographically hashed login ID and HTTP header” that will at once log, aggregate, and encrypt all customer data. Don’t let the tech speak fool you, the bottom line is that companies will be able to see when their customers are switching between devices and how they are behaving on each.

The trick is that the picture becomes clearer as more companies (and thus their user data) join the co-op, but no company will receive an unfair benefit because marketers will only be able to access information about their existing customers rather than new or potential users. The co-op also protects all user information so only their cross-device behavior is available, while new information (such as email address, mailing information, or cross-site log in information) remains securely off limits to co-op participants. Adobe worked with the Future of Privacy Forum to ensure the co-op structure met all current privacy regulations and expectations while still providing real value to co-op members.

Although the cross-device co-op won’t debut for several months and Adobe hasn’t released specifics for co-op participants yet, it could revolutionize our ability to tailor marketing content in more meaningful ways. This announcement heralds one of the biggest digital marketing breakthroughs we’ve seen in years … and with Adobe’s name and reputation of excellence stamped on the project, we expect great things.

How do you benefit from Adobe Marketing Cloud’s new co-op:

You may be asking yourself how you receive value from the co-op if you don’t receive customer information? The answer lies in using your newfound understanding of what your customers are doing on which device to provide more tailored content. We recommend partnering with a digital marketing agency or content marketing agency to craft specific campaigns that speak to your customers’ needs depending on what device they are on. Serving the right information at the right time can help prepare your prospects to make an informed and confident purchase decision. This moves potential customers to point of sale more quickly and ensures they are choosing the right product for their needs, which boosts retention and lifetime value.

If you don’t have an advertising agency by the time Adobe Marketing Cloud’s cross-device co-op goes live, take time to carefully unpack each channel’s behavior before launching new advertising campaigns into market. Supplement this information with user testing and market research to ensure you understand the ways your customers are moving in and out of the purchase journey. The co-op will help. You will make the content relevant. The co-op will not provide a new bevy of customer data that was previously off limits or give you insight into other brands that they engage with, instead, it will help you understand your existing customers’ psychology and create a deeper bond by speaking to them directly. The co-op will support the ever-growing emphasis on individualized marketing content and highly personalized targeting and advertising efforts.

We believe Adobe’s co-op will be the first of many efforts to break down our blind spots and serve our customers better without invading their privacy. Marketing is a delicate balance between advertising products and educating consumers so their needs are met in new and unique ways. Tools that allow us to understand how customers prefer to interact with brands helps us accomplish this goal. The results give us a new opportunity to discover customer needs they never knew they even had and bring them closer to brands in more meaningful ways.

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