Experiences from Adobe Omniture Summit EMEA 2011
25/05/2011 | Written by | Categories: Conference Review

A friend was kind enough to lend me an unused pass to the second day of the Adobe Omniture Summit enabling me to mix with over a thousand online people interested in knowing more about the Omniture suite of products.  Unfortunately I had missed the previous night’s festivities which were apparently pretty special but it was nice to be able to focus on the presentations.

Thoughts on the Sessions

The session I was most interested in was a panel discussion from some top experts on using SiteCatalyst.  It lived up to expectations and I have detailed out the ideas they discussed for taking your SiteCatalyst knowledge to the next level in a separate post.  Unfortunately the second most interesting session on privacy and the new European cookie regulations was on at the same time, a complaint echoed by others.

The first keynote session had presentations of varying usefulness.  I liked the Confessions of a Digital Marketer with key take aways of the message still matters (even if it is now via Facebook/Twitter) and that econometric modelling is key for optimising campaign spend (unsaid point being campaign attribution doesn’t optimise spend).  I loved the presentation on How to be Bold in Business by Shaun Smith (stand up for something apart from profit, stand out and stand firm by your business model) and look forward to reading the free book.

The sessions in between were decent.  I admit I walked out of one as not relevant to me but that did enable me to get a couple of key tips on tracking social media platforms with web analytics from another session (use iFrames on the social media site but not on your own site).  Scott Roth of Exact Target did a good job presenting ideas on using data to improve performance without it being a total sales pitch – it is acceptable to use screenshots of your own tool to demonstrate what you are talking about as long as the ideas are applicable elsewhere.

The second keynote was an entertaining performance by Brett Error.  I stick to my claim that he reminds me of the Master from Doctor Who, compare that clip against his performance on the streets on London.  And I was impressed by Adobe/Omniture taking live customer feedback on how to improve their product, hopefully it will all be taken on board.  Unfortunately my vision for SiteCatalyst Marketing Channels would have taken too long to describe.

Constructive Feedback

While overall it was a great day for me and a great event, I do have some constructive feedback to provide.

Given it is the European Adobe Omniture Summit, I thought that Omniture would be able to provide a higher proportion of Europeans presenters.  I know it is an American company but it seemed weird that they were flying out consultants to present on topics like Landing Page Optimisation when they must have very competent people in these sorts of fields based on this side of the world.

There were about ten feature requests made to Brett in that last session and all but one related to SiteCatalyst.  Yet only a low proportion of presentations were on improving your usage of the core SiteCatalyst product.  Most appeared to be sales pitch sessions on related tools whether from the Omniture suite or 3rd party tools.  I know you have to have a balance in this sort of conference but more sessions on advanced ways to use SiteCatalyst would have been great – e.g. options for reporting on campaigns with a detailed examination of a best practice configuration of Marketing Channels including the use of SAINT classifications and custom reports.

Following on from that (and knowing it would be a nightmare for various reasons), I would have loved some sessions with a BarCamp unconference approach so SiteCatalyst users could trade ideas back and forth.  A couple of my favourite experiences at the summit were doing just this sort of knowledge share and it would be great to have this encouraged.  At the end of the day you have people getting more value from SiteCatalyst and therefore using it more – even purchasing some of the additional features they now understand how to use.

Given the success of the Ask Brett session, I wonder if it would be possible to run a Feature Request throughout the entire conference.  Possibly using the apps (without requiring the user to grant access to Twitter) or touch screens scattered within the venue, people could enter ideas during the conference (pre-prepared or inspired by a session) and vote on them in real time.  Via some algorithm (to account for time available for voting) the most valuable ideas would float to the top as basically a live Ideas Exchange.

Summary

It was a great event and something I would have happily paid for if they hadn’t sold out of tickets.  While reading about the Adobe Omniture Summit, I recommend also checking out:

I will be back next year and putting my hand up now to present a session, topic tbc…

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