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Adobe's Acquisition Binge Continues With Purchase Of Efficient Frontier

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Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) began the month by buying online video ad manager Auditude and now it’s bring November to a close with the acquisition of Efficient Frontier as it adds yet another skill set for its advertising business. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

For most of its existence, Efficient Frontier was known as a search marketing firm. By 2009, it had hit some tough times, and had brought in former Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) sales vet David Karnstedt, who was doing a six-month stint as an executive-in-residence at Redpoint Ventures. Over the past two years, Karnstedt expanded Efficient Frontier’s abilities, turning it into an ad buying platform and a tool for optimizing display and search ads. And that’s where Adobe’s interest comes in. It’s not clear what role Karnstedt will have once the companies are merged.

Adobe began building up its own ad capabilities two years ago as well, when it acquired analytics firm Omniture (NSDQ: OMTR) for $1.8 billion. Earlier this year, Adobe stepped up those efforts with the purchase of audience data management company Demdex.

Analytics, data, and optimization are the key points of online media buying and selling, so Efficient Frontier can be expected to raise Adobe’s profile among publishers and agencies to a greater degree by adding to its current offerings. As Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager of Adobe’s Digital Marketing Business, puts it in a statement, Adobe’s “customers need to know where, when and how to spend their digital marketing dollars to get the greatest return.”

With Adobe ceasing to produce its Flash multimedia software for mobile — a sign that HTML5 is the lingua franca of tablet content — the company has instead been concentrating more and more on its strength as an ad tech firm. Adobe’s moves in that direction have been clear for some time. And with real-time bidding and audience buying only accelerating, expect Adobe to continue to make a few more acquisitions over the next year, especially as consolidation leads other online ad players to look for a larger suitor. Release