Adobe sticks to master plan with Neolane purchase.
The past seven months have seen significant consolidation in the CRM sector. Since Microsoft’s acquisition of MarketingPilot and the buyout of Pardot by Exact Target in late 2012, deals worth around $4b have been completed or proposed. The latest of these deals is Adobe’s purchase of Neolane, the Paris based ‘conversational marketing’ technology company, for $600m.
Most of the CRM orientated industry has been absorbed by Salesforce.com buying Exact Target for $2.5b. Meanwhile, the Adobe-Neolane deal has slipped through without much attention. Yet the Neolane purchase allows Adobe to continue building its burgeoning marketing services cloud. Adobe have invested heavily in Adobe Marketing Cloud’s offerings; it now includes social marketing, media optimisation, analytics, targeting and experience management solutions.
During March 2013’s Adobe Digital Summit, Adobe revealed their vision for the digital marketer. Data management, content and cross-channel campaign management are three main pillars of their marketing cloud vision.
Adobe laid the foundations of the digital marketing cloud by purchasing Omniture (2009), Day Software (2010), Demdex, Auditude (Both 2011) and Efficient Frontier (2012). Then by combining the Creative and Marketing Clouds, Adobe brought creative and analysts together in an exciting and collaborative manner.
By now the potential of the marketing cloud was very apparent. Yet a piece of the jigsaw was missing. The cloud did not offer marketing automation solutions for the classic case of sales teams closing online leads in the B2B space. Yet the Neolane purchase allows Adobe to add another string to its marketing cloud bow.
CRM expert Paul Greenberg has said the Neolane deal is “perhaps the best acquisition for the price made this year, perhaps bar none”. The buyout coincides well with Adobe’s strategy and allows Adobe to become a significant player in the CRM industry. Adobe claims marketing cloud subscribers are up 25% year-on-year. This growth and the increase Neolane will bring to functionality will surely force big CRM vendors to counter the Adobe giant.