Adobe’s recipes for a successful transformation

by bold-lichterman

Christophe Marée is Marketing Manager Southern Europe for Adobe.

As Lubomira Rochet, CDO of the L’Oréal group underlined in episode 10 of Vlan, Adobe’s business transformation is one of the most exceptional that has been carried out in recent years.

It is all the more remarkable given that the group had 14,000 employees at the time (17,000 today) and that it was perfectly successful.

Since I work with large groups on a regular basis, I am used to hearing people say “you know we are a big machine, it’s hard to move“.
Moreover, many experts tend to think that large groups will not be able to be agile enough to stand up to the wave (tsunami?) Implied by the necessary evolution via digital.

Adobe is proof by example that this can be done.

Adobe’s transformation

Adobes recipes for a successful transformation

Adobe originally sold software on CD-Roms that allowed those who bought it to own it for “life”. Obviously when you buy software that’s what you expect from it.

But what is the point of owning software for so long if it is not updated?

At a time when everything is moving at high speed, this value proposition has become obsolete.

Not to mention software piracy from which Adobe has suffered a lot.

Photoshop was arguably one of the most pirated software in the world.

In order to offer a better customer experience, they switched to a “cloud” mode with a software subscription and therefore a “permanent” update of the latter.

This therefore implies moving from a “B2B2C” mode (purchase through resellers) to a B2C or direct to consumer mode.
It might seem like a slight evolution, but it is truly a profound transformation for Adobe.

First of all, these are not the same professions and they are not the same budget lines either, the business model is changing and so is the customer relationship …

Advice for a successful “digital” transformation

1605345557 540 Adobes recipes for a successful transformation

1. Make sure that the whole company makes the change,
2. Change when everything is still going well, knowing how to listen to weak signals,
3. Dare to have a daring vision and operate it,
4. Resist customer pressure and not react too quickly,
5. Be transparent with financial analysts and give them visibility on the strategy even if there is a drop in activity to be expected,
6. Provide good internal support to bring change to the level of all employees by cascading information so that everyone becomes the actor of change,
7. Do not stay alone, you have to be accompanied by the right skills to succeed in the right time without spending too much money,
8. Acquire the right skills as the market evolves,
9. You have to have a clear story to tell,
10. Make change a permanent culture.

Go quickly listen to the episode to find out a lot more!

And as always if you have any wishes or comments, do not hesitate to come back to me.

gregory-pouyGregory Pouy is the founder of LaMercatique, a digital transformation consulting firm focused on the marketing part. Based between New York and Paris, he is a marketing “expert” for To follow his writings and discuss with him:

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His account on Twitter: @gregfromparis