Re-Examine everything — from strategy to structure and beyond.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges to every business, including Adobe. We’re sharing the lessons we’ve learnt — like the need for real-time customer insights — in this six-part series.

Changing times call for changing


Few things have disrupted our lives — or businesses — like COVID-19. 


Huge changes in demand have caused organisations everywhere to take a hard look at their operations and strategies. They’re figuring out how to handle late-stage pipeline gaps or large surges in demand. How to adjust to new fulfilment models. How to find new revenue sources. And how to empower their people to do business remotely. 

“We all have to look at how we’re set up as an organisation. No business should expect to go back to their old ways of working.”


Marissa Dacay
Senior Director, Global Enterprise Marketing, Adobe

Christopher Parkin headshot

Meeting the demand for digital

Even though Adobe solutions are digital, we still had to shift our strategy to meet customers’ most urgent needs. Our field team kept in touch to our accounts to learn how the virus had affected them and what they needed most. And we did a customer survey that has provided valuable information for planning and creating actionable plans to guide our customers as they navigate new challenges. 


With remote business now a huge priority, we discovered that digital forms and e-signatures were in much higher demand. Also, with schools closing down, we realised students needed access to their digital tools. So, we started offering free, personal, in-home access to Creative Cloud in place of classroom licences. And with businesses adjusting to working from home, we extended the duration of our free trials for e-signatures and free PDF services. 


With many banks suspending in-person visits during lockdown, financial institutions have been forced to rethink how they support customers through digital channels. For TSB Bank in the UK, the coronavirus pandemic accelerated its vision of serving its personal and business banking customers online. As part of TSB Bank’s 2022 strategic plan, it released 18 forms online and managed over 80,000 customers interactions in just eight weeks, using Adobe Sign. This would have otherwise equated to as many as 15,000 in-branch, face-to-face visits.  They’ve shown thousands of customers how easy it is to access services digitally, giving them peace of mind, whilst staying safe at home.

New challenges, new solutions

Many businesses have had to re-examine their go-to-market models, to find new sources of revenue or to rethink in-store shopping. Before the pandemic, a Digital Commerce 360 report shows Q4 2019 online sales accounted for just 17.8 per cent of all retail sales. But new data from Adobe’s Digital Economy Index shows US e-commerce jumped 49 per cent in April 2020, compared to the baseline period in early March before shelter-in-place restrictions went into effect. 


In order to stay relevant, businesses large and small have to consider moving online or bridging the gap between physical and online strategies, like shifting their primary model to online ordering, curbside pickup and home delivery. (The Adobe Digital Economy index showed a 208 per cent year-over-year surge in buy-online, pickup-in-store orders in April.) Some boutique owners are even creating their own shopping channels on Facebook Live or offering personalised virtual shopping via Facebook or Skype. 

A call for transformation

Whether you’ve had to rethink your online services (or lack thereof ) or react to

huge shifts in demand, COVID-19 has been a wake-up call for the importance of

digital transformation. Companies that answer the call will be able to respond

more quickly and emerge from the pandemic stronger than those that don’t.  

Key takeaways:

Key takeaways

Look at how your business is set up — from your pipeline to your people — and examine whether it’s agile enough for this new reality.

Key takeaways

Explore new sources of revenue and re-examine your supply chain tactics.

Key takeaways

Discover your customers’ greatest needs and find ways to meet them.

Key takeaways

Rethink your in-store and online ordering and find ways to bridge the two, including curbside pickup and home delivery.

Key takeaways

Tap the power of digital tools to allow your workforce to continue doing business remotely.


Lesson 6

We’re not going back, so accelerate digital adoption now

Explore other lessons online

Read each of the six lessons for adapting and advancing during a pandemic.

Lesson 1: Real-time customer insights are more essential than ever

How customer data and our field marketing team helped us quickly pivot our strategy. Plus, how NASCAR used digital tech to understand vast new audiences when they moved their races online.

Lesson 2: Agility is key when pivoting in a pandemic

How our crisis response team created new messaging and rolled it out in just a few weeks. And how medicine marketplace 1mg sent emails to 14 million users to clarify confusion about COVID-19.

Lesson 3: People need human connection, especially at the moment

How we stayed connected to our customers. Also, how Vitamix is using food to bring people together. And how theatre companies and orchestras are finding new ways to keep their audiences engaged.

Lesson 4: New ways of working can have lasting benefits

What we learnt from moving Adobe Summit online in just three weeks. Also, how Australia’s NSW Department of Education is using what they learnt from last year’s bush fires during COVID-19.

Lesson 5: Re-Examine everything -- from strategy to structure and beyond

How we’re meeting the needs of our remote workforce. Also, what retailers everywhere are discovering. And how TSB Bank rethought their digital services and what they gained.

Lesson 6: We aren't going back, so accelerate digital adoption now

How we’re using our online learning community could help our customers. And how COVID-19 became the proving grounds for the US Census Bureau’s digital efforts.

Ebook cover - The Reinvention of Normal


Download the full playbook

Get the playbook as an eBook to explore all six lessons — with additional examples — in one place.