Quick, what's the first thing you think of when you hear the name Adobe?
Five years ago the answer might have been Photoshop or InDesign.
While those words still come to mind when you hear Adobe today, chances are you are just as likely to think Marketing Cloud.
Adobe has come a long way since its acquisition of Omniture in 2009, which set the groundwork for its current Marketing Cloud.
With last year's purchase of Neolane, Adobe came one step closer to realizing its goal of bringing the right and left brains of marketing together. Vice President of Adobe Campaign, Americas and Neolane co-founder Stephan Dietrich sat down to discuss the progress made in the first year since the acquisition announcement and the road ahead for the Marketing Cloud.
There are acquisitions where you're left scratching your head, but Adobe's buy of Neolane wasn't one of them. Neolane brought the marketing automation piece to Adobe's Marketing Cloud puzzle and helped connect the dots between the online and offline behaviors of potential customers. A partnership with Omniture (since 2008) eased Neolane's integration into the Marketing Cloud.
"A week in we had already merged the sales teams. We quickly merged the marketing teams, the professional service teams, etc. ... everything was done by January (pretty much)." said Dietrich.
What stage is the integration today? Redubbed Adobe Campaign, the former Neolane now integrates with three of the five other solutions which make up the Marketing Cloud: Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target and Adobe Experience Manager. The integration is a work in progress, with plans for deeper and further integration in the works.
A quick refresher on the six solutions that make up the Marketing Cloud:
- Adobe Analytics -- real time web, social and mobile analytics
- Adobe Target -- A/B and multivariate testing, rules based targeting
- Adobe Social -- social listening, publishing and analytics
- Adobe Experience Manager -- WCM and DAM
- Adobe Media Optimizer -- media management across channels
- Adobe Campaign -- cross channel campaign planning and execution, marketing resource management
The Tie that Binds
What ties all six of the solutions together is a shared source of knowledge about customers -- what's called the Master Marketing Profile. Neolane brought this understanding of the customer to the Marketing Cloud. The information available before was limited at best -- some demographic information here, some transactional information there, a little bit of behavioral information mixed in.
The Master Marketing Profile changes this.
You see the continuum of the identification process, from when you only know an IP address, a referral, hyperlink, visited pages, all the way until you know it's John Smith. And we have all of the demographic information about that person, all the transactions that person has had with the brand in the past years .... in addition to all of the behavioral data -- has opened an email, has clicked, has received a push message and reacted. What Neolane brings to the table here is a deep understanding of the identified world." said Dietrich.
The MMP sits at the Adobe Marketing Cloud level, making it possible to share information across all six facets of the platform, which in turn drives the personalization in demand today.
The Four Letter Word
"Process is often a four letter word in marketing."
Dietrich doesn't mince words when discussing marketing resource management (MRM). It's not the stuff of Mad Men, it won't get any recognition during the Super Bowl, but it's a necessary component for the kind of marketing that takes place at the enterprise level. Think of MRM as the engine that drives the marketing machine -- the workflow behind the campaign -- including resource allocation, documentation and strategies.
The Neolane acquisition brought these capabilities to Adobe as well, though Dietrich warned, "Not all marketing organizations are ready to have a defined process and then have a tool to automate those processes."
The speed with which Adobe integrated Neolane into the Marketing Cloud is notable, but there's more work ahead. Dietrich promised new capabilities on the way and noted that the company still has an eye on discovering the "syngergies" from the acquisition.
"We need to reinvent ourselves every morning when we wake up." The difference between B2C and B2B is fading, real time is truly becoming real, channels are exploding. Dietrich finished with
It makes the way you design software very specific. It has to be very open and we've been obsessed with that. The channels are just an end point .... Marketing is evolving all the time and the key is to build a software that's very flexible, very open so when a new channel emerges, you can integrate with that channel in a matter of weeks even if you productize it down the road."
With the release of the Marketing Cloud Exchange in May, it looks as if Adobe is setting itself up to be that flexible, open platform. The exchange offers over 165 apps from third party companies for end users to integrate into the Marketing Cloud, including integration into the Master Marketing Record. As ion interactive co-founder and CTO Scott Brinker wrote at the time of the release,
This is not a we do everything you would ever want in digital marketing position. This is a position that acknowledges that third-party innovation is a critical part of digital marketing -- that a 1,000 innovators of marketing technology can be an incredible source of strength. This is a we can be the foundation of everything you would ever want in digital marketing position."
What excites Dietrich the most about the marketing field today? "We have job security." Because marketing keeps changing.