Corporate Social Responsibility at the CMO Summit

Last Thursday, Jan. 28, I had the privilege of presenting a luncheon keynote at the CMO Summit event in Los Angeles. I co-presented with Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of The Advertising Council, which is an incredible organization. Our message to the audience of senior marketing execs was that it’s critically important to get more companies involved in corporate social responsibility to create positive social change.

In my segment of the talk, I highlighted the work we have done with the Adobe Youth Voices program, including our partnership with the Black Eyed Peas’ Peapod Foundation. I showed the public service announcement we made with the Peas as well as a youth music video created by a group of 15- and 16-year-old boys at our Redwood City, CA, Adobe Youth Voices/Peapod Academy. Adobe Youth Voices enables kids in under-served communities around the globe to create digital media (videos, animations and still photography) expressing their views on issues in their community. Adobe provides the software and curriculum and faculty and volunteers provide the training and inspiration.

CSR is a great opportunity for all companies to strengthen their brand and connection to their customers. Companies should choose a cause close to their product and culture, so there is good alignment, and they shouldn’t be shy about promoting their CSR cause to their customers. Our own research has shown that our customers really want to know more about what Adobe is doing in the CSR space, so we’re going to continue to get the word out.
The positive feedback from my peers showed me there is a lot of interest and enthusiasm in the marketing community for CSR, and I’m hoping this event will lead to more discussion about how we can help make a difference.

Peggy Conlon (right) and I during Q&A at the CMO Summit