The limiting factor to achieving personalized experiences at scale


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Sitting and watching the keynotes from Day One of the recent Adobe Summit, there were times when I must admit I felt a little overwhelmed by the number of announcements and new innovations that were on display.

That’s not to say that it wasn’t all very impressive.

It’s obvious that Adobe has been busy leveraging Generative AI’s capabilities and infusing them across its platform and product set with a clear eye focused on solving real business problems and delivering value by producing insights based on unified customer data, helping scale the production of personalised content, and boosting customer engagement through journey orchestration.

However, what was also clear was that central to achieving much of this is what Adobe calls a Content Supply Chain.

Now, producing and delivering content to support marketing campaigns and create personalized customer experiences at scale has always been a problem that enterprises have wrestled with. According to research, the time and cost of creating and iterating content are the two biggest challenges that enterprises must navigate if they are to succeed in this area. Add to that, for most organizations, their content supply chain is often a web of disconnected workflows, teams, and systems that often break down.

Adobe’s Content Supply Chain approach aims to tackle all of that by simplifying, automating where possible and accelerating the whole process across five key building blocks: Workflow and Planning, Creation and Production, Asset Management, Delivery and Activation and Insights and Reporting.

While this is a big and exciting idea and will undoubtedly help free up bottlenecks and challenges in the content production process, what struck me about all of the talk of personalisation at scale in the keynotes was that much of it was also dominated by talk of marketing campaigns.

Now, that may be because a large percentage of the core audience were marketers and martech people, and that itself is understandable.

But personalisation is not just about how you can sell more stuff to people through relevant, timely, and contextual campaigns. While more of this would be welcome, as opposed to some of the spray and pray tactics that we often see today, real personalisation takes a more holistic view and operates across the customer lifecycle.

So, at the end of Day One, I was left with questions about how all of this tied together and could be applied across the whole customer lifecycle.

Thankfully, that became clearer on the second day, particularly through the onstage discussion between Adobe’s Chair & CEO Shantanu Narayen and Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian and then also via the presentation of TSB’s CMO Emma Springham.

Bastian talked about how the Delta app, with its personalised content and focus on making travel less stressful, was central to their ability to deliver a welcoming, caring, and elevated experience across the customer lifecycle and at scale. I’ve flown Delta and have used their app a number of times and can attest to its quality and helpfulness.

Moreover, to give you an indication of the success of their app, Bastian said that 60% of Delta’s customers now book directly with them through the app, which Bastian says is a test of the trust they have built up with their customers and the experience they have been able to deliver. This has led to Delta becoming the fifth largest e-tailer in the US, behind AmazonAMZN +0.3%, AppleAAPL +0.8%, WalmartWMT -0.2%, and eBay.

Meanwhile, Springham told the audience that TSB Bank in the UK is the first financial service organisation in Europe to deploy the Adobe Experience Platform. In terms of how they are using the platform, she said, “We are moving to real-time solutions, which is allowing our customers to build their money confidence. This is enabling us to launch personalised customer content, which means we are able to deliver the right content at the right time to the right customers via their channel of choice.”

The money confidence reference was a nod to TSB’s award-winning Pink Elephant campaign, which aims to tackle financial taboos and get people talking about money and their concerns and anxieties surrounding it.

To give you an indication of the success of their approach, Springham said that when they turned on one-to-one personalisation for loans, sales in their mobile channel immediately rose by 300%.

However, they have gone further with their personalization efforts. In line with the FCA’s new Consumer Duty regulations, which came into force in July of last year, they have developed functionality to spot and help their customers manage any financial vulnerabilities, like gambling.

Both Delta’s and the TSB’s stories clearly show what can be accomplished and what a holistic and personalised experience can look like at scale. And it’s exciting to hear that they both have big plans for growing, extending, and developing their experiences.

But, considering these stories and the many others that I heard at the Adobe Summit, it’s becoming increasingly clear that technology is not the limiting factor in a brand’s experience ambitions.

Recent technological advancements enabled by generative AI, as well as the stitching together of foundational blocks like the content supply chain, mean that the promise of real and holistic personalisation at scale has never been easier to achieve.

The limiting factor is ourselves, our imagination, our creativity and our will to create the sort of personalisation that customers desire across their journeys and lifecycles. One that not only knows what we like but proactively nurtures our loyalty, helps us achieve our own objectives and respects our preferences in doing so.

Over to you, brands.

This article was originally published on

Image credit: Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


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