Dozens of Adobe staffers are holding up green glow sticks, drawing lines of light down between thousands of seats set up in the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. It’s not yet 9 a.m., but Fatboy Slim is already blasting through the convention centre, home this week to Adobe Summit, a three-day conference Adobe hosts annually to promote its suite of tools for marketers.
An annual brand activation event for Adobe meant to put products in the hands of current and future clients, this year’s summit is the launching pad for a series of tweaks to Adobe’s Marketing Cloud, a web hosted campaign management system that aims to connect marketers to creatives and agencies to clients.
Chief among the updates is the integration of Experience Manager – a tool that manages digital content across devices – with the Creative Cloud, meaning both marketers and creatives can access data about websites and digital campaigns and make changes from a single place.
The update, which is currently in beta and expected to roll out in early summer, also includes a Facebook-style news feed with notifications that users can pin to boards shared with other people working on their campaign.
Adobe chief marketing officer Ann Lewnes said she believes the consolidation of many reports, from social to web traffic, into visual media (think Pinterest) will ease the pain of managing multiple sets of data.
“People like me do not want to be looking through spreadsheets,” she said. “They do not want to be pouring through different dashboards. It’s really hard. The ability to have it in a visual format is going to be a total game changer.”
Once known primarily for digital creative tools like Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash, Adobe has spent the last three years reinventing itself as a company that caters to both creatives and marketers. It has improved its data tools through a series of acquisitions, including the audience tracking firm Demdex, search/social campaign manager Efficient Frontier Technology and analytics provider Omniture.
Most recently it acquired Behance – a social network where over 1 million creatives share their work – an acquisition Lewnes said will help Adobe provide marketers a place to socialize and share best practices online.
Aside from senior Adobe executives, the event features presentations from clients including top tier marketing execs like Twitter chief revenue officer Adam Bain and Coca-Cola’s head of digital Neil Bedwell.