Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with VeraContent’s Shaheen Samavati and EMEA Campaign Marketing Manager for Adobe’s Experience Cloud division, Sabina Bonaiuti:

Shaheen Samavati 0:13
Hi, everyone, I’m Shaheen from The Content Mix and I’m excited to be here with Sabina Bonaiuti, EMEA campaign marketing manager for Adobe. And she’s got experience across diverse sectors, having previously worked at Google, Bazaarvoice, Kuoni Global Travel Services and Red Cross. Welcome, Sabina. Thanks so much for joining us.

Sabina Bonaiuti 0:30
Hi, thanks for having me.

Shaheen Samavati 0:33
Yeah, it’s great to have you here. So let’s just get into it. Could you tell us a bit more about your background and experience and how you got into marketing in the first place?

Sabina Bonaiuti 0:41
Yeah sure. Let me get to my experience first. Hi, everyone. My name is Sabina Bonaiuti, I’m a marketer and brand strategist with more or less ten years of experience. I’m originally from Italy, and Ethiopia. And I went to university in Belgium, where I got a master’s degree in PR and organizational communication. And as you mentioned, I’m currently working for Adobe as an EMEA campaign marketing manager in London. And how did I get into marketing? So that’s all part of event management and advertising, I was exposed to a lot of different culture, and a lot of different aspects of communication throughout university as well. And what really inspired me and fascinated me is storytelling and how events can inspire people and influence our behavior as well, in terms of how we purchase things and how we believe in a brand. And that creates a unique experience overall, and I encourage people to share things in person and digitally. So I think it all started there, right? It’s a mixture of the interaction with people and how you get together overall, and how you can tell a story through content overall.

Shaheen Samavati 2:02
And you studied PR and advertising, so you knew that was the direction you wanted to go in your career?

Sabina Bonaiuti 2:07
Yeah, but you know what, especially advertisement, it was the initial. Thas was part of my thesis. I was seeing how advertising can really stick in your brain, through different forms, from humor to a sad story that ends up really with a happy ending. And this is how, for example, there was an advertising around Coca Cola. Coca Cola now has different codes, like Christmas is a trademark for them. So I just want to recreate this… and how to make sure that people remember the value of a brand.

Shaheen Samavati 2:50
And can you tell us a bit more about your career journey and how you ended up at Adobe? And a little bit about the experiences that you had before that?

Sabina Bonaiuti 2:58
Yeah, it’s a bit of a mix of experiences, right. I didn’t start in marketing straight away, I think I started first with sales. I did have an internship where I did events and also project management. That was a mixture of marketing and sales. So all my roles have been a mix of the two. And then I I was lucky enough to work for Google. They kind of reached out to me for a position and it was a mixture of a customer manager and also a marketer as well. How can we create a community for IT professionals and how we were able to just discuss and create a more in-depth technical conversation there? And what I wanted to do is grow in that area, and grow a little bit more into how can we expand this? To a prospect or to an existing customer that is maybe interested in a different solution? And then I was taken to the tech industry… over at Red Cross. That was more on the charity side of it. So it was a different approach on things and it was more into project based. And then we went to Kuoni, which was more into a mixture of B2C and B2B kind of approach where we were working with a travel agency just to make sure that they had wholesale deals, that we were able to negotiate it, and how we were creating content to just make value of how our agency were really reliable. And we were able to give the best offer to our customers through the different advertising that we were creating for them. And then I wanted to change a little bit of industry and tech industry was something that always appealed to me. Obviously when I got an opportunity with Google, it was with gold for me! I couldn’t miss it. It was a great opportunity to learn, but then I wouldn’t be… This is where I really, really got interested into marketing and how the strategy part of it and how we were able to just create, you know, a sense of community and programs that are relevant from a short-term but also long-term approach. And this is where I got into Bazaarvoice, which is a user-content approach. And this is where feedback, customer feedback are quite relevant. And after a year and a half, I think it’s almost two years with Bazaarvoice, and then I got approached by Adobe. And Adobe was another company that I always admired… the value that they have as a global leader in digital experiences and digital media solution. So for me, it was perfect. It’s a mixture of creativity and technology that is always fast-paced and it gives you an opportunity to be as bold as you want.

Shaheen Samavati 6:02
Absolutely. Yeah, I think all marketers are probably familiar with Adobe, at least when it comes to the graphic design software side of things, and well digital media software. But I am curious, as you actually work for another area of Adobe, could you tell us more about your particular responsibilities right now?

Sabina Bonaiuti 6:22
Yeah, sure. So as you know, Adobe is a software company. And then we are kind of speaking of three types of cloud: the Creative Cloud that most of the people know. Then there is a digital experience side, covering more marketing solution, around machine learning and AI. And basically, our tools and services allow our customer to create groundbreaking digital content across every channel on screen. We help them with the deployment measurement and optimization over time, and just make sure that they have a 360 customer view of how the buyer journey is impacted… and the different touch points with the content that we have. So that is what I look after. I lead and manage the thought leadership campaign. Pretty much I wear multiple hats to be fairly honest. So it starts with… I will work on… I’ll be responsible for the market research, the content creation and the strategy. How do we get to a point where the content that we create is relevant for the customer that we are trying to attract? From a prospect—mostly an existing customer—and also how we support the full activation across the different channels between the field marketing and communication. So what I like about my role, I interact with so many stakeholders. That helps me to get the right people, work with agency, and get every idea together, and just put it together as a part of a full or maybe half-a-year strategy. And then we can expand it throughout the year as well.

Shaheen Samavati 8:13
Okay, so could you tell us a bit about what’s a typical day like for you now, as campaign manager? And the types of campaigns that you’re working on?

Sabina Bonaiuti 8:25
Yeah, to be fairly honest, every day is different. That’s what I like, I will never get bored. And I get to liaise with different stakeholders and work on presentations and discuss new campaigns and see how we can work with leadership. Because they’re quite open in terms of trying new things. Until… we need to always show the return of investment, do a bit of a forecast first and then show them what will be the value of doing certain campaigns? Obviously, that will be on a quarterly basis, but also from a long-term perspective, where we see the value from a brand perspective, and how this is impacting the reputation of Adobe overall.

Shaheen Samavati 9:10
Do you have an example of a campaign that worked really well for you?

Sabina Bonaiuti 9:15
Yes, there was a global thought leadership campaign that I’ve been leading for the past two years, and it’s called Adobe Digital Trends. It’s the most recent campaign I worked on as well. It’s an annual thought leadership campaign that we do every year in collaboration with our research agency, named Econsultancy. And every year we work in terms of creating multiple reports and multiple experiences as well, throughout each report. Just to make sure that we have something very compelling for our customer, like the different trends that we see in different industries and just making sure that they have something able to utilize, from a high-level perspective. And we do SEO analysis to make sure that the content is really speaking to the customer. What are the struggles that they are facing? How we can help them? How Adobe can help them with their solution? In terms of… it could be technology legacy from the past, and now you need to innovate and make changes to be able to expand and grow your business as well. So this was one of the best campaigns I worked on. But it took me 10 months to fully complete this campaign from the research to the activation part of it.

Shaheen Samavati 10:44
Can you tell us about what were the different platforms that this campaign took place on?

Sabina Bonaiuti 10:50
So yeah, we use obviously, it’s our website. So we create a landing page for rich content. So we create specifically a landing page for each of the reports that we create. Then we promote through LinkedIn, Twitter, and also from a press and comms perspective. We usually go first with comms just because we need to pitch them how we… the key innovation part of it and how this is quite interesting for them to publish for companies in certain industries that we can provide a solution. And then we do content syndication, as well. We are trying to touch different platforms where we see the right customer that we are trying to target. So as I mentioned I think before, it’s primarily marketing and IT that we are targeting for the digital solution that we provide.

Shaheen Samavati 11:48
So you’re focused mainly on online, written content? Or do you also do multimedia campaigns?

Sabina Bonaiuti 11:55
No, we do multimedia as well. But the way I work is like, I create the strategy, I create the content… I work with the agency to create the content, and then I will work with the field marketing as well, where they can deploy this through a different channel. It could be through events, and just make sure that we work with different forums that are specific to a specific industry, even experts, industry experts, to just make sure that we are compelling with what we are saying and just make sure that we are able to push it in different platforms as well. Right. So we will usually work with our research agency as well to kind of publish it in their website as well. And just make sure that we can just spread the word and we’re able to get more visibility throughout the year.

Shaheen Samavati 12:50
And you’re talking about your target audience, obviously being people who are professionals in marketing or IT. Do you think that presents any particular challenges? Like, is the bar higher in terms of the quality of what you have to produce? And… the sophistication of your own marketing?

Sabina Bonaiuti 13:08
Yes, I think it’s like, obviously, marketing is our primary audience just because it’s easier to tackle with the different backgrounds that we have in the other cloud, right, the creative side and the digital side of things. But IT was kind of a new persona that we are targeting, and they really have a different behavior than marketers. So we need to make sure that how we write content is very specific to their needs. And they don’t have time. Marketers seem to have a bit more time than IT! IT, you will not spend stime to read content. So what we will do is just make it very, very compelling and snappy for them to just make sure that it’s short. And you get what… what you’re trying to get right. Just make sure that you have all the information and the technical aspect. They want to see their most… they want to see what works and what doesn’t work well. Why are we better than our competitors? So we need to go really strong on our communication and content creation as well. So we need to go really aggressive and as you know, in IT, there is so many competitors that it’s even hard to just go about it… Our advantage at Adobe is probably because we have this side of marketing, we are trying to show them how the relationship between marketing and IT can grow and just make sure that it will create unique experiences. Adobe, you know, believes strongly that to change the world through digital experiences. And this is what we want to make sure that IT understand and try to implement them as well.

Shaheen Samavati 14:54
I’m curious like how much do you use your own tools in your own marketing operations?

Sabina Bonaiuti 15:01
Not necessarily when I work on the campaign, but I do… you know… I use InDesign. When I have to work on something quick and I cannot wait for the agency. The marketing automation… we have a team. Our marketing team is massive in Adobe so we can really dedicate it to certain aspects and we work closely with the different… we have our marketing automation team, we have a field marketing, we have a web team or paid media team. So you can tell it’s really, really separate. And that’s why I like working at Adobe is just, you know, most roles in marketing you are responsible for all of this, or I’d say, and this is in the role of campaign marketing is where I’m very dedicated, dedicated to project management, and the campaign strategy overall. So that’s why I really enjoy as well. So I can really put all my creativity in this project. But if budget allows…

Shaheen Samavati 16:10
Cool, so you’re working on like the creative aspects of the team, but then you’re supported by all these other departments who are working on all the other aspects of promoting it and doing the automation part behind the scenes, I guess.

Sabina Bonaiuti 16:22
Yeah, exactly. I always overview everything just to make sure because I need still to track it. So I’ll be the one that will create Salesforce codes… or tracking codes as well. Just to make sure that we have everything, and then we can prove the return of investment of of content, and how you know investing in those content, investing on creating. I also create a microsite where you can have a way of playing with the data of the survey that we run for Digital Trends campaign, for example, right? Just to make sure that we have a different type of format, because content is great, but when it’s a lengthy report, people do not have time to read it. So we are conscious of that. So we keep the other option to other people as well, just to make sure that they have some ways to digest the information and the content that we have in other ways.

Shaheen Samavati 17:24
And then I wanted to ask you, because your role is focused on EMEA. So what does that mean and how do you make your content relevant for the different EMEA markets?

Sabina Bonaiuti 17:35
Yeah, so, for example, Digital Trends, I was lucky enough for two years. It’s a global project. So it was great to work on the biggest scale, I worked with different countries. But there are challenges as well, working with different regions as well. And in EMEA there is some similarity in terms of how people work overall. But what I like in terms of content creation, and what I would like to really… I think there is something that most companies don’t dedicate enough time is where we work into creating localized content with the teams and topics that are relevant for the region, right. In terms of making sure, for example, let’s talk about customer experiences. What’s the maturity and relevancy in Germany instead of France, right? What are the differences? What are the key industry experts? How can we use specific customer story to make it relevant for them? What happened most of the time is that we get content from from our global team that are based in the US and then we localize it. And then we just make sure that… and then we spread it out throughout our different channels and go this way about it, just because it’s easier and it’s flexible to do it. But I think if we took a bit more time to just kind of tweak the content that we get from the global team, because those are the key themes and key topics that we need to spread, and check if that will be relevant or not. Because I think that’s what we are missing sometimes and we don’t see things resonating as good as another piece of content that was a bit more tailored.

Shaheen Samavati 19:19
Okay. Very cool. And then I wanted to ask you, what do you think is the right length of a campaign? And, I mean, how often do you do really big campaigns versus smaller ones?

Sabina Bonaiuti 19:30
It depends on the objective and the goals that you have, I think. If you want a quick turnaround and showcase that the campaign is bringing some business, some new leads. So this is what we call short campaigns, and usually those are more tactical or more… And then there is different types, right, the thought leadership or more on the bigger scale in high level. And then we have content that are more solution based where we get to the nitty gritty in terms of what our solution is… how our customer is using it… just to prove it, as a proof of concept and to make sure that we are showcasing how to leverage those tools as well. And usually those short campaigns are between three to five months, in terms of just by the time that you identified the theme, the target audience, and what solution that will help primarily and then you know, just create the content from scratch. Usually, if you can base it on the research or if you work with a research company like maybe Forrester or Gartner or even Econsultancy are great agencies to work with. And they have expertise in the topic that we’re tackling. And for long campaigns, for example, like the Digital Trends I was talking, that will take 8 to 10 months, because… every time you need to work from scratch, where you need to do a market research that takes at least 2 to 3 months and then you know, work on the data that you get, just to make sure that this is relevant and it’s aligned with the solution that you’re trying to sell as well. So it’s a much longer journey… from the creation and production of everything to the activation of the full campaign.

Shaheen Samavati 21:28
Okay, awesome. And then, well, switching gears a little bit. So what skills do you think are most important for marketers these days?

Sabina Bonaiuti 21:40
Communication, project management, and a lot, a lot of patience. I think patience is the key because one of the roles of marketers is just how you can. It’s a lot of repetition, where you say things in a different way to different audiences to field, to leadership, to marketing, and just making, you know, them buy into your idea and to the campaign that you’re providing. And just make sure that you tackle what is relevant for them. So it’s a lot of patience and reputation there. That’s probably what I would give as an advice.

Shaheen Samavati 22:18
Definitely. And then next, what mistakes do you think companies or brands make when it comes to content marketing? What do people get wrong?

Sabina Bonaiuti 22:28
Um, I feel they tend to skip a little bit the step and rush into execution, right. They don’t spend enough time into the strategy. So research is very, I think it’s really important. And just make sure that it’s relevant in terms of the topic that you support. And also do an SEO analysis. I don’t see a lot of companies do a lot of SEO analysis when they are trying to push a campaign or content because usually, we try to go by the topics that are provided by our global team. And then also another thing, and also the timeline of when you need to launch a campaign. That is so crucial, right. We always miss the mark, because we don’t see the SEO analysis and I think that is crucial. It makes a huge difference. Since we implemented SEO, we see a jump into our visit on our website, or even getting to know our product. So that is the huge difference. It is really interesting to see what users are searching and what our customers are saying. So another thing as well is getting feedback from our current customer base. How can we improve things? What they want to learn about? And get this 360 overview of everything that we do.

Shaheen Samavati 23:46
Yeah, definitely. That’s a great point. And then well, I wanted to ask you as well about any daily habits that you have that maybe you would attribute to your success? Especially now working from home, how do you stay focused?

Sabina Bonaiuti 24:04
I try… I’m an early bird usually. So I try to do things before working and not just jumping to work and just make sure that I got my phone on and everything. So I usually do my daily work and I try to prioritize my work, right. What’s urgent? What’s important? And then, what are the things that I can do for the rest of the week? On the slower pace? I think that was the main two, right? Well, anything that makes you a bit better in terms of coping and just not always sitting down. That’s probably the way I try to cope as much as I can.

Shaheen Samavati 24:39
Excellent, great tip. So, planning out the week and prioritizing is important. Yeah. And then, well, I wanted to ask about your recommendations for any resources for marketers? Whether that’s publications or communities, events or more tools as well.

Sabina Bonaiuti 24:58
I have so many. So I’m just going to give you a couple ones. It’s not just marketing. Well, I think from a publication side of it, yes, Marketing Week is a great platform to just learn anything new about what’s coming on, but brands are doing and what type of campaigns they’re running as well. Aand then also, learn from Marketing Expert, as well. So it does great. And they do a festival of marketing where they work with multiple companies as well. And then they gather topics around customer experiences and how marketing is influencing the relationship with IT and sales. So things like that are quite interesting. And you want to be always on top of the latest updates that we have there. And then there is a different platform as well, that is Campaign Live. And Digiday, for more social media aspect of things. The Drum as well, where we can get a bit of a mixture of everything. And AdWeek, just mainly from an advertising point of view. I think you can learn a lot as well from agencies. Agencies are very smart and creative in terms of building a campaign, especially when you’re in the B2C side of it. So I think this is really interesting. And if you like the process of it, those publications are great. In terms of apps, obviously, I need to promote a little bit Adobe Solutions like Photoshop is great and Lightroom. And I use this app called Blinkist. So basically, they do short versions of each book that you may be interested in. They give you the eight highlights of the book and give you an overview of this in terms of like… it could be an audio, you can read it as well. It’s really short. They do also short cast, I think it’s very interesting. Let’s say you don’t have time to read the book, around marketing, because it’s too long or you just want to get the key information, that’s the best app. I use it practically every day and I feel I’m learning every day as well.

Shaheen Samavati 27:14
I use that app too. I find it’s a good filter to decide which books I actually want to read the whole thing. Okay, that’s enough… others.

Sabina Bonaiuti 27:21
I’ve got enough information from that, it’s all right.

Shaheen Samavati 27:28
Exactly. Well, speaking of books, any particular books that stand out?

Sabina Bonaiuti 27:34
Yes, so, I like a mixture of things. But from a marketing perspective, probably “How Brands Grow” from Byron Sharp. “This Is Marketing” by Seth Godin and “The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader” from Thomas Barta. So those are the main ones. But then, you know, in terms of how you can get better work and things, I will highly, highly recommend “Atomic Habits” from James Clear. And then “Think Again” from Adam Grant.

Shaheen Samavati 28:07
Excellent. Yeah, that’s a big list. I have some reading to do. And then I also want to ask you about events, because I know Adobe does some great events for marketers, and I guess they’ve gone online, but maybe you can tell us a bit about that?

Sabina Bonaiuti 28:24
There is still two main ones. So we have.. there is one coming up actually. There is the Adobe Summit coming up end of April, from the 24th to the 29th in EMEA. It’s a global one, so we’re splitting by region. So the EMEA one is starting from the 29th and it’s great, especially if you’re a marketer, and a content strategist. It’s actually free. Usually you pay to go to this type of event. But it’s free, so I will highly recommend if you’re interested. And there is another one that is more the creative side of things, it’s called Adobe Max. And this is for all creatives. And you know, I think it’s a great way of just seeing how you can use different Adobe tools from Photoshop to InDesign to InCopy as well. Right and just see how you can leverage it as well. So yeah, both events are great and huge, massive. So you will get all the juicy information that you can get.

Shaheen Samavati 29:24
Awesome. Well, so we’re reaching the end of the interview I just wanted to ask if you have any like final takeaways or parting advice for other marketers in Europe?

Sabina Bonaiuti 29:34
Yes, be eager to learn from anyone to be honest in the industry and share your ideas. I think you know, we are not bold enough just because there… Marketing has always been perceived as the shiny things of a company. But you know, we can prove that there is a return of investment, of investing in marketing and content. So I think the more you’re bold… Obviously you’re gonna be rejected sometimes, but it’s part of the journey. The more you do in it, you prove that marketing is a great department overall. I think it just is… and how that can be leveraged in so many aspects of the company is.. I will highly recommend to push and be bold.

Shaheen Samavati 30:22
Yeah, that’s great advice and a great note to end on. So, well thank you so much for sharing your insights with us. Can you tell us, what’s the best way to get in touch with you or learn more about the work that you’re doing at Adobe?

Sabina Bonaiuti 30:35
Probably LinkedIn, you can. This is where I post the most often. So definitely, LinkedIn is the best platform.

Shaheen Samavati 30:42
Okay, great. Yeah, we’ll definitely post a link to your LinkedIn profile, as well as like some of the examples that you talked about, the campaigns in the show notes that go along with this episode. So well, thank you so much again, Sabina, for sharing your insights with us today.

Sabina Bonaiuti 30:56
Thank you for having me. It was great speaking to you.

Shaheen Samavati 30:59
You too, I really enjoyed the conversation. And thanks so much to everybody for listening in. For more insights on content marketing in Europe, keep tuning into the podcast, and check out Thanks a lot, and see you next time. Bye.

Transcribed by