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BtoB's Best Marketers: Ann Lewnes, Adobe Systems

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Adobe Systems charged Ann Lewnes with broadening the scope of its brand, bringing digital marketing and Web analytics tools into a product lineup once best known for creative offerings such as Photoshop. The CMO delivered with a “Metrics Not Myths” campaign that spiked Web traffic following the October 2012 launch of the Adobe Marketing Cloud suite of services. The campaign featured humorous print and digital ads that challenged the perception that marketers cannot measure the impact of their work. In the digital age, the ads suggested, new tools, including Adobe's social analytics and media optimization, help marketers capture and analyze data to reshape the way that campaigns work. Adobe launched a blog offering a real-time view of the inner workings of its integrated campaign, which lifted social media activity and drove Web traffic to 10 times precampaign levels. The campaign's success relied not only on the new technologies that Adobe employed, Lewnes said, but also on a cultural shift. “It took a lot of change beyond the technology, in terms of the process that we used, the organizational structure, the types of talent that we brought on board.” That cultural shift is the focus of a new campaign that Adobe debuted during Advertising Week 2013. The company released a humorous TV spot and Web ad that showcases the perils of making decisions based on unidentified Web traffic. A baby's playful clicks lead an encyclopedia publisher to step up production and, ultimately, create a run on wood pulp. The tagline: “Do you know what your marketing is doing?” The ad coincided with the publication of new Adobe research that serves as a rallying cry against the digital fatigue that has settled over much of the marketing industry. “The campaign is a way for us to really focus on educating customers,” Lewnes said. “People completely understand that they need to move to digital, but they don't necessarily understand what they have to do to be successful.” The concept will be the centerpiece of Adobe's integrated marketing efforts over the next year, Lewnes said.
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