Frequently asked questions

Who can apply?

Adobe wants to celebrate the great experiences that our customers are creating through Adobe technology. The Experience Maker Awards recognize some of the most innovative and impactful customer experiences achieved through digital transformation in 14 categories. Clients may nominate themselves or be nominated by their solution or technology partner. If the submission is on behalf of a client, your client must agree to the content of the submission and to be contacted by Adobe. For a full list of eligibility and submission requirements, click here.

How do I apply?

Adobe customers and partners can submit their success stories by creating a profile and filling out an application prior to the deadline of February 7, 2020 at midnight PT. Entries for the same company or individual may be submitted for multiple categories. Solution or technology partners may submit multiple clients for the same category.

What does the application ask for?

Click on this sample of our submission form to see the information and materials that a complete submission will need. You may save an application in progress and can continue to fill it out and/or edit it until you are ready to submit.

What happens after I submit an application?

Finalists will be announced prior to Adobe Summit and the winners will be revealed and celebrated during the conference.

Who are the past winners?

Profiles of the 2019 Experience Award winners can be found here.

Submit in 3 easy steps

Submit step 1
Create a profile
Submit step 1
Detail your featured experience
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Upload supporting content

Sample Experience Maker Award Application

Below is a list of the questions that can be found on the application. The example below is for the Transformer category. By clicking on each question you can see a sample answer. To apply for multiple award categories, please submit one application per award.

These first 11 questions are common across all award categories.

Adobe Experience Cloud solution(s) used in the Award category selected.

Adobe Target, Adobe Analytics, Magento Commerce Cloud, Marketo Engage, Adobe Audience Manager

Please provide a short description of what your business does and how you go to market.

Our Company is a financial services leader specializing in commercial banking and wealth management, with 25 million customers and several offices in the U.S. and around the world. We straddle the B2C and B2B worlds, serving everyone from institutional clients with complex investment products to individuals with a simple checking account. We have a reputation for exceptional service with a personal touch, delivered by employees in our branch offices and the contact center. We interact with customers through those traditional channels and increasingly, via digital channels including email, website, and mobile app.

Please describe your experience prior to leveraging Adobe Experience Cloud solutions. What were your pain points, business or technical challenges, and goals that you were trying to address?

As a business that has traditionally connected with customers through direct mail, we needed to develop a best-in-class user experience for our online channels to improve engagement with our customers. To maintain our competitive differentiation as an exceptional service provider—a crucial factor in both customer loyalty and revenue growth—we needed to deliver more sophisticated, personalized digital experiences.

Getting to the next level of digital marketing would require an extensive transformation of our existing tools and processes. Our challenges included:

  • No unified view of customers as they moved across channels
  • Monolithic, generic campaigns, with very little audience segmentation and targeting
  • Disjointed lead nurturing process, with no lead scoring or attribution
  • Inconsistent, disconnected metrics across channels, making it difficult to measure and improve performance
  • Manual tasks preventing us from being adventurous and experimenting with new ideas

Why did you select Adobe Experience Cloud solutions over other alternatives?

We initially chose Marketo Engage in 2016 to increase efficiency with marketing campaigns, improve lead management, and integrate with Salesforce. With Eloqua, we were spending a lot of time creating and executing even very simple batch-and-blast campaigns. With Marketo, we were looking at a 90% reduction in that process. We also wanted a way to incorporate lead scoring and attribution into our nurture programs, so our sales teams could focus on the most promising leads.

When Adobe acquired Marketo in 2018, it gave us a clear path toward delivering seamless digital experiences with greater personalization and more automation behind the scenes. By adding Adobe Target, Adobe Audience Manager, and Adobe Analytics, we were able to bring a new level of sophistication to our digital experience with granular targeting and optimization capabilities.

How were you able to transform the customer experience using Adobe Experience Cloud solutions? Please specify the version of the product(s) you are using.

Last year, we launched a program to increase personalization and optimize our online conversion rates, using a combination of Marketo Engage, Adobe Target, Adobe Audience Manager, and Adobe Analytics. Since then, we’ve doubled our online conversion rate, increased qualified leads, and improved our user experience KPIs. More importantly, we’ve transformed the way we engage and communicate with our customers and prospects. We can now provide relevant information and offers and have the ability to test experiences, giving us deeper insights into our customers.

We have completed 670 unique campaigns in Marketo, significantly increasing the volume and impact of our email and social marketing. This increase in volume led to more customer touchpoints being created, resulting in a 20% increase click-through rate. We brought three new business units into Marketo, fully transitioning from Eloqua to Marketo, and are using Marketo as our central hub for third-party marketing activity.

We use Adobe Analytics and Adobe Audience Manager to understand and segment our customers based on their behavior across marketing channels and devices. This data is key to enabling more granular targeting, delivering more personalized content, identifying opportunities for revenue growth, and measuring and enhancing performance.

We use Adobe Target to run hundreds of A/B tests across all channels, devices, and user types and optimized every facet of the user journey – with the goal of improving experiences and maximizing online conversion rates. We also use the Automated Personalization (AP) feature in Adobe Target, which allows us to target thousands of members and prospective members with highly relevant content, from among the hundreds of offers we have available.

How did you push the boundaries, do something new and innovative with the capabilities and experiences you created with Adobe Experience Cloud solutions?

We used the integrated workflow between Audience Manager and third-party marketing platforms to suppress or target users to save millions on acquisition costs while ensuring relevance to customers and financial services prospects. We also were able to run very successful cross-channel promotional campaigns across a multitude of user touchpoints (as well as align the internal business groups running them). Literally every component of our customer journey was tested from upstream touchpoints throughout our site, including paid media, organic search, and landing pages, to an optimized checkout experience and improved member onboarding to realize the full value of our efforts.

With the development of a specialized retirement app, users register their profiles, long-term investment goals, current priorities, and other details about their financial and professional lives. A smart algorithm then sorts through potential investment strategies to find investment strategies tailored to their needs. Users can save the best matches to a personal Shortlist and explore each one further by connecting with one of our financial advisors

Using the specialized app and ongoing targeting and engagement supported by Adobe solutions, we can interact with customers at every touchpoint of their financial journeys, at all stages of their lives. Combining this with Content AI and the Facebook Leads Ads LaunchPoint Service, we can achieve timely communications at an ultra-personalized level, regardless of platform.

What measurable business impact/ROI were you able to drive for your business with Adobe Experience Cloud solutions? Please provide at least 3 specific metrics and detail the time period covered (e.g. year over year growth in pipeline conversion rates, bookings, or revenue).

Since embarking on our Adobe Personalization & Conversion Optimization program in early 2016, we’ve tripled (3X) our online conversion rate while improving our user experience KPIs. So far in 2019 alone, conversion rates have improved almost 59% over 2018. We employed Adobe Marketing Cloud with a heavy focus on Target and Analytics to target, personalize, execute and measure hundreds of tests while also leveraging AI-powered automation. Measuring the KPIs became paramount and Adobe Analytics allowed us to make quick and informed data-driven decisions. Additionally, with a very large and matrixed organization, Analytics Workspace allowed for real-time collaboration and transparency to drive results. This year, we broke all conversion rate records and had our best year for using digital marketing to engage new customers in our financial services. Since optimization is in the DNA of our company, we are looking forward to 2020 where we will be running more advanced tests and continuing to leverage the robust functionality of Adobe.

Not only that, but already in 2019, we were also able to influence over $1.1 Million in incremental Monthly Recurring Charges using Marketo programs, which equates to about $10 million in annualized in year revenue impact. Our company has also sent over 78k MSI emails out of SFDC, with 80% of that coming from our top 15% performing financial advisors. We’ve found this has contributed to a 34% year-over-year increase in email engagement metrics, and ultimately generated over $8 million in Marketing Qualified Leads. Finally, the Small Business segment was able to save over $200k by using electronic statements out of Marketo over traditional postage, while the Consumer segment was able to save $100 million by doing the same.

Please explain why this customer experience transformation is deserving of the specific award you are applying for.

With Adobe Experience Cloud, we were able to move from direct mail-centric communications to data-driven, highly personalized, cross-channel customer experience management. In effect, we amplified our long-standing reputation for exceptional customer service by recreating our personal touch in the digital world. It’s about building on our main competitive differentiator—what has made us successful in the past—and reinventing it for the digital age.

In addition, as part of our transformation, we’ve made concerted efforts to evolve our digital marketing skills and create an organizational structure that can continuously learn and adapt as customer expectations and technologies change.

If you used any complementary partner solutions or product extensions in your implementation, please list which ones and how they helped achieve your goals/create desired experiences.

We use Siftrock in conjunction with Marketo to make it easier for our financial advisors and sellers to communicate back and forth with leads, so promising prospects won’t slip through the cracks. We also integrated On24 with Marketo to deliver webinars, which is a great way to position the company as a thought leader while capturing new leads.

What business systems, if any, (e.g. ERP, CRM, PIM, CMS, etc.) do you integrate with Adobe Experience Cloud solutions?

We use Marketo in combination with Salesforce, which enables us to maintain a streamlined pipeline of leads from digital channels to our sales teams. We use lead scoring to help sales teams focus on the most promising leads, and we can also track revenue back to the digital activities that contributed to the sale.

These last three questions are specific to the Transformer award category. To see the questions specific to different awards, click on each of the categories.

Please describe the innovation in people, processes and/or technology that you are driving across your business.

With Adobe’s acquisition of Marketo, we saw an opportunity to leverage our Marketo expertise while building additional Adobe capabilities. We dove in and 14 consultants earned 33 Adobe badges and certifications. We achieved all of this while maintaining our Marketo proficiency – we have more than 20-Marketo Certified Experts and 12 Marketo Solution Architects, who help us continue to drive momentum with Marketo.

As part of our processes, we developed a cross-functional approach that incorporated sales, marketing, and IT to focus on shared business goals. Our goal was setting up the internal structure to keep customers at the center of decision making and then tracking our success including MQLs and ROI.

Please describe your experience prior to leveraging Adobe Experience Cloud solutions. What were your pain points, business or technical challenges, and goals that you were trying to address? (200 words)

Managing our leads effectively is critical to making families aware of our leadership and innovation in this area. In the past, marketers were hampered by antiquated marketing software that was cumbersome to use and limited in functionality. Moreover, the software didn’t integrate readily with Salesforce.com.

After evaluating their options, our marketers decided to replace the old system with Marketo. The team now has an integrated engagement platform with a rich feature set that enhances nurture programs and supports lead scoring and attribution. These capabilities have shortened the time from lead acquisition to enrollment, decreased cancellations, and dramatically reduced the time spent on campaign creation.

Why did you select Adobe Experience Cloud solutions over other alternatives? (200 words)

Marketo offers many advantages over our previous marketing software. For example, in the past, it took days for marketers to create and execute even simple batch-and-blast email campaigns. Now, with Marketo cloning and tokens, marketers spin up new campaigns in 30 minutes or less.

Our marketers can clone a previous campaign, add new content, and update the tokens—all from a single point and without having to touch the assets and collateral. Marketo also allows us to take advantage of our naming conventions to clone one program and then augment it with assets from another program. The efficiencies we’re achieving translate into a nearly 90% reduction in the time spent building new campaigns.

With Marketo, our company incorporated lead scoring into its nurture programs. Scoring allows marketers to use demographic data along with online behavior to create models that help salespeople gauge a prospect’s level of interest so sales reps can focus on those prospects most worth pursuing at any given time. The result is greater sales productivity and higher return on investment (ROI) in lead generation activities.