Adobe CEO: “Adobe Has Really Been on a Tear”

Digital marketing pioneer Adobe has really been on a tear says Adobe President and CEO, Shantanu Narayen. Adobe acquired commerce cloud platform Magento for $1.68 billion and then acquired Marketo for...
Adobe CEO: “Adobe Has Really Been on a Tear”
Written by Rich Ord
  • Digital marketing pioneer Adobe has really been on a tear says Adobe President and CEO, Shantanu Narayen. In May Adobe acquired commerce cloud platform Magento for $1.68 billion and in September of this year, they acquired Marketo, a leading B2B marketing automation company, for $4.75 billion.

    Previous to these acquisitions Adobe has primarily been a B2C focused company, but now Adobe is excited by the opportunity to help enterprises around the world engage digitally with their customers.

    Shantanu Narayen, Adobe President, and CEO discussed how they are helping businesses to transform in a recent interview (watch below):

    Adobe Has Really Been on a Tear

    Adobe has really been on a tear and we have two big growth initiatives. We are empowering people to create, which has been the heritage and history of the company, and we are enabling businesses to transform.

    The key imperative, whether you are a government, educational institution, or an enterprise is to engage digitally with your customers across every screen and mobile device. Adobe pioneered digital marketing as a category. What we now have is the ability for enterprises to create content, to measure the efficacy of that content, and to acquire customers.

    Digital Experience Opportunity is North of $60 Billion

    With Magento and Marketo we extended in two very significant ways. With Magento, we now make every experience to be shoppable and complete the last mile of actually doing the commerce part of it. With Marketo, we extend from B2C companies, which is where the focus primarily was, to B2B companies. It’s an exciting time for Adobe.

    We think the available opportunity for Adobe just in the digital experience category is well north of $60 billion. When you think about it, whether you are a financial institution that is offering financial services directly digitally, whether you’re a travel or automotive, whether you’re hospitality, the imperative for everybody, including in the media business, is to engage with their customers directly.

    Adobe Enabling Enterprises to Engage with Their Customers

    Adobe always pioneered the aspects of creating that content and now we bring content and data together. It’s a market we pioneered and we are the clear leaders. While there are others looking at that same opportunity we think that we will continue to innovate at a pace that will keep us distant from the competition.

    I think what Amazon has done very effectively is demonstrate the benefits of digital engagement with their particular customers. What we do is we enable that on behalf of every other enterprise who wants to create that engagement with their customers. We give them the tools and the platform. We have a tremendous ecosystem of partners that enables them to do that.

    Whether you are a sports franchise, an airline, or a bank you want to create that digital presence. We don’t view ourselves as competitive with Amazon, we view ourselves as enabling all these other enterprises to create that engagement with their customers.

    Security and Data Privacy are Core Competencies of Adobe

    Security and data privacy are definitely core competencies that Adobe has invested in very heavily. On the data privacy part, we do it in two ways. We have millions of customers that engage with us on the creative cloud and the document cloud and keeping that data and being transparent about how we use that data is something that is front and center for us.

    On the other side, we enable all of these enterprises that are our customers to understand what are the new regulations. Whether that be GDPR in Europe or something else, we help companies understand how they can engage in a transparent way while keeping the data secure.

    It’s one of those areas that we have invested very heavily from a research and development point of view and we have to constantly stay ahead of what’s happening with regulatory environments around the world. We were compliant with GDPR right in time for the May 25th rollout here in Europe.

    We have to be circumspect as to what the rules and regulations are, but I think good sense will prevail in all of these particular cases because when you have boundaries that are down and when you have unfettered access to markets that’s what I think will continue to drive innovation and technology in the global economy.

    Customers and Citizens Have the Imperative to Deal Digitally

    At the macro level, the first thing we all have to remember is that digital is the gale wind in this trend where you cannot put the genie back in the bottle. Customers and citizens, billions all around the world, have the imperative to deal digitally with any business that they are dealing with.

    I think it is incumbent on companies like Adobe to help them to do that. Help the citizens to get the engaging experiences that they want and to help the enterprises to deliver that.

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