The CMO Files: Mark Phibbs, Vice President EMEA Marketing, Adobe

Get inside the mind of the world's top marketing professionals. In 20 questions we find out what they love most about their job, what their biggest achievements are... and what keeps them awake at night. Read 'The CMO Files'...



  Name:  Mark Phibbs

  Organisation: Adobe

  Job title: Vice President EMEA Marketing

  Location: UK, London





(1)       Where were you born and raised?


Sydney, Australia


(2)       What was your first job?  

Part time job whilst at school with Australian Retailer Woolworths




(3)       What was the first product you got really excited about?

The original IBM PC. My first real job was with IBM in Sales and I was the first person in the company history to win the highest Sales award for selling PCs rather than Mainframes.



(4)       Who has been the biggest influence on your career?


My late father was in Sales and Marketing. He was passionate, determined and innovative, and I hope I show some of those same characteristics in my role at Adobe.



(5)       What has been your greatest achievement? 

I've had the opportunity to work alongside many different cultures, and have been internationally successful in several large multinationals as varied as Asia Pacific and EMEA. I think strategic smarts and passion combined with good communication allow you to be successful across multiple cultures.




(6)       What has been your biggest mistake?

Being too trusting of people, assuming they will do the right thing. I now trust but verify!


(7)       What is your greatest strength?

I think I have a great ability to make the complex simple, and derive the essence from data to gain insight and thus adapt strategy to achieve better results.




(8)       What is your biggest weakness?

I am impatient and can sometimes overreact when I am disappointed with someone or something.



(9)       What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers?   


There has never been a better time to be in marketing. We can now demonstrate the return on marketing investment, and through marketing technology such as the Adobe Marketing Cloud. Also, instilling passion for new digital marketing strategy and technology into the likes of your team—this is often lost in the frustration of change, but can be incredibly powerful once an entire marketing organization is on-board.



(10)    Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?

"Carpe Diem" is my mantra—time is short, make an impact. The term "Double Down" makes me squirm.




(11)    What makes you stressed? 

Doing things at the last minute—I am very organized and like to have time to strategize and think. So I like to plan and then work the plan!


(12)    What do you do to relax? 


I love running on Hampstead Heath, am a regular gym goer and like having downtime with family and friends.



(13)    What is your favourite song?


Robbie Williams Go Gentle. He has daughters like me, and my daughter's friend is his songwriter, so he's close to home J


(14)    Which book taught you most?



The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Acher


(15)    Do you have a team or sport that you follow?

Australia of course which has been tough of late and I am a newly minted Arsenal supporter.




(16)    Which country would you like to work in?

Difficult question for me, having already worked in Sydney, Munich and Hong Kong, I am working in Europe and that's what I wanted to do. I have never worked in New York; that would be fun.



(17)    Which company do you think has the best marketing?

I am very impressed with Apple and Virgin, two brands that have personality and drive passion amongst their customers.




(18)    What do you love most about your job?

I love making an impact by strategizing and determining better ways to connect with our customers to drive better business results. I also love leading people and get a real buzz by seeing people I have mentored going onto bigger and better things. Adobe is right in the centre of the Digital Media and Digital Marketing revolution, and it is fascinating to see how technology can change the way things are done.


(19)    What is your favourite book?



A recent favourite was the Slap by Australian author Christos Tsiolkas


(20)    What keeps you awake at night?

Nothing, I am a good sleeper, even when stressed over something I have an ability to sleep; perhaps I should this add to my biggest strength