Building the foundations for scale

By Helen Whittaker
29 Oct 2019

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Experts from our consulting, experience design and technology teams shared best practice for successful growth at Adobe’s HQ in London last week.

Matt Boffey, director of consulting, kicked off the presentations by focusing on five gaps that need filling to ensure continued growth success; whether scaling up or or restoring a company’s lustre once it has reached full maturity:

1. Market Understanding and Insight

This is important for for scale-ups and high growth businesses as it helps them consciously navigate by the biggest market opportunities, rather than just their existing customers. This allows them to grow beyond niche early adopters and broaden their current audience base.

2. Brand Investment

This helps companies boost the effectiveness of short term sales focussed campaigns (performance marketing), prevents customer acquisition costs from becoming unsustainable, increases price inelasticity and gives them the ability to command a price premium.

3. Localisation

This avoids potential ‘diseconomies of scale’ where the bigger a brand appears, the less appealing it is to consumers.

4. Playbooks

These create efficiency: ensuring you don’t reinvent the wheel, that you stand on the shoulders of giants and tip the odds in your favour by learning from past experience. Most companies need to move on from the ‘why’ and get deep into the ‘how’.

5. Training

Scale-ups suffer from chronic over promotion whereby, in virtue of longevity, the community manager in a 25-person company finds themselves the head of global marketing in a 500-person company. Leaderships’ unrealistic expectations can lead to high (and expensive) churn. In the more established business, expertise can become outdated, and skills and capability fail to keep pace with consumer behaviour.

Matt also shared case studies of three growth challenges, from Deliveroo, who wanted to develop their ‘brand as another growth lever’, adidas, who wanted to ‘Take back No. 1 position’ and Ineos who asked us to help them ‘build a new car company from scratch.’

Global Business: Local Experience

Alex Stansfield, senior strategist and Jude Bawden, senior account director, asked how can global companies provide locally relevant experiences? Today, the average fortune 500 company operates in 35 different countries. Clearly there is a natural tension between operating globally vs. tailoring your marketing and content to local markets.

They considered some common challenges that multinationals face across three broad categories:

• Varying audiences

• Varying commercial needs

• Varying internal resources and skills within the organisation

They shared a working example from B2B brand, Spirax Sarco, who completed a global website transformation which was rolled out to 25 countries in the past 18 months. They talked about the importance of putting the processes and people in place to ensure the programme’s ongoing successes – including maintenance, development and of course, ongoing optimisation. They use a central BAU team to manage development and a steering team to represent the needs of the local markets.

Delivering Digital Experiences

Stuart Avery, group CEO and Ally Hamilton, lead architect, next presented our approach to delivering digital experiences across multiple markets, explaining how each market needs to appear to be acting locally to its customers – and how their specific needs go way beyond ‘just translation’.

Brands need to deliver local products and services, local content, in the right language, and with local nuance/appreciation. All of which needs to be delivered by central and local teams working together, often with different digital skills and time, with some markets wanting lots of control and flexibility, and others who want it all fed centrally.

These are all classic content management challenges, which need the right tools and as importantly, the right implementation to overcome.

We are lead partners with Adobe delivering services through their Experience Cloud. They explained how Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) offers a number of ways to support flexible content that can be reused in a modular and context independent way such as:

•  Core components

•  Content and Experience fragments

AEM’s multi-site offering delivers content efficiencies by supporting common scenarios such as multi-national and national companies, where the bulk of the content may need to be managed centrally but with individual markets or branches having differing levels of authority to make local changes. This provides greater relevancy and compliance while maintaining brand identity and messaging.

Most companies would agree that personalisation is crucial to their success but less than a third feel that they have the platform and services to deliver the level of personalisation required. The increasing opportunities offered by AI are leading most companies to experiment with AI, but few are at the age of maturity where they can apply this at scale.

Sensei, Adobe’s AI and ML framework is helping to tackle the Data and Analytical challenges to scaling by automating and improving the merging and de-duplication of customer data and improving the accuracy of the customer profile in real-time.

With so many data tools and platforms available today, it’s often hard to understand what each does, and more importantly, which data tools and platforms marketers need to include in their tech stack. After all, you want to invest in a tech stack that solves your omnichannel challenges, whether you want to align fragmented data and collapse silos or enhance your ability to understand and manage all your customer data for a clear, single customer view. You also want to keep it simple.

What is The Adobe Digital Foundation package?

The event concluded with us sharing our rapid delivery approach, to get new clients live on the Adobe platform within just 12 weeks.

• Offering a packaged set of features for a competitive fixed price, including:

• Content authoring, management and delivery

• Audience profiling and segmentation

• Analytics and data management

• Personalisation tools & capabilities

• AI enhanced functionality

• Responsive, accessible and SEO friendly templates

• Secure and scalable infrastructure

The package quickly and affordably provides the key foundations you need to exploit the long-term benefits of Adobe.

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