Standing in his home office, Shantanu Narayen, chairman, president and CEO of Adobe, welcomed viewers to the first-ever virtual Adobe Summit on Tuesday. The annual event, which was initially scheduled to be located in Las Vegas, was one of the many tech conferences forced to go virtual because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are clearly living in unprecedented times,” Narayen said. “COVID-19 is changing everything in our life and work as we know it. Everyone is having to rethink the way they operate, including us at Adobe.”

SEE: Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic)

Narayen emphasized one certainty during this time of chaos: Digital is becoming even more important. While digital transformation began with the mission to solve problems, it is now intrinsic to how people live, he said, which is why Adobe is offering at-home access to Adobe Cloud to ensure no interruption.

To further demonstrate the role tech is playing during the coronavirus crisis, Narayen announced Adobe’s first Digital Economy Index (DEI).

Adobe’s Digital Economy Index

Image: Screenshot/Adobe

COVID-19 has caused the digital economy to skyrocket, as consumers and businesses handle working in a digital-only environment. To help users navigate this new reality, Adobe released its Digital Economy Index, which is a real-time measure of the digital economy, Narayen said.

The index analyzes trillions of online transactions across 100 million product SKUs within 18 product categories. The barometer found that sales in groceries, cold medications, fitness equipment (55% increase), and computers (40% increase) have spiked because of the coronavirus, with Buy Online, Pickup In-Store shopping increasing by 62%, Narayen noted.

Between Jan. 1, 2020 and Mar. 11, 2020, specific coronavirus-related products jumped significantly in sales. The index found an 807% spike in sales for hand sanitizers, gloves, masks and anti-bacterial sprays; 217% for over-the-counter drug purchases (cold, flu and pain relievers); 231% for toilet paper; and 87% for canned goods and shelf-stable items, according to the press release.

A big part of the surge in e-commerce involves decreasing prices of online products. Categories with the newest SKUs, or most product updates released this year saw significant price decreases and increases in digital purchasing power, which kept US inflation down overall, Narayen said.

Along with the DEI, the keynote also focused on the evolution of the customer experience, which led to a new product announcement.

CXM Playbook release

Image: Screenshot/Adobe

One of the key themes Narayen mentioned was titled the “Decade of CMO and CIO.”

Created a real time profile to create immediate actionable insights

“In the past, the CMO brought marketing and communications expertise, while CIOs knew how to architect systems and unite data,” Narayen said. “But, IT is becoming more customer-centric and marketing is becoming more data driven; they are working together more than ever. Your C-suite must be aligned around this customer-centricity.”

Narayen noted how Adobe’s Experience Cloud can help process data in real time across an organization, but introduced the new Customer Experience Management (CXM) Playbook, which will give businesses a tangible plan for excelling digital transformation.

Narayen turned the keynote over to Anil Chakravarthy, executive vice president and general manager of digital experience in Adobe’s business unit, who gave his presentation sitting at his own home office desk.

Within Adobe Experience League, the CXM Playbook is a self-assessment that analyzes your organization across six key areas, Chakravarthy said. The areas include Digital First Culture, Data and Insights, Scalable Content, Optimize for Personalization, Customer Journey Management, and Commerce.

“Each of these areas have best practices, self assessments, a place to take notes, and ability to find gaps in your current plan,” Chakravarthy said. “After each self assessment, you’ll receive learning resources, customized guides with recommended next steps, and industry benchmarks to see how you’re doing compared to your peers.”

Users will also receive a downloadable, personalized playbook that documents results, benchmarks, and next steps to be shared with your team. The playbook is available now, Chakravarthy added.

Within the Adobe Experience Cloud, Chakravarthy also mentioned a new class of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning services, with the general availability of Customer AI and Attribution AI.

“Customer AI helps accurately uncover specific customer segments and target each with the right marketing campaign,” Chakravarthy said. “Attribution AI helps you see the conversion impact of owned, earned and paid media and make informed resourcing decisions.”

Later in 2020, three other AI services will be released including Journey AI, Content and Commerce AI, and Lead AI. The common theme across all of the new services is the prioritization of customer experience.

For more, check out Coronavirus tech conference cancellations list: Apple WWDC, Microsoft Build, E3, NAB, Gartner, Dell World and more on ZDNet.

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Shantanu Narayen hosting Adobe Summit 2020 virtual keynote.
Image: Screenshot/Adobe