Adobe's growth strategy revolves around digital customer experiences, expanding market for creatives

Adobe's investor meeting highlighted how the company is looking to expand beyond CMOs to be integral to CIOs and expanding the definition of creative pro.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Adobe's growth strategy revolves around dramatically expanding its target market to roughly $128 billion by 2022 largely by riding the shift to digital business and experiences.

Getting to this $128 billion total addressable market has some interesting plot twists.

At the company's investor meeting, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said the growth strategy is "to unleash creativity, accelerate document productivity and power digital businesses." Digital business and the customer experience market is expected to drive the bulk of Adobe's growth.

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The Adobe Experience Cloud is expected to have an addressable market of $84 million by 2022 due to customization, content delivery, data, analytics, commerce, advertising and customer journeys. To hit this market, Adobe will need to expand its relationships with chief marketing and digital officers to become critical to CIOs. Adobe also plans to better target midmarket companies.  

Narayen said:

Every single business is going through the same digital transformation that we were lucky enough to go through almost a decade ago. And if a company cannot engage digitally with the customer, understand how the funnel, all the way from acquiring customers to renewing them, can be done digitally, they're going to be disadvantaged. And so we believe that this opportunity around the digital experience space, which is to enable a company to digitally engage with customers, is one of the largest addressable markets that we have.


Perhaps the biggest challenge for Adobe's Experience Cloud is that the company will compete with Salesforce, SAP, Oracle and others looking to be the customer profile connective tissue to all applications.

Here's how Adobe sees the Experience Cloud architected for digital business.


Adobe's other pillar of its master plan is to expand the market for Creative Cloud, which is projected to have an addressable market of $31 billion by 2022. The general idea is that Creative Cloud can tap into students, enthusiasts, consumers as well as core creative pros.

To Adobe, we're all creative pros and the bet is that shift will drive results in the future.


Adobe's smallest cloud is its Document Cloud with a $13 billion total addressable market and it may have more interesting use cases. Adobe's growth strategy for the Document Cloud revolves around paper to digital workflows, cloud and mobile productivity and document services connected via APIs.

Add it up and Adobe is looking at fiscal 2020 revenue of about $13.15 billion and non-GAAP earnings of $9.75 a share. The digital media unit will grow 19% from fiscal 2019 with digital experience logging growth of 16%.

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