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The following news articles are geared toward students and other professionals.
Adobe Earns Top Investor Relations Accolades Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 20:29

Institutional Investor Magazine unveiled its 2018 All-America Executive Team annual rankings for investor relations in early November, based on responses from 4,000 investment professionals representing 1,200 firms. Buy-side analysts, money managers and sell-side researchers at securities firms and financial institutions voted to determine America’s top CEOs, CFOs, investor relations professionals and teams across 45 industries.

Adobe was prominently featured in the Software group, earning top 3 rankings for investor relations efforts in every category: Best CEO (Shantanu Narayen), Best CFO (Mark Garrett), Best IR Professional (Mike Saviage), Best Investor Relations Program and Best Analyst Day.

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Full support for SketchUp 2018 in V-Ray 3.6 for SketchUp Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 16:13
Powerful GPU and new hybrid rendering hit SketchUp Add a comment
New Campaign Tackles What It Means to Become an Experience Business Print E-mail
Monday, 13 November 2017 14:00

Brands large and small are feeling big changes in business right now—consumers aren’t just driven by a quality product, they’re looking for a great experience. But as “experience” reaches buzzword-status among business leaders, it’s easy to miss what it really means. That’s what our new campaign aims to address.

“Most customers tell us that they get the concepts behind experiences, but they want to know how other people are doing it. They’re wondering how to get started. That’s where we want to help,” said John Watton, senior director of Adobe Campaign Marketing and one of the creators behind the campaign.

This Is Not An Ad

We’ll grab attention initially through a series of provocative ads that will remind readers that brands must think about much more than the product itself. One ad, for example, will show a visual of a running shoe with copy that says, “This is not a shoe. This is an experience.” 

From there, we’ll tell practical stories on Adobe.com, at events, in articles, and other channels about how specific companies are working to create personalized, relevant, amazing experiences for their customers at every touchpoint. The campaign is unique as it’s made for customers, about customers, with customers. It will feature great brands such as Caesar’s Entertainment, Sydney Opera House, Carnival Cruises, Franke Group, Holland America Line, Pandora, Princess Cruise Lines, UBS and T-Mobile.

“Every company is focused on building great experiences for their customers,” explains Joel Giullian, director Adobe Advertising and Production. “Some are further along the road to being an Experience Business than others. But one thing is common: hearing examples from your peers (and competitors), gets you even more inspired to rethink and reimagine everything you do.”

What Does 100 Percent Programmatic Have to Do with It?

The advertising element of the campaign is an industry first, as we will manage the entire cross-media buy (including video, TV, digital out of home and even audio) through Adobe Advertising Cloud, an automated solution for planning, buying and optimizing media across screens. It’s our own exploration, which we’ll share along the way, of how to reach customers in the right place with the right message.

“Running the campaign through a programmatic media buy is actually a great example of thinking of ‘experience’ at every touchpoint,” explains John. “Programmatic media not only helps us to reach the right people with the right message at the right time, but also helps us avoid bombarding our audience or bombarding people outside of our audience. When done right, it improves the customer’s overall experience with our brand.”

During the campaign, we’ll share our own best and worst experiences with programmatic ad buying. It’s part of the bigger project—figuring out what’s next, together.

“We’ve made this into a living, breathing campaign,” says John. “We’re telling our customers’ stories, and we’ll share our own journey over the next year. We’re becoming our own case study.”

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Lars Lerup — Rice School of Architecture Print E-mail
Monday, 13 November 2017 03:48
How can we stop architecture from being boring? Add a comment
University of Michigan Takes Top Prize at Adobe Analytics Challenge Print E-mail
Friday, 10 November 2017 15:03

University of Michigan’s “Adjusted R Squared” team won the 2017 Adobe Analytics challenge.

One of the best parts of my job here at Adobe is that I have the honor of running the Adobe Analytics Challenge. It’s a unique competition where university students are asked to create business cases for a real-world organization. They’re given access to Adobe Analytics and real data—this year it was from MGM Resorts International – to make their case. I have a soft spot for this competition, having participated in it and won it back in 2009, while I was pursuing my MBA. Soon after, I joined Adobe and now I’m head of global product marketing for Adobe Analytics.

We just wrapped up our 2017 challenge, and competition was particularly tough, with nearly 80 colleges and over 1,500 entrants participating. The University of Michigan’s “Adjusted R Squared” team came out on top. Team members Rei Liao, Rajiv Khattar and Erica Kirshensteyn created a proposal with unique segmentation strategies, tactics to capture more international travelers, suggestions to curb “drop-off” in certain areas of the booking process, and improvements to the rewards program.

It was a tough job selecting one team – The pace at which all the students could pick up an enterprise-grade analytics tools, use advanced techniques like machine learning, and find answers (in data) to pressing business problems, was impressive. In a corporate climate where driving customer intelligence can decide winners and losers, all the students are primed for success.

Presentation Day 2017

Students used Adobe Analytics and data from MGM to build their proposals.

We were thrilled to have MGM Resorts International join us as our brand partner this year. With 23 destinations around the world and millions of guests coming through the door each year, this is a brand that engages with customers and knows how to provide compelling experiences on everything from the website and mobile app, to the hotel lobby.

Sylvester Obafunwa, director of web and digital analytics for MGM, attended the competition presentation day and was able to give students an opportunity to analyze real data from their digital properties, and to figure out how to enhance the guest experience to drive loyalty. He was joined by an esteemed judging panel including Ron Miller, enterprise reporter at TechCrunch; Laura Castro, consultant at Analytics Demystified; Adam Greco, partner at Analytics Demystified; and Hila Dahan, co-founder of 33 Sticks.

Our six finalist teams from NYU, BYU, BYU Idaho, Univ. of Michigan, Univ. of Utah and Univ. of Texas/Dallas had 20 minutes each to make their case and answer questions from the judges. The proposals spanned the gamut: some pitched enhancing M Life, the popular rewards program from MGM, while others looked at driving higher conversion and delivering better personalization to improve the bottom line. The presentations highlighted the importance of delivering a consistent and beautiful digital experience across every step of the customer journey, from booking to the hotel stay and amenities. Every solution that was proposed was underpinned by strong analysis, showing the importance of not only gathering customer insights, but prescribing action.

The key criteria in selecting a winner was the use of data in Adobe Analytics; whichever team found the best story in the numbers, and used those insights to drive their proposals would have the best chance of taking home the top prize.

Teams presented their business cases to a panel of judges.

Along with the $35,000 grand prize, it was nice to see the impact it had on the winners, all of whom are in the class of 2019 and going for their MBAs.

“Studying in the business school, we have many opportunities to solve the business cases at class, but rarely get the chance to engage and impact the business in the real world. It’s especially inspiring to see how Adobe uses data to empower clients to make better decisions,” Rei said.

Sylvester of MGM shared a few words as well, on the value of the competition from his perspective.

“Allowing students to utilize real-world data, apply their critical thinking and creativity of thought, and provide actionable recommendations to the business sponsor at no cost, was absolutely invaluable to MGM Resorts International,” he said. “The proposals spanned everything from analyzing the optimal user path, to identifying friction points hindering shopping behavior on a mobile device, to even addressing the complex concept of classifying user personas that are constantly changing based on the user’s journey. These were just a few items that I (MGM Resorts International) plan to address in our 2018 road map.”

Nurturing the Next Generation

When we began the challenge in 2005, the technology landscape was in a very different place. We’ve seen an explosion of devices, channels and technologies disrupting every industry, such as mobile, voice, IoT, machine learning and AI. Brands from all different industries now face the same challenge of engaging and connecting with customers on digital.

To address these challenges, companies need the right talent. Employees who have skills around data analysis and advanced computational methods such as AI and machine learning are in short supply. Even outside of data teams, everyone from marketers to operational specialists are expected to be more data-driven in their work. With the Adobe Analytics Challenge, we have the privilege of spreading a message to today’s college students that data is not intimidating, but something that drives the modern-day business world, and is a phenomenal path to great career options.

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Copyright © 2017. Robert Hewitt | Clemson University professor of Landscape Architecture.
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