To expand the reach of their respective offerings, Adobe and Microsoft have formed a strategic partnership aimed at integrating the Adobe Marketing Cloud with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. As the two solutions come together, the companies will be integrating the Adobe Marketing Cloud—including the behavioral data that resides in Adobe Analytics—with Microsoft's Dynamics CRM to give customers insight into their sales, marketing, and customer service departments in a more seamless, holistic way.
Rather than having to track marketing efforts and sales tasks separately, users will be able to access the different experiences associated with customer engagement ranging from acquisition to retention through a connected suite. In Adobe's case, the move represents a deeper venture into the CRM space—a key step for the company, which has up to now primarily focused on the marketing component. As for Microsoft, the collaboration promises to strengthen the marketing arm of its Dynamics CRM product, Dynamics Marketing. "This makes a ton of sense," says Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research. "Adobe has the creative-to-campaign capability, and Microsoft Dynamics completes it from campaign to commerce," he explains.
For joint customers, the partnership will "align sales and marketing activities by tightly integrating audiences and their behaviors, which can help guide sales or service calls, identify sales opportunities or inform lead scoring," according to a company statement. In addition, the integration will enable users to pinpoint high-value audience segments that can be targeted with real-time offers across channels by merging behavioral data with historic data and augmenting it with data from loyalty programs and contact centers. It is “all in all a very smart alliance,” Paul Greenberg, president of The 56 Group, told CRM in an email.
At the summit, Adobe also introduced several other updates, including a deeper integration between Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) and the Adobe Creative Cloud. An upcoming version of the Creative Cloud for the enterprise will include an asset management tool that connects to AEM Assets, a tool for managing marketing content. According to Loni Stark, senior director of strategy and product marketing at Adobe, the update is designed to help organizations deliver consistently fresh, targeted, personalized content, a must for modern marketing.
"Companies constantly have to think about personalization, but that becomes a problem because even if you’re talking about one or two customer segments, that’s already so much content that needs to be produced in a short period of time. With the upcoming version of the Creative Cloud for the enterprise, we want to accelerate and streamline the connection [between creative and marketing] assets to increase creative velocity and keep the content coming," she says.
Other updates to AEM include the introduction of shoppable video, which enables marketers to create videos with clickable hotspots that instantly connect consumers to products that they want to purchase. Though AEM already offers tools for the creation of other types of shoppable media, the focus on video is new. "This is yet another channel [through which] marketers can create and deliver great content," according to Stark. With shoppable video, Stark says Adobe is bringing "the creation of a desire closer to the fulfillment of that desire."
Rounding out the slew of announcements, Adobe also debuted a version of AEM for midsize businesses and shared news regarding its acquisition of Tumri, a dynamic creative optimization (DCO) platform that will strengthen Adobe’s own ad platform, Adobe Media Optimizer.
"Advertisers will be able to automatically develop creative ad units at scale, deliver more personalized messaging, and test to see what content is most effective," according to the company.