In November of last year, Adobe did a pretty serious restructure, making the decision to focus on Digital Marketing and Digital Media. More than a few people might have wondered what exactly was going on. But when you take the time to consider what Adobe did, you realize they were following their own advice: focus on the customer.

No Worries - Adobe's On the Right Track

I had a good conversation with Kevin Cochrane, Adobe's VP of Enterprise Marketing the other day. We talked about Adobe's recent re-organization and Cochrane acknowledged that maybe Adobe wasn't as clear about the changes as they could have been, adding to the apprehension.

Cochrane spoke to Adobe's past reputation of buying companies and not fully integrating them. He said that customers were making it clear that they wanted one Adobe and that's what this reorganization is giving them. Adobe's divisions are now pulled together into a unified organization and it is re-tooling for the digital age and its customers.

Adobe's Own Customer Experience Transformation

When you work with customers helping them define and implement their own customer experience management strategies, you kind of need to know what you are doing. And you need to be walking it, as well as talking it. That is what Adobe is doing, retooling by leveraging its own platform across its entire marketing function to create that personalized experience to its own customers -- all to fill the sales pipeline.

People still have challenges with Adobe products, especially when they aren't integrated, said Cochrane, and Adobe needed to fix that. So Adobe is focused on the entire Customer Experience -- looking at all the interaction points beyond the online channel. It collapsed two former Business units (the Omniture BU and the Digital Enterprise) to break down some of its own silos and create a single roadmap. Cochrane said that the new business unit is now aligned and focused on a common mission.

Look at it this way: you had Adobe's CQ Content Management platform sitting in one BU, generating web experiences across channels and doing targeted campaigns. Then you had another completely separate BU responsible for analytics, optimization, etc. But the reality is that these are not two separate functions -- the CQ platform needs deep measurement, analytics and optimization to deliver these personalized, targeted experiences.

We saw a little of this integration when Adobe's Web Engagement Management platform was launched last February. At that time, it combined Adobe LiveCycle, Adobe CQ5,  Adobe Creative Suite and Adobe Online Marketing Suite (Omniture), but the OMS integration was basic. We should expect to see this integration go further as the roadmap is executed.

Learning Opportunities

As Adobe brings in new software through additional acquisitions, Cochrane says that we can expect it to do a roadmap plan that will see it deeply integrate into a common suite, with common architectural standards and services.

Customer Experience in 2012 According to Adobe

I asked Cochrane what Adobe saw as the key focus (es) for Customer Experience Management this year. He pointed out two:

  1. Enterprise Digital Media (the Creative Cloud). Adobe see the creative process in a transformation phase, where the tools are changing -- especially with the increased use of tablets and tablet development.
  2. Rethinking the whole marketing process. Tied to a transformation in the creative process and its tools is looking at how marketing needs to build the brand and drive demand.

The cloud and the idea of capacity on demand will be important here.

But the heart of this, Cochrane said, is where CQ, specifically, CQ DAM, comes into play, particularly the DAM repository and the creative workflow processes.

I think it's going to a be an interesting year for Adobe. The re-org was major, but necessary considering the market they are trying to reach. The end result may be that it is its own best case study for CXM.