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.


  1. Jaizenstros

    Internet marketing can be a good option for those who want a new business or want to expand on their business. While there might have a lot of useful information about internet marketing online, wading through the information may be overwhelming. This article is meant to provide you sort through this confusion with some succinct tips.

  2. GS&F

    I think marketing has always been a fine art. You have some people that are really good at it and they are the ones that stick around for the longest amount of time. Then you have others that use blunt force and are out of business in no time flat.

Ann Lewnes, Executive Vice President and CMO

Ann watched too much TV as a kid. This admission and her passion for creativity and media still drive her as Adobe’s CMO and are reflected in Adobe’s groundbreaking marketing campaigns. Creativity is only half the equation, as under Ann’s leadership, Adobe’s marketing organization has pioneered the shift to digital — deploying a comprehensive set of digital marketing solutions, establishing an insight-driven culture, and setting a template for marketing’s strategic impact on business. Prior to Adobe, Ann spent 20 years building the Intel brand as a VP of Marketing. Ann serves on the boards of Mattel and the Ad Council. In 2015, Ad Age named Ann to The Creativity 50, a list honoring the most creative people of the year. Despite all this, she still watches too much TV. If Ann were not at Adobe, she’d be a roadie for a band.

Ann Lewnes, Executive Vice President and CMO