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.