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Adobe Visitor Insights – How Adobe Used Its Experience Platform to Create Behavioral Signals

Adobe Visitor Insights takes behavioral data and turns it into real-time actions for its Digital Experience sales team. Read the whitepaper to learn how Adobe used it’s already-collected data and Experience Platform to create robust behavioral signals that have led to increased pipeline, new opportunities, and targeted conversations.

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Adobe Visitor Insights – How Adobe Used Its Experience Platform to Create Behavioral Signals

  1. 1. 1 Combining the Power of Adobe Analytics and Adobe Campaign to Create Robust Account Signaling for Inside Sales It started as an internal experiment; a hackathon to determine how Adobe could use already-collected data to benefit its internal sales teams. The experiment turned into an opportunity—not just for Adobe’s inside sales teams, but for any B2B organization that wants to identify and connect with prospects earlier in the sales cycle. This experiment is now a successful program: Adobe Visitor Insights (AVI). AVI identifies new, existing, and anonymous account visits to and alerts the sales team with information necessary to connect with the accounts in a way that’s relevant to their phase of the customer journey. Every B2B company faces challenges equipping its internal sales teams with the right tools and technology to personalize interactions with prospects and customers. With AVI, Adobe is using the Adobe Experience Platform, including Adobe Analytics and the Unified Customer Profile, to unlock sales opportunities via triggered emails. Its efforts demonstrate how other companies also can adopt data-driven marketing technologies and methodologies—often using tools and data already at their disposal— to advance their account-based marketing and sales process. Using the Power of Adobe’s Experience Platform to Create Robust Account Signaling for Inside Sales How Adobe’s internal email marketing program and use of the Adobe Experience Platform gave its sales team a jump start.
  2. 2. 2 Combining the Power of Adobe Analytics and Adobe Campaign to Create Robust Account Signaling for Inside Sales The business challenge: How to apply data to build relationships, accelerate sales cycles, and improve customer interactions. Adobe has millions of visits to its website each day, from visitors with a variety of interactions, behaviors, interests, and intent. Historically, a site visitor had to log in or fill out a form upon arrival, providing basic information later shared with the sales team. This step limited the data received by the sales team, only sending them information after a clear “hand-raise” behavior—an explicit interaction from an individual user, letting Adobe know they were ready to engage. Signals that occurred before the hand-raising activity were usually lost, including data tied to the visitor’s point of origin and interests, among other key points. Without this insight it was almost impossible to be proactive and, with that, effectively meet the needs of existing or potential customers—until those customers explicitly informed Adobe of their interests. “B2B transactions generally have a lengthy sales cycle, and B2B buyers conduct a lot of research, usually online, before they make an investment. They frequently visit vendor sites to gather more information before making contact,” explains Parthiv Sheth, senior director of marketing technology at Adobe. “To get early insight—even before an account tells us they’re ready for a conversation—it’s important to understand where they have been, what their point of view is, and where they are in the customer journey,” Parthiv says. This insight helps a sales team better understand the prospective buyer and how best to help them. “Without that ability, you’re essentially flying blind when you start a conversation,” he says. To gain a better understanding of early intent, Adobe dedicated a group to detecting account traffic on However, the group initially ran into difficulty when they tried to identify who most site visitors were as only 20 percent of site traffic could be linked back to an existing account. This was primarily caused by the fact that Adobe had previously relied on using only third-party data to detect accounts, Ashley Penn, group manager of account- based marketing and customer insights at Adobe explains. As a B2B company, this low identification rate was unacceptable, especially as Adobe worked in parallel to enhance its ability to create unique experiences for individuals and companies. In addition, the website behavior that was being collected wasn’t being funneled to the people who would benefit from it most: Adobe’s account development managers and inside sales team. “B2B transactions generally have a lengthy sales cycle, and B2B buyers conduct a lot of research, usually online, before they make an investment. They frequently visit vendor sites to gather more information before making contact” —Parthiv Sheth
  3. 3. 3 Combining the Power of Adobe Analytics and Adobe Campaign to Create Robust Account Signaling for Inside Sales To enhance the customer experience, Adobe needed to gather as much information as possible from its website: the account type, its customer journey stage, the account was in, behavioral signals, and more. “The lower detection rate was limiting us in our ability to personalize,” says Ashley of the technology. “In order to address the issue, the teams built out tools and matching algorithms that would allow us to enhance our first- party data. The tools also allowed us to join third-party data to our own data sets, which ultimately improved our ability to identify site visitors.” With these tools, Adobe now can pull more pieces of information together to more consistently identify website visitors—doubling the previous detection rate to over 40 percent. Now, for every five visitors, two can be identified and linked to their company. Although the rates have improved, Adobe consistently looks at other methods to improve detection rates. “We’re working towards leveraging the Adobe Experience Cloud Device Co-op and device graph to enhance the matching,” says Fred Kuu, group manager, Adobe MarTech. Hacking a solution: The birth of Adobe Visitor Insights Once the web detection rate improved, Adobe returned to the idea that the web-based behavior data contained a wealth of information, but it wasn’t being widely distributed throughout or used by the organization, says Becky Tasker, senior manager of account-based strategy and insights at Adobe. In a collaborative effort, the martech, marketing, analytics, products and services teams held a hackathon to answer the question of how to best use the data on hand. A winning idea emerged quickly through the team’s collective expertise, and Adobe Visitor Insights (AVI) was born. CRM: Experience System of Record Artificial Intelligence: Find patterns related to interest and signals Surge in interest Sizzle alert of targeted activity New leads Summary of actions for specific accounts Adobe Campaign: Email to sales specialist or ADM Adobe Analytics: Online Visitor Data Marketing Automates Delivery of Customer Insights to Sales “We’re working towards leveraging the Adobe Experience Cloud Device Co-op and device graph to enhance the matching” —Fred Kuu
  4. 4. 4 Combining the Power of Adobe Analytics and Adobe Campaign to Create Robust Account Signaling for Inside Sales AVI launched in September 2017 with 40 account development managers in North America. To sign up, the account development managers submitted a watch list of domains and accounts for which they’d receive web-based behavioral information. Once martech received the list, the team synced it with contact and account information from Adobe’s customer relationship management (CRM) system and uploaded it into Adobe’s internal email system. Whenever a known visitor with a recognizable cookie or email domain visits, the system recognizes them and gathers their interest, intent, and behavior. At the end of each day, Adobe sends an email to the account development manager based on the visitor’s behavior. The email contains a daily summary of activity for the accounts on their watchlist, including a list of web page visits related to Adobe’s own products, contact information for the individual, and an overview of activity at the account level. “AVI is meant to deliver relevant behavioral signals and intent at the account level to account development managers. The information empowers our internal sales teams to have access to early intent signals and to create a more targeted experience in the conversations they have with a prospect or account,” explains Becky. The triggered email also showcases Experience Data for contacts that are not currently listed in Adobe’s CRM. This empowers the account development and inside sales team to identify new contact opportunities that they can connect with. One of the most exciting features of AVI is enabling marketing groups to uncover and share new insights with their sales teams: • For example, a change in a visitor’s historical behavior or pattern may indicate an increase of interest, so an email can send to the sales team and alert them that the visitor has shown more interest than usual in an Adobe product. • Emails can also be sent that contain the most engaged accounts, which can assist with prioritization of outreach efforts. Scott Leslie, senior manager of enterprise marketing automation at Adobe, says AVI is all about realizing more value from the tools and information Adobe already has. “We want to empower our sales reps with our own tools and data to inform them and help them craft experiences, which can ultimately lead to more sales,” he says. “The availability of data, and the need to create experiences, is forcing us to think differently about the world of marketing in the sales process. Marketing’s job isn’t just to generate leads, but also to think about how we assist sales and go to market together. That’s the advantage of a customer insight function.” —Ashley Penn, Group Manager at Adobe
  5. 5. 5 Combining the Power of Adobe Analytics and Adobe Campaign to Create Robust Account Signaling for Inside Sales Moving from insights to action: The ultimate benefit of Adobe Visitor Insights. AVI is now being implemented with Adobe sales teams throughout North America. After positive feedback from internal users, the program eventually will expand to sales teams in other Adobe regions. While AVI is still in an early stage, several individuals are leveraging the tool and new users are signing up for the notification regularly. “Account development managers are engaging with customers six to eight weeks earlier than if the contact was not made until the visitor filled out a form. The result? Each rep gets a new opportunity per quarter,” George Sadler, senior director of enterprise marketing says. “That translates to a 15-percent increase in the yield of those sales teams each quarter.” Account development managers say that with AVI, they can better prioritize their efforts and can be more proactive, contacting the prospect relatively immediately—while the customer is thinking about Adobe— and initiating a conversation that is more meaningful. Already, sales teams are adding potential contacts into Adobe’s CRM system and say they are gaining a better understanding of what products customers are interested in. “The sales team is eager for even more information from AVI, including how long a visitor has stayed on a page, what product they were most interested in, and what country a prospect is in,” says Thomas Finet, solution architect for Adobe MarTech. As the program evolves, Adobe plans to enhance it with many of these capabilities, as well as new emails that contain additional information to help create the best experiences for prospects and customers. Building blocks for enhanced B2B account-based marketing. Although AVI was developed for Adobe’s internal use, the program exemplifies best practices B2B marketers can implement in their own organizations to drive account-based marketing, using many tools your company already may have. “Account-based marketing, or account-based experiences (as we call it), is about improving the customer experience with meaningful sales and marketing outreach that align to where the customer is in the buyer’s journey,” Ashley says. “This way, we can better provide them what they need, when they need it.” However, the real key is interpreting account behavior based on marketing impressions, George says. To do that, several critical actions must be taken: Using AVI, sales teams see a 15% increase in yield each quarter.
  6. 6. 6 Combining the Power of Adobe Analytics and Adobe Campaign to Create Robust Account Signaling for Inside Sales 1 Focus on account identification and your site’s taxonomy. First, identify the accounts coming to your website, and second, have a taxonomy of what’s on the web pages—the products, services, and business topics visitors are looking at and interested in. Adobe used machine learning to develop that taxonomy, first tagging by hand information from 1,000 web pages with the most traffic, then building a model and training the model on those pages, and finally scaling it to the site’s other 50,000 web pages. George explains the need for taxonomy on a web page, in an email, or any channel. “If I send emails to a client, that’s interesting. If I know they opened the emails, that’s also interesting, but not really actionable. But if I know that of the emails I sent them, these three were about product A and those four were about product B, and they opened the ones about product A, it’s actionable because I have it matched to a taxonomy.” 2 Give your sales team real-time insights. Beyond linking impressions to accounts and mapping them to products and services, then interpreting that data, marketers must have a way to inform sales of its insights in real time. Adobe was able to achieve this with its personalized AVI email alert. Instead of sending email to customers, the recipients are the internal account development managers. 3 Optimize the experience. Determine how to optimize your information. How will you deliver your information? If it’s by email, what triggers will you use to determine when to send it? What time of day or day of the week will sending the email help the sales team use the information most effectively? How do you visualize the data so it’s immediately actionable to the team? Just as marketing organizations craft marketing campaigns to build great experiences for customers that ultimately drive purchases, you can craft a program such as AVI and optimize it to create a great internal experience for your sales team—one that ultimately drives increased conversions and revenue for their company. While the tool is important, the process is even more so. Consider how to start implementing training and coaching to ensure the tools and processes to support your program are used collaboratively, and that the insights plug seamlessly into your sales team’s existing workflow. Additionally, reach out to your Adobe Account Manager to help think through your own organization’s needs. With AVI, Adobe is maximizing the engagement data it already has to better understand customers’ intent signals and their readiness to purchase. By surfacing prospects that are further along in the buyer journey, and who should be connected more quickly to a sales rep, you can provide the timely, personal interactions that will shorten your sales cycle and close deals. “Organizations that want to implement a visitor insights program can take simple steps to start. Provide a handful of inside sales reps with insights and give them a chance to test and learn it. Optimize and scale over time to demonstrate the impact of your marketing on sales activities and conversions.” —Ashley Penn, Group Manager at Adobe Find out how the Experience System of Record can help you drive more results. Visit to learn more.