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Adobe Digital Marketing Summit 2012 Recap

Published by Adam Greco on March 28, 2012 All posts from Adam Greco

As always, the Adobe (Omniture) Summit is a hectic, whirlwind affair! Each year, I look forward to it and then it seems to come and go so quickly. This year was no exception and the event was bigger than ever. While many of us “old-timers” miss the days of the event being in Park City or at the Grand America hotel, it looks like those days are over since the event is getting bigger and bigger every year. I thought I’d share some of my impressions of the event related to the web analytics portion of the conference and I also have a related question for you at the end of this post.

Web Analytics Announcements

I think the biggest difference in this year’s Summit was the focus on the suite of Adobe products. To say that web analytics was downplayed this year is an understatement. During the opening session, it was clear that diversification was the theme and only a few announcements related to web analytics were made (i.e. Discover 3). It was clear that this was no longer an Omniture Summit, but rather a venue to show all attendees the breadth of the full Adobe Digital Marketing Suite including CQ, Efficient Frontier and others. While I understand the rationale here, part of me was sad to see an event so heavily focused on web analytics in the past morph into a new type of Summit, but that’s what happens as a result of acquisitions (for me it was kind of like when you see an actor who you loved in leading roles relegated to a supporting role later in their career!). But I do think that the integration of analytics into the other Adobe products is exciting and the wave of the future.

Obviously, the announcement of Discover 3 is exciting for us web analysts. This release has been a long time coming and provides some much needed cross-visit pathing and attribution improvements. While I had hoped these features would be part of SiteCatalyst, for now, I will gladly use Discover 3 to take analyses to the next level. Tim Lott and his team have done a complete overhaul of the product and the new “table builder” features look really cool (especially to those of us who love Excel Pivot Tables!).

I was encouraged by the announcement of the planned “virtual analyst” feature that was shown at the closing session. While this feature is really playing “catch-up” to Google Analytics (Intelligence), it’s great that SiteCatalyst will help web analysts identify some areas to investigate when doing web analysis. I find that many clients are not sure where to start and this feature will go a long way to nudging people in the right direction. I also liked the ability to see when web analytics data is exceeding standard data ranges. While it has been somewhat possible to do this using Alerts, I think the proposed visualizations will be much easier for people to use and understand.

Another cool item shown was the proposed geo-mapping feature that JD Nyland demonstrated. Now, instead of exporting SiteCatalyst data to a tool like Tableau, it will be possible to view web analytics data on a map and even build segments by dragging across states and cities. I think this would be very handy, especially for those who sell online and through brick and mortar stores.

Analytics Action Heroes Session

It was great to be able to present again this year at the conference. Once again, I joined Brent Dykes as part of a panel and this year we shared stories related to his new Web Analytics Action Heroes book. Our session was a fire hose of information and followed the progression of Brent’s book. I shared examples of how you can avoid spending too much time in “Setup Land” by monitoring your data quality through ReportBuilder (which Adobe announced is free for ten people at every customer now!), why I think knowing how to use SiteCatalyst is important and why segmentation is important to success. These are all topics I have discussed in past blog posts, but they appeared to be as relevant as sever as the audience seemed to resonate with the themes.

My Question For You…

One interesting thing did happen to me at this year’s Summit that hasn’t in the past. I had a number of people come up to me and discuss the fact that there wasn’t a lot of depth when it came to educational sessions related to SiteCatalyst. In year’s past, there have been many practical breakout sessions in which people like me, Adobe consultants and Adobe customers have demonstrated specific things they have done with SiteCatalyst such that you could go back to your office and implement new things to spurn new analyses. For one reason or another, outside of Kevin Willeitner’s “Shopalytics” session, many folks seemed to think the Summit was a bit light in this area. Perhaps it was due to the downplaying of web analytics I mentioned above, but, I for one, still think that there is a need for us web analytics folks to walk away from conferences like this with more actionable tips and tricks that can help us in our daily lives. Back when I worked at Omniture, I was fortunate to get an entire Summit session to myself and share tons of advanced SiteCatalyst tips and tricks and these sessions were always very well attended and highly rated. Unfortunately, it seems that each year the breakout sessions tend to get a bit more higher-level (or “sales pitchy” as some referred to it). I think Adobe might be missing a great opportunity here and that they may need some sort of “advanced” track for people who want to go deep into web analytics at the conference.

This leads to the question I have for you. If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you will know that it is normally a one-way street with me sharing tips and education and that I rarely ask for interaction or feedback. However, at the Summit, I had many folks come up to me and ask if I would consider doing a 1-2 day session like the ones I used to do at Summit in which I provide advanced product education and a bunch of tips and tricks related to SiteCatalyst I have performed over the years. I have considered doing this from time-to-time, but, being busy consulting clients, haven’t explored it in depth. Please consider the following:

  • Would you like to attend a 1-2 day class that teaches advanced SiteCatalyst features?
  • Would you like to see examples of SiteCatalyst tips and tricks to create new types of web analyses?
  • Would you like to explore topics I have blogged about in more detail and have the ability to ask questions?
  • Would you be willing to fly somewhere to do this and pay $$$ for this?

If the answer is “Yes” to these questions for enough of you out there, I might consider doing a 1-2 day class on the above topics. Therefore, I am asking you to e-mail me at and let me know if you would attend and pay for this (and feel free to pass this message around to generate interest!). If I get enough e-mails, I might give it a whirl (we like testing right?).  Thanks!

Categorized under Uncategorized

  • Jan Exner

    An interesting aspect: the EMEA Summit goes into the opposite direction, at least it is supposed to.

  • JK, 120Feet

    Hi Adam – interesting post.  I’m sure there’s enough
    people in the UK / Europe for you to charge enough to fly to London and do a 2
    day session; I for one would be up for it.  And bring Ben Gains and you could run two streams covering imtermediate to advanced sessions.

    As for Discover, it’s by far and away the best analytics / segmentation tool
    that I use by a huge margin, however I get frustrated by some of the usability
    ‘features’ and product limitations so I’m really looking forward to D3. 
    Do you have any info covering what’s new beyond the Omni release notes of 29
    Mar which tells me almost nothing.

  • Christophe Lauer

    Hi Jan,

    Can you please give more context or sources to your comment? I’m interested to know more about the upcoming EMEA event as a potential sponsor/partner…


  • Cmericle


    I did happen to catch you this year at the Summit with Brent and the gang.  I’ve been reading your blog for years now and find it quite insightful.  This year was my 1st attending the Summit as I haven’t been able to get my bosses previously to shell out for additional Omniture products and send me to the Summit.  

    You analysis is pretty spot on.  I felt like I was being sold pretty hard during the entire 3 days I was there.  All of my sessions were of the advanced variety, but I didn’t feel like I picked up any tips or tricks at all.  Sorry I already was ahead of you on the report builder tip.  

    If you hosted a 1-2 day session on the type of advanced topics that you discussed in your blog I would definitely try to be there.  If you kept it high-level and gave me more of what I got at the Summit I’d pass.


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