Adobe Summit Women in Digital Breakfast
Perficient has had the pleasure of hosting Women in Digital panels since 2017. With the event on pause for the past two years, aside from our virtual panels, it was a consensus amongst our panelists and a shared sentiment across attendees that it was such a treat to be able to be in person with coworkers, customers, and partners alike. The importance of interpersonal connection is no secret. We are still riding the high of our week at Adobe Summit and gained so much from these esteemed female panelists.
Our esteemed panelists this year included:
- Victoria Wallace – Sr. Directory, Digital Marketing Strategy, Quest Diagnostics
- Rebecca Trone, SVP Marketing & Content Operations at LPL Financial
- Tory Smithe – Principal Digital Strategy, Healthcare, Adobe
- Karen Kraft – Digital Experience Director, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
- Debbie Brasile – Global Digital Experience Manager, Ford
- Claire Haider, CEO of WNDYR
Perficient Global Alliance Director, Lynn Brading, opened the session with gratitude for Perficient and Adobe, noting the importance of choosing where you work based on how a company treats its employees. She noted that Perficient and Adobe are examples of workplaces that care about their employees and want to spread goodness. Lynn shared how this was particularly emphasized during her two battles with breast cancer. Her Adobe partners sent flowers and she got personal calls and emails from several Adobe executives.
Some of the panelists being mothers, shared that they wanted to make the most of the week despite finding it challenging to leave their homes and children behind for several days. Panelists were most excited to be able to network, engage in person and sit with their peers to discuss the current business landscape.
Your Most Influential Career Choices
The meat of the panel was kicked off with the question: What is the single most influential action you took in order to achieve the professional position you have now?
Victoria Wallace, Sr. Director, Digital Marketing Strategy at Quest Diagnostics, shared that her strengths in collaboration and being able to pull together cross functional teams to achieve results were skills that came innate to her and that she built out as she grew in her career. She, “made a conscience decision to be the person in the room to identify and bridge gaps,” to achieve collaboration. Everyone does not see things the same way and Victoria’s ability to step in and ask the right questions and use her skills as ‘middlewoman’ to bridge the gap between misunderstandings amongst cross-functional partners has been a benchmark of success in her career.
Claire Haider, CEO of WNDYR, followed by sharing around exposure to every aspect of a business. Her holistic mindset around understanding how different pieces of a company tie together allowed her to propel collaboration, identify problem, and break down siloes as she navigated her career.
All the panelists agreed that building relationships around kindness was crucial. People within an organization want to feel seen, understood and cared for and management that understands how to treat their peers goes a long way.
Themes in a Digital Business Landscape
Next panelists tackled the question: What are some themes you are seeing in today’s digital business landscape?
Claire shared on the theme of companies coming to the realization that they need to be digital natives. The transition to digital has proven to lend itself to companies thinking about their stack holistically for the first time. Marketing is having to re-engineer to meet customers where they are. Siloes are being broken down and business landscapes are changing. She also alerted the audience not to sleep on ChatGPT- commenting that soon we will be employing robots.
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Rebecca, SVP Marketing & Content Operations at LPL Financial, followed sharing on the importance of personalization. She too noted the importance of digital and the growth of the digitally inclined customer group. Data is king when it comes to understanding customer groups.
Claire continued with a personal antidote on her cancer treatment at UT Southwestern in Dallas. The crowd leaned in as she recounted how attentive and personal the care was that she received while at UT Southwestern. Seven days after her first appointment she received a book with her name on it that included information concerning her cancer. The book even included stories of people that had gone through cancer who were also pregnant! Then 48 hours after the book arrived, she received an automated message in her chart included a roster of professionals who were available to support her during her treatment including financial advisors, social workers, spiritual counselors, dieticians, and the oncology team. Claire emphasized that none of this seemed automated. She was wowed by the level of care she received, stating, “I felt like the most important person in the world at that cancer center.” She remarked that it is our shared responsibility to provide that level of personalization to our customers. This intimate example of personalization had us all on the edge of our seats and it really hit home.
Tory powerfully stated, “We need to have a dialogue not a monologue.”
The Adobe Stack
The panel continued with the question: How is the Adobe stack helping meet your business needs?
Debbie, Global Digital Experience Manager at Ford, shared that the Adobe Experience Cloud has given forth the technologies to continue to improve omnichannel personalization. She noted that Adobe Analytics has further supported efforts to understand customers- what they are doing, where they are going- and how Ford can we help them. All the data that Adobe Analytics fuels has helped Ford understand the audiences it can appeal to. This has allowed Ford to do a lot and do it quickly with ease managing content changes really playing into personalization further. She elaborated that Adobe Target is something that they do not yet take full advantage of. As Ford grows, they plan to leverage this tool further allowing them to better test, see what resonates amongst customers, and then take action. She candidly mentioned that in this growth, there have been many lessons learned from mistakes.
Rebecca spoke on Adobe Experience Manager for running websites. Saying that there is much strength in this tool around putting control back into the hands of the marketer. LPL has leveraged this tool to build and evolve existing capabilities to create personal dynamic experiences for campaigns.
Karen, Digital Experience Director at BCBS SC, shared that they implemented Adobe Campaign Manager in 2019. She candidly remarked that it wasn’t easy. They initially did not hire for it. BCBS SC had been managing channels independently and that had caused a lot of delays. Now with ACM, BCBS SC has a better handle on data and reports and the ability to automate has been phenomenal. ACM has allowed employees to focus on strategy versus execution versus just constantly hitting the send button. After some pivoting, she was glad to share that ACM has been a game changer.
Victoria shared that Quest had implemented AEM in 2021. AEM has been critical to Quest’s success. After a strong change management exercise and big gains around decentralized content creation and management coupled with an easy user interface, they were off to the races. She also noted that flexibility authors have within the system is unmatched.
Tory, Principal Digital Strategy, Healthcare at Adobe, closed with a memory of someone asking for marketing performance reports saying she felt like she could not do her job- having to pull 6 different reports independently and cobbling them together and building a page of assumptions and justifications was not sustainable. She now has a better grasp on data and reporting in the Adobe stack. Tory also suggested leveraging the Adobe network’s strength to find a partner and corporations of a similar size within the network to learn from. She heeded that you do not have to go at it alone
Vegas Yay or Nay?
Lynn closed the panel with the question: Are you a Vegas yay or nay? Answers ranged from likability of warm weather, shopping, poolside days followed by delicious dinners and a number of things to do to those that would prefer to be hiking the nearby canyons.
Questions were then opened to the audience. Notably one attendee commented on how as women we tend of take on a lot, asking the panelists: how do you deal with burnout?
Claire shared about having a rigid ‘no tech day’ once a week. She also commented on listen to her body and recognizing that she sometimes needed to be alone or have time to herself.
Debbie also commented on healthy boundary setting. She always does one thing a day that makes me better. A favorite activity is getting outside and walking to clear her mind. When she returns after walks, she feels recharged and is ok to look at her computer.
Tory shared that her non-negotiable is working out in the middle of the day.
In conclusion, we must be able to set boundaries and one way to do that is communication. There is a time and a place for everything, and it is important to dial back in needed.
Women in Digital and Beyond
A huge thank you to all our panelists and Lynn Brading for this wonderful event. It is our pleasure to gather as women and vulnerably share in experiences.
We hope to see you at our next panel session which will be this coming July at Adobe Summit EMEA!