Companies urged to use example of Uber and make marketing the product

Shantanu Narayan


Companies need to look at the example of digital startups like Uber and realise their marketing is actually their product, the global head of Adobe has said.

Talking about taking “marketing beyond marketing” Shantanu Narayan cited the examples of ride share app Uber, which has developed because of mobile technology and has realised their apps are actually the product they are selling.

Addressing the Adobe Summit conference in Salt Lake City Naryan said: “Traditionally as a marketer your company gave you a product and you got to market it. The questions you got to ask were things like how do I position my brand, whats the messaging, how do I allocate my media spend?

“But the new questions to ask are things like are we thinking broadly enough about what the product is? How can I bring together this power of digital marketing to dramatically improve this product experience? And companies all around the world are going through this change.”

He added: “Turning your product into marketing puts marketing at the centre of every single business.”

In an onstage interview Coca-Cola’s chief development officer Lorie Buckingham talked about how the company was applying this idea across its “millions of screens worldwide” to engage customers, giving the example of the Small World Machines activation worked on by Leo Burnett Sydney which got people in India and Pakistan to collaborate for free drinks, and the Freestyle Machines the company has introduced in shops and cinemas in the US, allowing people to create their own drinks from their products.

coca cola mix machine graphic“You didn’t just interact with us in the moment of happiness – you’ve created the next product idea,” she said, “We actually see people choosing to come back to the cinemas these machines are in because of these machines.”

She added: “Something happens in Australia that we like it’s now a case of how fast can we make that happen in the US or UK?”

It comes as Adobe makes a raft of new announcements around its marketing and creative suites, aimed at taking advantage of digital developments including wearable technology and the internet of things.

Among the announcements are changes to the social media management tool allowing easier publishing across devices and a media optimiser to create “continuous and consistent experiences” across devices by synching data with programmatic advertising.

Alex Hayes

Alex Hayes is a guest of Adobe at the Summit conference.


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