Adobe Borrows From Pinterest in Marketing Cloud Redesign

Ups competition for all-in-one marketing platform

Pinterest’s ascent last year heralded a new design ethos that spread to many digital properties. PandoDaily dubbed the social scrapbooking platform’s impact as “The Great Pinterestification,” and Adobe has now joined the movement through a redesign of the Adobe Marketing Cloud dashboard.

A presentation slide that walks through Adobe Marketing Cloud’s new user interface describes it as “taking visualization and sharing capabilities (think of how something like Pinterest works) and applying them to the enterprise. Like what Salesforce is doing with its own Marketing Cloud that launched last September, Adobe is retooling its platform as enterprise-minded social network that blends Yammer, Facebook and Pinterest.

Each member of a marketer’s team—be they focused on search, social, display, mobile, etc.—can log into the platform with their own account and have a feed as their home page that streams in internal conversations conducted through the platform as well as what Adobe is calling “cards.” Each card contains any asset a marketer can upload to the Adobe Marketing Cloud like ad creative or an analytics report. Cards can be created and then shared to the feed or pinned into boards. For example, a display advertiser could pin together cards containing the various assets from a recent campaign as well as the performance report and any other relevant information.

“The CMO can log in and see the pulse of the organization: what’s happening, what people are talking about, what they need to be aware of,” said Adobe’s svp of and gm of its Digital Marketing business Brad Rencher.

Since each member of a marketing department will have an individual account, Adobe intends to personalize their feeds based on their focus areas as individuals use the platform and Adobe gets an understanding of the content relevant to them á0 la Facebook’s News Feed-sorting EdgeRank algorithm. As an example, a search marketer’s feed would prioritize search-related cards like anything an analyst shares about conversion rates, Rencher said.

The platform redesign ramps up the competition among companies like Adobe, Salesforce and Google to erect a digital marketing Transformer that plugs in all the various tools a marketer uses. Rencher claimed Adobe’s in the best position to aid marketers’ cross-channel digital marketing efforts because of its “heritage with the CMOs” thanks to campaign-creation tools like Flash and Photoshop. “We extend not just to creative but take the content supply chain and run all the way through the digital marketing conversion event,” he said.

Of course the components making up Adobe Marketing Cloud are fairly new compared to its creative products. The marketing platform's backbone, analytics firm Omniture, was acquired in October 2009, and its other primary component Efficient Frontier was picked up as recently as January 2012. The latter company has been partially rolled into Adobe Social, which was introduced last September, as well as digital ad management platform Adobe Media Optimizer, which is now swallowing Adobe's search marketing product SearchCenter+. Rencher said Adobe will phase out SearchCenter+ entirely by the end of 2013. In lieu of that tool, advertisers will be able to use the new Media Optimizer Standard.