Customers buy based on their experience with your brand. While commerce provides the plumbing to sell, it lacks the creativity to allow your brand to stand out. Adding Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) to your commerce platform will enable your marketers to keep your brand relevant in an always-changing digital marketplace.
Companies do not usually have to be convinced to use a best-in-class marketing platform. When it comes to commerce, however, the discussion changes. Commerce infrastructure is based on logical operations, structured data, and rules and processes built to ensure security, data integrity, and order. Inherently, commerce platforms do not provide tools to easily create cutting-edge experiences that are aesthetically pleasing, surprising, and evocative. Logical commerce systems usually structure content much like product data, and lack the flexibility marketers need to reach customers on a gut level.
AEM's system is built for marketing, and the art of invoking emotion through experiences. AEM's content and digital asset management systems provide marketers with the freedom and control they need to break convention and take a brand to new heights. Think about left-brain vs. right-brain thinkers. A left-brain dominant person is typically more logical and objective in their thinking. A person that is right-brain dominant is creative, visual, and emotional. Right-brain dominant individuals are typically ideal for creating customer experiences. Why don't we apply that same logic to choose the best platform?
Adobe's Marketing Cloud is focused on giving marketers the freedom to fully implement customer experiences. Changing the game with features such as editable templates, responsive grids, and multi-site managers, AEM seamlessly integrates with Adobe’s Marketing Cloud to deliver all the content and digital asset management pieces marketers might need, immediately or in the future.
Editable templates allow marketers to create page templates without development. Technical teams need only create one code template that can be used to power all of a corporation's sites. Marketers can create new page templates with multiple component drop zones, control which components can be placed in what zone, default the page with components, and apply component configurations by drop zone. The redesigned configuration manager even allows users to save off-page, or save component-level configurations. The ability to create new page types or micro-sites that are on-brand requires no developer interaction.
A responsive grid gives a marketer the ability to define page layout at any break point. In the page editor, within layout mode, a marketer can override the default mobile handling to create a new look for a particular campaign. No coding or style sheet changes are required. Multilingual handling in AEM allows inheritance in a hierarchical manner of multiple languages. Changes are pushed to other regions or locales automatically or upon request. Translation workflows and integrations with translation service providers facilitate the creation of multilingual content.
Finally, Adobe has invested heavily in bringing the Marketing Cloud together. Being able to switch between applications and have them in sync provides speed and reliability to personalized content, content insights, and testing. These are just a few of the content management features of AEM that enable marketers to easily change the game for any brand.
Thinking about the cost, development, maintenance, and timeline of putting two systems together is important to understand the total cost of ownership. First, the timeline will not be impacted if the system integration is done correctly. All commerce systems have a web service layer, and updating the web service layer requires minimal effort in the grand scheme of a commerce implementation. The commerce implementation should require the most development effort. If you utilize a partner who has implemented these systems before, you can manage the dependencies effectively to avoid elongating your timeline. Development and maintenance go together, because the more custom code there is in the platform, the harder it is to maintain. If the architectural model for bringing AEM and the commerce system together is done properly, the solution will maximize the strengths of each. Completing this level of custom coding should be roughly equivalent to or less than, in time utilization, trying to make a single (commerce) system do something it currently does poorly. The resources needed to maintain two different technologies may change, but the overall level of effort to maintain the systems should be comparable.
The discussion of cost is the hardest conversation to have, because the ROI is not black and white. It is not simply about enabling the digital channel. Calculating the value of AEM above what the commerce system can do alone is, at best, an exercise in fuzzy math. A true measure of ROI requires an internal look at the marketing department's ability to self-service, technology feature delivery, speed to market, and operational efficiencies that will be gained. One outcome is nearly guaranteed: the marketing team will turn ideas into components and deliver results more quickly when empowered to know what is possible within a solution, which will absolutely provide fuel for your speed to market.
Marketing's enablement allows the technologist to drive digital change through new functionality, automation, and business intelligence. Technology is changing as fast as marketing trends. Freeing up technical teams allows for smarter, more up-to-date solutions to drive innovation. Operational efficiency is gained by each team being focused on their roles. Design teams are given a toolbox of AEM components to rearrange like blocks on the page. Marketing can build pages and personalize them for each customer. In a full cycle, the technology team can then be inspired to push more cutting-edge features to business.
AEM combined with a commerce system delivers a solution that can grow with your brand, enabling your business to easily engage, with meaningful experiences, throughout the customer lifecycle. For the customer journeys, marketing trends, and digital disruptions any business might encounter, the stability and flexibility of AEM plus a commerce platform is unmatched.
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