How Adobe reached the creatives of tomorrow

Stephen Whiteside

Just a few years ago, Adobe's creative software programs – offerings like Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator – came in a heavily-branded box, had to be installed via CD, and were aimed exclusively at students and practitioners in disciplines like publishing and photography.

Today, by contrast, these products are typically are downloaded from the web (legally or not) by a cohort of tech-savvy users extending well beyond the original target audience. And as AnnMarie Baba, Adobe's senior manager/marketing, told delegates at OMMA Social – an event held during Internet Week 2014 – the firm had an opportunity to greatly expand its core group of customers.

Reflecting a broader shift in Adobe's marketing philosophy, the cardboard-and-compact-disc approach was replaced by Adobe Creative Cloud, a digital suite of more than 30 services and pieces of software that is purchased online, with various pricing options depending on the client's needs. "We were also moving to a completely new model, which was subscription-based," Baba said. "So along with that came a lot of changes."