Digital Marketing

The technology to kickstart digital transformation for your SMB

Anthony van de Veen
Anthony van de Veen
Director Transformation & Global head of Adobe Practice & CoE

For companies big and small, digital transformation is placed firmly on everyone’s agenda this year. With Adobe again being the leader in the Gartner DXP quadrant, and their new proposition Digital Foundation now available, the SMB shortlist for affordable marketing technology vendors just got longer. Digital Foundation bundles Adobe’s high-end solutions to enable SMBs to create personalized digital customer experiences quickly and efficiently as a SAAS solution. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at Digital Foundation and see how it fits in the overall field of marketing technology.

In response to Covid-19, companies worldwide sped up their adoption of digital technologies considerably. According to a McKinsey study, companies accelerated the digitisation of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years. Additional research by the SMB group found that the top three priorities for SMBs are adding “no-touch” payments, creating virtual service offering and increasing the use of digital channels. The common denominator? Improving the customer experience. 

People buy experiences

Essential for making the shift to digital successfully, is the ability to create relevant and meaningful digital customer experiences. Because in the end, people buy experiences, not products. The impact of experience on business becomes clear when you consider that according to research done by Forrester, experiences lead to 1.6x customer lifetime value and 1.7x customer satisfaction rates. 
For larger companies, improving customer experiences has been given top priority for some time now. But for most SMB companies, the unforeseen need for digital transformation came rather unexpectedly due to Covid-19. Especially for those who hadn’t orientated themselves before on marketing technology, digitalization comes with new, big challenges.

SMB challenges to creating digital experiences

Besides the usual budget and time restraints that every organisation has, SMBs face challenges typical for their small size regarding digital marketing. In Dept’s daily practice of helping SMBs with creating and improving their digital experiences, we see the following three challenges stand out: 

Understanding the customer

The success of any business is determined by the extent to which customer needs are met. Insights into customer behaviour and motivation are crucial for this. That’s why most companies focus on turning customer data into actionable insights. However, much of that data is enclosed in separate silos inside or outside the company.

Connecting the customer

While customer expectations keep rising due to expectation transfer – the personalized and spot-on interactions with one brand sets the bar for all other brands – so do the efforts needed to create and manage those experiences. SMBs face an ever-growing stream of digital touchpoints that fragment the customer journey. 

Optimizing marketing

Setting up an experience machine is only the beginning. Staying ahead in the game calls for the ability to optimize and further personalize experiences. Often, analysis and optimization are too complex and the needed talent is difficult to find. Closing the gap between the old and the new digital generation of marketers is one of the biggest challenges facing SMBs.

The big choice

CMOs tasked with bringing their digital marketing up to level, find themselves with the key question: best-of-suite or best-of-breed? Often, for SMBs, a suite solution provides a better fit due to organisational restraints and the needed faster time-to-market. Additionally, due to those same demands, SMBs find themselves orientating on cloud solutions that come with much-needed perks: high availability, scalable, always up-to-date and secure. There are many solutions in the category of best-of-suite cloud solutions already that CMOs can choose from. And now, with the arrival of Digital Foundation by Adobe, a new high-end cloud solution becomes available. So what does Adobe has to add to an already crowded market?

Adobe for SMB

Over the last decade, Adobe has developed itself into a leading solution provider covering e-commerce and digital marketing delivered via cloud. If you are looking into one-stop shop solutions for bringing your customer experiences to the next level – highly personalised and seamlessly across all the touchpoints – you have most likely heard of Adobe. It’s placed in the top right corner for leaders in both The Forrester Wave and Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms
As a high-end full marketing suite solution with the goal to realise first-class customer experiences, Adobe carries a corresponding price tag that has put Adobe primarily within reach of enterprise businesses. Now, under the brand Digital Foundation, Adobe bundles four of its core products as a SaaS solution specifically for SMB companies for a matching price: Adobe Target, Experience Manager Site CMS, Adobe Analytics and Premier support.

The suite is aimed for companies with between 100 and 1000 employees and a turnover between €50 and €1000 million. By offering Digital Foundation solely via cloud, the performance delivered is secure, resilient and easily scalable. The cloud deployment will also help lower TCO and operating costs, which put SMB in direct league with larger organizations that can readily employ more IT staff.

On the other hand, using Adobe products can be a little tricky for new users given its many features. For a novice user, the configuring part can be challenging, making learning and training a requirement. Getting up to speed may take a long time for non-technical users, so guidance from a specialized Adobe partner such as Dept is advisable. 

Creating the experiences that customers seek

With the right implementation partner to set up the technology, a typical full go-live is reachable after 4 to 10 weeks, depending on the complexity of the website. Adobe sees clients fully running with analytics and personalization in place within 90 days. This fast get-to-market helps to accelerate the first time to value.

The demands of customers in terms of addressing them on digital channels have increased, says Florian Hermann, Head of Medium-Sized Enterprises, Central Europe at Adobe. “The very first contact a customer has with a company or a brand decides whether it will be possible to make it successful. From the start, the customer experience has to be personal, relevant and consistent. Successful SMBs will only be able to extend their current success in the future if they can create those experiences that their customers seek and expect. That’s why it’s so crucial for SMBs now to advance their digital maturity.” 

Digital transformation is booming

The acceleration of digitalization is not expected to slow down. Consumers introduced to the ease of e-commerce and digital interaction with brands are highly likely to keep buying and interacting digitally, as McKinsey reports.

For SMBs, digital transformation is likely to come with a growth in competition. Bringing your business online is not enough for thriving, you’ll need to outrun and outclass your competitors. This is where choosing the right technology to create personalized digital experiences makes the difference. It’s advisable to make a thorough comparison of the available Digital Experience content platforms as an SMB business. 

In the coming years, the CMS market is expected to shift considerably. The ability to create and continuously improve those personalized and rich customer experience that customers expect and crave, is what will set leading companies apart. With Adobe becoming accessible for SMBs, you can have access to an industry leader for a competitive price.

Insights

Questions?

Anthony van de Veen

Director Transformation & Global head of Adobe Practice & CoE

Anthony van de Veen

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