Brad Rencher, general manager of Adobe's digital marketing
business, recently sat down with Ad Age and described the company's
plan to stay ahead of these competitors. What it comes down to, he
said, is producing a system which helps marketers make sense of
data, share it effectively across functions and put it into action
when it matters.
"Competitively, what we're looking to build is a platform or a
system that can basically help organizations work better together
so their search marketer, their social marketer and the mobile
marketer can actually be friends and work together," Mr. Rencher
There are times, Mr. Rencher said, where he'll walk into a
meeting with members from multiple groups within a marketing
department and they'll meet each other for the first time there.
Adobe is looking to fix this problem via its software offering.
"I think brands need someone or a group -- preferably the entire
organization -- that is capable of taking a step back and thinking
about that wholistic customer experience," Mr. Rencher said.
Giving an example of Adobe software in action, Mr. Rencher
described how outdoor apparel and gear company REI uses its social
and web data to sell better in its brick-and-mortar stores. REI, he
said, has sales experts called "Green Jackets," who walk around the
store with iPads connected to Adobe's software. REI is a co-op, so
a member gives their co-op number to a Green Jacket when walking
into the store which gives the green jacket the ability to pull up
their online behavior and suggest a product.
"Bringing the data to bear in context, we call it the last
millisecond, that is the more interesting part, not just the
management of it," Mr. Rencher said.
Creating interactions like the one with REI's Green Jackets
requires multiple Adobe software products including its social
tools, data-management platform, web-content management system and
its analytics tool.
The integration between Adobe products was highlighted by
Forrester in its report:
"Adobe distanced itself from the pack with a combination of an
innovative, detailed vision and in-market functionality designed
solely to provide marketers with a clear incentive to use multiple
solutions within the Adobe Marketing Cloud," the report said.
Many marketers still prefer selecting best-in-breed products as
opposed to going with a full suite from one company, Mr. Rencher
readily admits. But, he said, some are coming around. "I wouldn't
say the whole market is coming there, but the early adopters
saying, 'You know what, I'm done. Give me the marketing cloud, give
me all the capabilities.'"