And judging by this morning’s coffee lines, last night was rough for quite a few Summiteers. And not so rough for others, judging by how packed the gym was also. *coughs smugly* But! Late start or not, there’s a general session to attend and Day Two brings some BIG names to the Summit stage.
That would be the one and only Ann Lewnes, CMO of Adobe and one of our very favorite people. Yes, we geek out on her every year, but she’s just so smart and funny and genuine, how can we not? So of course, we were very excited to see her open the Day Two General Session. And as usual, she did not disappoint, even getting choked up as she told us how rare and powerful it is that her multigenerational team of right and left brainers collaborate to create, mix and model the most inspiring marketing for their customers. “You need the right people to make a transformation successful," she said, and we nodded silently in agreement while fishing in our pockets for tissues to discreetly dab our own eyes.
Next up, we watched a tearjerker of a commercial for the Xbox adaptive controller, which was designed primarily to meet the needs of gamers with limited mobility. It’s a good thing we still had those tissues from the previous presentation. At the commercial’s end, we welcomed back Shantanu Narayen to the stage, this time joined by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. This inspiring conversation focused around the Open Data Initiative (ODI)—a jointly developed vision by Adobe, Microsoft, and SAP. We were treated to a walkthrough of how Unilever is using ODI to eliminate data silos and deliver new experiences that put customers at the center. Fun fact: We learned that Unilever has pledged that 100% of their plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Sustainability for the win!
Celebrities—they’re just like us! Except when they are a multi-hyphenate Oscar-winner-actor-producer-director-startup-founder-fashion-maven-equality-advocate-parent-wife-etc-etc like REESE WITHERSPOON. Then they are not at all like us, but Reese’s realness and down-to-earthness in her conversation with Ann Lewnes had us wishing she would be our friend and just come over for pizza and wine. Reese talked about her media brand, Hello Sunshine, that’s anchored in storytelling, creating and discovering content that celebrates women and puts them at the center of the story. She said that women are “…standing together in ways we’ve never been able to before to tell each other’s stories. Because we didn’t have platforms to tell them." She also talked about her love of data, the use of social media as a marketing tool and a medium for obtaining feedback beyond the box office, and applauded streaming services as a way to create a more equal field than the movies. It was a truly inspiring talk that proved that she’s more than just a box-office superstar, she’s a smart, tech-savvy businesswoman that is passionate about affecting change for women in the media and beyond. What, like it’s hard?
Oh, it’s only Super Bowl-winning quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans’ Saints. No big deal. He’s only got the most passing yards in the NFL, he’s a future Hall of Famer and he has been a transformational force for the city of New Orleans, using his foundation to help with Hurricane Katrina efforts and using funds to help rebuild facilities for children’s educational and recreational facilities that had been obliterated by the hurricane. We were equally starstruck by his interviewer, Fox Sports reporter Pam Oliver, who is a trailblazer in her own right as one of the first women on the sidelines in sports reporting and has covered eight Super Bowls. Though the majority of the conversation focused on football and philanthropy, Drew gave us some insight into how he uses data to improve his performance on the field. The ability to access stats of any game he ever played or any play he ever ran makes his preparation more efficient than ever. Drew’s tip for success? “Always operate as though you have something to prove”. We’re writing that one down.
We’re back at the FQ Lounge—the home of equality at Adobe Summit—to check out a couple more inspiring panel conversations. First on the agenda is “Inclusivity - The Biggest Business Imperative” moderated by Shelley Zalis, the FQ Founder and CEO, and featuring Kavita Vazirani, Executive Vice President, Strategic Insights and Analytics, NBCUniversal; Katie Juran, Senior Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Adobe; and Jennifer Cochrane, Head of Technology, Deloitte Consulting Australia. In front of a packed house, the women shared their thoughts on how we can create a more inclusive culture for everyone, regardless of our role in an organization. Katie told us, “Empathy is huge when it comes to inclusion. We have to relate to the experiences others may have had in life. Being willing to have empathy to make things better takes courage.” We’ve been hearing a lot about empathy today, both on the main stage and in the FQ Lounge, so we’re going to try to work on this.
Our next panel, entitled “Future Frontiers of Technology” featured Rogério Karp, Associate Partner, BTG Pactual; Denise Colella, SVP, Advanced Advertising Products and Strategy, NBCUniversal; and Dennis Startsev, Principal and Digital Marketing Leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP. Dennis, Denise and Rogério talked candidly about where they believe innovation will take us next, and the ways we can inspire young girls and women to consider careers in STEM as viable, attainable, and actionable. Dennis shared that one of the big challenges we face is women in STEM are seen as exceptions. “There isn’t a social culture that tells girls it’s a career path they can choose,” he said. “We need to demonstrate that it’s a normal career choice and they won’t feel like an outsider.” He’s got a 17-year-old daughter, so we know he’s had this conversation before!
Or re-imagine them, if you will. Today’s speaking session with Adobe is “Re-imagine Government: Integrated Digital Experiences That Put People First”. Our very own Naveen Kumar and Duncan Gilliam teamed up with Adobe to talk about how the Deloitte Digital Forms Foundry, built on AEM Forms, helped the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) streamline several critical business processes within a short time frame. Forms Foundry helps government agencies transform citizen interactions, improves access to vital public services, and streamlines data collection by turning legacy paper forms into ADA compliant, device independent, adaptive forms. It has helped CDPH provide an enhanced digital experience for their most critical interactions with California’s health care providers, which is a huge step forward for customer experiences in health and government.
Do you even KNOW us? Talking is what we do best, especially when it’s about technology, human experience, and there’s drinks involved. That’s why we were extra excited for our second consecutive year hosting Bar Talks, a series of happy-hour chats in our booth covering everything near and dear to us, from our ExperienceMix solution to purpose-driven marketing. One of our talks featured Shelley Zalis from the FQ interviewing Ann Lewnes, CMO of Adobe and Barbara Venneman, Principal and Global Adobe Alliance Leader with Deloitte Digital. ANN WAS IN OUR BOOTH YOU GUYS. :: breathes :: Anyway, when we recovered from seeing her mere INCHES away, we were riveted by the dynamic conversation about how customers today want to support brands that align with their values. They also shared the risks and rewards that come from purpose-driven marketing.
Sneaks are one of our favorite parts of Summit, because we get an exciting and entertaining look into the future of Adobe innovation. In its eighth year, Sneaks gives Adobe engineers, researchers, product managers and UX designers the opportunity to submit proposals for a chance to present their work at Adobe Summit. Audience favorites have the potential to become product offerings, which is super cool. This year, Sneaks was hosted by actress Mindy Kaling, of “The Office” and “The Mindy Project”, two super hilarious shows that we binge on the reg. Let’s break down what we got the sneak previews of this year, and see what we, the ultimate arbiters of all things technology, think about them.
- Accelerated AR Experiences: Imagine an airport where a customer has an hour to wait for a connecting flight. The airline mobile app is equipped with an augmented reality (AR) feature, which shows “AR zones” on an interactive terminal map. The customer can walk up to a bookstore and see custom promotional offers as AR objects, which can then be instantly redeemed through a digital wallet. Given the time we spend in airports, we could see this as being super dangerous on the wallet.
- Future Gazing for Marketers: Adobe is presenting new technology that applies Adobe Sensei’s deep learning capabilities to predict future actions. By analyzing past data and patterns around known user behaviors, the system will infer the actions that customers are most likely to take next. In the subscription service example, it will empower the brand to not only see users that are most likely to leave the service, it will also suggest a set of actions that has the best chance of changing their minds. We find this interesting, in a creepy kind of way.
- Car Ownership Re-Imagined: When cars are taken in for maintenance, consumers have minimal control in the interaction. With little data to draw from, recommendations on repairs and upkeep are largely taken at face value. Adobe is showcasing a new consumer app that showcases automotive data points from battery performance to engine health. It allows users to be more proactive, getting real-time recommendations on maintenance needs. This is amazing and needs to happen like, yesterday. We are tired of going to the mechanic and being shamed for not knowing how a catalytic converter works, or even really what it IS.
- Transforming Documents with AI and Voice: Adobe is unveiling a new project that will change the way consumers interact with documents like vendor contracts and academic papers, leveraging text recognition AI and voice control capabilities. Users would be able to talk to their documents and quickly surface relevant information. For instance, a marketing director reviewing an agency contract can ask “how is the price different from what we paid last year?” and instantly get the details. This one could be a game changer because reading through huge documents to find the relevant info is a massive waste of time.
- An Asset Search Engine for the Enterprise: Adobe is making it easier for brands to sort through their graphic and image library using image recognition. With AI in Adobe Sensei and natural language capabilities can enable brands to speak with their asset library and quickly surface what they are looking for. For instance, a marketing manager working on a travel campaign can say “find me images with a palm tree and ocean in the background” and instantly pull up all the relevant brand-approved graphics. Dear Adobe, please make this a reality immediately, thank you.
To be honest, you kind of feel like a soldier if you make it through Day Two. But we aren’t done yet, because we’re ending the evening at Summit Bash, featuring The Killers - Las Vegas’s very own rock superstars. We are taping up our blistered feet and slipping on the comfy shoes to dance the night away at T-Mobile Arena (this has been an unusually dance-heavy Tuesday-Wednesday, real life is sadly different) and celebrate the last evening of Summit. We’ve still got a full day tomorrow and we’ll be singing “Jealousyyyyyyyyyy, turning saints into the seaaaaaaaaa…” on repeat all day tomorrow much to the utter dismay of everyone we come in contact with. WORTH IT.
Closing the curtains on Day Two! We will be back tomorrow for a wrap-up of Adobe Summit, and in the meantime, leave you with this video...