Adobe details how it's transforming into a digital-first marketing organisation

VP of brand, John Travis, outlines how the vendor has transformed people and process to become a 24/7 digital marketing organisation

Adobe VP of brand, John Travis, at the Adobe Digital Marketing Symposium Sydney 2014
Adobe VP of brand, John Travis, at the Adobe Digital Marketing Symposium Sydney 2014

Adobe’s transition to a digital-led marketing team was not only about technology innovation but also a transformation of organisational processes, data unification and an array of new people skills.

Speaking at the Adobe Symposium event in Sydney, the technology vendor’s vice-president of brand, John Travis, detailed how the company has made the move to being a digital-first and data-driven organisation over the past few years using its growing Marketing Cloud solutions portfolio, and the changes that had to be made to people and process.

Today, 74 per cent of Adobe’s total marketing budget is spent on digital, triple the current average across the industry, Travis claimed. To make this shift, the company had to move to a 24/7 marketing mentality, which meant adjusting processes to respond in a more real-time way, he said.

One of the ways Adobe did this was by bringing a lot of digital and marketing skills back in-house from agencies. For example, using its Media Optimiser, Adobe has brought all search marketing and display optimisation in-house, Travis said.

“This is the only way I can react quickly in a 24/7 environment,” he told attendees. “While bring resources in-house might not be right for every company, but it was right for us. And the effect has been stellar.

“This doesn’t mean we don’t have relationships with or value our agencies, but that relationship is changing. Previously, agencies managed day-to-day and I would worry about long-term strategy. Now, I am managing the campaigns day-to-day and relying on agencies for the long-term vision of where it’s all going. So requirements have changed.”

Adobe also had to employ new skills and different types of people, stretching from data analytics and search professionals to mathematicians and social media experts.

“We had to build an entirely different marketing team,” Travis said. “You still need creative people and those skills. But we also had to reskill a lot of people and drastically change our teams.”

Another major pillar in becoming a digital organisation is unifying customer data, and at Adobe, this meant bringing total data responsibility into its marketing and insights operations group.

“It’s hard to get people to stop using their own data or protect it... but you have to have a single source of truth,” Travis said.

While annual and quarterly marketing strategy is still relevant, the changes have fundamentally changed the daily and weekly approach marketing teams take to delivery and execution, Travis said.

Every Monday, data is now pulled from the previous week’s activity and all sources of data, and the insight team also chats with customer care and support teams, Travis explained. The team then meets with each data or media owner to discuss what is happening in each channel. This is augmented by insights from stakeholders in campaigning, product marketing and even IT, who review the data, drive insights.

“By Monday afternoon, our insights team has published an executive summary to the team including what’s happening, key learnings and suggested changes that needs to be made,” Travis explained.

“On Tuesday morning, we review it and start making changes, or discover bigger issues that another team needs to solve by the end of the week.”

At end of campaign period, Adobe rolls up the insights, which it then uses to compare against the goals set for the quarter, spend, mix of channels used, the ROI delivered, what went well and didn’t, and changes needed.

“I can now show the value of our work, which is great,” Travis said. “I also have an understanding of what’s beneath the numbers. Now I have the answers and much more info than I had before.”

Media modelling

During the conference, Adobe also previewed its new Marketing Mix Planning offering, an econometric tool that uses historical spend and data and combines this with outside variables such as economic factors, or growth in certain categories, to help them optimise their online marketing spend.

According to Travis, this tool helps Adobe to predict optimal spend and charts where it wants to go.

“We now have much better idea of results before I do anything,” he said.

What’s surprising is what the marketing team has learnt from the tool’s insights, Travis said. For example, its public relations spend, which he previously believed was a top of the funnel, awareness activity, was shown to have a huge impact on credibility.

“The more you have reach and PR strategy delivers, the more credibility it gives you with customers,” Travis commented. “This is right down to before people make a decision on the purchase.”

John Travis: What’s next for marketing

  • More math. “This is not going away anytime soon,” he said. “My internal nerd is now out there and I love it.” He highlighted the now predictive nature of what data can provide as a major opportunity, as well as better digital attribution.
  • Building trust. “In the age of digital, we are in a never-ending conversation with our customers,” Travis pointed out. “That requires transparency – if you are going to have relationship with someone, the transparency is important. It’s also about our employee practices and environment philosophy – these connect people to our brand and the expectation customers now have.”
  • Powerful communities. “The more you can create around your brands, the better,” Travis advised. “Digital helps you achieve that. We are trying to bring in community to all aspects of the company, such as product development feedback, and engaging with artists to redo our brand identity.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Signup to CMO’s email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Data has the power to build or burn brands

A brand can be severely wounded by use or misuse of any of its assets and you could say data has the greatest power of all to inflict damage.

Lucy Acheson

Head of data strategy and customer experience, LIDA

Totto and your inorganic future

At Cannes Lions this year we’ve been treated to many artificial intelligence (AI) insights. It’s one of the major discourses of our time.

Richard Brett

CEO, opr

Personas of one and the rise of ‘always there’ marketing

I’ve got some bad news. The ‘always on’ marketing approach that many companies have only just fully implemented is already out of date.

Nigel Roberts

Founding partner and strategy lead, Yell

Promotion is difficult. You should be able to do it. Sometimes it turns out bad, and when you turn to professionals, it turns out well - ...

Jordan Samuil

Village Roadshow partners with Lion for pourage rights and promotional partnership

Read more

This is very good news for Australian SMEs as ActiveCampaign is an very powerful marketing automation / email marketing tool that costs a...

Lawrence

SMB marketing automation provider sets up Asia Pac HQ in Sydney

Read more

Thanks for the info! If you are looking for commercial real estate in Mumbai, visit us at Jagaha.com! We have over 20,000 verified proper...

Gizelle

Salesforce ups the Marketing Cloud ante with Datorama acquisition

Read more

Completely agree! For the best commercial properties in Mumbai, visit our website - Jagaha!

Gizelle

Salesforce ups the Marketing Cloud ante with Datorama acquisition

Read more

Carisoprodol is used for treatment of pain.so it has some amount of drug use it carefully . Get its complete usage and prescription from ...

jensons henry

CMO profile: The strategy behind Cash Converters brand and customer experience reboot

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in