3 traits of award-winning Experience Makers

Meet the Experience Makers

A dopamine detective at an Australian media brand. A cook dreaming in the digital world at an Indian airline. A Tai chi student driving B2B revenue at a US-based tech firm.

As the 2020 Meet the Experience Makers Series proved, there’s no one, single way to be a winning Experience Maker.

Across multiple industry sectors and from around the world, the 2020 class of Adobe Experience Maker award winners represent a wide breadth of expertise, perspective and strategy.

There is something new to learn from each and every interview I had the pleasure of conducting for this series, which featured:

  1. The Executive of the Year, Nitin Sethi of IndiGo Airlines
  2. The Advocate, with Aris Kinnas representing Foxtel
  3. The Ambassador, Chelsea Kiko of McGraw Hill
  4. The Closer, with Lisa Martin representing VMware Carbon Black
  5. The Changemaker, with Gavin Portnoy representing NCMEC
  6. The Magnifier, with Richard George representing Refinitiv

We talked about their lessons learned, their mantras for success, the internal collaboration needed to bring forth seamless digital experiences, their technology stacks, and even their personal journeys to reach this summit.

Watch some of the most memorable moments from our conversations below and read on to learn more about the three traits that stood out to me throughout them all.

1- A relentless pursuit of excellence

“We have the saying that we always want to be riding the crest of the wave rather than swimming in the shallows,” said Richard George at Refinitiv. “We constantly want to be innovating and pushing. We want to win and we want to do it as a team. If you do those two things, then you can pretty much achieve anything.”

“I always feel that there’s a better way of doing things,” said Nitin Sethi of IndiGo Airlines. “It’s the design thinker in me who has a craving for more, a fire in the belly, and [seeks] continuous improvement. You need to have a great appetite, with a lot of hunger.”

2- Measurable, meaningful impact

As Aris Kinnas of Foxtel explained, it’s all about creating impact. “You gotta do the big rocks, otherwise all you’re doing is keeping busy,” he said. “Lots of people could do lots of things. We choose to do things that make a difference… I think the team gets [a] dopamine hit when things are working and being recognized.”

While many brands measure KPIs or the return on their investment in digital technology in terms of revenue and pipeline, at NCMEC, the mission is what underpins this story of digital transformation. Gavin Portnoy explained, “It’s easy to get into the impact of web analytics or social media, but the reality is, more kids are coming home as a result of these technologies.”

3- Collaborative leadership

I credit her Tai chi training for giving Lisa Martin of VMware the patience and ability to create harmony between the sales and marketing teams within her business unit. Her powerful lead-to-close program helped close the gap between these two teams. “Once you come to one single source of numbers, you can only take action one way,” she said. “Now you’re just talking apples, not apples and oranges.”

Likewise, Chelsea Kiko of McGraw Hill believes a unified customer experience requires internal collaboration, with marketing operations at the core of a seamless customer journey. “I want to always be a good corporate team member” she said, as her team knows “I’m committed to my work, that I deliver at a high quality.” This reputation expands into the communities of her peers who often turn to Kiko for her expertise and guidance.

At the heart of each of these organizations is a remarkable digital experience supported by Adobe Experience Cloud technology. But, it’s these extraordinary individuals who every day are forging new ways of delivering on the promise of digital transformation.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with each of them, and to share their perspective with you, the broader Adobe community.

As we are all navigating the “new normal” of a digital world, I hope these Experience Makers inspire you (as they inspired me!) to keep experimenting and pushing our industry forward.

Watch all my conversations with our 2020 winners here, and stay tuned for 2021’s awards. Maybe I’ll be sitting down with you!

Honoring the movers and shakers. Learn more about the Adobe Experience Maker Awards.