In just three short weeks of Salesforce announcing a deal with ExactTarget, Adobe ups the ante by entering into a definitive agreement to buy Neolane, a multichannel campaign management vendor, for approximately $600 million in cash.
The digital marketing space, a once perceived blue ocean, is now tinged with red as it continues to heat up and expand. New approaches and new channels for campaigns, such as real time social and mobile capability, as well as the white hot demand for creative content marketing to support these initiatives have greatly accelerated and will continue to drive this market forward. However, to be successful in digital marketing overall, a multichannel marketing approach, one that orchestrates both online and offline channels (the way customers traverse their path to purchase), will be key to digital marketer’s success.
Neolane, still a relatively small company (Gartner estimates around $60 million in revenue) will have the opportunity to bring multi-step, multiwave, campaign management execution capability to Adobe Marketing Cloud along with further access to industries such as retail, financial services and insurance industries, who are using multiple channels like contact centers, direct mail/catalogs and point of sale. Gartner often sees Neolane in competitive deals against IBM’s Cross-Channel Marketing Optimization solution, formerly known as Unica. For Adobe, this is a more strategic move than shopping for an e-mail marketing provider.
Adobe will have the opportunity to fuse its growing digital capability such as web analytics, social, ad management and creative content marketing capability, into multichannel marketing, expanding their offerings traditionally sold to advertisers, agencies and publishers.
The proposed deal, along with other digital marketing acquisitions including salesforce.com, Oracle, Microsoft,Teradata and IBM deals before it, not to mention other market’s (web content management, e-mail marketing, web analytic, BI and the mobile and social space) developing functionality to get into the digital marketing, will mean a hot, crowded and complex area for a long time.