Adobe Goes End-to-End on Social

Platform promises to combine Efficient Frontier, social analytics

More and more marketers are coming around to the idea that social shouldn’t be siloed. Capitalizing on that shift are companies like Google—which acquired marketing software company Wildfire to build out the social portion of its end-to-end marketing platform—and now Adobe.

The latter company has been aggressively assembling what it calls Adobe's Digital Marketing Suite, a growing collection of Web analytics tools. The centerpiece of that suite is Omniture, which Adobe snatched up in 2009. The Omniture deal was followed by last November’s purchase of Efficient Frontier—a digital marketing company which had itself acquired the social marketing startup Context Optional earlier in the year.

Adobe is now moving to combine those social marketing assets with its own social analytics platform to create a stand-alone marketing and analytics platform dubbed Adobe Social.

“All the moves you’ve seen us make in acquisitions and product announcements have been around building an end-to-end suite of applications. Social is the next big piece for us,” said Brad Rencher, svp and gm of Adobe’s Digital Marketing business.

Adobe Social aims to address two issues in social marketing, Rencher argues. First “social [media] hasn’t made the jump to really using data and leveraging it to drive decisions,” he said.

Second, “We believe it’s time for social to break out of the silo it’s been put in.” While it can be argued that the break is happening without Adobe’s input, an increase in end-to-end offerings will likely catalyze the transition. Just as Salesforce is doing by bringing together its newly acquired social marketing software company Buddy Media and social analytics arm Radian6 to form the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Adobe Social claims to offer brands an all-in-one social suite.

Adobe Social has been in closed beta with a select number of brands since late spring. The hope is that brands will turn to Adobe to fill a slew of their needs—everything from creating content and building for social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to advertising in those communities to tracking resulting sales.  Adobe offers brands templates for social marketing standbys like sweepstakes, photo contests and coupons. But the heart of the tool set is actionable data, including metrics such as how often a brand has been mentioned, how many users are interacting with the brand on Facebook and Twitter, and of those users who are the most influential.

It’s a “listening platform combined with an engagement platform tied directly into the leading social ads platform,” Rencher said.


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