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!

Digital Marketing

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