Adobe is introducing a new pricing plan for its campaign management service. Starting in January, Adobe Campaign, one of six digital marketing units the company includes in its Marketing Cloud services, will no longer charge customers on CPM or cost-per-thousand emails pricing. Instead, it will charge a "platform fee" plus a fee per customer profile.
In an interview with CMSWire.com, Mathieu Hannouz, senior product marketing manager for Adobe Campaign, said the move is designed to encourage customers to embrace cross-channel marketing.
Moving Beyond Email
Campaign is the new name for the Neolane marketing automation tool Adobe bought in July. By basing Campaign's price on the number of customer profiles in the database, marketers can break down the silos that often exist between email, social, in app and other marketing messages, Hannouz said.
Adobe is still finalizing specifics of the pricing plan. However, Hannouz said there will be three pricing levels, ranging from a single channel to a cross-channel, enterprise level package. In addition, existing Adobe customers will have the option to decide when and if they want to move to the new pricing structure.
When asked what effects the change would have on the marketplace, Shar VanBoskirk, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, told CMSWire.com that it will likely start a trend. "I think this move from Adobe/Neolane is an inevitable one, and we will see more vendors follow suit," said VanBoskirk, an expert on how businesses can leverage interactive marketing channels and technologies to drive sales and deepen customer relationships.
CPM pricing is at an all time low, VanBoskirk added, and ends to benefit high volume email customers. Customers interested in more customized messages rather than volume appear to be the winners with the new price plan.
"CPM-based pricing represents a bit of a mismatch between the medium and the value it provides," she added.
Marketers who don't send large volumes of emails, which enables them to qualify for the lower pricing tiers, will gain under the new framework. That should encourage them to include more dynamic content or create segmentation schemes, VanBoskird said. Even so, she continued, marketers may be somewhat resistant to change:
Not because their costs go up at all, but because it is just different. Change is hard. Neolane and all the vendors to follow will have to 'recondition' email marketers to help them understand the value with this new pricing approach."
Adobe Campaign allows marketers to automate multiple options
Marketing Automation Space Still Hot
For Adobe customers, the changes are coming at lightning speed these days, and the Neolane/Campaign integration is really just getting started. As one of its main competitors, we're curious to see what Salesforce has in mind for the updates it's planning on rolling out at the upcoming Dreamforce conference in San Francisco.
Salesforce bought ExactTarget this past summer, not long before Adobe bought Neolane. So there's a genuine feeling of brinkmanship between the competing marketing automation systems. Even more intriguing: Only a few months earlier Salesforce bought ExactTarget, ExactTarget acquired Pardot.
It hadn't even fully integrated Pardot when Salesforce came along and scooped them both up.
The point is there is a lot going on in the marketing automation space. Don't be surprised if there is one more big acquisition in this space before the year is out. Both Adobe and Salesforce will no doubt continue to roll out fairly concurrent updates with their respective systems. Salesforce may capitalize on the Dreamforce conference next week to share more news.
We don't expect Salesforce to announce it has given up on CPM email pricing, but Adobe's announcement certainly sends the marketing ball back to Salesforce's side of the net.