Adobe Summit 2021 – A review of Adobe Campaign Classic V8

TAP London
5 May 2021

During Summit 2021, Adobe made some noise about the release of Adobe Campaign Classic v8. This release is significant and this article will take you through the new features, what those mean for users of the platform and what the timing is likely to be.

New Features and Enhancements

You will find below the official list presented during the event:

  1. Increased speed. (i.e. faster segmentation and higher throughput).
  2. Cloud Database Manager. (i.e. Snowflake)
  3. Managed cloud service offering.
  4. Control Panel. (Administration)
  5. Web-based UI.
  6. Integration to Adobe Journeys.
  7. Real time CDP integration. (i.e. integration to Adobe Experience Platform)
  8. Predictive engagement scoring. (Journey AI, consulting led integration)
  9. Send time optimisation. (Journey AI, consulting led integration)
  10. Adobe Workfront Integration. (MRM-ish capabilities)

What do we make of the new version?

First, let’s look at internal integrations to other Adobe products (6. Journeys, 7. AEP, and 10. Workfront). It is good news that Adobe is working on integrating its product set, even if you are not using those, they represent options which might make sense in the future. That being said, there is an apparent overlap between Campaign Workflows and Journeys (which we will explore further in a separate article) and Workfront looks to be covering use-cases already addressed by the ACC MRM module.

Secondly, let’s focus on AI functionality (8. Predictive engagement scoring, and 9. Send time optimisation). The engagement scoring is a set of scores providing the probability of a recipient opening, clicking or unsubscribing from an email. A standard Machine Learning scenario that could be useful if you do not have the capabilities to develop such scores in house.  According to Adobe, send time optimisation provides 54% increase in open rate and 36% in order rate! Those are impressive numbers. Too impressive maybe?

It is important to note that those features are “consulting led”, meaning that they have been developed as services outside of ACC and need some integration.

The performance improvements (1. Increased speed and 2. Cloud Database Manager) aren’t new features per say, but they will bring a welcome relief to brands with very large datasets or those facing performance issues. In our experience, most of those issues are typically caused by inappropriate architectural and data designs, but the new enhancements might make the tool more tolerant of such inadequacies.

Our understanding is that Snowflake enables multi petabyte scale, 200x faster segments, and real-time data exploration. From a throughput perspective, Adobe communicated a 4x gain for batch messaging (up to 20M/h) and 2x gain for transactional messages (up to 1M/h with <30s latency).

The control panel is a useful improvement for administrators and will facilitate monitoring, deliverability tasks, managing SSL certificate expiration, etc… Monitoring and auditing an Adobe Campaign Classic platform is something that can help identifying not only issues but also business opportunities (see our recent article on the Audit Opportunity).

The Web based UI is probably the most exciting announcement from a user perspective even if many parts of the application (dashboards and reports) were already web accessible. Adobe is talking about a practitioner UI with fully responsive design. Maybe it is long overdue, but it is very welcome news!

Summary and Takeaway

The ACC v8 release is mostly addressing scaling, integration, and accessibility use-cases. Those are very valid but might not be so exciting for marketers looking to implement cleverer CRM. The marketers-oriented features such as Journey and AI, live in the wider Adobe ecosystem, outside of ACC. Adobe Campaign Standard was also very blatantly absent from the discussion. The takeaway is that ACC is a technically strong Campaign Management platform that is here to stay. Adobe is developing new features as “on-demand services” which makes sense in a headless CDP era and doesn’t theoretically prevent ACC from integrating into them.

When will Adobe Campaign Classic V8 be released?

The “second part of the year” mentioned during the session in the context of the Web UI, places the Adobe Campaign Classic V8 release between July and December 2021, assuming there are no delays. Yet our understanding is that many of the features listed are already implemented and being tested, so we are optimistic in that occasion.

References

If you’d like to view the full run-through of the presentation, check out the Adobe Summit session E130 What’s new in ACC. (22min watch). For a demo of the faster segmentation via the Web UI, fast forward the first 15min.

You can also find high level information on Journey AI here.

If you’d like more information on upgrading Adobe Campaign Classic or integrating features such as Journey AI, please do get in touch through the form below.

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