“The Key Is Not To Make More Content”: Adobe’s Marta DeBellis

“The Key Is Not To Make More Content”: Adobe’s Marta DeBellis
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With Cannes Lions just around the corner, pick the work most likely to win big

B&T recently sat down with Adobe’s vice president of marketing for the Asia-Pacific region, Marta DeBellis, to get her thoughts on what’s in store for marketers in 2017, and find out how Adobe is playing its part.

Marketing revolves a lot around storytelling and playing on emotions? Where does Adobe help in that regard?

Design is all around us. When we experience great design, the impact is undeniable. It excites and inspires us, from where we like to go and what we choose to purchase. Adobe Creative Cloud serves the art of human creativity, turning bright ideas into amazing design and memorable brands, ultimately creating an experience for customers.

Truly embracing your brand story and combining that with data that reflects a customer-centric experience can be a great opportunity to connect with customers. Using data is a great way to find answers and tell stories. However, there’s a general lack of awareness about how to turn that data into a great experience for customers. Behind every great story in marketing is legwork, research and skills demonstrated by savvy marketers resulting in a thorough understanding of their customers.

What’s biggest mistake marketers are making right now?

The biggest mistake marketers make is failure to put the customer first. Customers want their interactions with their favourite brands to be useful and relevant. At the heart of these interactions is content that helps them, educates them or even entertains them. Marketers need to stop talking about what their business does and start talking about what their business does for their customers.

What are the major opportunities for marketers going forward? What should marketers be investing in now?

Machine learning and data science offer significant productivity opportunities for marketers, allowing them to focus their time on their overall strategies and away from day-to-day analytics and data management.

Video has been the next big thing for several years now and I don’t think marketers have figured out how to fully leverage it in their campaigns in an agile way. Understanding how customers are consuming video content and learning how to use video advertising will be key opportunities for marketers in 2017.

Adobe’s announcement of our intent to acquire TubeMogul shows our focus on video in marketing campaigns. TubeMogul will create the first end-to-end independent advertising and data management solution that spans TV and digital formats, simplifying what has been a complex and fragmented process for brands.

What’s biggest threat/challenge that marketers face going forward? What will be the next big marketing disruptor?

The ability to create amazing content quickly, and at scale, should also be a focus for marketers in 2017. This is referred to as content velocity. The key is to not make more content, but to make content more personalised and engaging.

Consumers are becoming smarter and savvier when it comes to marketing. Is it about marketers bringing customers with them or are marketers now having to keep up with consumers?

A little bit of both. Content velocity and keeping up with consumer expectations are huge challenges – these issues underscore the need for marketers to walk in the shoes of customers and truly understand the experience their brand is offering. Millennials have grown up with technology and are changing the way people learn, shop, communicate and get entertainment.

There are rumours that Adobe is creating algorithms for ads, which might make creative agencies obsolete. Do you see this translating into marketing?

We have three core solutions that directly relate to this:

  • Adobe Primetime is a multi-screen TV platform that helps broadcasters, cable networks and service providers create and monetise engaging, personalised viewing experiences.
  • Adobe Media Optimizer (AMO) is a programmatic ad-buying solution that helps forecast the best mix of search, display and social ads. It also automates the execution of media plans and determine the best way to deliver relevant content to high-value audiences.
  • Lastly, Adobe’s intent to acquire TubeMogul will create the first end-to-end independent advertising and data management solution that spans TV and digital formats, simplifying what has been a complex and fragmented process for brands.

Have we moved too far towards data and science when it comes to marketing? Are we losing the human element?

Not at all. In fact, machine learning and data science offer significant productivity opportunities for marketers, allowing them to focus their time on their overall strategies and away from day-to-day analytics and data management. We recently announced Adobe Sensei, which powers Adobe Creative Cloud, Document Cloud and Marketing Cloud, and is unique in its approach as it blends the science of data with the art of human creativity. Adobe Creative Cloud is at the core of great design, which is the ultimate expression of the human element.

How much will AI and VR be a part of Adobe’s offering in the near future?

The emergence of technologies like AI, VR and machine learning will shape marketing in 2017 and beyond. AI and machine learning have become ubiquitous in the technology industry, and a lot of great work has been done to build out horizontal frameworks to solve large-scale problems, from accurate speech recognition to computer vision. We recently introduced Adobe Sensei, a framework and set of intelligent services, with deep expertise in AI, machine learning and deep learning, built into the Adobe Cloud platform which dramatically improve the design and delivery of digital experiences.

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