The Audit Opportunity in Adobe Campaign

Thomas Fordham
4 Mar 2021

I’m often asked what advice I would give to a brand starting with Adobe Campaign. I used to mention the importance of having people with the right skills at hand, or the criticality of not stopping after the initial project. With more experience of both successful and challenging projects, I would add having an audit strategy as a strong indicator of long-term success.

What is an Audit strategy?

There is a technical aspect to auditing a system which could be summarised as keeping an eye on everything to prevent or limit issues arising. But there is also a specific mindset associated with having a strategy. Auditing means being opened to things not being perfect. It means recognising that there is always room for improvement as well as having the appetite to investigate, solve issues and seize opportunities.

What’s an Audit tool?

Socrates is probably at the origin of the long line of “You don’t know what you don’t know” expressions. In essence, you might have the best intentions of doing well, being opened to change, and even actively looking for opportunities, but without knowing where to look, what to look for and how to look for it, the task can be both daunting and ineffective. There are tools that can run in the background and look for issues or opportunity at a speed and scale that is hard to replicate for a person. Some of the knowledge is built into the tool and the automation ensures day to day constraints don’t take away the focus.

What does it mean in practice?

We always worry about the customer but what about the Marketer? Isn’t the user’s experience of a marketing platform important? What happens when a tool is difficult to use, slow or frustrating? We avoid using it, we make excuses for not doing more with it, we spend more time complaining than doing, etc. Rightly so, there is no need for such a situation, marketing life’s too short!

There might be technical issues preventing smooth running. Wasting the time of the users and the time of the IT team. Some issues can also impact the customer’s experience, imagine receiving an email for a flash sale after it has ended or facing a broken-down un-subscription process. Cringy! The knock-on impact is that it might be preventing your marketing solution from progressing onto the next phase (whatever that is for you).

Frustration and time wasting aside, the biggest lost opportunity is to operate an under-utilised system. Many companies use Adobe Campaign as a glorified ESP, do they know and willingly limit themselves or are they unable to progress to the next phase because of perceived limitation? Sometimes, just a bit of clarity and guidance is all that is needed to move forward.

Understanding what you are NOT USING is as important as understanding what you need to sort out. You need to ensure that you are making the most of what is a very powerful solution before you look at a new shiny cloud. I see many CDP use-cases that can be completely addressed within Adobe Campaign. Don’t get me wrong, AC is not a CDP and CDPs can be very useful, but too often the new trend is also an avoidance strategy. It should not be!

Where to start?

The starting point is straight forward, you just need to ask yourself a few questions:

–    Do we have issues that we are turning a blind eye to?

–    Do we suspect there are issues accumulating in the background?

–    Do we know we don’t utilise some of the functionality we are paying for?

–    Do we suspect we could be doing more with the platform?

If the answer is NO to everything, congratulations, you’re on top!

If any of the answer is YES, maybe you need some guidance or input?

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