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This article is part of the Visual Revolution Summit interview series. Learn more about the Summit here.

As both one of the top software companies in world and the key resource for almost all digital creatives, Adobe has the challenge and opportunity to create marketing that resonates with some of the most innovative people on Earth. The person responsible for this is Alex Amado (Senior Director of Creative and Media at Adobe), who crafts and shapes all the brand’s outbound marketing. In anticipation of his upcoming talk at the Visual Revolution Summit, we interviewed Alex to get his insights on visual marketing and community engagement.

Q: What does the visual revolution mean for marketing and your team?
A: In some ways, the visual revolution isn’t new — think about a lot of iconic advertising campaigns over the years that resonate through the use of a powerful image and only one or two words: Absolut Vodka, the silhouette of the iPod dancer, the Got Milk mustache. However, the difference is that those were campaigns that came around a few times a decade. Today, we have the opportunity for powerful, visual-first connection with our audiences every single day.

Finding the balance, and figuring out how to continually improve at this kind of communication is something that my creative team and I work on every day. We are constantly learning and refining how we engage through all our media channels. The revolution is happening and it’s not slowing down.

Q: Adobe has an active community of creatives. What advice would you give marketers looking to start or grow their own brand’s community?
A: At Adobe, we’re fortunate to have one of the most amazing and creative communities in the world. For me, the keys to successful community building are:

  • Dialogue not monologue – make sure you have people who are going to be out there, speaking on your behalf, both officially and unofficially.
  • Activate your employees — but also, train them and make sure they understand your company’s strategies and positions. A social workforce is an amazing asset for community building.
  • Be transparent – brand transparency is vital when trying to build community online, because people know when they’re being ‘marketed to’ and they know when a brand is not being authentic. You can’t fake this.
  • Engage them in ways that are meaningful and that satisfy them (not just you) – people will join your brand’s community if it satisfies a need for them. The active members of Adobe’s Creative Cloud community, for instance, thrives on creativity, artistic challenges, and an opportunity to share ideas and inspiration. They also band together to provide mutual support and help. And millions of them do engage this way through Behance and other social platforms.

Q: Do you partner with your community of creators for your own creative marketing? If so, how?
A: We have a lot of opportunities to showcase the incredible work that our community creates, and we often invite them to co-create with us. We’ve done this to support third party projects (to help create a music video or support a cause like the Bully Project), as well as with Adobe-branded projects (co-creating key product identities like Photoshop and Creative Cloud), and many more. Some of the most enjoyable and evocative projects we’ve ever completed have been built hand-in-hand with our community of creative professionals.

Want to learn more about what it takes to create an effective visual marketing strategy? Alex will be presenting during the Text is Optional section at VRS. Request your invite today!

About The Author

Monica is a book hoarder and gets overexcited about community-driven marketing. She lives in New York City and dreams of a day when a landlord will let her have a cat.

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