Career Snapshot

“Where’s you’ve been hiding all my life?” said one of my clients the other day. The last 10 years of my career I’ve been at Adobe, you know the company that used to send you those annoying “security updates” for Flash player or Acrobat Reader.

If you’re a creative pro you’ll be familiar with Adobe, because you’ll probably use the hero Adobe products of Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign every single day.

Now, more and more “knowledge workers” (folks like you and me who trade our knowledge, skills and experience for money) use Adobe products like Adobe Spark to showcase our knowledge in visually compelling ways.

Adobe has just announced record revenue, and business is booming but why? They’re changing the world through digital experiences. Every day you and I are exposed to the results of Adobe products, that fab new advert, an online newspaper, or the emails that we’re served. Adobe’s everywhere!

During those 10 years, I lived the Adobe brand and was a brand guardian. Every marketing activity my team and I did had to live up to the Adobe brand promise of delivering outstanding customer experiences.

With Adobe in my DNA, I’m now helping entrepreneurs & businesses like you create a brand promise which delivers outstanding customer experiences.

If you like mediocrity, I’m not the person to be working with, I enjoy challenging the status quo. If you want outstanding, get in touch.

So what did I learn at Adobe?

“How you do it” is as important as “what you do”!

So how do I operate, well the only people that can tell you are my team and my suppliers. In 2016 my team rated my management skills in the 2016 Global Engagement Survey. Across all engagement metrics, my personal results as a manager were higher than any of my peers, or the directors in the European marketing team (and were higher than the rest of the Adobe business). Why? Because I care about people, I care about how we do things. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t give honest and direct feedback, I do. I just lace my feedback with a bucket load of kindness. Unless you’ve given me permission to give unfiltered feedback!

People are only successful as the teams around them and we weren’t an island of 7, we needed a strong, dedicated cohort of suppliers who supported up. Yeah, yeah I hear you say…who cares. I care, the “how you do it” is just as important as the “what”. Therefore, I instigated a Supplier Business Review pilot with the European Procurement team so that our agencies could review us and vice versa. Honest & direct feedback? Absolutely! The review process worked both ways, we identified problems, fixed them & of course celebrated our successes. And we saved both us, and our agencies time & money!  This process is now the benchmark for managing all relationships with third party agencies across the world.

If it ain’t broke, test it, and test again!

Instincts & “gut feelings” have value in my book, but I’ve learned that testing can get you better (and worse) results. We tested everything from email subject lines, ad words, video content to live events. If you could measure it, we tested it. We stuck with the winners until next time we tested! It’s all about the testing.

If you can’t measure it, why bother?

I always want to know what success looks like so I know when we can celebrate. I love a good celebration. Whatever activity we’re doing we need to understand how we can measure success. If you don’t know I’m simply not interested. You need a goal, do you have a goal?

In my Adobe career I had two headline business goals & here’s a snapshot of what they were & how we achieved them:

  • Transformed the Creative Cloud business from “boxed” product sales to Software as a Service recurring revenue model:
    • Optimised the marketing funnel across all customer segments and grew the Northern Europe business to #1 in Creative Cloud unit sales in EMEA. The UK grew to the 4th largest individual country globally for Creative Cloud unit sales.
    • Delivered the largest 2016 European online & offline marketing event reaching over 1 million UK individuals.
    • Engaged with the Creative Pro community, building 6 case studies showing the business value of moving to Creative Cloud, and connecting face to face with the Community
  • Achieved aggressive growth goals in the Adobe UK Education market from $17m pa to $30m pa:
    • Surrounded the UK Education community, and showed teachers how & why they should use Adobe products to enhance 21st Century skills:
      • Developed 12 case studies in less than a year to support the Education sales organisation & to provide content for lead generation campaigns.
    • Connected with students at UK secondary schools to drive demand for Adobe products:
      • Designed & built a free Massive Open Online Course aka MOOC, Adobe Generation, for 13-19 year-olds resulting in over 10,000 students learning Adobe applications. This idea was then taken by Corporate for global implementation – they switched it up, but the name lives on.
    • I was the UK thought-leader for Adobe Education. We consistently secured the most press coverage, engagement & reach in any region outside of North America. You can still find some of my work if you Google “Liz Wilkins Adobe”
    • Connected with the Education community:
      • Introduced social media for the UK Student business (Facebook/Twitter) & ran blogs for the Higher Education & Schools markets to expand reach & gain a tribe. It worked! I’m still friends with many of that community in real life, as well as on social media.

So that’s what I did, and how I did it.  I even got recognition along the way!

  • Won the B2B Award 2014: Runner-up – best use of live event marketing for Adobe Create Now event.
  • Won the BMA B2 Award 2013: Best of Category – Digital Marketing Tools for Adobe Generation.
  • Won the Global Marketing Organisation Q4 FY13 Innovation Award – Adobe “Groovy Booth Back to School” campaign.
  • Won the Adobe Education – Global Award of Excellence FY12
  • Won the Adobe UK Q2 FY11 “Involved” Award for BETT 2011

I could tell you about my successes from the 90s & 00s but this isn’t about me anymore, it’s about what I can do to help your business grow.

Like what you’ve read?

If you’d like me on your team to help launch your business to the next level, get in touch now.