Adobe’s International Strategy with Priscilla Knoble
Play • 47 min

Priscilla Knoble is Senior Director of International Strategy & Product Management at Adobe. She was born and raised in Japan, she is fluent in the culture and the Japanese language. She sees the world through an international (non-English) lens. She and her team are responsible for the strategy behind the foundational requirements for developing localized products that allow them to focus Adobe's business on international markets.

She’s also an entrepreneur outside of her high-tech career. In 2011, she launched a publishing company, Stitch Publications, where she translated and published over 25 Japanese quilting and craft books into English. They have been best sellers in the industry.


The world is globalized, and companies need to think about customer experiences. Companies used to only create English versions of their product or services, but this is no longer enough for the modern marketplace with too many competitive options out there today. The goal should be delivering on expectations rather than just having "the best" product because sometimes that won't work for everyone as well. In order to meet customer expectations, Adobe uses three strategies: internationalisation, localisation, and culturalization.


“When somebody bought a subscription or even today buys us a subscription to our products, even though we might default for you assuming on what language you might want to use for a download, you can easily go up and change the language version that you want and download and use. So, I think that was one change that customers appreciated is that they could choose the language they wanted. But now what we're dealing with even further and more different is this concept of and I think it's really because of AI, MT, ML all these things were trying to anticipate what a customer wants, whether it's content or email or marketing materials.”

“As more start-ups come in, more apps come in, they're able to start from scratch and do amazing things. I think often oh my gosh, I bet their day is fantastic because everybody wants to do culturalization of the product or transcreation. They're not fighting, you know, the kind of the old methods but we are working on trying to bring product and the globalization closer together and trying to figure out how do we do that better.”

“Our engineering globalization engineering team they are the ones that really work alongside the product teams to make sure that things are fully internationalized. Then we have localization, that's our second pillar. And for us, we define that as really just the translation of the UI and the components to make it work online or the translation of content. So, it really is that translation factor. And that's more of a business decision around what we do there. And then the third one is culturalization.”

“There's a lot of talk about diversity and inclusion, and it never seems to really reach the localization sort of story, but that's kind of what I want to bring in if we are truly trying to be a diverse company that has inclusion, it shouldn't just be about our employees and what we do in the company, it should be about our products as well and what are we offering to the world.”


Levent Yildizgoren, the author of 'Good Business in any Language', is an award-winning entrepreneur, localisation professional, and a PRINCE2 qualified project manager.






Priscilla Knoble is Senior Director of International Strategy & Product Management at Adobe and owner of Stitch Publications.



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