Adobe drops $600M on Neolane as marketing craze rages on unabated

adobeneolane

The thirst for marketing automation smarts among tech vendors continues unslaked. The latest evidence? Adobe Systems is buying Neolane, a Parisian digital marketing specialist, for $600 million.

This is just the latest example of an old-line (sorry, Adobe) IT provider trying to boost its profile in marketing automation and, perhaps more importantly, to a whole new class of IT buyers — chief marketing officers and those who support them. The last we heard from Neolane is that it closed $27 million in funding from Battery Ventures and others to expand its operations in North America. It apparently made an impression in San Jose.

In a statement, Brad Rencher SVP of Adobe’s Digital Marketing business, said Neolane brings

“critical cross-channel marketing management capabilities to the Adobe Marketing Cloud … Adobe has long been the trusted partner to creative professionals and we are now extending our lead in the digital marketing space with the addition of Neolane. From campaign creation through planning, execution and optimization, Adobe technology is driving the entire marketing process.”

Cross-channel marketing means reaching prospective customers via email, social networks, mobile devices, or whatever means is most appropriate.

Adobe does have a leg up here as most marketing departments and ad agencies already use Adobe products — PhotoShop, Illustrator or other components of its Creative Cloud suite.

It’s clear that a land grab is going on here. Salesforce.com made its biggest-ever acquisition earlier this month in buying ExactTarget for $2.5 billion; That deal came six months after Oracle spent $871 million on Eloqua. Marketing automation specialist Marketo, apparently deciding to go it alone, and launched its IPO in April. Sniffing an opportunity, a raft of startups, including Discuzz, also want to help marketers and salespeople do better in their outreach.

We’re clearly on a wave here where marketing execs, with their robust budgets, can specify what services they want for their departments. I can’t wait till the next wave hits in 6 to 9 months when CIOs and  more traditional technology buyers have to integrate these offerings into their companies’ broader IT landscape.

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