Adobe’s Best Days Are Ahead – Let’s Make It an Experience

 

It might sound silly, but when I talk about Adobe, I literally light up. I joined the company a little over a year ago as vice president of Brand Marketing, leaving behind my role as CMO of Girl Scouts — another iconic brand to say the least — because of the amazing opportunity in front of Adobe and the chance to participate in the journey.

Adobe is without a doubt a leader in tech — just about everyone knows Photoshop and PDF, or our leadership in digital marketing with Adobe Marketing Cloud. But people don’t necessarily understand the value across the breadth of our solutions, not to mention Adobe’s culture and how we are working to help all of our customers succeed. In other words, we have the chance to better articulate what matters most to all of our customers: to make connections by designing and delivering exceptional digital experiences.

Here’s how we make it happen:

Put Customers at the Center.

When I first joined Adobe, I was impressed to see the entire organization shifting to a more explicit focus on customer success. Many organizations talk about their commitment to customer experience, but sometimes it seems like they are checking a box.  Just last year, Adobe created the Customer and Employee Experience organization to bring customers and employees closer together, which is a testament to how deep the mindset shift goes. We have to put customers at the center of everything we do to continue to build and maintain brand leadership in today’s competitive environment.  People — customers, employees, and the relationships they build with each other — are at the heart of this brand.

Start Inside.

I’m confident we can make that shift because we have the right culture in place. Girl Scouts was an Adobe customer, and I quickly detected a different level of commitment from Adobe than I saw from the other companies helping us navigate a complex digital transformation. Adobe wasn’t just selling us products, they were helping us solve problems and showed up as a partner. And, I wasn’t the only customer who sees the difference. At Adobe’s sales team kickoff this past December, one of our customers got on stage and he took the time to thank every single Adobe employee who worked with them. I cannot imagine another technology company whose customer would be thanking his account team by name in front of thousands of people. But it happens with Adobe because we have a culture of involved, genuine, and passionate people working together to do big things — with, and on behalf of, our customers. And that’s important, because all great brands start from the inside.

Keep it Simple.

Given Adobe’s remarkable transformation and growth over the past seven years, there is a huge and continuing need for product messaging so customers understand what we do and what we offer. But as a brand becomes more complex, the need for simplicity and consistency is even more important. Often, when people talk about Adobe, it’s in reference to one of our creative, document or marketing solutions and not about what the company is overall. While differentiation at the product level is critical, it doesn’t capture the whole value of Adobe. Just as we need to make it easier for customers to use our products, we now have the chance to tell a more succinct story at the Adobe brand level. And it is simple: only Adobe gives everyone — from emerging artists to global brands — everything they need to design and deliver exceptional digital experiences.

Make It an Experience.

Our latest brand video captures the full essence of what Adobe does, how far we’ve come, and what’s possible. This is a step in our brand story evolution, and in the year ahead, I’ll share more about our focus on empowering our customers to “Make It an Experience.”

Sarah Gormley, VP, Brand Marketing

Sarah Gormley is responsible for Adobe’s corporate brand marketing and strategy across Adobe’s Creative Cloud, Document Cloud and Marketing Cloud solutions. Prior to joining Adobe in 2015, she served as CMO of Girl Scouts of the USA, where she led brand, digital, and content marketing during the iconic brand’s digital transformation. She was also an Adobe customer and spoke at Adobe's Marketing Summit before joining Adobe’s global marketing organization. Sarah holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from DePauw University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. After many years living in NYC, Sarah is learning to love all things San Francisco and California, and if she wasn’t a marketer, she would be a struggling poet.

Sarah Gormley, VP, Brand Marketing