Following hot on the heels of IBM Watson and Salesforce’s Einstein, Adobe has announced the launch of Adobe Sensei as “one of our biggest strategic investments”, bringing artificial intelligence into their marketing cloud.
Adobe Sensei will ‘automate mundane tasks, drive predictive and personalisation capabilities, and boost productivity’ across both Marketing and Creative Clouds.
Some examples of the new intelligent services include:
For more information visit the Adobe Sensei microsite
Adobe Marketing Cloud is a digital toolbox, filled to the brim with enterprise-level applications and services covering the major areas of digital marketing. There are eight main tools – Analytics, Audience Manager (personalistion), Campaign (multi-channel marketing; automation), Experience Manager (content), Media Optimizer (ads), Primetime (video), Social and Target (testing).
Marketers can buy individual bits but, as with the Beatles, they tend to work better together, becom ing more powerful when used in combination and integrated with other marketing technologies.
“I’d argue that we have the most complete solution on the market. We are in the process of integrating everything together which will make it more appealing to marketers” – Ann Lewnes, SVP & Chief Marketing Officer Adobe speaking to TFM in June 2015
Signalling its move into the Customer Experience market, Adobe was the first major software provider to announce its intention to build an integrated digital marketing hub. The Marketing Cloud suite of tools – officially launched in 2012 – was compiled in part through acquisitions including Omniture, Day Software and Neolane.
Here’s a 2 mins 30 secs video covering the basics of what its all about. It’s slightly out of date (Jan 2015), mentioning six of the eight products currently available:
Adobe proudly touted its acquisition of Livefyre, best known for its online commenting system. Livefyre also offers tools for brands to engage with their audiences, for instance aggregating user-generated content in real time for live web pages and event screens.
Adobe plans to integrate Livefyre into its Experience Manager, its content management service for building web sites and mobile apps – TechCrunch.
— CMSWire.com (@cmswire) May 5, 2016
Adobe announced various updates across its marketing cloud:
The software giant also teased results from its Adobe Digital Index (ADI) EMEA Best of the Best 2015 Report, which benchmarks what the average and top companies are doing:
APRIL 2016 – Product update
The AMC Spring 2016 release includes single-click navigation between solutions, new notifications widget and a redesigned Feed.
New Adobe Analytics features include the Activity Map (formerly ClickMap), virtual report suites, Analysis Workspace project scheduling and downloading, and Data Workbench 6.6.
MARCH 2016 – Product updates and launches
The Adobe Summit in Las Vegas saw the launch of Adobe.ie, a developer portal enabling developers to download the Adobe Marketing Cloud software development kit and easily access API routines and protocol – press release.
“We need to move from device based marketing to people based marketing” <-Amen! #AdobeSummit
— Pam Moore (@PamMktgNut) March 22, 2016
Newly announced Adobe Certified Metrics offer standardised digital census data for more accurate measurement of digital audiences – this was followed up by news of related comScore and Neilsen partnerships – press release.
Adobe unveiled it’s Marketing Cloud Device Co-op, a network that will enable the world’s biggest brands to work together to better identify customers as they move from one digital device to another – press release.
Adobe Device Co-Op links multiple devices so person is giving consistent experience, marketing to people not devices #adobesummit
— Mack Collier (@MackCollier) March 22, 2016
Other announcements from the summit include deeper integration of AEM Mobile, new Mobile Core Services tools, new capabilities in Adobe Primetime and new data science capabilities.
Love the new geo-fenced push notifications feature in Adobe Marketing Cloud. Competitive space, but CRITICAL for retail. #AdobeSummit
— Jay Baer (@jaybaer) March 22, 2016
DECEMBER 2015 – Partnership
An extended Accenture and Adobe partnership will focus on providing digital marketing solutions for large-scale campaigns in the life science, healthcare and financial services sectors in NA and Europe – press release.
“Working with Accenture at this level is a significant step toward providing tailored versions of Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions that address the unique requirements of specific vertical industries. This is a logical next step in the evolution of Adobe Marketing Cloud as an enterprise software platform to help industries successfully transition to digital.” – Matt Thompson, executive vice president, Worldwide Field Operations at Adobe
NOVEMBER 2015 – Product launch
Adobe launches Audience Marketplace, a data exchange where companies can buy second- and third-party audiences – TechCrunch.
— Joaquín Moral Pérez (@jmoral) November 11, 2015
Gartner (which for some reason has its own name for marketing clouds – “digital marketing hubs”) has once again identified Adobe Marketing Cloud as top dog in its Magic Quadrant analysis:
“Many marketers have adopted Adobe as their standard for digital marketing applications, incorporating other providers only in areas where Adobe lacks offerings, such as e-commerce. While Adobe supports open integration with outside applications, its core service layer, including profiles and audiences, administration, and collaboration tools, creates incentives to stay within its suite. Consider Adobe if you are a midsize-to-large B2C enterprise looking to compete on quality of customer experience and personalization.” – Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs, pub. 5 January 2016
A consultant to UNICEF gave the package a mixed review over at TrustRadius, finding it powerful but pricey, as well as potentially tricky to implement:
“ROI on Adobe Marketing Cloud purchase – Adobe Marketing Cloud has been a valuable customer-aquisition asset for several B2B companies I’ve had contact with. While return in investment depends on other variables surrounding the tool and the business, consistent increase in lead-to-conversion rates have been a good indication of increase in performance.
For B2C businesses, however, Adobe Marketing Cloud can be an overkill solution. Its high license, implementation and maintenance costs make it a hard investment to back, since cheaper solutions can provide the same kinds of insights.” – Rodrigo Domingues, Integrated Marketing Consultant, UNICEF
Adobe Marketing Cloud pricing is a bit tricky to nail down, as it is made up of eight products that can be subscribed to in any combination; pricing is also dependent on company size.
The services are for enterprise customers with complex digital marketing needs and budgets that can accommodate a minimum spend in the tens of thousands of dollars.
If you want to know exact pricing, it is best to contact an Adobe salesperson.
A former CMO for Acquia (a smaller CMS rival) argues that Adobe Marketing Cloud is simply not a mid-market product:
“It’s no secret that Adobe CQ [experience manager] is the most expensive CMS. Adobe said during their recent partner summit that the average CQ deal is $450,000 in license with the total implementation cost of over $2m USD. Adobe’s focus is squarely on the largest companies who value their entire Marketing Cloud…” – Tom Wentworth, writing as Chief Marketing Officer, Acquia
Adobe Marketing Cloud Exchange – launched in May 2014 – is a marketplace for AMC applications, some of which better integrate Adobe products with each other as well as third-party apps.
Adobe has its own video platform, where a lot of its most valuable official content is hosted, as opposed to YouTube. Best to use the search function to look for walkthroughs about particular products.
If you’re feeling a bit lost with Adobe Analytics, it has an official YouTube Channel featuring a number of short videos ranging from simple to expert tips.
Here’s a quick video tour of Adobe Social, with a playlist of relevant videos also on the page.
This 13-minute Adobe Target product showcase will give you a good sense of the personalisation tools available.
Adobe has a well-stocked resource centre for its Marketing Cloud services.
Case study: See how Chelsea Football Club arrived at their purchase of Adobe Marketing Cloud via IT firm CACI and how they implement it across the business.
Case study: House of Fraser’s Paid Search Manager talks about how the company uses Adobe Media Optimizer for Search within Adobe Marketing Cloud.
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