Adobe announces raft of new marketing technology capabilities

New features in Marketing Cloud include real-time customer profiling, mobile app development, personalisation features, shared asset functionality, predictive media optimisation and better cross-platform integration

Adobe has unveiled a raft of new personalisation and mobile management features across its Marketing Cloud solutions stack, along with better cross-platform integration, in a bid to shore up its position as an all-in-one marketing technology provider.

The vendor has announced three significant ‘Core Services’ additions under Adobe Marketing Cloud, its group of solutions for marketers. The first of these is ‘Master Marketing Profile’, a real-time audience profiling tool that allows marketers to construct a single profile of visitors across their digital and offline channels. Data can be pulled from other products across the Marketing Cloud as well as third-party CRM, ERP and transactional systems.

Adobe said these profiles can be used to create and share audience segments in order to deliver more personalised ads and content through email, digital, mobile and social campaigns.

“Being able to share these profiles across activities is critical,” said Kevin Lindsay, director of product marketing at Adobe, during a press briefing on the new enhancements. “You need that single view of the customer; an accurate picture that comes together when you take all the different aspects of the visitor and represent them.”

The new ‘Shared Assets’ digital asset repository feature allows marketers using Marketing Cloud to tap into existing creative assets across their company from a centralised resource, to use in demand marketing, social and email programs.

Predictive ‘Marketing Mix Planning’ has also been introduced under Marketing Cloud and is aimed at helping brands and agencies better optimise online and offline marketing channels by assessing, predicting, optimising and executing these activities from one location.

Based on algorithmic data, the solution can analyse and attribute ROI to existing activities, as well as predict which combination of marketing channels will be most effective for a particular campaign.

According to Adobe, this gives marketers the ability to tie together attribution, analytics, media planning and execution while offering real-time activation of campaigns and insights.

Adobe announced the Marketing Cloud a couple of years ago as its umbrella platform for marketing technology, and has been consistently building and acquiring capabilities ever since. The vendor’s ambition is to give marketers the ability to manage campaigns and workloads, analyse and report on online and offline activity, as well as personalise customer interactions, through a centralised toolkit.

Adobe’s Marketing Cloud is made up of six solutions: Media Optimiser (media optimisation); Adobe Social (social media management); Adobe Experience Manager (website build and management); Adobe Target (personalisation engine); Adobe Analytics (analytics and reporting tool); and Adobe Campaign (multi-channel campaign management, formerly Neolane).

The latest product announcements were made during the company’s Digital Marketing Summit in Salt Lake City, which has attracted more than 5000 attendees this year.

As well as the core services enhancements, Adobe announced new mobile capabilities under its Marketing Cloud suite including mobile app development solutions for creating customisable apps.

The vendor is also now offering mobile app integration with Adobe Experience Manager, which will help customers provide consistent content across all apps, mobile sites and websites, as well as measurement capabilities for mobile campaigns, it stated.

“2014 won’t just be the year that companies are looking to build mobile apps; they’ll be looking for ROI from those apps,” Lindsay commented. “Leadership will be expecting this year to be the year where apps turn the corner and not only pay for themselves, but open up a brand new revenue stream and growth stream for companies.

“Understanding the effectiveness and impact of the app and being able to optimise and personalise the experience delivered is critical to that.”

Other mobile enhancements include support for Apple iBeacon geolocation technology, and push notifications to users through mobile applications. Adobe is also offering A/B testing capabilities of in-app content and targeted experiences based on user location data through its new Adobe Target Premium product.

This new high-end release offers advanced testing and automated personalisation capabilities based on customer behavioural data and integration with Adobe Analytics and Audience Manager, as well as enhanced support and reporting.

Adobe Target Premium is expected to be available from June and will be based on a flat-fee model.

“With how much Adobe Target has matured in the form of Adobe Target Premium, it’s wonderful that we can automate decisions like offers and recommendations to our customers at all times, engaging them with meaningful, personalised content during their journey through our sites,” Marriott International senior digital manager, Kenyon Rogers, said in a statement.

Adobe’s Experience Manager for website management has also been given an overhaul to improve usability. New features include template-based Web and mobile site development and dashboard capabilities, automatic translation support, integration with third-party commerce engines and mobile apps, advanced video features such as engagement measurement and annotations, and better forms development.

The product also contains more community support features. Adobe claimed the changes will take 50 per cent off the time marketers spend on building websites.

- Nadia Cameron attended the Digital Marketing Summit as a guest of Adobe.

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