Will Adobe become the go-to company for all digital marketing technology? Company executives, speaking at the Adobe Summit in Salt Lake City today, certainly paint that picture. But a dynamic and expanding industry proves there is room for plenty of other players, as digital marketing complexity expands.
Adobe's drive to integrate more and more marketing functionality into its Marketing Cloud may be welcomed by some of its largest customers. But it also points to the challenge of digital marketing: The inherent complexity of marketing tech and the constant thirst for new tools that fill gaps -- from startups or otherwise.
In speeches this morning, Adobe Executives here largely celebrated their recent roll-up of acquisitions such as Omniture and Day Software, which have now been fully integrated into the Marketing Cloud. The suite includes single sign-on, integrated asset and tag management, collaboration, among other features, presented in a single interface.
"We want to change the world through digital experiences," said Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen. "Bring the best of creative expression ... break through the clutter of the buzzwords and reach the customers. Let's collectively make the real time enterprise a reality."
It all sounds good on paper. And Adobe did a good job showing how clients such as REI have standardized everything from creating and managing digital assets to managing mobile apps around Adobe's products.
Brad Brown, vice president of Information Services at REI, said the company was making a "big bet" on the Adobe Marketing Cloud.
But what about the other technology providers? As dozens of companies in Adobe's partner pavilion prove, there's plenty of room for new technology, especially if it solves a specific pain point. There's still plenty of e-commerce, CRM and niche customer experience applications that Adobe doesn't own.
Living Below the Iceberg
One example is Elastic Path, which earlier this month signed an agreement with Adobe to collaborate on e-commerce platform technology, product integration, sales and marketing.
"Adobe above the iceberg, with the obvious ones: analytics, social, test and target," said Lisa Walker, product marketing manager with Elastic Path. "But there's also below the iceberg with e-commerce and back-end tax integrations. Big Data is coming, analytics will have to get stronger, and there's predictive analytics coming."