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May 15, 2014

Adobe: “We’re not just a software company anymore”

Photoshop maker is fully focused on digital marketing, execs say.

By Vinod

Adobe is planning a major move away from its traditional software background towards the digital marketing industry, senior executives of the company said.

Adobe CEO Shantanu Naryen stated that he hopes the perception of the company as the maker of programs such as Acrobat and Photoshop will soon change.

Admitting that "it’s going to take a few years" to get the same kind of recognition and awareness for its digital marketing offering as its software products, (which still make up the majority of its revenues) Naryen stated that he saw a bright future for company in providing these services.

"Every survey that we see, the unaided awareness of what Adobe is doing in digital marketing is improving and increasing," he said. "This is an ongoing journey."

The marketing side of Adobe was the fastest growing part of the company, Naryen told attendees, exceeding $1bn in custom last year, and this will only continue to grow as digital marketing will become a larger part of the Adobe business as a whole.

Admitting that there was some puzzlement from the wider industry when Adobe signalled its dedicated entry into the marketing space five years ago, company senior vice president of digital marketing Brad Rencher said Adobe has been part of the creative business as a whole for more than thirty years, with its software playing a major part in many successful marketing campaigns over the years.

The new era of big data and the Internet of Things will also play a major part in helping Adobe establish itself in the digital marketing world, Rencher said.

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"Marketers and brands today already feel like they’re awash with big data," he said, adding that the Internet of Things will take this situation to a whole new level.

The question now, he believes, concerns which brands customers will choose to trust with their information.

"The Internet of Things is something we’re building our platform around in anticipation that this is going to explode, and that we can help marketers get their heads around this data inside what really matters across all these new channels."

People should not be afraid of sharing their data with companies using Adobe’s services, Naryen said, reassuring fears that customers might have their habits tracked without giving consent.

"We’re very aware of all the rules and regulations that exist in terms of the US and Europe – we’re very aware and compliant with all of the privacy regulations that exist.

"Our philosophy with privacy is to always make sure that the customer is in control."

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