Where Were We 10 Years Ago?

Think back to the start of your career, be it five years ago or 25. What were you doing? Were you a student? Working your tail off in an entry-level marketing job? Interning at your dream firm? Making the leap from a different field? What tools were you using? Which strategies and goals dominated team meetings?

When you started out, did you have any idea you’d be navigating “the end of the expert? As Clark Kokich, chair of Razorfish, puts it, your job is now “less about advertising and more about creating an experience that transforms what it means to be a customer of a brand.”

Marketing as the Creator of Epic Experiences

Even though marketing has evolved into a nuanced, creative, value-driven, people-centric field, many still consider it a bad word. In-your-face billboards and pushy direct marketing tactics have left the public with negative impressions of marketing.

But we’re on the verge of changing all that.

As we embark on the new frontier of marketing in the digital age, we, as an entire generation of marketers, have the opportunity to elevate marketing to a practice based on listening to customers (data) and delivering relevant content in a context that is most easy and fun for people to consume. We have an opportunity not to just be the jingle that people remember but the experiences that build loyalty and one of the key reasons people keep engaging and doing business with the brands we represent.

Although Adobe has built leading marketing solutions such as Adobe Experience Manager, recognized by customers and analysts like Gartner and Forrester, we can’t stop there. We want to elevate the work of today’s marketers, designers, content producers, media makers, strategists, and everyone else who shapes our digital experiences. We think marketing, when done well, is an inspirational and powerful word.

The Adobe Experience Manager Community is launching at Adobe Summit 2014. We’d love to see you there, but if you can’t make it to Summit, you can still become part of our ongoing community programs and AEM network.

Our Changing Digital Landscape

In 2013 alone, we witnessed significant changes in digital marketing:

  • Social media has become an important channel for reaching consumers. A quarter of our globe regularly participates in social networks.
  • Terms such as viral marketing, omnichannel communications, and digital experience management didn’t exist prior to this decade
  • Each year, the number of mobile connections surges and mind-boggling amounts of data are created. There are 10 billion wirelessly connected devices in the world today, and that’s expected to double by 2020.

Our Power and Influence

The narrative of these sweeping changes often goes something like this: Technology impacts marketing, forcing marketers to adapt. But the real story shows that marketers have in many ways led the revolution. Tech innovation is frequently driven by marketing dollars, as the technologists try to predict the future of marketing then supply the best tools for the job. There is a symbiotic relationship between marketers, engineers, developers, and designers, which gives us all agency in the story of digital innovations.

Our Future

Because none of us are experts in everything required to make this transition, we need to make the journey together.

Our vision for the future—the next digital marketing growth spurt—is that we all take part in a deeply connected, resource-and-wisdom-sharing web of innovation—a place for the people who make up the multifaceted Adobe Experience Manager community to unite, dialogue, and inspire one another. Many of you have already been leading the charge, and begun acting out, this same vision. AEM user groups around the world are an inspiration to us all to participate in the experience-centric digital marketing movement.

Our Community

Our audiences are increasingly connected, using their digital devices primarily for entertainment, news and content consumption, and social activity. It’s time the digital marketing community reflects the people it is working to reach. Building our own networks of affinity, and sharing and contributing around common goals, will help us more deeply understand how networks influence behavior, engagement, and loyalty.

An interconnected community, united around delivering groundbreaking digital experiences, will raise the bar for all of us. This community will not only continue to push exciting technological innovations, but will make sure that our marketing philosophies and skill sets keep pace. The next generation of marketers will look to this community for both mentors in specific areas of expertise and role models of continual evolution, collaboration, and creativity.

I look forward to this next step of the journey with you—to all of our continued success as marketers and creators of epic experiences!

P.S. For those coming to Adobe Summit next week—see you there! We will be rolling out the red carpet for the world premiere of Adobe Experience Manager 6.