Et Tu, Adobe?

Adobe Cesareans Cross-Channel From The Email Market

Say hello to my little CPM!
Image Source: Ronald Grant Archive

Over the summer, we were all treated to an abundance of headlines proclaiming that Adobe, Oracle, and Salesforce were engaging in a marketing cloud war. Yet the relevant acquisitions — Neolane, Eloqua, and ExactTarget, respectively — only engaged in border skirmishes, since each focused on the distinct, yet adjacent, markets of campaign management, B2B marketing automation, and email marketing. Indeed, each of the strategic acquirers either already had partnership agreements in place or agreed to partner on the heels of the acquisitions.

Read more

Exploring New Email Pricing Models

The standard pricing model for email marketing — the CPM — may soon change. Industry consolidation, commoditization, and growing data volumes threaten the standard. Buyers may soon confront models that range from a platform license (all-you-can-email) to total utilization (data + messaging) to seat-based models. In November, I will publish research into the rationale for model changes, evaluate different candidate models, and explore the repercussions of the change.

I need your help. Price changes will have dramatic and difficult to predict effects on customer experience, marketing practices, the vendor landscape, and even the structure of the marketing organization. For example, an all-you-can-email model may, paradoxically, reduce email volumes in the long run, if it removes barriers to adoption of cross-channel programs.

This potential shift from channel-specific to cross-channel is one of the more interesting consequences of a model change. I’d like your reactions include:

  • What is the best pricing model given the challenges you face (performance, cross-channel, real-time, mobility, etc.)?
  • Who in your organization might be affected by the change?
  • How do you anticipate the purchase process (RFP, selection, negotiation, contract review) might change as a result of a model change?
  • If you faced no pricing limits on email, how would your strategy and operations change?
  • If vendors moved to a platform model — e.g., including other modules such as web recommendations, push notifications, or behavioral targeting with email — how would your strategy and operations change?
Read more

Adobe Acquires Neolane: Marketing Tech Gains An Accent

Adobe's announcement that the company will acquire Neolane comes nearly on the heels of Salesforce's acquisition of ExactTarget. Even at $600 million, the deal size won't draw attention like Benioff's blockbuster, but it shouldn't be downplayed. Adobe's reach across the marketing technology landscape — and campaign management's central position within it — means it will have an outsized effect on marketers. On it's face, the acquisition:

  • Addresses a market that Adobe previously ignored. Neolane closes Adobe's strategic and longstanding gap in campaign management. Whether you call it a marketing platform, suite, or cloud, Adobe now offers a broad spectrum of products to marketing departments, and now extends into offline. It is now also a much more serious competitor to the large, enterprise marketing providers: IBM, Oracle, SAS, and Teradata.
  • Offers a moderate extension of Adobe's marketing cloud. Neolane offers its products through a mix on-premises, hosted, and multi-tenant cloud delivery, though most clients opt for on-premises. While Neolane doesn't immediately transform the marketing cloud, Adobe's success with CQ5 shows that it's comfortable with hybrid delivery. Over time, however, Neolane's unified architecture and Adobe's SaaS-bonafides will allow it to shift more and more clients into campaign management as a subscription.
Read more

Siebel & Eloqua: Can You Outrun Your Future?

"Logan: That's the way things are. The way things have always been."

In Redwood City this week, the answer I heard from Oracle was an emphatic yes. At Oracle's Industry Analyst World, the company stressed its cloud bonafides against Salesforce, IBM, and SAP with its new Customer Experience (CX) Suite. The CX Suite is a horizontal offering, assembled primarily from acquisitions, newly rechristened as Oracle Marketing (Eloqua), Oracle Commerce (ATG, Endeca), Oracle Sales (Oracle CRM On Demand), Oracle Service (RightNow), Oracle Social (Collective Intellect, Vitrue, Involver), and Oracle Content (Fatwire).

The Software as a Service (SaaS) suite promises to deliver a lower total cost of ownership, easier integration, and faster time to value for a business looking to streamline its enterprise software providers. While Oracle's approach is to lead with SaaS, it also promotes an Enhance, Augment, Migrate strategy, enabling existing customers to extend an on-premises deployment --- think Siebel Loyalty --- with one or more CX products, say Eloqua's email delivery capabilities.

You Can Outrun Your Past

So what does it mean for Eloqua? Marketers using or considering Eloqua should recognize that Oracle:

Read more

Move Beyond The Campaign

Standing in an aisle of a big box retailer, I bought a new electric shaver from a competing retailer’s online store. The store’s shaving display reminded me that my razor was dying. Not knowing which to choose, I twitched for my iPhone, scanned a barcode, read several reviews, explored competing products, found the best price, and ordered it with free shipping. I saved $75 over the same model I could have purchased then and there.

My example is commonplace today. Perpetually connected customers – 42% of US online adults and 37% in Europe – can engage brands at any place, any time, and at any velocity. The technology trends that lead retailers to worry about showrooming touch every industry. Each brand must anticipate connected customers’ demand for information, reviews, and engagement. They must realign technology, processes, and talent to recognize customers in microseconds, using real-time signals to predict their needs and paths to purchase. And they must see that this problem can’t be solved with faster technology alone.

Read more

MOVE BEYOND THE CAMPAIGN

Standing in an aisle of a big box retailer, I bought a new electric shaver from a competing retailer’s online store. The store’s shaving display reminded me that my razor was dying. Not knowing which to choose, I twitched for my iPhone, scanned a barcode, read several reviews, explored competing products, found the best price, and ordered it with free shipping. I saved $75 over the same model I could have purchased then and there.

Read more

Oracle Acquires Eloqua: A Do-Over For The Era Of Digital Disruption

Today, Oracle announced that it will acquire Eloqua, a marketing automation firm. Oracle positions the deal as a comprehensive customer experience cloud that enables business to create an integrated, end-to-end process of marketing, sales, service, and support. I look forward to insight from my colleague Lori Wizdo on what the Oracle-Eloqua deal means for a marketing and sales alignment.

I think the deal has larger ramifications for the future of all customer relationship marketers and marketing vendors. Here’s my take on the deal:

Read more

ExactTarget Acquires iGoDigital And Pardot

ExactTarget today announced plans to acquire two companies: Pardot and iGoDigital. The acquisitions signal that ExactTarget, only recently public, intends to use its cash reserves to grow aggressively against the competition in revenue, market segments, and features. So what does it mean?

Are the two acquisitions related?

No, the dual acquisitions are a quirk of timing, allowing ExactTarget to drive the marketing technology conversation in advance of Connections, its user conference in Indianapolis next week. I’ll separate my comments to better address each.

Still, I’ll risk a theme for these two acquisitions: Marketing automation without predictive analytics is blind, but analytics without automation is empty.


Why did ExactTarget make the acquisitions now?

iGoDigital Pardot
The acquisition is unlikely to make a big impact in the short term. Recommendations are a small part of the marketing software mix for retailers.  ExactTarget can cross-sell online recommendations into its significant B2C base, but in the end, ExactTarget is acquiring the firm for a longer-term move.
Read more

Take Forrester's Marketing Technology Survey

Using, investigating, or buying marketing technology? If so, we want to hear from you. Take the survey and receive a complimentary copy of the completed research.

Take the marketing technology survey

Forrester's global Marketing Technology Adoption survey investigates:

  • What technologies do marketers currently use, and what do they plan to use?
  • How much do marketers budget for technology acquisition and operations?
  • What are the users' top goals for and pain points from marketing technology?

You can use the survey results to:

  • Provide justification for a business case in your 2013 technology road map.
  • Compare your spend levels and technology use to those of other marketing professionals.
  • Spot trends and see best practices to incorporate into your technology strategy.

The survey will close on Friday, August 3, and the completed research report will publish in early September. Once the research publishes, I will also present the findings in a Forrester Webinar and in advisory sessions to interested clients.

Take the marketing technology survey

Please share this blog post and survey link with friends and colleagues who share an interest in marketing technology.

Thanks in advance for your support and involvement.

Teradata's eCircle Acquisition: Portfolio Or Platform Play?

Today Teradata announced plans to acquire of Munich-based eCircle, a digital and email marketing provider. With the acquisition, Teradata continues two trends:

  1. Extending core offerings through marketing technology. eCircle joins Teradata’s two prior investments in marketing technology: Aprimo Marketing Studio (AMS) and Aprimo Relationship Manager (ARM), which were separately acquired in previous years. Teradata confirmed that it will position the eCircle product within its standalone Aprimo division.
  2. Complementing data warehousing with big data analytics. Through the acquisition of Aster Data, Teradata moved to beef up its presence in analytics for large-scale data sets, such as log files, clickstream, and sensor data. eCircle’s platform is built on a similar (Hadoop-based) platform, allowing marketers to co-mingle and analyze customer records, campaign data, online behavioral interactions, and more.
Read more