CMO Q&A: Ann Lewnes, Adobe

Adobe's CMO of global marketing Ann Lewnes talks to Steve Barrett about helping clients and agencies demonstrate marketing effectiveness.

Adobe's CMO of global marketing Ann Lewnes talks to Steve Barrett about helping clients and agencies demonstrate marketing effectiveness. 

Tell us how marketing is evolving.
CMOs now spend more on IT than CIOs and the pro-files of people in marketing have also evolved.

Adobe used to sell boxes of software that people would then upgrade, but we have since invested in marketing optimization areas such as analytics and ad-serving technology.

I was at Intel for 20 years doing PR and have been at Adobe for the last six. One of the biggest changes is that social media has become the bridge for all communications.

The world is getting a lot smaller and the Web and media in general have homogenized people.

You used to have to customize a message for every audience, but that's becoming simpler as markets become more advanced and people buy online, though there is still a need for some individualization.

You produced some research to help marketers make their case.
Marketers are often frustrated when their contributions are undervalued and they're told the impact of their work isn't measurable. CEOs and CFOs still think marketing is fluff. The job of agencies and marketers is to prove them wrong.

Most people have a dated and limited view of what marketers contribute to business. This was backed by results from our research.

Marketers are seen as providing less value than a number of other professions - such as politicians and bankers - and many types of marketing are seen by some people as ineffective and annoying.

We want to turn these outdated perceptions of marketing on their head and breathe new life into a profession that is just as analytic and measurable as it is creative.

How do your products help marketers demonstrate effectiveness?
It's not about automation: we know what marketers want and what they have longed for. We understand what they want to do to prove the importance of what they've created.

[Nielsen-style] audience panels served a purpose in their day, but they are an anachronism in today's world.

But clients still want a metric that is blessed by someone: a standard. 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in