Adobe Workfront and the role of collaborative work management shine at Summit

Adobe Workfront and the role of collaborative work management shine at Summit

Whether you’re joining Adobe Summit in person, tuning in virtually, or catching the top sessions on replay, there’s a lot to know about Adobe Workfront. As the leader in collaborative work management, Workfront plays a critical role in the Adobe ecosystem — one that unifies and connects the essential work done across the Adobe product line. In fact, Workfront serves as a single thread that orchestrates and streamlines work from conception to delivery, no matter your business size, industry, or use case.

Optimizing the content supply chain

A prime example of the power of Workfront is found in organizations looking to optimize their content supply chains. So many organizations are grappling with this challenge as the rapid pace of digitization — and the increase in channels, surfaces, media types, and customer expectations — transforms marketing as we know it. It’s not unusual for customers to be creating, activating, managing, and storing millions of assets today — far more than human effort alone can manage.

To address these pressing challenges, innovative brands are partnering with Adobe to reimagine their content supply chains. How? With Workfront, Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Express, and — all working together. These products cover the end-to-end content lifecycle and facilitate the creation of compelling campaign assets. And Workfront adds a critical X factor — the ability to streamline workflows across teams and products, ensure content accuracy and best practices, and infuse collaboration into every step of the process.

The results speak for themselves. Customers who rely on Adobe solutions for their content supply chains have a significantly greater capacity to plan, produce, deliver, and analyze all the content required to succeed in the digital economy. Many of these customers are speaking at Summit, so be sure to check out the sessions featuring Prudential Financial, Dick’s Sporting Goods, UnitedHealth Group, T-Mobile, Marriott International, Under Armour, the Kansas City Chiefs, and more.

Content fuels the digital economy — and the delivery of personalized experiences at scale.

Managing marketing spend

Doing more with less is a perennial marketing mantra, but it’s especially relevant in today’s macroeconomic conditions. So Workfront makes it easy for campaigns to stay on budget and show strong return on investment by integrating with Anaplan. Anaplan is a standard in marketing financial management, and it pioneered the concept of connecting financial and operational planning for faster and more confident enterprise-wide decision-making. And using a connector in Workfront Fusion — our low-code, no-code integration platform — Workfront can natively import budgets directly from Anaplan and manage both hard and soft project costs. And Workfront Fusion can also be used to connect Workfront with any financial system of record you may be using.

As a project progresses, synchronization between Workfront and Anaplan fields makes it easy to see forecasted versus actual spend and ensure that budgets stay on track. Democratizing access to this financial context is a game-changer for any marketing project, especially large, multi-faceted campaigns with many teams and stakeholders involved. In these kinds of projects, it’s all too easy for someone doing work not to have any idea how many hours were budgeted — or what the outsourcing limit is.

The Workfront integration with Anaplan helps marketing teams manage project spend and see relevant financial details in a single place.

Establishing a marketing system of record

At Summit, Workfront is also highlighting its role as a marketing system of record. In the past, many organizations invested in systems of record for other corporate functions — like Salesforce for sales, ServiceNow for IT, SAP for finance, or Workday for HR — but left the way they facilitated marketing work to chance. Now winning brands recognize that marketing work is a tier 1 asset, and that the way they enable it can be a key competitive differentiator.

That begins with establishing a centralized and flexible campaign object that can serve as the center of gravity for all the teams, products, and processes required to activate it. As the source of this campaign object, Workfront can carry intelligence and efficiency throughout the campaign lifecycle, and through the customer journey it fuels. Think of it as an operational graph that can be used to model relationships and processes that optimize the end-to-end campaign process.

For example, a campaign record can contain multiple object types — audience segments, creative assets, reporting modules, and more — and those objects can be connected across Adobe Experience Cloud products — to create valuable customer experiences. Populate a customer journey using campaign objects, plug campaign records into a predefined report template, or nurture prospects through multi-phase programs without losing campaign objectives or context along the way. The point is to establish visual clarity across services so you can finally answer the questions that keep you up at night, like how is your business doing, and where can you get more return from the same resources?

If you’re running multiple marketing campaigns simultaneously and need better ways to orchestrate it all, Workfront can serve as your system of record there too. Our new dashboard provides a comprehensive view into every campaign that’s planned or in progress — including owners, status, IDs, linked programs, personas, assets, and more. And the new, customizable marketing calendar enables any campaign manager to easily visualize and plan campaigns in context. By serving as a comprehensive marketing system of record, Workfront helps organizations create more seamless handoffs from campaign planning to activation, measurement, and insights — with a consistent anchor point for it all.

With a centralized marketing calendar, customizable workspaces and dashboards, and campaign objects that bring context and continuity to the full campaign lifecycle, Workfront serves as a true marketing system of record.

Integrating work, creative, and asset management

Another way that Workfront is streamlining marketing work and reducing duplication of effort is through integrations with other Adobe solutions. Work isn’t a monolith, after all. It’s a series of interconnected webs that involve many teams, solutions, stakeholders, and processes. By integrating workflows and infusing them with collaboration across these webs, Workfront reduces manual effort and disruptions while keeping teams operating at peak productivity.

With Workfront’s no-cost plugins for Creative Cloud design applications (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe XD), creatives can see upcoming tasks, access project briefs and context, see and send comments, kick off reviews and approvals, and even log time — without ever leaving their Creative Cloud context. And the brand-new plugins for Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects make it easy for video creators to complete essential work management tasks without breaking stride, as well.

No-cost Workfront plugins place essential work management and collaboration tools in a creative’s preferred environment.

And since video review and approval is a critical need for many organizations, Workfront also integrates with through the API-based Workfront Fusion platform. This integration connects projects and campaigns being managed in Workfront with video assets that are managed in When these tools are used together, organizations can enable communication and collaboration between creatives and the broader team by presenting relevant feedback gathered from a Workfront project within — and then send comments and approvals residing in back to Workfront.

Finally, Workfront features native, embedded integration with Adobe Experience Manager Assets as a Cloud Service, and Experience Manager Assets Essentials for lighter DAM use cases. This creates similar efficiencies when it comes to tagging, managing, and activating marketing content. Folders to house in-progress and final assets are automatically created when a project is kicked off, and designers and marketers can easily search DAM folders directly within Workfront to browse previously created assets or find similar campaigns. Metadata is shared and synced between the two solutions, and content can be posted to DAM storage as soon as approvals are completed.

Supporting mixed work methodologies

But all the capabilities in the world don’t move the needle if you can’t accommodate the diverse ways people and teams like to work. And this is another area where Workfront shines. If you’re all about Gantt charts and tend to run your projects in a linear fashion, Workfront is full of tools and views to help you prioritize incoming requests, assign resources, and track work all the way through the funnel. If you’re a fan of Agile and daily standups, Workfront has you covered there too. Our simple boards are perfect for marketing and other teams that want a lightweight way to work nimbly and iteratively. Best of all, you can combine the best of both worlds — or accommodate different teams in the same organization that like to work differently. You can even view and edit your boards in the Workfront mobile app. With Workfront, you’re always in the driver’s seat.

Simple boards let marketing teams begin working in iterative, agile ways with ease.

Whether you’re just beginning your digital marketing journey or have years of experience under your belt, Workfront is an essential tool in your kit. It will help with optimizing your content supply chain, expertly managing marketing spend, establishing a marketing system of record, integrating work with creative and asset management, supporting mixed work methodologies, and more. Workfront can help you meet the demands of the moment and eliminate frustration, wasted effort, and chaos while you do it.

To learn more about Workfront, tune in to our Summit sessions or reach out to your Adobe representative.

With over 20 years of experience in the software industry, Richard Whitehead has worked in a variety of global roles — including engineering, marketing, and product management. He has worked in software as a service (SaaS), cloud computing, identity and access management, operating systems, and systems management. He's held senior positions at Citrix, NetIQ, Novell, and FranklinCovey. Whitehead is currently the director of product marketing for Adobe Workfront. He is a graduate of design engineering from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the Quantic School of Business and Technology. He is a recognized public speaker and has authored many industry articles and books.