Adobe's Online Marketing Suite

Adobe Omniture Summit 2011 Showcases Momentum, Tangible Progress Toward Aggressive Vision

March 24, 2011

Adobe made major announcements about their Online Marketing Suite at the Adobe Omniture Summit 2011 this month. They demonstrated progress toward an aggressive vision of data-driven multi-channel marketing and summed it up with the assertion that, “marketing is the new finance” because it has its finger on the pulse of the business in a way that only finance could have in years past.

This perspective lays out a view of the essential elements of a marketing technology ecosystem, highlights key announcements from Adobe, identifies salient elements of the Adobe offering for the marketer, and raises a few unresolved questions.


A Lot Can Happen in a Year

About six months after Adobe acquired Omniture in 2009, Omniture’s major announcement at their annual user conference, Adobe Omniture Summit 2010, heralded the marriage of the two companies as a good thing and introduced Facebook integration. Huh? How was this going to make sense?

Well, a lot can happen in 12 months, as evidenced by Summit 2011, where the string of announcements and cheers from energized customers demonstrated tangible progress, exciting new opportunities for customers, and momentum toward a vision of an end-to-end online marketing ecosystem. The theme of art and science carried through most presentations: the online marketing suite addresses both left and right brain marketers in a way that this pairing of Adobe and Omniture is so well suited to do.

As a newcomer to the Adobe Omniture Summit, I noticed, nevertheless, a transition in the way Adobe executives addressed their users. Brad Rencher, Vice President and General Manager of the Omniture Business Unit at Adobe, drew the audience together with a Web analytics analogy: a surfboarding visual, contrasting the thrill of catching the perfect ride (i.e., gaining valuable insight from the data) and the agony of having that wave crash over you (i.e., losing perspective in a flood of data). But as the morning keynote session progressed, executives started referring to attendees as marketers, rather than Web analysts. By the closing session, we were all marketers, and Brett Error, Vice President and Chief Technologist of the Omniture Business Unit at Adobe, noted that this was the first Summit at which one had to ask new acquaintances about their jobs; no longer could you assume you were talking to someone who does exactly what you do.

“Marketing Is the New Finance”

Aseem Chandra, Vice President of Marketing for the Omniture Business Unit, referred to marketing as “the new finance” because it can now measure the pulse of the business in a way that only finance could have in years past. Think about it. Finance tracks the value chain of the business. It’s important, but mostly inward facing. By contrast, marketing’s aim is to, “know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.1” Facing outward, the marketer sees where the business is heading.

Because customers control the buying process today, facing outward is more important than ever. Customers have gained control through the online environment, where:

• Customers’ online interactions, which comprise an increasingly larger proportion of the buying cycle, are measured and tested.

• Customers’ behavior on the whole Web has become as important as their behavior on your company Web site.

• Timely relevant content, tailored to the customer, has become the currency of marketing. It motivates action better than free trials and discounts.

• Video, social media, mobile channels, new advertising opportunities, widgets, and games are invigorating and adding layers of complexity to marketing campaigns.

• Competitors are quicker and more agile but can also be tracked more easily than ever before.

This environment, and the tools and processes that enable marketers to measure and experiment, propel them toward becoming “the new finance.” It is a transformative opportunity, in which the leaders accrue great rewards and the laggards risk obsolescence.


For a supplier in this new marketing environment, there are many distractions. The critical question concerns what elements of the marketer’s technology toolkit are essential for leadership. For my money, the following are essential...


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