Matt Strain is director of worldwide relationship marketing at Adobe, where after just three years he is recognized as a Marketing Champion who adds financial value to the company.

He has had a distinguished career in technology marketing and recently took time to share his thoughts about what makes him successful and offered advice to fellow marketers for getting ahead in our challenging and competitive field.

Roy Young: How long have you worked for Adobe and what is your role now?

Matt Strain: I've been with Adobe for nearly three years. I sit in the corporate marketing team and work closely with our business unit and field marketing partners to plan and execute our relationship marketing programs for our creative professional, hobbyist, education, and mobile customers.

RY: How many years have you worked in marketing overall? What's your educational and business background?

MS: I've been in marketing-related roles since I graduated Holy Cross with a political science degree in '86. After graduating, I headed to the Chinese University of Hong Kong, compliments of a scholarship from the Rotary Foundation. Shortly after landing, I pitched Apple on a short project and stayed with them for 10 years. As Apple's business grew I had the opportunity to work in education marketing, channel development, market development, country management, and technology licensing. In '96, just before Hong Kong returned to China, I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area.

I loved the optimism and experimentation of the late '90s. I worked for several startups that focused on information retrieval, e-commerce, and marketing automation. The experience of raising and spending VC funding was invaluable in learning how to evaluate risk in a very tangible, very focused way.

In 2002, intrigued with the micro-targeting opportunities of search, I joined Alta Vista as director of strategic marketing.

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Roy Young is coauthor of Marketing Champions: Practical Strategies for Improving Marketing's Power, Influence and Business Impact. For more information about the book, go to or order at Amazon.