How Adobe Uses Drift to Build a Cohesive Customer Journey Across a Massive, Multi-Brand Enterprise

$47.2M+
Influenced in pipeline
$10.8M+
Influenced in revenue
5000+
Meetings booked via Drift

The Challenge

Adobe.com is one of the most trafficked websites in the world. It receives hundreds of millions of visitors per quarter. As the centerpiece of Adobe’s digital ecosystem, the site is a massive business driver in terms of acquiring new customers and ensuring that customers are able to find the solutions they need quickly and easily.

The website also represents a critical part of Adobe’s customer journey: getting to know Adobe’s extensive array of professional and enterprise products. To guide buyers through this process, Adobe.com needs to make it easy for people to answer their own questions and find the solutions they need. In addition, the site must continuously inspire existing customers with innovative content and best practices.

At each stage of the customer journey, engagement is key. That’s why Adobe needed a sales and marketing platform that would help them initiate new customer relationships and expand existing ones.

To achieve this, they needed a convenient and intuitive way to help customers easily learn more about Adobe’s many offerings. And they needed to connect that customer experience with their sales organization in a seamless and scalable way. The right solution would offer a lot of flexibility within their highly complex environment of multiple systems, sites, regions, and teams. Finally, they were also looking to improve sales response time, efficiency, and productivity through new and emerging technologies

The Solution

Nathan Etter is the Senior Vice President, Marketing for Adobe.com Experience. He is responsible for the overall site operations, including 65 global sites in 32 languages serving both consumer and business customers.

We needed additional flexibility that would provide insight into what’s happening on the site, help develop answers to customer questions, and connect directly and seamlessly with our sales organization. ”
— Nathan Etter, Senior Vice President, Marketing for Adobe.com Experience

He says, “We asked ourselves what best-in-class solution could scale to the size of Adobe’s business.”

Scalability, category leadership, and speed-to-market were all important considerations in Adobe’s decision process. Drift met or exceeded expectations in all three areas by providing:

  1. A robust platform that is constantly evolving to incorporate new features and emerging technologies
  2. Fast, simple implementation to get Adobe up and running very quickly
  3. The ability to handle the heavy lifting of scaling across a global organization with a complex ecosystem of brands, products, cultures, systems, and technology

Drift was not entirely new to Adobe. Marketo and Magento—now both part of Adobe Experience Cloud—had implemented Drift in 2018. Adobe integrated Drift with its own implementation of Adobe Marketo Engage, and steadily expanded their global deployments and number of seats over time.

So, when Adobe implemented Drift in 2019 for the Digital Experience business, they had some existing experience with Drift’s capabilities to draw upon. In 2020, Adobe expanded Drift to include coverage of the EMEA region, hiring Drift Expert Services.

Adobe took a multi-prong approach with their Drift strategy. “Drift is a platform that covers the entire web experience,” says Brian Garnett, Director of Marketing at Adobe. “It’s not just a banner on a page. It’s a solution that allows us to more effectively intercept customers where they are and drive them into the right experience.”

Consultative Approach Leads to Streamlined Implementation & Testing

“Adobe is a test-and-learn, data-driven organization,” says Nathan. “I love that Drift has a very similar mindset. We started with a pilot and partnered to prove value quickly.” The team was able to demonstrate the power of Drift right out of the gate, and that early success drove momentum, which drove expansion to other lines of business.

Throughout the initial implementation and subsequent expansions, Drift provided ongoing, hands-on guidance and expertise. Brian worked closely with the Drift team.

It was great that our Drift CSM worked as an extension of our team. The entire Drift team worked with us to identify the right KPIs, lay everything out, and make sure we were on the best path.”
— Brian Garnett, Director of Marketing at Adobe

To ensure Adobe’s success, the team used Drift data from the Marketo and Magento implementations along with detailed industry standards to take the guesswork out of assessing performance and next steps. “Drift’s benchmarks were really valuable in helping us understand exactly where we should focus our investment and effort, how we should measure our success, and what our outcomes should look like,” says Nathan.

In addition to supporting the day-to-day management and optimization of existing Drift implementations, the partnership between Drift and Adobe extended to include strategic conversations. “I really appreciate Drift’s willingness to go beyond simply giving us really good advice on how to use the existing product,” says Nathan. “I buy a lot of software, and what I look for in a partner is someone who is willing to truly understand our business and go on a journey together. The Drift team is willing to learn about the complexity of our environment, and have conversations about what they can bring to bear based on our unique needs.

Drift Bots Enable Smooth Transition from In-Person to Virtual Events

In 2020, when COVID forced companies to transition in-person events online, Adobe Summit was among them. Only eight weeks before the event, Adobe needed to figure out how to provide the same amazing event experience virtually.

Using Drift chatbots, Adobe created a seamless event registration and event experience. Throughout the event, Drift allowed Adobe to interact with customers and visitors in real-time as they tuned in to the conference that was now 100% online. The bot answered questions, helped attendees navigate to the content they wanted, and offered an easy way for anyone watching to learn more about Adobe applications via product information or connecting with an Adobe evangelist or sales rep. Chat allowed Adobe to recreate the human, conversational experience attendees expect from an in-person event in a digital world.

Tuesday March 26, 2019 in Las Vegas. (Jeff Bottari/AP Images for Adobe)

Ultimately, Adobe Summit 2020 had more than 100,000 registrants, and drove almost 500,000 session views from more than 199 countries.

Brian described Adobe Summit 2020 as “a great Summit experience, and one of the first major conferences to go digital in the world.” Drift played an important role in that success—providing a low-touch experience that felt high-touch, facilitating more than 2,500 conversations, and collecting a wealth of data for Adobe’s sales and marketing teams.

Adobe replicated their initial success when they used Drift to engage attendees at the 2020 Adobe Max event and Adobe Summit 2021.

The Results

Throughout the customer journey, Drift has given Adobe a more intuitive, engaging, and effective way to engage with new and existing customers versus relying on more traditional approaches such as online forums and contact forms.

Chat can be a real competitive differentiator. We can meet them where they are and talk to them the way they want to be talked to. I smile when I see the Adobe bot pop up and ask a clever question.”
— Nathan Etter, Senior Vice President, Marketing for Adobe.com Experience

Throughout the ongoing expansion across Adobe digital properties, Drift has delivered deeply consultative and strategic guidance and support along with seamless scalability and all the technological sophistication expected from a market leader.

In addition, Drift drives tangible business benefits while helping Adobe create a better customer experience across a range of touch points, from websites to events and beyond.

In the last 12 months (September 2020 – September 2021), Drift has influenced or driven:

  1. More than $47.2M in pipeline
  2. More than $10.8M in revenue
  3. 5000+ meetings booked
It’s been a really positive and effective approach to build the base of capabilities, implementing more and more of what Drift has to offer for the benefit of our customers and our business.”
— Nathan Etter, Senior Vice President, Marketing for Adobe.com Experience

“And we’re just getting started. There’s still a ton of runway ahead, and I look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead as we deepen this partnership,” says Nathan.

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