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Season 1 Episode 5
July 26, 2023

The Sage's Wisdom

The Sage brings wisdom to those who inquire and mentors those who seek guidance in a kind, calm, and steady manner. They have accumulated knowledge and experience over time and are a valuable resource for others. A brand that acts as a wise Sage can help us open our minds to wisdom and create a more equitable world. What if, as a merchant, you could go to that one place and get the support and guidance you need? What if that one place has so much experience that you can learn from them and know they are on your side? That is the layer of value Adobe adds. Listen in as Nitu Walker represents Adobe as The Sage. 

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The Sage brings wisdom to those who inquire and mentors those who seek guidance in a kind, calm, and steady manner. They have accumulated knowledge and experience over time and are a valuable resource for others. A brand that acts as a wise Sage can help us open our minds to wisdom and create a more equitable world. 

What if, as a merchant, you could go to that one place and get the support and guidance you need? What if that one place has so much experience that you can learn from them and know they are on your side? That is the layer of value Adobe adds. Listen in as Nitu Walker represents Adobe as The Sage. 

For The Heroes and The Outlaws Alike

  • {00:04:41} “Adobe has always been known to have very strategic partnerships. We have a huge partner ecosystem, but what we really wanted to do is provide a holistic commerce experience. And by doing so, utilizing our partnerships to create value-added integrations.” - Nitu
  • {00:07:20} “You've built an entire ecosystem that can meet each merchant where they're at because there are different needs that different merchants have.” - Brian
  • {00:11:01} “The Sage meets the Hero on their journey to give them advice and equip them either through knowledge or wisdom or by helping them bring other people around them for the next part of their journey. And that's kind of what you do.” - Phillip
  • {00:13:08} “What really resonated with me about Archetypes, especially, which was why I was really excited to do this, was that we have to look at our base, our ecosystem, not as a linear one type of merchant or one type of partner or one type of provider, but that there are so many different ways that we interact with them and that everyone has their own archetype and their own way of how they think, feel, and do things.” - Nitu

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Nitu: [00:00:00] If you're not sure where to go, Adobe has these integrations that we've built, we support, and we are working with the strategic partners so you don't have to. And so that's what's really great about Commerce Services because we provide that Adobe layer where you're able to know I can call one number, I can go to that one person and get the support that I need. And that's something that we really want our merchants to feel like they're supported, that they know that Adobe is on their side.

Kristen: [00:00:35] Welcome to Archetypes, a podcast by Future Commerce. I'm Kristen Vencel. Even with just a glance over the course of history, it's easy to see how important and powerful story has been throughout time. We humans thrive on story, whether we are the storytellers or the listeners. We feel connected to others through story. Archetypes is an exploration of the roles that we play in the story of a brand and features interviews with people who create the brands and experiences that are changing our world. It's an investigation into how we as people take part in these stories, ultimately making them our own. No matter who you are in this world, you engage in commerce. Commerce touches every living soul. We all have a role to play. We all have a story to tell. Archetypes is the story of commerce. Sage: a character with the gift of discernment and wisdom. The Sage brings wisdom to those who inquire and mentors those who seek guidance in a kind, calm, and steady manner. They have accumulated knowledge and experience over time and are a valuable resource for others. A brand that acts as a wise Sage can help us open our minds to wisdom and create a more equitable world. What if, as a merchant, you could go to that one place and get the support and guidance you need? What if that one place has so much experience that you can learn from them and know they are on your side? That is the layer of value, Adobe adds. And Nitu Walker, Manager of Enablement and Activation and Commerce Services at Adobe, explains more in her interview with Brian and Philip. Welcome to this episode of Archetypes.

Phillip: [00:02:38] We're excited to have your sage advice here on the podcast. One of the things that, you know, our big project of last year that we partnered with you all on was bringing Archetypes to life and having you come along as sort of our Sage and looking at Adobe as somebody who has experienced so much wisdom and so much lived experience over the last 30, 40 years, seen as the creative company and now as the company that creates experiences that the world can behold. It's kind of awesome to have you along for the ride and helping us to create Archetypes. So thank you so much for that.

Nitu: [00:03:18] Yeah, no, I always am in awe of how much Adobe does and how much Adobe touches. I think we always say Adobe is all about digital experiences and we really see that not just from the experience cloud, but how we interact day to day.

Phillip: [00:03:34] The Sage as a character in our study of Archetypes, there's some duality to that. It is both if you're a brand or if you're a software company, you probably think about your customers as being characters in a story. And we talk about ideal client profile a lot. We talk about those sorts of things. They fit a profile and the Sage as an archetype, is one that develops and matures. Brian, you're a big Tolkien fan. There's no greater sage than Gandalf. When you think about this, someone who has wisdom and power that imparts knowledge and people seek out that character for knowledge I think of Adobe. But Gandalf wasn't always Gandalf The White. He was Gandalf the Gray. And that could follow the arc of this team that had sort of graduated up from just a platform eCommerce ecosystem to now full-on digital experience platform. And now with Commerce Services, you're bringing in so many other parts of other players in the ecosystem to kind of create one place for that holding of wisdom. Tell us what Commerce Services is all about.

Nitu: [00:04:39] Yeah. So [00:04:41] Adobe has always been known to have very strategic partnerships. We have a huge partner ecosystem, but what we really wanted to do is provide a holistic commerce experience. And by doing so, utilizing our partnerships to create value-added integrations. [00:04:57] So that way they have one stop shop knowing that Adobe is providing them with solutions with our partners' tech experience, so that way they have peace of mind. I think what's amazing about Adobe Commerce is how flexible it is, right? We have the Adobe Commerce, Magento Open Source marketplace. There are thousands of integrations and plugins and extensions that you can utilize to create your own experience for your consumers, but that can sometimes be a little overwhelming. And this is something that where if you're not sure where to go, Adobe has these integrations that we've built, we support, and we are working with the strategic partners so you don't have to. And so that's what's really great about Commerce Services because we provide that Adobe layer where you're able to know I can call one number, I can go to that one person and get the support that I need. And that's something that we really want our merchants to feel like they're supported, that they know that Adobe is on their side.

Phillip: [00:05:58] What are some of the things, what are the tenants that you're looking for in helping choose which partners and which providers you need the most at this point in time on the retailer's journey?

Nitu: [00:06:09] Yeah, I think what we really look for are partners that are invested in our ecosystem. I think those that are looking to see how we can work with Adobe Commerce and Magento Open Source so that way we can provide valuable integrations. I think it's easy to pick a provider and be like, "Okay, we're going to work with it," but it really needs to matter about what our merchants need. And so like Walmart, I don't think people always think about, "Oh, that's a technology platform," but they are. They've commercialized their technology so other retailers can provide the same best-in-class, buy online pickup in store solution or being able to sell on multiple channels because they know that merchants are looking to grow. They're trying to help our small businesses, our mid-market businesses grow into the same type of legacy as these big box stores, these enterprise-grade level accounts. And we want to foster that growth. And we look for the same values that Adobe is looking for. We want them to be flexible. We want them to be scalable. So that way our merchants feel like they are growing into the business that they want to be.

Brian: [00:07:19] I think what you've done is [00:07:20] you've built an entire ecosystem that can meet each merchant where they're at because there are different needs that different merchants have. [00:07:31] And Adobe has created this incredible arc where you can sort of come in at an entry-level, but it goes all the way up through the enterprise. That value prop is the same. You're just offering it at different levels.

Nitu: [00:07:48] I agree with you. The way we look at Magento Open Source, maybe they're not ready to fully upgrade to Adobe Commerce, but they want some of the same Adobe features that Adobe Commerce can get. And I think this is where we're able to meet where they're at. It just allows people to be like, "Okay, I'm not ready for Adobe Commerce, but I'm ready for Payment Services and I know at least I'll be getting support from Adobe for this feature." And then as they grow their business, they're now able to look at other Commerce Services, like "How can I expand my reach?" You're able to do this all from your admin. It doesn't matter if you're Adobe Commerce or Magento Open Source. And then as the merchant grows and their business needs change that's where we can introduce the conversation about Adobe Commerce because you're reaching that level of enterprise that either you've outgrown or you're ready for more.

Brian: [00:09:02] That reminds me of something. It might be a little book called Archetypes. I would imagine that you are starting to see, as you've read and learned more about the Archetypes you're probably starting to see some of them show up in your customers. What are some of the characteristics that you've seen show up in your customers that you feel kind of relate back to some of the Archetypes that we cover?

Nitu: [00:09:31] Yeah. So I think two that I can really think about. Some of the merchants that I've spoke to, they're the Outlaw. They, they're willing to do anything and everything. They'll try it. They'll do it before anyone else has done it. I was talking to a merchant that was talking about facial recognition software for their site. So that way it's using their face to check out. Something that we don't really see right now. But they're all for it. And it's supposed to be agnostic of devices. So that's even kind of very new technology. And then we have the Hero aspect. I think especially for our more established Adobe Commerce merchants or enterprise-level merchants, they really take on board as being leaders. They want to revolutionize commerce in the sense that "We want to make sure that we are there for our shoppers, there for our consumers. We're leading the way in how we transact, how we provide service, and how the customer experience is from even going to the website to post-transaction." How is their experience once they provide the transaction, their shipping experience, and even after? How do we engage with them to keep continuing to have a loyal customer base?

Phillip: [00:10:53] Oh, I love this. Okay, so you did something there that is really unexpected and really fascinating as you sort of related the role of the Sage. [00:11:01] The Sage meets the Hero on their journey to give them advice and equip them either through knowledge or wisdom or by helping them bring other people around them for the next part of their journey. And that's kind of what you do. [00:11:14] That's sort of what your team does, is it makes the customer the hero, it turns the customer into the hero, and you're providing them with what they need for the next part of their journey. And I love the idea that you kind of keep bringing it back to it's kind of irrespective of size. If you're an Open Source customer, you will probably be an Adobe Commerce customer at some point along your journey and you're there throughout. I think that's really fascinating. And there are very few others in the ecosystem who sort of take that long relationship, long approach, and they're really looking for a very specific type of merchant to service today and not necessarily for tomorrow.

Brian: [00:11:57] That's very chaotic good, though, because you're totally equipping both the Heros and the Outlaws. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:12:06] Could be.

Nitu: [00:12:06] Trying to do it all.

Phillip: [00:12:08] Yeah. Coming to the close here, for your own journey in your career, what are some of the things that you've sort of picked up through the commerce ecosystem? At Future Commerce we've sort of spiritualized commerce. Whether that's a good or bad thing, it's just true. We feel like it is a point of human connection where people meet each other. What has this journey in this ecosystem, in your career development, meant to you and how do you think it's impacted you as a person?

Nitu: [00:12:32] I think when we think about our career, everyone's like, "How do we go up?" But it's not always that way. It's like a zigzag. And then you learn throughout the way what you want to do. I started as almost like a BDR outbound representative, and I always joke like, "If you can cold call vape shops back in the early 2010s, you could do anything." But overall, I always feel like I have taken an approach where I'm going to find out what I want to do and how I can work with that. And I think [00:13:08] what really resonated with me about Archetypes, especially, which was why I was really excited to do this, was that we have to look at our base, our ecosystem, not as a linear one type of merchant or one type of partner or one type of provider, but that there are so many different ways that we interact with them and that everyone has their own archetype and their own way of how they think, feel, and do things. [00:13:33] And that's kind of how I've taken my approach with my career. If it makes sense and if it feels like I'm doing something that I feel I can grow in, I will go for it all the way.

Kristen: [00:13:47] Want to hear more about the Sage? You can. Get your copy of the Archetypes Journal at ArchetypesJournal.com. Archetypes is brought to you by Future Commerce. Discover the world of Archetypes, take the archetypes quiz, and get the Archetypes Journal at ArchetypesJournal.com. You can find more episodes of this podcast and all Future Commerce properties at FutureCommerce.com.

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