What makes a marketing champion? Interview with Matt Strain, Adobe

Matt Strain, director of worldwide relationship marketing at Adobe, is recognized after only three years as a Marketing Champion who adds value to the organization.

He has a distinguished career as a technology marketer. He recently shared his thoughts on what makes him succeed and advised other marketers to help them get ahead in this challenging and competitive industry.

Roy Young Roy Young, how long have you been with Adobe, and what role do you currently play?

Matt Strain: Adobe has been my employer for almost three years. I am a member of the corporate marketing team. I work closely with field marketing partners and our business units to plan and implement our relationship marketing programs. These are for our creative professionals, hobbyists, educators, and mobile users.

How long have you been working in marketing? What is your education and business background?

MS Since I graduated from Holy Cross in 1986 with a degree in political science, I have worked in marketing. The Rotary Foundation provided me with a scholarship to attend the Chinese University of Hong Kong after I graduated. After landing in Hong Kong, I pitched Apple a small project and worked with them for ten years. Apple’s growing business gave me a chance to work in marketing education, channel development, and market development. I also worked with country management and technology licensing. In 1996, shortly before Hong Kong was returned to China, I relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area.

The optimism and innovation of the 1990s enchanted me. I worked at several startups that were focused on marketing automation, e-commerce, and information retrieval. Raising and spending VC funds was an invaluable experience in learning to evaluate risks in a very concrete, very focused manner.

In 2002, I was intrigued by search’s micro-targeting possibilities and joined Alta Vista as director of Strategic Marketing.

I joined Adobe in 2005 and was incredibly impressed by several things: their focus on doing what is right for the customer, their development of innovative products and technologies that are world-class, and their leadership role in responsible business practices.

What do you attribute to your marketing success?

MS Success means being able to wake up excited in the morning. It also means great people, outstanding products, engaged clients, and challenging business problems.

Success is based on a broad range of factors.

  • Customer insight involves understanding what motivates my customers. Understanding what makes a highly profitable customer different from a less profitable one and how customers communicate with each other in online and offline worlds is also part of this.
  • Understanding data –Understand analytics and financials to connect customers with the bottom line. This includes the integration of test and learn-practices into marketing.
  • Use enabling technologies. What are the new tools to help connect with customers? How can technology be used better to understand customers’ buying and behavior patterns and foster loyalty?

True success, I believe, is making a positive impact on a global level.

RY: What have you done to become a more effective marketer?

MS This is all about the customer, the motivation of the customer, the marketing actions, and the measurable value for the company.

It is important to understand how to engage customers in an authentic, relevant way. It is important to be able to answer the following questions:

  • Where do your customers congregate (user groups, conferences, or social networks)? )?
  • What sources do they rely on for information? (Companies, the press, their peers, or influencers?)
  • What do they buy, and why? (online online, online a purchasing manager, or bundled with another service)

Understand the data, but be curious and skeptical. Customers and businesses are complex, irrational creatures that do not always fit into a database field.

What has been the most satisfying marketing accomplishment of your career?

MS The epiphany and most rewarding moment of my life happened early. I was young and sold to heads of computer science departments at Hong Kong universities twice my age. Our main competitor, IBM, gave away an entire PC lab. We were expecting customers to pay. On a hot afternoon in Australia, at a picnic table, the turning point occurred. My most important prospect was scolded by one of the biggest names in educational computing at Carnegie Mellon. You don’t even have a Mac laboratory. “How can you have a program of world-class quality without Macs?” My job has just become a lot simpler. This conversation was repeated throughout the entire conference. Each university in Hong Kong now has a Mac Lab.

Please describe a marketing initiative that you are currently working on and find exciting.

MS Adobe’s Hosted Services Strategies are exciting and present new opportunities to engage our customers more effectively. Adobe’s technologies and the me online online and offline worlds present a great opportunity to change how people create and interact.

What made the most effective marketers that you admire successfully?

MS The marketers I admire most are those who take calculated risks, remain curious, and do the right thing.

Recently, I had the chance to spend some time with Keith Reinhard. He is the Chairman Emeritus at BBDO. In a group of 15 people, we were taking part in a workshop on digital storytelling in Santiago Atitlan in Guatemala. All of us met at Antigua’s lunch for the first. Keith, “the most mature” of the group, began chatting with Elin, an intelligent 15-year-old, about the pros and cons of various platforms that allow multiplayer storytelling. This thirst for knowledge and understanding was just one of the many things I observed throughout the week. It is the same curiosity that led him to develop “You Deserve A Break Today” for McDonald’s.

I also respect marketers who take risks and redesign their business models to deliver a solid ROI while trying to make a positive contribution to the planet. Patagonia, Virgin, and other companies are good examples.

RY: What are the biggest challenges you and your colleagues in marketing face today?

MS: Relevance. Brands must be authentic and engaging in a world where customers are bombarded with messages.

Marketing is also entering a new era, with global issues at the forefront. Marketers must answer the question, “What does it mean to do the right thing?” for customers, the environment, and shareholders.

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