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Adobe doesn’t want to be known any more as the Photoshop company, or the PDF company, or the Flash company.

That stuff is important, but those products are only about content creation. Adobe wants to be seen now as the company that helps people ‘manage, measure and monetise’ digital content – all the stuff that happens after creation.

To that end, it has been holding a series of conference around the globe on digital marketing. This week it was Sydney’s turn. It was the second time the event has been held locally, with numbers double what they were last year.

The Adobe Digital Marketing Symposium as Sydney’s Hilton Hotel attracted over 500 people. It was standing room only in the plenary sessions. Clearly, Adobe’s new strategy is striking a chord. Adobe used the event to promote its streamlined and repositioned product range, and to outline its vision of a digital future.

The keynote address at the event was given by Brad Rencher, the company’s global head of digital marketing. “Everything now happens very fast,” said Rencher. “We are at a transformational time in digital content. There is a new normal – consumers want availability, they want access, they want speed.

“Expectations are changing in virtually every industry, The growth rates are astounding – 72% annual growth in tablet sales and 56% in streaming video. Over $320 billion spent online last year. Digital marketers have to meet changing consumer expectations. It’s very dynamic.”

Rencher spoke of the four things that need to occur in the 300 milliseconds between a consumer online action, like clicking on a website, and the user experience:

  • Listen: the digital marketer has to take into account all information about the consumer – from its internal database, external sources, the consumer’s behavior, etc., and develop a unified view of the customer.
  • Predict: use mathematical algorithms to determine what the consumer really wants.
  • Assemble: bring the relevant information together
  • Deliver: return it to the consumer on the appropriate device.

He said Adobe has completely restructure its product set around these four pillars, reducing 27 different products to just five, which are further unified by the Adobe Marketing Cloud. “We think we’ve got the largest and most complete set of digital marketing tools in the industry.”

Well, he would say that, but it is hard not to be impressed with the extent of Adobe’s transformation. Creating content is one thing – increasingly, it is what you do with it that is important.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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