At Adobe’s Summit this week in Salt Lake City (disclosure – Adobe is covering my travel and expenses to attend the event), Adobe is rolling out announcements aimed at cementing its position as the leading marketing cloud vendor. By way of context, this is one of the biggest opportunity areas for marketing vendors today – as organizations want to close the loop between themselves and their consumers by way of broad digital marketing solutions, the opportunity exists for major players to be unseated – with Oracle Oracle, Adobe and Salesforce all battling for the top position, and companies like Marketo and HubSpot breathing down their necks, there is a continuing requirement for vendors to innovate.
So it’s no surprise to see Adobe aggressively introducing products – this week sees the company start to answer questions around the Internet of Things (IoT), integrated advertising solutions and, in a very to-the-minute announcement given Apple’s Apple’s launch of its watch yesterday, wearables.
Adobe wants to be an important player in the emergent field of connected devices and is introducing a new software development kit (SDK) that is itself an extension of its existing mobile offering. The new SDK helps with measurement and analysis of connected devices and provides a hub whereby developers can build solutions to cover content testing, optimization and personalization. The SDK covers the growing area of iBeacons – a boon for those looking to build in-store connected solutions. Included are location capabilities for both iBeacon and GPS data – meaning that customers can build location-aware solutions that flow seamlessly from outdoor to indoor interactions.
The company is also extending its Experience Manager product to allow marketers to create highly personalized content that covers the gamut of delivery mechanisms – regular imagery, 3D models, video etc – this will be useful for retailers looking to create immersive displays in retail, hotel or other settings. Interestingly this also extends to unusual form-factors such as ATMs, gas station pump screens and vehicle dashboards.
Adobe is doubling down on the analytics side of the business – new audience core services will allow external data (think CRM data or social media monitoring) to customize advertisements. Adobe is launching connectivity between segmented audiences and its ad delivery platform – a useful addition that will allow marketers to create automated advertising workflows.
Moving into the data field, Adobe has created a marketplace where marketers can buy aggregate and anonymized third-party data that can be segmented and used across media channels. The marketplace also supports the buying and selling of first-party data. This first and third party data can feed into Adobe’s advertising products such as its multi-screen TV platform.
I have already written about the integration between Adobe and Vibes that offers the ability to deliver coupons automatically and in a personalized manner to Apple Passbook and Google Google Wallet – another example of closing the digital marketing loop.
All in all there are a lot of announcements being made today – Adobe realizes that this is a once in a generation chance to fundamentally change the game in the marketing space and is innovating at pace. It will be fascinating to see what Salesforce pulls out of the bag at its own marketing cloud event in New York in June.