The Digital Marketing Architect

Sharing my experience as an Adobe consultant

Unless you have been living in a cave, you must have heard the term Generative AI, or GenAI for short, recently. The best example is ChatGPT, which has taken the world by storm. Adobe, on its side, has also been working on this technology and it is now available in some tools. I have to admit that it has taken me some time to start playing with it, as my main project has eaten all my time. However, I have finally started digging into it. I am far from an expert, but I wanted to share with you what I have learned and my point of view on where I think it should go to.


Most digital marketing initiatives involve one or more of the following channels: email, SMS, push notifications, mobile app, or web. I would call them traditional channels, as they are what we are most used to. It is no coincidence that Adobe Experience Cloud tools cater mainly to them. However, there are other channels that, while more niche or less popular, should also be explored. There may be opportunities in them that you may have not thought about.


First post of 2024! Throughout my career at Adobe, I have seen from time to time a conflict between the two potential approaches when implementing a new technology: base it on use cases or base it on capabilities. I have a very hard time when I have to face this discussion with my customers, as I understand both sides and see the benefits of both approaches. However, the choice will have a deep impact on the future usage of the tool.


31 Dec 2023

2023 Restrospective

Here we are again, at the end of another year. I remember a conversation with my grandmother many years ago, where she told me that, for her, the days just flew. As I grow old, I am beginning to feel the same. Just looking at this blog, I started it almost 9 years ago, with my first post in February 2015. A lot has happened since then, but today I will only cover the events of 2023.


Today’s post is going to be a short one. Adobe Journey Optimizer (AJO) has a very useful feature called test mode. This allows you to perform a dry run on a journey before publishing it. It will only use profiles that are marked for this test.


26 Nov 2023

Incrementality

Ever since I had my first statistics lesson in high school, I have hated the subject. All I can really understand is that each side of an unloaded dice has a probability of 1/6. Other, more complex concepts like stochastic processes are just black magic to me. Unfortunately for me, there is one area of digital marketing that requires a good knowledge of statistics: the measure of incrementality. I do not claim to be an expert, but I more or less understand the important concept behind it. I will do my best to explain it in this post, although this is more for me to keep track of something I have learned.


One of the reasons why some people start a blog is to document what they have recently learned. In my case, I have mainly written about things that I feel confident enough about. Today is going to be different, I will write about something I have recently come across: how Adobe Journey Optimizer (AJO) manages consent. In general, most people will never need to dive into it, as it is a bit internal to AJO, but I am in a project where I have to manipulate profiles’ consent. This post will be an introduction to this topic, where I will document what I learned so far.


22 Oct 2023

Target Transparency

The design that I am going to explain today came as a request from a customer a few years ago. The problem statement was very interesting, something that probably should have a better solution; designing the architecture was fun. It is one of those cases where you have to put your Multi-Solution Architect hat on and use your knowledge to combine the Adobe tools in a way that, probably, nobody had thought before.


08 Oct 2023

Content Supply Chain

I first heard about Content Supply Chain (CSC) as we were approaching Adobe Summit 2023. For some reason, it did not feel to me as something revolutionary. It was rather a concept that made a lot of sense, and that had already existed before, but nobody had given it a catchy name. And we all know that humans love naming things. If you have never heard of this concept, this post is for you.


24 Sep 2023

Of data and content

Since I became a multi-solution architect back in 2016, people around me kept on talking about the two distinct areas in digital marketing, almost adversaries: data and content. In their view, there should be two types of architects, one for data and another for content. I always said that I was against this differentiation and that an architect should work across both. However, I was alone in this quest, and, to this day, this wall still exists.


In the marketing automation space, Adobe currently has three offerings: Adobe Journey Optimizer (AJO), Adobe Campaign Classic (ACC), and Marketo. If you are wondering why so many options or what the difference between them is, you are not alone. This is a typical criticism that some customers give. However, when you understand them, you realize that they make a lot of sense and each one has its own space. Sure, there are overlaps, but there are also important differences. My hope with this post is to help you navigate these options and help you choose the best one for you.


One of the probably least understood tools that come with the Adobe Experience Platform (AEP) is Offer Decisioning Engine (ODE). It is currently bundled with Adobe Journey Optimizer (AJO), although I personally consider it a completely independent tool. I have used it in a couple of projects and, in the last one, we have configured it to do some cool stuff. While conceptually simple, it has so much flexibility that it is difficult to understand it in full. This post is just an introduction to help you understand it.


I have explained a few times that the main purpose of the Adobe Experience Platform (AEP) is to create segments. With AEP’s promise to be a real-time engine, it makes sense that segment evaluation is also real-time. In other words, as soon as a profile matches a segment definition, it qualifies for it and it is sent to the destination for activation. However, there are some nuances that you need to be aware of before you start creating segments.


23 Jul 2023

Loyalty Data

Digital marketing requires enough customer data to be able to segment your customer base and run personalized campaigns. Quite often I find clients who tell me that they have very little data from their customers, leaving them mainly with anonymous behavioral data. In some cases, there is a fairly easy solution: a loyalty program. Let me explain the benefits you get beyond the “loyalty” part.


09 Jul 2023

Discovery & Insights

Having lots of data in a data lake sitting idle is a waste of resources. If you store data, it is because you want to take advantage of it. If you have no use for some data, you should, at the very least, archive it, if not completely delete it. Let’s see a few options of what you can do with your Data Lake.


18 Jun 2023

Feed The Beast

You should understand by now the Real-Time Customer Profile and the Data Lake. However, these building blocks need data, a lot of data, to operate. Just to give you an example, I am currently working on an implementation that will host more than 150 million profiles. And this is not the biggest that we have seen in our customers. This why I call this post “Feed the beast”.


04 Jun 2023

Why, What, How

You probably remember when you were in primary or secondary school and you were taught about the five Ws: who, what, when, where, and why. Some people will also add how, me being one of them. It is very handy that, in English, these words start with WH, making them easy to remember. When you learned them, they were just boring language constructs you had to learn. However, over the years I have realized that they are much more important than just that. It helps a lot to ask these questions in everything in life, but today I will focus on digital marketing.


21 May 2023

The Data Lake

Any system that stores a decent amount of data ends up needing a data lake. The Adobe Experience Platform (AEP) is no exception and there is surely one, which will be today’s topic. I want to particularly focus on the misconceptions, with the hope that you understand this building block and know how to use it.


At the heart of the customer engagement area of the Adobe Experience Platform (AEP), we have the Real-Time Customer Profile (RTCP). This building block is where you find capabilities like the profile store, the identity store and the various segmentation engines.


23 Apr 2023

AEP Under the Hood

During the session I delivered during the 2023 Summit, I condensed a lot of information into just 30 minutes. Some of it I already knew, but there were other concepts that I had to learn. Some people like to follow a video so, if you are one of those, here you have the recording of my session: See Under the Hood of Adobe Experience Platform - S401. However, if you are like me and instead prefer to read, when it comes to learning new content, this post is for you. It will be the first of a series of posts where I am going to document what I explained during this session.