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Adobe campaign combats 'soft' view of marketing

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Adobe Systems launched a three-month campaign, “Metrics Not Myths,” to support its move into the digital marketing space. The effort, rolled out last month, offers the Adobe audience a peek behind the curtain as the company combats the notion that marketing remains a soft science. Adobe introduced print and online ads disputing the claim that “marketing is BS.” An executive in one video spot slaps a marketing consultant uncertain that social media performance can be measured. Another marketer receives an electrical pulse each time he uses jargon rather than the kind of crisp facts made available through analytical tools. “We felt it was time to jolt the market,” said Adobe CMO Ann Lewnes. “We have technology now that enables us to measure the value of what we do. That puts marketing in a stronger position.” The campaign, developed with San Francisco agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, supports the Adobe Marketing Cloud. The company, which made its name with creative software such as Photoshop and InDesign, has invested more than $2 billion in the development of Web-based tools to help marketers measure, analyze and optimize marketing initiatives in real time. The company overhauled its website and created a Facebook app to promote its marketing tools. It hosted Web discussions, created YouTube videos, promoted a Twitter hashtag and made unconventional b-to-b ad placements on sites including hulu.com. The effort yielded 18 million ad views in less than two weeks, Lewnes said. Adobe also created a website that charts the performance of the campaign, dissecting everything from conversion paths to terms mentioned on Twitter. The Adobe Marketing Cloud website saw traffic jump by a multiple of 10 after the effort's launch, which garnered editorial coverage in the news section of The New York Times and other media outlets. Using these analytics, Adobe can understand how visitors arrive at their destination. “There is a chronology that we never had before,” Lewnes said. Adobe is deploying two levels of analysis throughout the campaign. One group of analysts takes in campaign-wide inputs, aggregating data, tracking performance and looking at the distribution of spending. Other groups focus on specific campaign elements, such as working daily to hone keywords in a print advertisement. The approach changes the way that creative campaigns develop, said Keith Anderson, associate partner-executive design director at Goodby. “We have to respond very quickly,” he said. Marketers can launch an initiative and then pause to measure the response before pressing forward. “We used to put [a campaign] out there, and wait and hope it worked,” Lewnes said. “Now we're doing all of that in real time.”
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