Adobe Workfront delivers compelling gains for CMOs

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Adobe Workfront delivers compelling gains for CMOs
Michelle Stephenson, Marketing Director, Adobe Australia and New Zealand

Marketing system of record.

While much of the emphasis on marketing technology in recent years has focused on the customer-facing system, there are powerful opportunities for CMOs to achieve even greater productivity gains by reforming back-office processes.

Adobe’s decision to buy the marketing automation platform Workfront in 2020 provided the opportunity to help customers of its Experience Cloud and Creative Cloud create an end-to-end marketing system of record.

For those customers, that ultimately means better campaign management, a more effective creative process, increased content velocity and a greater understanding of costs.

The process of making, managing, moving, monetising and measuring content requires many people, often across different departments and even other companies, to work collaboratively.

With so many eyes on the copy and fingers on the keyboard, keeping control over a campaign and ensuring everyone is on the same page can be difficult, frustrating, and costly.

“In any company, people are creating content, attaching it to emails, adding it to a workflow system,” says Michelle Stephenson, Marketing Director, Adobe Australia and New Zealand.

“Now scale that up. All that work needs to be distributed to the right people at the right time, reviewed, approved, and audited. Adobe Workfront is the marketing system of record that does that.”

Internationally, Workfront is already used by leading retailers such as Walmart and Nike, by financial institutions including Citi and JP Morgan, by tech companies like Apple and Microsoft, and by professional services firms, PwC and KPMG. Australian customers using Workfront include Pinnacle Drinks, and supermarket chain, Coles.

However, Adobe’s acquisition of Workfront in late 2020 for $US1.5 billion was also particularly relevant in the local context. 

Australia is a heavily regulated market. It also had one of the highest footprints for the platform in the world at the time of acquisition despite there being no staff locally and only a single partner – Workplace Management Group in Melbourne.

Stephenson led the integration of Workfront in Adobe in Australia and New Zealand, and since the acquisition, the team has grown to ten people and the partner network has increased to six including Deloitte, BlueprintX, Leappoint, and Cognizant.

A high proportion of Adobe customers are users of both Creative Cloud and Experience Cloud, and operate in highly regulated industries such as banking, finance and insurance making them ideally placed to be able to maximise the return from any investment in Workfront, she says.

Customers can secure immediate benefits says, Stephenson. 

“It makes the marketing and creative processes much more efficient, improving time to market. That’s very important, especially in circumstances where companies need to get messaging to customers quickly – think of the banks responding to the recent flood crisis as an example.”

“The next benefit is reuse. When you make a change, you don’t necessarily need to go back to the very start of the whole compliance and regulatory approval process. That is because Workfront can ensure adherence to company policy, which makes life much easier not only for marketers but for executives in legal and compliance as well.”

And the gains are compelling.

“For the biggest advertisers and content producers even gaining a 10 per cent reuse efficiency has a significant benefit. In the context of multi-million-dollar creative budgets, that can deliver tremendous dividends.”

According to Stephenson, “We have seen a five times uplift in adherence to corporate processes for those using the platform.”

She said the benefits are especially pronounced for organisations in highly regulated industries that need to balance productivity with compliance oversight.

“The business impact is significant, with businesses very large reductions of as much as 70 per cent in time to market, and almost 30 per cent in revisions – a particular bugbear for many marketing and creative executives.”

The analytics provided by Workfront also offers far greater visibility over the cost base allowing for closer management.

“I can look at my cost of creation, all of the overheads, and better understand how much is paid for every piece of content. There is real measurability there.”  

Furthermore, Stephenson says that having a marketing system of record that is able to unlock organisation productivity and transform the creative and marketing groups ensures brands can ultimately help to provide customers with the most useful and relevant experiences.

She said that by integrating Workfront with Marketo, Campaign, Target and Analytics, the entire marketing team can see everything and measure anything.  

“By acting as the pipe between Adobe Creative Cloud and Experience Cloud, Workfront puts the entire marketing workflow on one platform – as a marketing system of record it’s taking its place alongside other tier-one systems.”

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