Five Key Take-Outs: Maximising ROI from Adobe Campaign

On Tuesday 20th February, Celerity hosted an event for Adobe Campaign users exploring ways to maximise return on investment from the platform.

Here are our top five take-outs:

1. “Prepare your data well in advance of implementation”

This one came from Shauna Mullins & Laura Rowe at Skipton Building Society. They successfully implemented the Adobe Campaign platform just over four years ago and have benefitted from some impressive results; increasing campaign output by over 1000% and increasing incremental ROI by 300%.

This doesn’t mean everything went swimmingly. Sharing their ‘Implementation Do’s & Don’ts’, they highlighted the need for brands to get their data in order BEFORE they undertake the implementation of a new platform like Adobe Campaign. They shared this advice after it took a large amount of unforeseen time and effort to organise their data, which ultimately held up the project and delayed the go-live. If they could go back in time, they would have started the process much sooner, so the data strategy was clear and the sources were ready to roll into the new solution.

2. “Re-use wherever possible”

This theme came from Dirk Wybe de Jong at Celerity. Dirk drew on his personal experience from hundreds of Adobe Campaign implementation and optimisation projects across the globe – saying one of his top tips for maximising ROI from the platform comes from a template and repeat approach.

This is particularly relevant for global brands with local marketing teams, businesses with multiple brands and those with distributed models. The idea is that much of the implementation can be templated and lifted across brands / teams / markets for a shorter and faster roll-out. He advised that when assessing how much to template versus how much to customise; you wouldn’t go wrong taking the 80:20 approach – 80% template and 20% for customisation.

Looking at an example from a global automotive brand, Dirk talked through how Celerity has created a ‘master’ set-up within the Adobe Campaign platform; with a single data model, a unified security and data exchange process, and a bank of templates and channels ready to go. This means that changes can be made to the master set-up and rolled out easily for different geos across the globe. It also meant the brand could reduce average implementation time from 150 days to just 50; generating significant financial and operational efficiencies.

Don’t think the “end” of the project is actually the end”

This theme came out not only from our guest speakers, namely Laura and Shauna at Skipton and Rob McLaughlin at Sky, but also from our attendees. Our team spoke to a number of guests who admitted they had found themselves with a shiny new platform but a relatively limited understanding of where to take it post-implementation.

From the start of the project, you need to be thinking about change management. How are you going to ensure a successful launch of this new technology? How will you ensure adoption? How will you get people enabled as quickly and efficiently as possible? Internal PR and team training is obviously key – but this is often overlooked until the end of the implementation project is near.

Even when you successfully launch the new platform and get everyone trained and excited – what’s next?

It was clear from the conversations we were having that clients are struggling with their next move. Adobe Campaign is often put at the heart of a brand’s marketing technology stack, and thus at their heart of their marketing strategy. But with so many possible next steps, so much powerful capability, how do they know exactly where to start?

Using an example from the William Hill case study, where Celerity has worked with the Gaming company to operationalise the platform, the simplest answer is to always look for highest impact for the lowest effort. Find the quick gains so you can show fast ROI – early value is always better than late value!

4. “Keep an eye on IP Reputation & Deliverability”

This tip was shared with our audience by Guy Hanson at Return Path – the deliverability experts. Plus, we couldn’t talk about ROI without looking at deliverability. You could put thousands of hours into a successful technology roll-out and campaign strategy; but if your emails aren’t getting into your customers’ inboxes then some of your efforts are likely wasted.

Sharing insights from their latest 2017 Deliverability Benchmark Report, Guy told us that the average deliverability rate in the UK was 84%.

It was pretty shocking to learn that an average of 16 out of every 100 emails don’t even make it to the customer’s inbox – let alone get opened, clicked, and acted upon!

So when looking at ROI, marketers must consider, and keep an eye on, their reputation as a sender. Return Path offers their customers a certification programme and the ability to assess their own ‘sender score’ – which is strongly correlated to deliverability.

When it comes to improving your score, Guy had some insights for this too. You may be surprised to hear it is not all ‘opens & clicks’. For example, forwarded emails have been seen to dramatically improve how trustworthy the mailbox providers view your emails. Guy shared an example from Virgin Atlantic, sent to customers on a Blue Monday suggesting they turn it into a Red Monday with their Virgin deals. The campaign benefitted from a significant amount of forwards, which lead to a 45 x increase in engagement against their benchmark.

He also told the audience how mailbox providers favour emails which are recovered from junk and marked as not spam. Clearly difficult to achieve, but Whitbread’s Costa saw 2.7 x increases against their benchmark through this action.

5. “Vanilla is wrong all the time”

This take-out was my personal favourite.

Rob Mclaughlin used the analogy of meeting Cian; one of our team, who he has known for over a year, been to events with, shared meetings with, and had a few late nights at Adobe parties with. He asked the audience to imagine him seeing Cian, knowing quite a bit about him, and introducing himself as if he had never met him before. He rightly highlighted how weird that would be, how awkward and impersonal. But, he said, that is how Sky was acting before they took a proper data-driven approach:

“As Sky, we know what sports you like, what films and television shows you’ve seen, if you have our broadband or mobile packages – but we used to treat you as if we knew none of this”

Rob has personally been at the forefront of a comprehensive, multifaceted strategy to unlock the value of Sky data and drive truly omni-channel personalisation across their businesses. The Adobe Marketing Cloud is fundamental to this strategy, with the unique Marketing Cloud ID being used as the single point of identification of Sky customers. He also argued that is fundamental that a business takes responsibility for their own single point of data truth – not to rely on a partner – but to take proper responsibility as a company and maintain this truth through strict governance.

In doing so, Rob has overseen some incredible advancements across the Sky UK businesses. For example, they now share customer segmentation insights with the call centre to improve the experience – identifying and prioritising their most interactive, high-value and multi-digital customers.

They are also now utilising omni-channel data and machine learning to deliver personalisation at scale. Their current programme delivers over 400,000 personalisation decisions per day across Sky’s mobile app, Sky Q box and the Website. Even more impressive, the potential of their new platform is to make over 200m personalisation decisions per day. This means they can start to deliver true 1:1 experiences and prove vanilla is wrong all the time.

Missed the event?

Our guests heard from great speakers at Sky, Skipton Building Society and Return Path, along with two presenters from the Celerity team with a William Hill case study. If you would like to join us for future events, please sign up using the form on the right and we’ll let you know about upcoming events you may be interested in.