Matt Langie is a man with many interests. His title states senior director of product marketing for Digital Marketing, but education and music play a big part in his life, also.
Matt spoke to Life at Adobe about his career, his role at Adobe and the company’s digital marketing efforts. He also discussed career advice—some received, some shared—and even why he wouldn’t have made a good rock star. Read on!
Life@Adobe: Tell us about your career before coming to Adobe and what drew you here.
Matt: I joined the U.S. Air Force to be a fighter pilot, but federal budget cuts kept me from flight school. So I eventually left the Air Force and wrote an online music company business plan to get into graduate school with a scholarship to the University of Texas.
The internet bug bit me very early on in the 1990s, and I’ve spent the past 15 to 20 years pursuing my interests in internet and digital marketing—specifically, looking at how businesses engage, connect and communicate better with their customers.
My career has taken me to some interesting places: I’ve led software marketing teams, and I also served as the vice president of Marketing for the late, best-selling author Michael Crichton, where I brought his books and movies to the interactive video game format.
L@A: How has your role at Adobe evolved since you joined the company?
Matt: I came to Adobe through the acquisition of Omniture, where I was one of the founding members of the product marketing team. Initially, we focused purely on the analytics business, whereas today, we cover the full breadth of Adobe’s digital marketing solutions.
L@A: Part of your job is evangelism of Adobe and of digital marketing. Tell us how you carry out this part of your role and why it’s important.
Matt: Evangelism is critical for Adobe as we continue to establish our brand in digital marketing, and ourselves as a leader in the industry. We need to make connections, build relationships and get the word out.
Some of the ways I help are by giving keynote speeches at international industry events and through my involvement as vice chair of the Internet Marketing Association (IMA) board of directors. That has afforded me the opportunity to carry the story and message of Adobe digital marketing to the 800,000+ IMA members worldwide.
It has also enabled me to meet a number of influential people in both the public and private sectors—from Governor Perry of Texas and Governor Christy of New Jersey to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, and Drew Houston, CEO of Dropbox—who can help us evangelize the power of digital marketing.
Someone affiliated with California Congressman John Campbell saw one of my presentations last year. Based on that speech and my work for IMA (including helping to grow the organization from 500,000 to 800,000 members and developing online marketing training programs for university students), my work has been recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives with a Congressional Certificate. All this helps build visibility for Adobe’s pioneering digital marketing solutions.
L@A: Tell us about something that really interests or intrigues you—and why.
Matt: One of my other passions is education. My interest in both internet marketing and education has led me, for the past three years, to roles where I serve as adjunct professor—teaching online courses in internet marketing at both University of California Irvine and the University of Utah. I really enjoy helping to educate the next wave of participants in this industry.
L@A: What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Matt: The best advice was to follow my passions. It’s really important; I’ve been in jobs where I wasn’t passionate about my work, and I was unhappy and unsuccessful.
Here at Adobe, and in all my roles within and outside the company, I’m directly engaged in the things I’m passionate about. So I feel very lucky to be part of a great company, part of a great industry and standing at the forefront of what I consider to be the ground work we’re laying for digital marketing.
I liken this to the early days of Hollywood or of aviation: We’re doing the equivalent of inventing the airplanes—or inventing movie color and sound. We’re inventing a lot of things that are going to become standard practice in digital marketing one day.
L@A: Are there other professions you think you would have been good at and enjoyed?
Matt: I have a passion for music, too, and I love playing the guitar. So my other profession would have been rock star—playing lead guitar for a rock band. But I wouldn’t have fit the mold very well: I wouldn’t have wanted to deal with all the hair products.
Connect with Matt on Twitter: @mattlangie