Adobe Digital Dialogue

Thoughts from the floor – Adobe Digital Marketing Symposium 2013, Sydney

Anne Rus­sell, Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Man­ag­er, Adobe ANZ – LinkedIn



Yes­ter­day at the Adobe Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Sym­po­sium in Syd­ney, I was blown away by just how far the mar­ket­ing indus­try, tech­nolo­gies and data have evolved in only 12 short months. The event pulled into focus the fact that both con­sumers’ atten­tion spans and mar­keters’ reac­tion times have shrunk dra­mat­i­cal­ly, and that to com­bat this mar­keters now must cre­ate mean­ing­ful expe­ri­ences for con­sumers in just mil­lisec­onds.

In true dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing fash­ion, this point was enforced by the atten­dees Twit­ter con­ver­sa­tion on #AdobeSymp (which trend­ed across Aus­tralia dur­ing the event) as much as by the stel­lar line up of speak­ers, which includ­ed Com­mon­wealth Bank, US Bank, Dig­i­tal Brinc, Leno­vo, and many more. Atten­dees and speak­ers were very pas­sion­ate about issues includ­ing the hybrid of the CIO and CMO, the emerg­ing role of the CDO, how essen­tial mobile opti­miza­tion and inte­gra­tion is now.

Per­haps Andy Lark, Out­go­ing Chief Mar­ket­ing and Online Offi­cer of Com­mon­wealth Bank put it best when he described how fun­da­men­tal it is for mar­keters to under­stand the user, and how essen­tial the cloud is to this. Dur­ing his 20 minute keynote, he said, more than 52,000 peo­ple would log into Net­bank and that to cre­ate the dig­i­tal expe­ri­ence Com­mon­wealth Bank cus­tomers have come to expect, clos­er col­lab­o­ra­tion than ever was need­ed between the cre­ative, ana­lyt­ics, social, dig­i­tal and mar­ket­ing teams – some­thing that only the cloud can tru­ly enable.

Com­ple­ment­ing this, Rakesh Nam­biar, Vice Pres­i­dent, Head of Dig­i­tal Bank­ing Deliv­ery at USbank start­ed his keynote by say­ing “I don’t know how mar­ket­ing works”. Albeit a strange way to talk to a crowd of dig­i­tal mar­keters, he explained that he was speak­ing as a dig­i­tal deliv­ery and ana­lyt­ics pro­fes­sion­al, and that the col­lab­o­ra­tion between his dig­i­tal, ana­lyt­ics and the mar­ket­ing teams was the dri­ving force behind cre­at­ing tru­ly per­son­al­ized online and offline expe­ri­ences for USbank that increased rev­enue and reten­tion.


There was also heavy dis­cus­sion from sev­er­al speak­ers on how the role of the CIO and CMO are becom­ing increas­ing­ly cross-pol­li­nat­ed by need rather than choice. Marketing’s need to incor­po­rate mobile and dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies into dai­ly busi­ness puts a strain on IT man­age­ment means CMOs and CIOs must col­lab­o­rate to suc­ceed. Steven Hal­lam, Part­ner at Deloitte Dig­i­tal dis­cussed this at length in his pre­sen­ta­tion and sum­ma­rized it well in a tweet, when he said “CMOs & CIOs – More shot­gun wedding’s than hap­pi­ly ever-after’s.

Fur­ther­ing the dis­cus­sion, Brad Rencher, Senior Vice Pres­i­dent and Gen­er­al Man­ag­er, Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing at Adobe, and sev­er­al oth­er speak­ers men­tioned recent encoun­ters with “CDOs” (Chief Dig­i­tal Offi­cers) as a pos­si­ble solu­tion to the hybrid role of the CMO and CIO. Many peo­ple in the room rec­og­nized that their cur­rent title now reflects a very dif­fer­ent role from sev­er­al years ago, and in a cou­ple of years time (maybe soon­er!) we might be look­ing at a room full of CDOs and re-eval­u­at­ing the roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties of the dig­i­tal mar­keter once more.

Between the great dis­cus­sion through­out the event, as well as the amaz­ing demon­stra­tions and sneak peeks of upcom­ing tech­nolo­gies from the Ado­beLabs team, this year’s sym­po­sium was by far the best yet. Bring on #AdobeSymp 2014!

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