The Adobe Marketing Cloud is a set of Adobe products for marketers to manage their marketing efforts. One of those products is Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), which has as purpose to create and manage digital customer experiences across multiple channels including the web, mobile apps and communities. At Acolad, we have many different reasons why we love AEM.
Although we can list hundreds of gems and excellent features, we would like to present 6 parts that really stand out, are handy to use and give AEM a competitive edge.
#1: The project dashboard
The AEM Project dashboard gives editors the opportunity to manage projects through a central environment. Every project is basically a group of resources that are linked together and are represented by a tile.
AEM gives users the possibility to add several types of information to their projects. While the most used ones are obviously websites and assets, editors are also able to associate external links, project information, team information and tasks with their projects.
#2 Digital Asset Management (DAM)
The AEM DAM is a fully integrated digital asset management tool that gives editors the possibility to manage and distribute assets throughout their website. The DAM enables editors to store various types of assets such as images, videos and documents in a clear folder structure.
The strength of the DAM lies in additional features such as the dragging and dropping of assets. Moreover, editors can work on an extensive set of information per asset, including copyright data and numerous other metadata properties. One really powerful feature is the automatic creation of web renditions, triggered when an asset is uploaded. We believe the DAM makes the process of editing and publishing assets really intuitive and easy.
#3 Content editing
The way in which the content editing is done in AEM is simply sublime. Pages exist of a number of components or building blocks that can be dragged on the page to create extra content. For the content editors it seems as if they are working on a live copy of the website where they can select certain blocks on a page and edit them. The way of editing is remarkably similar to the popular WYSIWYG text editors. For some blocks it is even possible to use in-place editing.
Thanks to AEM’s full DAM integration, it is also possible to search for a particular asset and to drag and drop it onto the desired place on a webpage. A content editor will use the content finder column on the left side of the webpage to do this.
Another element that is visible on editable webpages is the so-called ‘sidekick’. This handy inspector window is used for dragging building blocks onto, and for managing the properties of, the page. It has some extra features such as being able to show a preview of the page, or publishing it.
The way of content editing in AEM makes it possible for people to create and manage webpages in a matter of minutes instead of hours. Additionally, the preview capabilities give the editor an exact idea of how the content will be represented without the need to publish the content.
#4 Integration within the Adobe Marketing Cloud
Marketing is obviously more than just building a customer experience for the web; it should also be possible to observe analytics, target specific user groups or persons and even create campaigns. We could solve this problem by carefully selecting separate tools for all our marketing needs and this would work. The main disadvantage with this approach is that there is usually no cooperation in between the tools: it is very difficult to use the data of a particular tool and integrate it in the other tools.
That is why AEM is a part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud, as Adobe believes that marketing efforts should be intertwined and not taken up separately. As a result, AEM is ready to be integrated with other products of the Adobe Marketing Cloud such as Adobe Analytics, Adobe Campaign or Adobe Target. There are connectors to integrate with various third party products and tools and that makes AEM very powerful and extensible.
#5 Out of the Box Components
AEM comes with a large set of preinstalled out-of-the-box building blocks or components. The use of out-of-the-box components yields some great advantages.
First of all the development of a project that makes use of out-of-the-box components decreases the development costs as large parts of the functionality are already written. A knock-on effect is that the project can be delivered faster.
A second advantage is the support Adobe gives on its out-of-the-box components - very important when migrating to newer versions of AEM.
A third advantage of out-of-the-box components is that less custom code has to be written. As a result, we can focus on custom code that is really needed.
This is why the out-of-the-box components in AEM are so important.
Today, digital content is published at an ever-increasing rate. That content does not always appeal to every visitor as every person has a personal set of interests. Therefore it is important to filter the content depending on the profile of the visitor.
AEM does so by capturing information about the visitors' location, the relationship to available products, his usage history, search history and much more data. By navigating through the webpages, the profile of the visitor will automatically be built up, aided by this information. The power of AEM lies in the fact that it becomes very easy to personalize content when the visitor is logged in.
An examples of such personalization is giving some discount on certain products the system knows the visitor is interested in. We can also suggest some other pages for reading that the visitor might like. Additionally, the visitor profiles can be used in other parts of the Adobe Marketing Cloud such as Adobe Targeting. More info regarding this topic can be found in our blog post on targeting and personalization with AEM.
At Acolad we have many different reasons why we love Adobe AEM. Although we can list hundreds of brilliant features, we would like to present 6 parts that really stand out and are a pleasure to use: the project’s dashboard as the heart of the management system, the DAM dashboard with its powerful asset management features, the ease of content editing, personalization possibilities, the integrations with Adobe Marketing Cloud products and the large set of out-of-the-box components.