Adobe CMO Ann Lewnes: “Eight years ago, we moved 70% of our marketing budget to digital. People thought we were crazy.”


Ann Lewnes has been EVP and CMO of Adobe since 2006. Prior to this, she labored at Intel for 21 years, ending as their VP of Marketing. During her time at Intel, she “did every single marketing job.” As she stated in an interview final 12 months, “I was kind of a go-getter and there was nothing too small or embarrassing for me to do. I just really had a lot of energy and I was a very different kind of person from the typical Silicon Valley person at that time.”

What led her to Adobe?

I feel all people wants to do another gig. And so I stated, I’ve another large gig in me, and Adobe got here to me and I went. I thought, ‘this company has so much potential that’s untapped,’ and all the time being a extra inventive individual myself, I had a private affinity to it.”

Last week, Lewnes spoke on the Adobe Summit in Las Vegas. She lined a bit about Adobe’s transformation to subscription-based merchandise and a give attention to expertise, having the fitting individuals, constructing a tradition of testing, and what she’s wanting ahead to sooner or later.

Adobe CMO Ann Lewnes Summit 2019

[Photo by Jeff Bottari/AP Images for Adobe]

“Eight years ago, we moved 70% of our marketing budget to digital. People thought we were crazy.”

In basic, marketing budgets common about 10.eight% of complete agency budgets, in accordance to the CMO Survey from August 2018. (The CMO Survey is a biannual survey of top-level entrepreneurs. Their pattern dimension is usually 2000-3000, with 97% of respondents VP-level or above. Sponsors embrace Duke University and Deloitte Digital. It’s been round since 2008, and is “the longest-running non-commercial survey for and about marketers.”)

how much of a company's budget goes to marketing?

Those marketing budgets consist of every thing from social media to analytics, market analysis to coaching.

Understandably, deciding the place to allocate these could be a robust query.

A distinct fall 2018 survey of 500 digital entrepreneurs discovered that 99% of companies deliberate to enhance budget in not less than one digital marketing channel over the approaching 12 months.

More funding in digital is a no brainer — the query is, how a lot?

According to the CMO Survey, at the moment marketing departments on common spend just below half (44.three%) of their budget on non-digital spending. In 5 years, nevertheless, that’s anticipated to enhance by 22% to simply over half (54.1%).

percent of marketing budgets on digital vs non-digital spend, now and in five years

With these figures in thoughts, it was significantly fascinating when Lewnes stated,

“”Eight years in the past, we moved 70% of our marketing budget to digital. People thought we were loopy.”

Not solely would which have been forward of the curve immediately — it was distinctive in 2010.

“But,” Lewnes continued, “that’s only the first step.”

What sort of individuals make digital transformation profitable?

Next, Lewnes touched on needing the fitting individuals to make transformation profitable. 

In her descriptions, she talked about researchers, a mixture of each left and proper brains, and people with a brand new mindset — who are usually not afraid to experiment and problem the established order.

Similarly, respondents to final 12 months’s CMO Survey voted “having the right talent” as crucial issue for driving future progress (33.eight%). A giant surprisingly, solely 13.1% voted on “having the right technology” as most essential, and simply 9% chosen “having the right data.”

graph showing how the right talent is most important for future growth

Building a tradition of testing

After individuals, of course, come processes.

Over the years, Lewnes has constructed a tradition of testing amongst her marketing staff.

Their beginning objective, years in the past, was only one check per week.

Now? They run not less than 50 per thirty days.

Further proof that so typically the toughest half is simply beginning with one step in the fitting course. If you begin small and do only one factor, you’re way more possible to attain your eventual objective than for those who focus an excessive amount of on the issue and all that wants to be accomplished — and of course find yourself doing nothing.

She additionally famous,

“Adobe’s website has 9.2 billion visitors per year.”

What transformations does Adobe CMO Lewnes see on the horizon?

Lewnes additionally touched on what’s subsequent. She pulled out 5 large digital traits on the horizon, which many of us would possible agree with:

  1. Mobile
  2. Voice
  3. AR
  4. 5G
  5. Video

“Marketing has never been more valued”

According to Lewnes, it is a nice time to be in marketing.

“Marketing has never been more valued. There’s a demand for everything we do. More emails, more social, more events, more tests. We have finally proven our worth, and now we’re getting pressure to do more, and better.”



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