Gerry Brown
Gerry Brown (CX Research Director)

David Duchovny, Jeff Goldblum and Kiefer Sutherland are all truly great screen actors. Not content with just being good actors, however, they will all perform as musicians with their bands in London in 2019. They all want to do something different (perform music), and be respected and appreciated for this talent, leveraging their existing acting brand presence to enter the music market.

So, what have these actors turned musicians got in common with Adobe? Well, Adobe is a great actor in the enterprise marketing applications world. Now Adobe wants to become something different — the customer experience management (CXM) champion for the enterprise.


Adobe’s New Experience Platform

The Adobe Summit in London on May 15–16 was billed as the Digital Experience Conference. Last year, the summit was billed as the Digital Marketing Conference and the headline acts were CMOs like Claire Cronin of Virgin Atlantic. This year, CMOs were conspicuous by their absence. illy CEO Massimiliano Pogliani and Unilever CIO Jane Moran were the headline acts. Marketing was downplayed, and enterprise IT and digital were up-played. But why is this?

The new Adobe Experience Platform is Adobe’s gambit to manage customer data enterprisewide, in a real-time CDP (customer data platform) kind of way. Adobe Experience Platform utilises Microsoft Azure as a data lake to deliver customer profiles fed by streaming data to enable real-time customer insights and the corresponding customer engagement actions.

The Adobe Experience Platform includes MDM, ETL and metadata management capabilities in a microservices-based architecture that pushes customer profile data to Adobe Experience Cloud solutions and to third-party apps such as Salesforce, Genesys and SAP applications in real time. The platform has in-built AI, analytics, apps delivery, and open APIs and “privacy by design” for “breakthrough experiences, integrated workflows and intelligence at scale”.


Learning from the Legends

Much as we might like David, Jeff and Kiefer, it is unlikely they will reach stardom in the music business. Loyal fans will follow them anyway, but for the rest of us, well, they are just not that interesting, different and perhaps capable as musicians. But one “actor turned musician” stands out. Hugh Jackman is currently performing a sell-out tour of Europe, including six consecutive nights at the 20,000-seat London O2 arena.

Hugh’s show is called “Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show.” Hugh’s step-up to music stardom was, of course, The Greatest Showman movie, which leveraged a world-class support cast and the immense movie production and distribution capability of 20th Century Fox. Similarly, Adobe will need the support of powerful friends in high places to make its Experience Platform dream happen.


Can Adobe Emulate The Greatest Showman in CX?

Adobe already has intimate strategic partnerships with Microsoft and SAP, and a new partnership with Software AG enables brands to move their customers’ enterprise data into the Adobe Experience Platform for a more complete view of the customer journey and personalisation at scale. In addition, Adobe has strong and well-established partnerships with leading systems integrators and management consultants such as Deloitte and Capgemini, which will be key to penetrating the office of the CIO with the Adobe Experience Platform value proposition.

So, can Adobe become “The Greatest Showman” for customer data and customer experience management? Enterprise IT and digital folk will need to buy into Adobe’s shift beyond marketing to a provider of enterprisewide platforms. Salesforce and other powerful competitors are not going to roll over easily. And the Adobe Experience Platform needs to scale and perform in practice as promised. Interesting times ahead.

If you want to learn more about CX or have any questions, please contact Gerry Brown or head over to and drop your details in the form on the top right.


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