Adobe Summit 2019 shows how Marketo, Magento acquisitions are coalescing into the Adobe Experience Platform

Adobe Summit
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Adobe is trying to demonstrate progress in bringing technologies from Marketo and Magento into its Adobe Experience Platform this week, but possibly the best insight at Adobe Summit so far was a glimpse at a more custom product: a dashboard the company uses to track its own marketing and sales performance.

Speaking to approximately 17,000 Adobe Summit 2019 attendees in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen used the software giant’s own digital transformation journey to help firms that are still struggling to adapt to changes in customer behavior.

“Purchase cycles were taking too long . . . we had no direct relationship with our customers,” he said, noting that the shift to software-as-service (SaaS) models has allowed Adobe to shift to an approach based on a common customer journey from “discover” to “try,” “buy,” “use” and “renew.” Monitoring how customers make their way through that journey, however, led to what he called a data-driven operating model, (DDOM), which was represented on a screen shot he showed the audience.

“When you see those outrageously high conversion rates you’ll see that this is sample data,” Narayen said, to much laughter, “but this is dashboard that has become a single source of truth that’s democratized the data and shifted the discussion we have as a team every Wednesday to focus on insights and actions.”

DDOM uses Microsoft’s Power BI tool to pull in data from Adobe Experience Platform, which includes its Adobe Advertising Cloud, Adobe Marketing Cloud and now — following its acquisition of Magento last year — an Adobe Commerce Cloud to manage e-commerce revenue. While every stage of the customer journey is important, he suggested that renewal rates are a particular priority given the challenge of attracting and converting new customers.

“Retention is the new growth,” Narayen said.

The addition of Marketo, meanwhile, is bearing fruit in a partnership Adobe announced Tuesday with Microsoft and LinkedIn for account-based experiences. Marketo Engage, for instance, will integrate with the software giants Microsoft Dynamics customer relationship management (CRM) tool as well as LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences. Matt Zilli, vice-president of Sales, Go-To-Market at Marketo, said there will be more integrations to come, while suggesting that the expertise of the Marketo team may prove even more critical to Adobe’s future than its products.

“There’s no question that our customers have relied on us as their worlds have changed,” Zilli told B2B News Network during an interview at Adobe Summit. “The complexity that a typical B2B CMO now faces in their world — which was once largely demand gen and what is now the world of B2B experiences — that’s what we know, and the opportunity for us is to bring that knowledge into Adobe and to help shape and craft what is now the Adobe/Marketo vision.”

For customers, the Adobe acquisition may represent a way to accelerate their return on investment and ultimately prove the value of marketing, where the stakes have gotten particularly high. In an Adobe Summit session on how to attain a CMO role, for instance, Nnamdi Nwoke spoke about the risk of purchasing Marketo products for his firm, a fintech company called Greensky.

As Greensky’s senior director, demand generation marketing, Nwoke said he saw an opportunity to drive revenue by partnering more closely with sales, but needed the tools to do so. That meant pitching his investment in Marketo to his boss, the CEO.

“He said, ‘If this doesn’t work, it’s your job,’” Nwoke recalled. “I said, ‘Game on.’”

The introduction of Adobe Commerce Cloud could bring a similar level of confidence to B2B sales teams, according to Jason Woosley, Adobe’s VP of its commerce product and platform and Magento’s former VP of product and technology. Essentially a hosted version of Magento that also includes new dashboard capabilities and an integration with Amazon’s marketplace, Adobe Commerce Cloud will allow the former Magento team to meet the needs of a largely underserved market within B2B, Woosley said.

“There are additional nuances in how do you market and how do you do that top of funnel work (in B2B),” he noted, such as approvals and thresholds that simply don’t exist in the B2C world. That said, the ease in which consumers can buy online is changing expectations.

“People are asking, ‘Why does the replenishment my paper clips take three days?’”

Among several other announcements, Adobe also launched new features within Sensei, its artificial intelligence (AI) engine, which both Zilli and Woosley said would enhance the experience of using the former Marketo and Magento offerings.

Adobe Summit 2019 runs through Thursday.

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Shane Schick

Shane Schick

Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.