Adobe Overhauls Digital Marketing Services With an Eye on Non-Marketers

March 21, 2017, 12:59 PM UTC

Saying that marketing tasks are no longer just for marketers, Adobe Systems is recasting its popular cloud-based marketing software applications to better appeal to all corporate users across departments.

Its new “Adobe Experience Cloud” will bring together the company’s current marketing, advertising, analytics services into a package that the company says is broadly applicable across many segments of technology buyers.

“Four or five years ago, the chief marketing officer was underserved. What’s happened since then is the principles of digital marketing, the need for real-time action, for data, for great content, for personalization for mobile apps in the store and in the car has gone way beyond the marketing department,” said Brad Rencher, executive vice president and general manager of digital marketing for San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe (ADBE).

Back then, the need to create content and get it to the right people in a timely fashion via the right channel was something that maybe 30% of a company’s execs had to worry about. Now that percentage is more like 90%, Rencher told Fortune in an interview. That means the sort of software Adobe offers, like its Analytics Cloud for gauging interest in web content, could be used across many departments. Analytics Cloud is based on Adobe’s $1.8 billion acquisition of Omniture in 2009.

The news comes out of Las Vegas where Adobe is hosting the Adobe Summit, the company’s annual tech showcase. Individual customers can still buy Adobe Creative Cloud, and Document Cloud.

Aside from discussing the product overhaul, Adobe executives and guest speaker Microsoft executive vice president Scott Guthrie plan to offer further details about a collaboration between the two companies to integrate their respective sales and marketing software applications.

Last September, in press release laden with marketing terms, Adobe named Microsoft Azure as its “preferred cloud” service, and Microsoft dubbed Adobe Marketing Cloud its “preferred marketing service” for use alongside Microsoft Dynamics 365, its suite of back-office business applications. At that time, the two companies said they would work together to integrate their software so customers could make better use of both companies’ data and analytics services.

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This week, the two companies said they are making it easier for Adobe Sensei artificial intelligence technology to work with troves of data from Microsoft Dynamics business applications used by sales people to create, track, and hopefully close sales leads.

Gartner (IT) vice president and distinguished analyst Gene Phifer said Adobe is doing what needs to be done. “I’ve been concerned all along that Adobe has great vision but was still focused on marketing alone, this move addresses that.”

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When it comes to marketing technologies, Adobe and Microsoft compete with companies like Salesforce (CRM), Oracle (ORCL), and SAP (SAP), all of which have bulked up their marketing chops mostly via acquisitions.

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