Results tagged “Ann Lewnes”

Propel People and Business Forward

This blog was originally posted on LinkedIn. 

While attending Adobe’  Digital Marketing Summit this Spring I was fortunate to be able to listen to an interview between Robert Redford and Adobe’s CMO, Ann Lewnes.  I must admit that I was somewhat star struck and drawn in by his charisma.  However, I did not expect to be struck by his words of wisdom.    Since the event, I have reflected on a theme that was threaded throughout the conversation — being creative by taking advantage of opportunities and embracing risks.   Robert Redford was very succinct on his thoughts around risk by saying, “not taking a risk is a risk,” and he went on to explain how taking a risk is what propels you forward.

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This resonated with me and triggered my thoughts around how as a leader of the functions focused on attracting, developing, rewarding exceptional people – my team is at the center of  propelling Adobe’s people and business forward.     We have entered the next generation of HR – what we refer to as People Resources at Adobe   – which requires agility and constant adaptation to truly enable employees and the organization to reach the greatest potential.   With this continuous evolution comes risk.  We need to shift our mind set to ‘fail forward’ and ‘fail fast.’  In order to allow people to do their best work, we need to challenge the status quo and iterate quickly when it comes to the way we attract, develop, reward our people and build the environments that promote health and wellness.   I believe these changes to our function are reflective of the opportunities that lie ahead in the profession focused on people.  The threat is not recognizing that change is required.

I find I am constantly pushing myself and my team to think differently and to challenge what we have done in the past.  Each of the leaders across the team are now committed to work on or investigate at least one “1.0” project at any given time.  That is a project that is not fully vetted, may have some inherent risks, but is intended to help our people and the organization reach the greatest potential.   This approach gives us the license to be creative and push the boundaries of what we have in-place today.  Of course it’s not always easy, it’s not always comfortable, and it often requires some form of risk taking.  But we know it results in the best environment for people to be successful.     We have taken this 1.0 approach with a number of People Resources initiatives to date and continue to identify areas where we can quickly execute, iterate, and learn from our mistakes.

Scaling with Technology

Adobe is a global company and we continue to expand through organic growth and acquisitions.  Our 4 hour new employee orientation program across multiple global offices was not scaling with our growth or setting our employees up for success.   We decided to take advantage of innovations in technology and launch a virtual New Employee Success (NES) program.   Through Adobe Connect, we are able to engage consistently and in real-time with employees around the globe through an interactive 90 minute webcast with the ability to show videos, slides, web links, and foster discussion among participants.  Given the scale of this program, we knew there would be some technical glitches in the early days as we introduced the program for the first time.  But we kept pushing forward, fixed the problems, and looked for ways to improve the virtual orientation.  Since Jan. 2014 approximately 250 new employees in North America have participated in our NES program and have found it to be a valuable experience as they launch their careers at Adobe.  We plan to roll-out the program to EMEA and JPAC later this year and will build upon our 1.0 implementation.

New Approach to Performance Management

In 2012 we made the bold decision to abolish the traditional performance review and introduced what we call Check-in at Adobe.  We knew that this was the right decision for our people, and would save approximately 80,000 hours of our managers’ time, but implementing this new approach was a learning process.  What started out as a 1.0 initiative in 2012 has evolved today into a performance management approach that is embraced across the company globally and has piqued interest from other industry leaders.  One of the greatest learnings from this experience is to accept the unknown when making a decision that is right for your people and your business.  Learning-as-you-go is powerful and in fact you can become more agile and receptive to new ideas when a program is not thoroughly planned out.

Centralized Employee Resources

To help enable Check-in, we decided to establish a centralized resource function for employees called the Employee Resource Center (ERC).  The ERC has been established for fielding questions across a range of areas including performance management, career coaching, building managerial capabilities, wellness, and more.  We initially introduced the ERC in North America in 2013 and are poised to launch the function in EMEA and JPAC this year.   We are certain that the ERC will look different in each market and that demonstrates success.  It shows that we are learning from our experiences, iterating, and improving upon our 1.0 implementation.

Since the Digital Marketing Summit, I continue to reflect upon risk-taking and enabling the success of the company.  I certainly had not anticipated that Robert Redford would influence the way I think about People and Places at Adobe!  It reinforced that being open to creativity and new perspectives can happen at any time, you just need to be open to thinking differently; be open to change and taking risks.   As a team at Adobe we are continuing to determine how we can make an impact and propel our people and business forward and ultimately this will continue to re-shape the People and Places function.

What are your experiences in taking risks to help propel your people and business forward?

 

 

A Look Back on AYV Summit 2013

Scholarship-Winners

Adobe Foundation hosted more than 100 students and educators from 23 countries at our third Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) Summit. Students were immersed in a five-day media arts experience where they collaborated in groups with creative professionals and luminaries, learning new digital media skills.

This year, we were honored to kick-off the Summit with a keynote by Lee Hirsch, a documentary filmmaker and founder of The Bully Project. Lee stressed the power of creative storytelling and the impact creativity enables, encouraging students to use their passion to create projects that can “change hearts and minds.”

Building on Lee’s message of impactful storytelling, AYV Youth Summit attendees worked together throughout the week to create collaborative media projects on issues most important to them. Each group included youth from around the world, and each brought their exhilarating creativity to produce compelling stories about education, environmental protection efforts, human rights, identity and culture and community development.

The challenge for each group is pretty great: youth had essentially two days to produce a media project on a meaningful topic, while collaborating across as many as four different countries in each group.  The energy of the event was palpable, as youth courageously generated ideas together, discussing and storyboarding how they would approach their projects, and in just one day, bring their ideas to life with Adobe tools.

Below is a look at some of the final youth produced projects. For more, check out the Adobe Youth Voices YouTube Channel

 

 

At the final culminating event, AYV Live!, youth shared their media projects with a live audience.  The night was filled with all sorts of surprises, including an appearance from internationally renowned recording artist and founder of the Common Ground Foundation, “Common.” In a freestyle rap, he talked about the importance of believing in yourself and using your creativity to realize your dreams. The event also featured Adobe’s CEO, Shantanu Narayen and its CMO, Ann Lewnes who honored the Creativity Scholarship recipients and Aspire Award Winners.

After an exhilarating week, everyone who participated, including volunteers, learned something new about a different part of the world, tried a new technical skill, challenged themselves creatively, and made connections that made the world a bit smaller.

This Summit represents Adobe’s broader commitment to creativity and to making an impact in the lives of today’s youth by providing them with the skills and confidence needed to succeed. Of course, the challenge is to keep the momentum of the fantastic week going. As one student put it, “The journey doesn’t end here. This is your chance to take leadership in your classrooms and after school programs to push the limits on what your peers thought was possible. Look what success you saw from just three days of work. What can you do in three weeks or three months? Anything and everything! Take charge!”

After watching and interacting with such talented youth and educators, during this year’s AYV Summit, I am inspired by their confidence to continue to connect across borders, and create with meaning and purpose.

 

Day 1 at Cannes Lions – “You can’t trust Marketers.”

photoToday’s digital marketing innovations give marketers a newfound credibility. However, our recent search showed that marketers may still be missing the mark, as consumers still believe marketing is ineffective and view the marketing profession as one of the least valuable professions to society. We as marketers still have a lot of work to do to help dispel some of these common myths, and today’s panel at Cannes Lions, “You Can’t Trust Marketers,” aimed to do just that.

Moderated by Adobe CMO Ann Lewnes, with Tina Brown, Lisa Donohue, and Steven Althaus, the speakers discussed and debated the changing landscape of digital marketing and how it impacts what marketers can, and should, do better. They discussed a variety of topics including brand authenticity, user generated content, integrating marketing across functions, and proving the ROI of marketing investments.

After the panel, we got a chance to talk to festival attendees for their take: do they trust marketers? The results were interesting and entertaining, check out the highlights reel below.

What to Expect from us this week at Cannes Lions

photoWe’ve arrived here in sunny Cannes for another year at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival. This year marks a special milestone, as it’s the 60th anniversary of the festival. We have a lot to look forward to this week, and hope that you’ll join us!

First, we’ll be hosting our seminar tomorrow, “You can’t trust marketers.” Now, more than ever before, advertisers can prove the ROI of their efforts thanks to today’s innovations technology, thereby giving marketers a whole new level of credibility. The conversation will feature renowned panelists, including our CMO Ann Lewnes, CEO of Starcom USA, Lisa Donohue, Director of Brand Management at BMW, Steven F. Althaus, and Editor in Chief at The Newsweek Daily Beast Company, Tina Brown.

Similar to years past, we’ll be sponsoring both the Creative Effectiveness Lions and Young Lions awards. The Creative Effectiveness awards honors creativity that has shown measurable impact on a business through consumer behavior, brand equity, sales, and profit.

Through our sponsorship of the Young Lions, we are proud to support the next generation creative talent, who come together to compete in one of six competitions throughout the week. Cyber, Film, Media, Print, Design, and Young Marketers. Each team has to respond to a client brief and deliver finished creative within 24 hours (48 hours for Film).

Speaking of awards, we’re also partnering with AdWeek this year to host an experience that aims to predict the award winners. The site will go live tomorrow morning, and we’ll send out the link once it’s live. There, you’ll get a chance to vote for your favorite nominees as well, so that we can hear from all of you following the festival from home.

To end our week at Cannes, our VP of EMEA Marketing, Mark Phibbs, will join Razorfish and Converge on a panel to discuss the blurring lines between creativity, technology, and media on Wednesday, June 19th at 3 p.m.

Follow us @Adobe for the latest from the festival, and for those of you are here, we hope to get a chance to meet you!

Marketing: Fine Art or Blunt Object?

Marketing, at times, can be a blunt object. It can be in your face, intrusive and repetitive. But as more marketing has gone digital, marketers have access to data and insights that allow us to understand our customers better. This brings an opportunity to learn more about our audience and deliver more personalized customer experiences that are better tailored and better timed.

Last week, I had the opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities for customer insights and analytics with fellow CMOs John Boris of Shutterfly, and Heidi Melin of Plex Systems, at a Churchill Club talk here in Silicon Valley. A few key takeaways:

  • People want personalized experiences – Consumers want to receive information that is relevant to them and they value personalized experiences.
  • Collaboration is key – It is now more important than ever for organizations to work cross-functionally. We formed a Marketing Insights and Operations group to be a “single source of truth” for customer data and marketing performance here at Adobe. This group consists of Adobe employees from sales, customer support, global marketing and product marketing, and meets to align all marketing data collected across the company.
  • The right data, not just ‘big data’, is a huge opportunity – We use data at every single point in our marketing campaigns to understand campaign effectiveness, mix modeling, media and website optimization, and overall impact and ROI. Developments to customer insights are evolving, and they aren’t slowing down anytime soon. That means big opportunities for innovation. It’s important to know what you’re looking for before you start collecting data to make sure that data is actionable. I like what Fatemeh Khatibloo of Forrester Research, the moderator of our talk, said – “It’s not about big data, it’s about the right data.”

The impact on brands is huge when marketing is personalized for the consumer and online experiences are rewarding, and I believe it makes all the difference. A replay of last week’s talk is below – or you can view it here.  Take a look and let us know what you think.

You Can’t Trust Marketers. Or can you? Find out at Cannes Lions 2013

You Can't Trust MarketersIt’s hard to believe that another year has gone by and we’ll be back again on the sunny beaches of Cannes for the 60th Cannes Lions Advertising Festival.

We’re kicking off the week on Monday, June 17th at 10 a.m. with a panel, “You Can’t Trust Marketers.” Did you know that 80% of CEOs say they can’t trust marketers? It’s time to prove them wrong. Today’s digital marketing solutions are renewing the credibility of marketers, and putting the advertising world in a position to prove its business impact like never before.

Come hear the best minds in the industry, including our own CMO Ann Lewnes, Lisa Donohue, CEO of Starcom USA, Dr. Steven F. Althaus, Director Brand Management, BMW, and Tina Brown, Editor in Chief, The Newsweek Daily Beast Company, discuss marketing’s changing landscape. Will you be joining us?

For those of you who will be following the festival from home, follow us on Twitter: @Adobe. We’ll also be blogging highlights and capturing videos throughout the week here and on our Cannes site so check back for more.

Photoshop’s Night at The Museum

Last night the great and the good of New York’s media, publishing and creative industries gathered, with Adobe, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The occasion, a reception to celebrate Adobe’s sponsorship of a unique exhibition – Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop.

Adobe’s chief marketing officer, Ann Lewnes, kicked things off before CEO Shantanu Narayen welcomed everyone and introduced Thomas Knoll, co-inventor of Photoshop and Adobe’s newest Digital Imaging Fellow.

Shantanu and Photoshop co-inventor Thomas Knoll

Shantanu and Photoshop co-inventor Thomas Knoll

The exhibition is a reminder that the urge to manipulate photos – for good and for bad, for art and for propaganda – has been with us since the medium itself was invented. The exhibition also reminds us of the profound impact that Adobe Photoshop has made on our visual culture.  Creative people all over the world have pushed publishing, art, and visual media forward using techniques that were either too complex or simply not possible before Photoshop.  Because of this, controversy is never far away from Photoshop.

One of our core values at Adobe is to conduct ourselves in a responsible, socially conscious manner. As we continue to evolve the interaction of art and science within Photoshop, we look forward to the incredible visual content our customers will continue deliver and the positive influences it may have in our shared human experience.

In Defense of Marketing

“You can’t prove advertising really works.”  “Marketing is all gut, there’s no science to it.”  “The marketing department is a cost center, not a revenue driver.”  As marketers, we’ve been hearing this for decades.  And even as new marketing channels and technologies have arrived on the scene – including many that savvy digital marketers see as game-changers – new doubts and stigmas have arrived with them.

There’s never been a better time to be a marketer.  That’s how I see it.  The creative tools we have at our disposal make it easier than ever to turn a great idea into something real.  New technology has given us new ways to connect with customers and measure the impact of our work. Marketing matters more than ever.

But not everyone is convinced.  According to a recent study by The Fournaise Marketing Group, more than 70% of CEOs believe marketers are too disconnected from business results.  The view from consumers isn’t much better.  A new study just released by Adobe shows 68% of those surveyed find online ads “annoying.”  “Distracting,” “invasive” and “creepy” were not far behind.  What’s more, a recent article making the rounds in marketing circles calls for the death of the CMO position because, among other reasons, “Marketing impact is often hard to measure… …to know whether all those millions of dollars spent have led to an increase in real sales.”

This is nonsense. And Adobe is calling BS.

Today, we launched a brand new marketing campaign we’re calling “Metrics, not myths.” Our approach is to identify top myths about digital marketing that plague brands, agencies, chief marketing officers and CEOs and turn them on their head — with irony, humor, a provocative point of view and proof.

Our first myth, “Marketing is BS” runs in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and numerous online outlets today.  Other myths – like “Social Media is Worthless” and “Marketers Hate Big Data” – will roll out in the coming days and weeks. The whole campaign will be bolstered with a robust social campaign, some fun videos and more.

I hope you’ll pardon our French, but we want this campaign to be honest in capturing both the passion and genuine frustration marketers feel when their contributions are undervalued and they’re told the impact of their work isn’t measureable.  As a company that’s served marketers and designers for 30 years, Adobe feels their pain.  As a CMO who spends 74% of her own marketing budget on digital, I know better.  Marketing’s impact can be measured. Creativity and data can work beautifully together.  We’re willing to prove it.

Digital marketing can work.  More importantly – with so many eyeballs and so much opportunity moving online, to mobile, to social – digital marketing has to work.  As a career marketer, I feel strongly about this. If you agree, I hope you’ll join the conversation.  After all, there’s never been a better time to bust a few myths.  There’s never been a better time to be a marketer.

Ann Lewnes is Chief Marketing Officer at Adobe.  Follow her on Twitter at @alewnes

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Reintroducing San Jose Semaphore – Public Art at Adobe San Jose

At Adobe, art and creativity are ingrained in the company’s DNA, so I’m excited to share the re-launching of San Jose Semaphore, a major public artwork by noted digital artist Ben Rubin, on display at Adobe’s San Jose headquarters. On Thursday, October 18 at twilight, four 10-foot high disks on top of the 17th floor of Adobe’s Almaden Tower will begin transmitting a new coded message.

San Jose Semaphore was first introduced in 2006 and based on the semaphore telegraph system developed in the 18th century. Commissioned by Adobe and the City of San Jose, it features LED-lit disks, which rotate to display a series of simple geometric symbols that spell out a complex coded message. Rubin created the artwork’s coded message using algorithms similar to those used in World War II-era cryptography. San Jose Semaphore’s initial coded message was deciphered later that year by two San Jose area research scientists, who revealed the encrypted message to be the complete text to Thomas Pynchon’s 1966 novella, The Crying of Lot 49.

We’re passionate about helping to make Silicon Valley a world class creative community, which is why we have renewed the artwork, including a restoration of the work’s LED light system. San Jose Semaphore is an example of how businesses and public arts organizations can work together to enhance the urban experience, injecting creativity and new energy into areas where people work and live.  Adobe’s commitment to the arts can be seen through art on display in and around our offices, as well as throughout our local communities. In 2010, Adobe sponsored eCLOUD, the sparkling chandelier-like art installation in between gates 22 and 23 in the North Concourse concession area of San Jose International airport.

For San Jose Semaphore, artist Ben Rubin has developed a new code and challenged the public to a code-breaking competition, sponsored by Adobe. Check out the San Jose Semaphore website to learn more about the project and challenge. Get your creative thinking caps on and happy solving.

Meeting of Minds at Cannes Lions

Ann and Steve discussing the CORE solution

Ann and Steve discussing the CORE solution

While here at Cannes Lions, Ann Lewnes, our SVP of Global Marketing met up with Steve Plimsoll, CTO of Mindshare, to talk through their launch of CORE. CORE is a data-driven marketing intelligence platform that empowers both analysts and non-technical users to make informed marketing spend, audience targeting and creative optimisation decisions across all touch points in real-time.  It brings together data sets such as CRM, sales and supply chain data, with media channel spend, social, audience profiles and real-time trading information and reveals consumer actions and insight at a granular level, taking away the guesswork, latency and siloed nature of marketing-spend decision making.

The digital marketing team, here at Adobe, has been working closely with Steve on CORE, with Adobe Insight, part of the Digital Marketing Suite, powering the user interface for data visualisation, modeling, data mining and reporting.

In an age where the amount of data available to marketers has never been greater, the value of all this data lies in the ability to deliver actionable insight in real-time.  It was great to see CORE in action!

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