Developer Communications - Adobe

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Developer Communications - Adobe

To communicate with developers, Adobe relies on the use of its developer portal, a tech blog on medium, developer-specific social media channels (Twitter, YouTube, and GitHub), along with a range of support channels including email, phone, chat, self-serve documentation, tutorials, tools, development kits and more. A deep dive of these findings along with an analysis of Adobe's core value propositions, fintech and developer messaging tactics, developer portal strategy, business line analysis, and customer descriptors have been presented in the following sections:

How the Brand is Speaking to the Developer Community (e.g. hackathons, blogs, webinars, social channels, etc).

  • Adobe has a developer portal/platform (Adobe I/O) and on this platform it recommends that developers connect with the brand on the following channels to stay up to date with the developer platform: Adobe Tech Blog on Medium, Adobe I/O on Twitter, Adobe on GitHub, and Adobe I/O on YouTube.
  • Adobe Tech Blog on Medium: The Adobe Tech Blog is updated on a continual basis. The content is tailored to all types of developers and features articles that take less than 10 minutes to read.
  • Adobe I/O Twitter: The Adobe Developers Twitter profile has 14.4K followers and was launched in 2009. The feed is updated frequently, mostly linking to articles in the Adobe Tech Blog.
  • Adobe on GitHub: A link to this profile can be found here. Each post appears to get hundreds of likes/stars.
  • Adobe I/O YouTube: Adobe's I/O YouTube channel is called Adobe Developers. The channel has 725 subscribers and has posted a total of 29 videos in the past three years, with the most recent posts being from two months ago. These videos have received view counts from the double digits into the thousands, although most videos have received a few hundred views.
  • According to Adobe's annual report, developers are a key segment of the brand's consumer base and the company provides the following support communication channels for their customers: phone, chat, web, social media, and email. Likewise, some customers are eligible to receive more tailored support and on-site support services as well, such as those who use Adobe's Premium Services options. The company also notes that they provide "delivery assurance, technical support and enabled services to partners and developer organizations."
  • The Adobe Partner Connection Reseller Program provides developers with tools, development kits, services, and information. Similarly, Adobe offers digital learning services for its customers, which the brand describes as a "comprehensive portfolio of learning and enablement services to assist [their] customer and partner teams in the use of [their] products" Likewise, the company provides self-service online learning tools via their website, as well as fee-based programs that encompass in-person classes, virtual, and on-demand training and certifications.

Core Value Propositions

  • Adobe's core value proposition is to provide its customers with the ability to create, publish and promote their content anywhere, anytime, on any device. In alignment with this, Adobe focuses on trying to meet customer needs in a holistic way.
  • According to Cleversim, a specialty employment database, Adobe's primary value propositions are accessibility, innovation, and brand/status.
  • Accessibility: Adobe provides accessibility by offering customers flexibility and a wide range of options when it comes to where and how they use their products. For example, Adobe software can be accessed from any type of device (e.g. computer, tablet, smartphone, television) and Adobe has a very extensive product line and APIs for all its products.
  • Innovation: Adobe has long been synonymous with innovation, even as far back as PhotoShop which was groundbreaking at the time. At other stages, Adobe has created other one-of-a-kind product pioneers. One such example is PostScript, which for a long period of time was the only page description language that could be used in multiple-computer environments.
  • Brand/Status: Adobe's long-running successes and wide product diversification has made it a household name as one of the biggest software companies anywhere in the world. Adobe promotes itself as a leader in digital solutions for marketing and media. According to insights published by Cleverism, the company "processes more than forty trillion data transactions a year through its software-as-a-service products [and has] won many honors, including placement on the '100 Best Corporate Citizens' list by CR Magazine and the FTSE4Good Index."

Key Messages to Developers and Fintechs

  • When it comes to messaging targeted at fintechs/financial service providers, Adobe focuses on evolution, convenience, seamlessness, privacy, security, goals, changing technology, personalized experiences, ease of use, cross-channel/cross-device experiences, real-time and dynamic experiences, customization, and connection.
  • In alignment with the above, messaging targeting fintechs and financial services companies include phrases like 'experiences that connect', 'adapting to today's digital reality', 'personalized banking from branch to mobile,' 'forge deeper relationships,' 'creating a tailored experience', and 'make it personal'.
  • When it comes to messaging targeting developers, Adobe focuses on building, engagement, collaboration, analytics, automation, functions, workflows, security, tools, providing help/assistance, capabilities, resources/education, support, creativity, imagination, reputation, and customization, all of which is evidenced here, here and here and across other documentation and resources targeted to developers.
  • In alignment with the above, messaging targeting developers include phrases like 'use the resources in this center to get technical information', 'get started building', 'download [suggested toolkit],' 'tools, documentation, sample code, and more enable you to develop, debug, and deploy applications', 'build engaging digital document experiences', 'enables collaboration within any webpage', 'tools that help you develop software', 'one-step destination for developers', 'we're continuing to release new products and services to help developers', and 'we’re renewing our deep commitment to empowering developers to help you create successful apps and services that transcend users’ expectations', 'the most memorable digital experiences are unleashed by developer creativity,' 'unlock building potential as boundless as the power of your imagination', all of which is evidenced here, here, here, and here and across other documentation and resources targeted to developers.

Developer Portal Straetgy

  • Adobe has a developer portal called Adobe I/O, which serves as a developer ecosystem and community. The portal consists of the I/O website, developer tools, and APIs (including APIs for Adobe products). The portal is presented as a console which users must log into.
  • As part of its portal strategy, Adobe provides an extensive array of self-serve support materials to help developers get up and running with I/O and use it to its maximum benefit. Developers also have the ability to ask questions to the community and contact Adobe directly to get live support assistance.
  • The core premise of Adobe I/O, according to the Adobe Life corporate blog, is to provide "a place for developers looking to integrate, extend, or create apps and experiences based on Adobe's products and technologies."
  • Mimi Jiang is the engineering manager for Adobe I/O and has been with the project since its inception. Jiang was featured in an Adobe Life blog article that chronicles the strategy behind the development of Adobe I/O. Regarding this, the article states: "During the early days of Adobe I/O, Mimi and her team were seeing maybe 10,000 API calls a day. Today, they’re seeing over one billion API calls a day. 'Adobe was historically a desktop company, and over time, has taken science from desktop apps to the cloud using APIs, which are a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications.' And with the inception of Adobe Sensei, Adobe’s artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning technology, the future is looking even more exciting for the team. Now that Adobe Sensei is transforming all of Adobe’s products, Mimi’s team is helping put that technology into the hands of our partners. 'In early 2018, Adobe I/O will be debuting Sensei capabilities powered by our newly created serverless architecture. We’re putting Sensei technology into functions that can be executed on demand!'"
  • Another interview about the Adobe I/O strategy was featured on the Adobe Developers (i.e. Adobe I/O) YouTube page. Ryan Steward, group product manager of Adobe I/O talks about the strategy behind Adobe I/O Runtime, which allows developers to deploy and execute their code on top of Adobe's infrastructure. Steward states: "We have taken an API-first approach to development, which allows us to expose key features and functionality of Adobe and Adobe solutions to developers." More information about the strategy behind this development can be found in this video interview of Steward.

Lines of Business

  • According to the company's annual report, Adobe's business is divided into three segments: digital media, digital experience, and publishing.
  • Digital Media: Adobe Creative Cloud is the core product of Adobe's digital media segment. This segment is dedicated to providing solutions that enable users to create digital media. Creative Cloud includes programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Lightroom, InDesign, and more creative applications.
  • Digital Experience: Adobe Experience Cloud applications are the core of the digital experience segment. Applications in the Experience Cloud include data and insights solutions, content and commerce solutions, customer journey management solutions, and advertising solutions.
  • Publishing: According to Adobe's annual report, the business's publishing segment "contains legacy products and services that address diverse market opportunities including eLearning solutions, technical document publishing, web conferencing, document and forms platform, web application development and high-end printing.

Evidence of Naming Conventions (e.g. 'Digital Consumer' or just 'Consumer' because digital is implied)

  • When referencing developers in their annual report, Adobe at times differentiates between specific types of developers, for example, 'software developers' vs. 'game developers' and other times uses the umbrella term 'developer' to refer to the cohort.
  • Similarly, in the company's annual report, Adobe categorizes its customers based on consumer attributes, for example, 'enterprise customers' vs. 'small business customers' vs. 'individual customers' and new vs. existing customers. Other times the company refers to their customers as 'our customers' or simply 'customers'.
  • On the company's official website, they segment their customers in the following way: individuals, students & teachers, and business.
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