Adobe’s Account Based Marketing Experience (ABX)

by Jon Russo

Adobe’s Account Based Marketing Experience (ABX)

by Jon Russo

by Jon Russo

(Full disclosure – we were recently named an Adobe Insider and have been a long standing partner of Marketo, neither of which influence our point of view below.  Our expertise is Account Based Marketing in/around Marketo offer for B2B, so you’ll see that point of view reflected below).

Adobe announced an initiative to aggressively go after an ‘Account Based Experience’ because customers buy experiences, not products, according to the CEO of Adobe.  Adobe views the Account Based Experience encompassing Sales, Marketing, and Customer Support.

Adobe is 5 months in their B2B acquisition of Marketo (and about 9 months into Magento) but at their recent summit, they had a number of announcements relevant to B2B that we summarized in this video:

Let me add more color as to what we saw.

Here is what is most significant to me coming out of the show as it relates to Account Based Experience – I see all sorts of possibilities with Adobe’s vast resource base, it’s enterprise customer focus, and it’s strong relationship with Microsoft who owns LinkedIn. More specifically:

  • Adobe can potentially leverage their Test & Target product to push relevant content to websites that are specific to end user need, thus personalizing an ABX experience.  The price point may need to come down as T&T is enterprise grade, Marketo is more mid-market focused.  But the promise here is very strong.
    • Demandbase was also referenced as a strong intergration partner;  in theory, integrating Test & Target with Demandbase would drive that customized content experience for ABX.
  • With an Account Based Conversation integration with Drift, a conversation can be had via chat that is relevant to the buyer who is on the receiving side of chat – for example, an initial chat with a ‘C’ level executive may have different content track to start with a ‘non-C’ level within a target account.
  • LinkedIn
    • While it was not entirely clear what the exact relationship would be, we are guessing it will allow the ability to pass users to target from the sales team’s Sales Navigator licenese to a company’s LinkedIn’s ads.
    • There may be some limitation here on the number of ads or contacts that one can reach.  This integration sounds promising but more needs to be seen here beyond the press release.
  • With it’s announcement of LiveRamp and Demandbase, Adobe Marketo users can now target companies via ads that are in those respective networks.
  • CDP development
    • While they used the words CDP (Customer Data Platform), as a creative company, it was not entirely clear to me what they intended or meant.  It is a Marketing buzzword but it is indeed the right direction for a B2B for Account Based Experiences where all data from all touch points is aggregated, orchestrated, then focused towards end users.

I think what excited me most about Adobe is they have wasted no time digging into understanding how Marketo can enable them to reach new markets or be combined with existing technologies to drive a deeper, rich ABX experience.  Having witnessed other marketing automation provider acquisitions, this one seems to have moved significantly quicker with a more unified vision than that of other similar-sized acquisitions. 

Five months into an acquisition isn’t very long, though. It’ll be interesting to see what the next year holds in store with Adobe and the progress they make against their own objectives.