Adobe-SAP Deal Brings Ads and CRM Together

Still work to be done, analyst says

The Adobe-SAP deal announced today will likely have significant advertising, mobile marketing ramifications and customer relationship management for their brand clients. Adobe serves names such as Hyatt, Comcast and Scottrade, while SAP customers include Nissan, Under Armour and Edmunds Optics, per their websites.

Most observers see the partnership as a shot across the bow at software competitors Salesforce, Oracle and IBM. At the same time, Melissa Webster, IDC analyst, suggests that there's work to be done if Adobe and SAP want to create the ultimate marketing cloud.

"They still need to partner with the advertising/digital agencies to create personalized, engaging customer experiences for brands," she contended. "I think this new partnership will make it a lot easier for the advertising/marketing agencies to work with Adobe technologies in SAP accounts, as they won't need to worry about the systems integration piece. They can focus on their core capabilities and value proposition to deliver cutting-edge experiences across channels."

Webster said IBM and Oracle offer similar suites of services, while Salesforce "is also in the hunt." 

Ovum analyst Gerry Brown said that "this agreement leverages an existing strong relationship which significantly enhances the position of both Adobe and SAP in the digital marketing arena."

Wunderman is also a partner in Adobe-SAP relationship. Gurval Caer, an innovation and marketing chief at the agency, added, "Clients benefit with more precise audience planning, more engaging creative, and a better understanding of marketing performance, from media to sales."

Adobe's been building its online ad business for months. Here are key components to what the San Jose, Calif.-based tech brand will share with SAP, per the companies.

  • Adobe Marketing Cloud includes a Master Marketing Profile element that lets creatives and techies share assets;
  • A mobile app platform that allows developers to employ Adobe's PhoneGap system to build customer-facing apps while marketers can manage the entire app experience with so-called drag-and-drop functionality;
  • A service that lets marketers gauge mobile app download campaign performance;
  • Apple iBeacon support for measurement and targeting of app users close to stadiums and retail stores.
  • Support for push notifications;
  • A web experience manager kit;
  • A feature dubbed Adobe Target Premium that's designed to target relevant content and cross-sell recommendations.