Adobe symposium focuses on creating a customer-centric experience for brands

The Symposium Locknote featured actor Farhan Akhtar in an engaging conversation with Sunder Madakshira, Head-Marketing, Adobe India

by Srabana Lahiri
Published - Apr 27, 2018 11:44 AM Updated: Apr 27, 2018 11:44 AM

Creating a customer-centric experience – top marketers and digital leaders came together to decode various aspects of this fundamental method of transforming businesses at the Adobe Symposium 2018 in Mumbai on April 26. Innovations in digital marketing were showcased by several brands that have partnered Adobe even as the conference looked ahead and discussed the customer experience of the future. 
"We see a lot of hunger in the C-suite of the country. This is a hunger for fast yield and quality. It is clear that digital experiences have the power to change and transform businesses and the lives of every single Indian. Adobe can actually help deliver these great experiences at every stage of the journey," Kulmeet Bawa, Managing Director, India and South Asia, Adobe, said, highlighting the myriad possibilities in digital transformation of businesses and how Adobe is gearing up for them.
Bawa lauded the company’s high growth curve over 20 years of its presence in India, and said, “Some of the most amazing technology for Adobe has emerged out of our R&D centres in India.”
Brad Rencher, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Digital Experiences, Adobe, hit it off immediately with the Mumbai crowd as he took the stage in a Mumbai Indians tee shirt and said it was to express solidarity with the team and “hope things will get better” for them in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament. Rencher spoke of the Adobe Experience Cloud and presented data on what happens if marketers make experience their business. “Consumers' expectations have escalated and businesses need to be ready to meet those expectations. It is time for enterprises to make experience their business," Rencher added.

DIGITAL JOURNEY OF PARTNER BRANDS
D Shivakumar, Group Executive President for Strategy and Business Development at the Aditya Birla Group had a presentation on ‘Experience is the Strategy’ in the keynote session in which he put forward interesting data on several aspects of customer experience. For example, he pointed out gaps between ideal and current in situations where consumers want more digital – buying a car (15% gap), refilling prescriptions (35% gap), restaurant ordering (35% gap) and scheduling a doctor appointment (40% gap). “Online citizens rather than online customers make themselves heard,” Shivakumar said. “Online and offline are part of a seamless experience.”


On what will drive the customer experience of the future, Shivakumar said CEOs rather than CMOs should be involved in creating that experience.
In another session, Ravi Santhanam, CMO, HDFC Bank was in conversation with Paul Robson, President, APAC, Adobe. He spoke of the brand’s digital journey. “80 per cent of all transactions at HDFC Bank are now digital,” Santhanam said, acknowledging the role of technology and analytics in enhancing customer experience.
On the same day as Adobe announced a strategic partnership with Vistara, Ravinder Singh, Chief Information and Innovation Officer, Vistara was in conversation with Suresh Vittal, VP-Product Strategy, Digital Experience, Adobe at the symposium. Talking of Artificial Intelligence, Singh said, “I am a fundamental believer that machines will one day provide better customer experience than humans.”
Gunjan Soni, Head of Jabong and CMO, Myntra talked about innovation shaping the Indian landscape and how the Bharat versus India discourse has evolved. “Bharat has been equalised to India,” Soni said, talking of technology tools used by Myntra and trends observed across the fashion e-commerce platform.

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE OF THE FUTURE
Manish Dureja, MD, Jet Privilege and Ashutosh Pandey, CEO, Tata Cliq participated in a CEO panel moderated by Steve Hammond, Senior Director, Digital Experience Business, APAC to decode the customer experience of the future.
A power panel comprising Brad Rencher, Viral Oza, CMO, Lodha Group, Kavita Nair, CDO, Vodafone and VV Rajasekhar, Group CIO, ITC discussed various ways of creating experiences for customers, and how CEOs, CMOs and CIOs are dealing with change.




The Symposium Locknote featured actor Farhan Akhtar in an engaging conversation with Sunder Madakshira, Head-Marketing, Adobe India. They spoke of experiences in the context of Akhtar’s journey in Bollywood and telling stories differently each time to consumers.

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