Marketing teams spend a lot of time driving visitors, generating leads, and picking out the prospects. But marketing automation solutions automate the repetitive processes and allow marketers to concentrate only on creating great marketing campaigns at scale. Besides automating the workflows, these solutions also help you manage customer relationships, campaign analytics, and targeting. Fifty-five percent of B2B businesses use marketing automation, and 91 percent of users agree that marketing automation is inevitable for the overall success of marketing channels. Adobe has been helping marketers across the world with its Adobe Experience Cloud. Besides boosting the Experience Cloud with its homemade tools like the Advertising Cloud Creative, the company also fills missing holes by acquiring other marketing automation companies like Magento (a key player in the e-commerce industry) and most recently, Marketo, a popular marketing automation platform. Let us dig deeper into Adobe’s acquisition of Marketo.
Adobe Experience Cloud
Adobe experience cloud is a digital marketing platform. It is a collection of marketing solutions and is artificial intelligence-driven. The core objective of the platform is to deliver excellent customer experiences. To understand why Adobe acquired Marketo, you have to understand what the Experience Cloud does. But to understand the features of the Experience Cloud, it helps to know the basics of the three cloud-based products that Experience Cloud is composed of.
1. Adobe Marketing Cloud
Today’s consumer expects a highly personalized shopping experience. So businesses have to craft tailor-made marketing content to appeal to every type of consumer. To do this, companies should first understand the needs of every customer, create a profile for every consumer, and then deliver content that meets the needs of each customer profile. This is exactly what Adobe Marketing Cloud does using the following tools:
- Adobe Audience Manager — The Audience Manager tool gathers customer data from all possible sources like analytics data and CRM. It then combines the collected data and creates an individual profile for every customer. These profiles would help you to understand the needs, and preferences of every type of customer and help deliver relevant marketing content to every customer.
- Adobe Experience Manager — Marketing involves a lot of content, and Adobe Experience Manager is all about content management. The content is usually stored in multiple locations, and Experience Manager gathers and assembles them in one place. It also makes the content adapt to the kind of device the customer is using.
- Adobe Social — Adobe Social allows marketers to publish content on social media platforms through moderated workflows. It has publication algorithms that tell marketers when is the right time to publish.
- Adobe Media Optimizer — Adobe Media Optimizer helps marketers manage the ads displayed across paid search and social channels. This helps them optimize spends and set benchmarks for ad performance.
- Adobe Target — Marketing is about delivering the right content to the right people. You have to understand the needs of different people and be relevant. Adobe target is a personalization engine that helps you deliver tailor-made content for every customer.
- Adobe Campaign — Adobe Campaign is a platform where you can design, orchestrate and measure your marketing campaigns.
2. Adobe Analytics Cloud
Analytics is an inevitable part of making business decisions. Decision-making has become entirely data-driven, and metrics play a crucial role in optimizing your business. This is especially true when streamlining your marketing methods. Adobe Analytics helps you to track the progress of your marketing efforts and measure results. It digs deep into the metrics to help you optimize the consumer experience. It gives you meaningful and actionable data rather than the blurry ideas from conventional methods.
The Analytics Cloud goes beyond digital analysis. With this platform, you can segment customers, identify high conversion clusters. It integrates with various data sources like CRM, third-party databases, and insights from social media to check for consistency and ensure accuracy. This helps businesses focus their marketing spend on the most profitable area.
Adobe Analytics comes with a powerful dashboard, forecasts, and predictive models. Based on these insights, businesses can take measured steps. For example, businesses are alerted when the conversions are about to go up or down allowing them to take early measures. Overall, the companies that use Adobe Analytics have a good understanding of their customers and create relevant and personalized experiences.
3. Adobe Advertising Cloud
Adobe Advertising Cloud is an end-to-end platform for managing advertisements across digital formats. Businesses waste a lot of money by showing their ads to the wrong audience. Software like Adobe Advertising Cloud helps you show your ads only to the targeted audience. Targeted advertising always result in a dramatically higher return on investment (ROI).
The biggest challenge in the advertising industry is to make people take notice. People, in general, don’t like ads. Most people ignore ads and some even block them. So, it is essential to keep the ads interesting. Adobe recently expanded the scope of the advertising cloud with a new tool called the Adobe Advertising Creative. This tool helps you accelerate the process of creating advertisements. It helps you create ads that the customer will like. As a result, your ads will have a better chance of getting clicked.
It gathers user data using the Adobe Marketing Cloud, creates and delivers personalized advertisements using Adobe Advertising Cloud, and measures the results using the Analytics Cloud. The Experience Cloud then uses the analytics data to optimize marketing processes in the future.
Adobe Experience Cloud also has some unique features such as Adobe Magento. Adobe Magento is a commerce platform to create an engaging shopping experience. It comes with other management and business intelligence features that can handle both consumer and enterprise level use cases.
Adobe’s acquisition of Marketo: Here’s why
Marketo is one of the leading marketing automation companies and has become the de facto lead engagement platform. The company’s ecosystem includes more than 500 partners and an engaged community with over 65,000 members. Marketo and Adobe both share a steadfast belief in the power of data and personalization to drive business results. The acquisition brings together the Adobe Experience Cloud’s content personalization capabilities with Marketo’s lead engagement and account-based marketing. According to Marketo CEO Steve Lucas, there is no better home than Adobe for Marketo to continue to innovate. Adobe announced that it is going to buy Marketo for $4.75 billion. This is Adobe System’s largest deal ever. The deal makes Adobe more equipped to directly compete with the leading players in the market like Oracle and Salesforce.
On average, companies leverage 29 technologies in the customer experience (CX) stack. It becomes a pain for them to manage so many solutions. This is why companies like Adobe integrate platforms like Marketo to become a one-stop solution provider for various needs of their customers. Here are some of the benefits of the Adobe-Marketo integration:
- Integrating Adobe Experience Manager with Marketo’s ContentAI platform will enable enterprises to deliver personalized content at scale.
- Having native integration between marketing automation, e-commerce, and CRM will help marketers push leads through all the stages of the marketing funnel.
- Having native support for Adobe Analytics inside Marketo and vice versa can streamline the complicated analytics process that intimidates less technical marketers.
In spite of the acquisition of Neolane, which later became Adobe Campaign, Adobe didn’t have a sizable place in the B2B space. The B2B capabilities of Adobe were limited. But Marketo comes with a solid B2B customer base that includes customers like CA, GE, Verizon, and Microsoft. This instantly offers a lot of cross-sale opportunities to Adobe.
Not quite a done-deal
Vista Equity Partners acquired Marketo in 2016. Vista is known for acquiring dynamic companies and flipping them for profit. Thanks to Vista’s strategy that helped Adobe acquire Marketo. Though the acquisition is confirmed, the deal is not finished yet. The transaction is likely to be closed by the fourth quarter of Adobe’s fiscal year 2018. Until the transaction is complete, both the companies will continue to operate independently. Once the transaction is complete, Marketo’s team will become a part of the Digital Experience Business team of Adobe Systems. Marketo’s Steve Lucas will lead the Marketo team and report to Brad Rencher, the executive vice president, and general manager of Adobe. With this acquisition, Adobe is targeting Salesforce, which is currently a competitor.
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