In his keynote speech at this year’s Adobe Digital Summit in Utah, Brad Rencher, Adobe's SVP & GM of Digital Marketing, spoke in terms of making sure companies focus their efforts all the way up to the very last millisecond before an interaction with a customer or prospect takes place. It is so important not to blow it at that instant of engagement – whether the company or the consumer initiates the interaction.
Rencher says digital marketers are tasked with delivering experiences in milliseconds, and that we have 300 milliseconds to connect actions to experiences. It seems like Adobe really does believe in this philosophy as it feels like only milliseconds are going by between significant announcements about their Marketing Cloud, with today’s announcement of the availability of the latest incarnation of Adobe Social.
So it was a little more than 300 milliseconds ago (about two weeks to be exact) that Adobe announced their intent to purchase Neolane – a leader in marketing automation and campaign management. This was big news because Neolane will effectively become the 6th pillar in the MC platform once the deal is sealed.
What makes the new developments with Adobe Social significant is a continuing theme of cutting down time needed for companies to connect their marketing actions to create greater customer experiences. And hopefully these experiences entice customers/prospects to perform their own actions… those conversion-type kind of actions.
Adobe Social has an updated user interface, with a much more visual feel to the way information is displayed. And now Social is integrated into the Marketing Cloud feed, and has single sign-on with the MC as well. So information coming from Adobe Social can be seen on the Marketing Cloud dashboard.
Adobe Social is now integrated with Flickr, Foursquare and Instagram, to go along with existing integrations with Facebook, Google+, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter and other channels to centralize the various social conversations and give a more complete picture of what consumers are saying and doing in real time.
The integration with Foursquare stands out because it enables Adobe Social to capture the full fire hose of Foursquare’s local-mobile data, giving social marketers the opportunity to understand how localized marketing is working by looking at specific venue check-in data.
What may be the most interesting new piece to the Adobe Social puzzle is a new predictive publishing capability, which predicts social engagement on individual pieces of content and automatically suggests the ideal time to publish, in order to improve how that content will perform.
There is quite a bit of new stuff to check out that I can’t touch on here, but I would encourage you to look at the Adobe Social site to get the comprehensive view of all that’s involved with the new release.
According to a quote from the press release from Adobe about the news:
“Today’s social marketers are challenged to validate their social spend,” said Bill Ingram, vice president of product management, Digital Marketing, Adobe. “Adobe Social makes it easy to measure business impact from social campaigns and use that data to optimize strategy in a highly visual format.”
With more social channels seeming to come on board every day (or dare I say every millisecond), the environment for marketers is becoming increasingly more complex. And while they are getting more dollars to use on digital initiatives, it’s a double-edged sword, as executives know digital also means trackable. And marketers have to show exactly what that budget is being spent on, and what the impact has been.
Finally, the announcement today shows that Adobe, through organic development and smart acquisitions, has some really great pieces they are assembling under the Marketing Cloud umbrella. Adobe Social is a prime example; it is truly a combination of homegrown applications and acquisitions, including the 2011 acquisition of digital marketing company Efficient Frontier. At the time Adobe bought Efficient Frontier, EF was still in process of digesting its own acquisition, the social marketing software/services provider Context Optional.
Now with today’s announcement, we are beginning to see real integration of these apps to strengthen the value of Adobe Social. We’re also starting to see the power of integrating the new Adobe Social with the rest of the Marketing Cloud and how that will provide for marketers going forward. For example, as Adobe Social’s analytics capabilities improve, and as Adobe adds more social channels into their monitoring systems, more social data will flow into Adobe Analytics. This will allow AA to add even more context to the mix of information it’s pulling from website data and advertising information to build an even fuller picture of what works, and why.
What strengthens the Marketing Cloud, also strengthens collaboration across the whole marketing team, as the Creative Cloud and Marketing Cloud are also integrated – helping marketing analysts and content creators share a common collaborative space and stay connected throughout the whole marketing lifecycle. Now that should cut down on some milliseconds and turn activities into interactions a little quicker.