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What The SAP-Adobe-Accenture Triangle Means For Digital Marketing

SAPAccAdobeWhen SAP and Adobe linked arms during last month’s Adobe Summit in Salt Lake City, it was unclear whether the reseller program was more about shared customers or code. But insiders note a third player indirectly involved in what seemed like a two-company partnership: management consulting giant Accenture.

Like SAP, Accenture has been making a push for digital marketing budgets with its acquisition of Acquity Group and earlier grab at design firm Fjord. The consulting firm also has close ties to SAP-run commerce company hybris for digital and ecommerce deployments.

“I think the Adobe-SAP alliance needs to be seen in the context of the broader SAP-Accenture Marketing Performance Solution,” said Martin Kihn, research director for Gartner. “The vision is for SAP HANA to power an Accenture media mix and analytics platform for marketers, who could use Adobe for the upstream stuff SAP and Accenture don’t do, like site analytics and content management.”

Adobe gains a couple of core competencies as a result of an “iron triangle” with SAP and Accenture such as professional services, custom solutions and implementation strength. “[These capabilities] lend Adobe some heft with the hardcore enterprise quants and CFO skeptics who don’t live in the marketing-driven cultures where Adobe traditionally shines,” Kihn noted.

SAP is already pushing itself into new disciplines. Consider the co-branded offering Adobe Analytics from SAP, released shortly after the Summit. Among the features of the co-branded tool is the ability to optimize ad spend and track online and offline marketing campaigns. These are not areas where the supply chain-intensive SAP has traditionally played.


B2B Marketers Sidestep Standard Lead Gen For Social Ad Targets

FlipFunnelThere's a change afoot in the B2B marketing camp, at the heart of which is demand for a more nimble lead-nurturing mechanism.

Bizo, a provider of online ad targeting solutions for B2B marketers, released Monday Multi-Channel Nurturing, designed to incorporate a wider swath of lead generating channels, from email to display and social advertising.

The problem many B2B marketers face, said Bizo CEO Russ Glass, is an inability to follow and nurture leads as they cross channels.

“They’ve historically used controlled circulation, bought email lists and have generally been about 18 months behind where consumer technology is,” said Glass. “We have seen that on a good day, only 5% of anybody who comes to a marketers’ website is submitting an email address.”

Bizo looked to combat that problem through last fall’s release of Bizo for Marketing Automation. But as cross-channel interactions have fundamentally changed the lead- nurturing process, Bizo wanted to provide a solution that went beyond email, thus precipitating Multi-Channel Nurturing. The goal, said Glass, is to provide marketers with a toolset that can allow them to push prospects further down the funnel when they’re on Facebook or simply surfing the Web.


Ad Tech Execs Debate The Future Of Twitter And Instagram, Market Consolidation

Ad-Age-panelAre Twitter and Pinterest on their way out and is there room for other social networks? These were among the topics that advertising and marketing executives tackled on a panel discussion on day two of Ad Age’s Digital Conference.

The panelists included Bob Lord, CEO of AOL Platforms; Scott Galloway of L2ThinkTank; Kelly Mooney, CEO of digital marketing agency Resource and Bryan Wiener, chairman of the digital agency 360i.

In terms of which platforms will remain relevant, Wiener argued that it depends on whether a platform is “great for consumers or great for marketers.” Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest offer various opportunities for marketers to reach consumers, according to Wiener.

And whereas many of the major platforms are focused on what’s happening in real time or the recent present, Wiener noted that Pinterest is particularly interesting to marketers due to its focus on “aspiration.”

“Pinterest provides inspiration and aspiration, which is extremely powerful from a marketing perspective, so I think their revenue per user a year from now is going to be far greater than other social platforms,” Wiener said. (more…)

SAP's Digital Marketing Solution? Resell Adobe Marketing Cloud

SAP cloudsFor anyone wondering what SAP AG is up to these days in digital marketing, an answer was provided at the Adobe Summit in Salt Lake City.

SAP has a global partnership with Adobe to resell the latter’s Marketing Cloud along with SAP’s HANA platform and its hybris Commerce Suite. Read the release.

Let’s back up a little and look at what this means. SAP’s expansion into digital marketing from its roots as a supply-chain technology specialist is still a work in progress; unlike Adobe, and Oracle, SAP hasn’t really articulated its vision around a marketing tech stack.

As Ovum senior analyst Gerry Brown wrote in a prepared statement, “This alliance fills this gap in SAP’s solutions portfolio, and significantly augments the completeness of SAP’s overall digital offer.”

What does SAP have to offer in terms of digital marketing? In a December interview with AdExchanger, SAP Global VP of Precision Marketing Hervé Pluche said the company “meets the needs of our clients long-term ... around scalability and big data.”

Certainly technologies like HANA, the heavy-duty data-management system powering SAP applications that will be packaged with the vendor’s Adobe Marketing Cloud resell, bear this out. HANA essentially presents the ability to process numerous data computations quickly, and while it’s traditionally been used for applications around financial forecasting, it can now power marketing decisions through Adobe Marketing Cloud. (more…)

Neustar Takes Aim At Enterprise Marketing Solutions With ‘PlatformOne’

Pascal-BensoussanNeustar rolled out on Monday the beta version of PlatformOne, a product that combines Neustar’s offline assets with the online marketing capabilities of Aggregate Knowledge, which Neustar acquired last October.

PlatformOne debuts in a fiercely competitive landscape as vendors compete to offer end-to-end solutions, designed to help marketers maximize consumer data. Pascal Bensoussan, VP of marketing solutions at Neustar, said the company now competes against big-name marketing cloud vendors.

“We’ve rolled our customer intelligence, media intelligence and audience activation lines of business into one platform,” Bensoussan said. “This means we can compete with Salesforce, Oracle, IBM, Adobe and SAP’s cloud-based marketing platforms, plus we already have all this data about consumers in America.”


Q4 Results: Cloud Giants Adobe And Oracle Talk Marketing Suites


Adobe's fiscal Q1 (Oct to Dec 2013) delivered healthy demand for its six-product-strong Marketing Cloud suite, which includes Media Optimizer, Social, Analytics, Target, Experience Manager and the newest entrant to the pack, Campaign.

"When we look at prospects for Marketing Cloud, we are optimistic," CEO Shantanu Narayen said during Tuesday's earnings call. Customers licensing Marketing Cloud products in Q1 include GMC, Kohl's and NBCUniversal.

Adobe breaks its "Digital Marketing" line of business segment into two revenue streams, Marketing Cloud being one and LiveCycle and Web-conferencing solution Adobe Connect being the other. It has seen a decline in revenue on the latter two parts of the segment.

Adobe has noted similar shifts on the creative side of the house, namely due to the transition from Creative Suite products to Creative Cloud pricing and subscription models.

LiveCycle and Connect generated only $47 million in Q1, which was a decrease from the $52 million recorded in Q1 of last year. Adobe attributed this to the company's migration of LiveCycle customers to Adobe Experience Manager. "As a result, we expect LiveCycle revenue will continue to decline while Connect revenue will remain relatively flat."


Skullcandy Eyes Advanced Targeting, Device-Based Experiences To Boost Sales

skullcandySkullcandy knows that getting consumers to buy multiple designer headphones and earbuds can be a tough sell.

After issuing an initial public stock offering at $20 a share in 2011, the Park City, Utah-based company’s stock fell as low as $4.80 last May and hovered at $9.54 on Friday.

The company has vowed to turn around its losses and will begin rolling out new product lines aimed at women as well as merchandise sold at “entry-level prices” at Walmart later this year. Skullcandy’s digital marketing and advertising will naturally play a large role in this turnaround.

AdExchanger spoke with Ben Meacham, the company's Web analytics and multivariate testing manager, about Skullcandy’s efforts to boost its marketing strategy.

AdExchanger: What marketing challenges does Skullcandy face?

BEN MEACHAM: We’re trying to get a handle on the personas of people who are coming to our site and how to target and speak to them in the most effective way. We’re also trying to understand our full marketing channel attribution model, such as how much an email address is worth and how much a first touch point is worth vs. middle touch points and the closer.

We’re focusing most of our big marketing campaigns on our core demographic of young people and people who are into sports, but then we have to understand that someone might come to our site who is not our typical customer, so we always talk about someone’s grandmother trying to buy them headphones. The challenge is to stay relevant to our core demographic but provide experiences that any demographic can move to intuitively.


3Q Digital CEO On ISearch Integration And The Road To Come

David-RodnitzkyDigital marketing agency 3Q Digital last month snapped up iSearch Media, making it one of the largest independent digital marketing agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area.

3Q manages more than $300 million in ad spend and its client roster includes brands like Electronic Arts, Facebook, Square and Warby Parker. AdExchanger spoke with founder and CEO David Rodnitzky.

AdExchanger: Where does 3Q fit in the ad ecosystem?

DAVID RODNITZKY: We started out helping people get into search engine marketing or optimize their performance. We realized that a lot of clients are not just looking for search engine marketing expertise, they’re also looking for online direct response, and so we’ve built up teams of experts on SEM, SEO, paid social and programmatic display.

Where are you in the integration with iSearch?

We’re still in the early stages of plotting our goals for the integration. To give you an example of where it makes sense to integrate the two teams, iSearch has a fantastic SEO offering and we’ve had clients clamoring for more SEO tools.

How do you help clients make data-driven campaigns?

We have a client that only sells business-class and first-class airline tickets and they can’t give you a quote online. You have to talk to a sales rep for a custom quote.

They were buying ads online, but they didn’t know which efforts were driving the most revenue. We set the client up with Marin Software, which is a campaign-management tool that allows you to track conversions. We also integrated Marin into, so that when a lead came in, it was sent to their CRM system and when that lead closed, the revenue amount could be uploaded to Marin, enabling them to see which revenue was connected to which lead and which keywords and channels were driving actual ROI.


MediaMath, Omnicom Alum Matt Spiegel Joins Ranks Of Ad Tech Advisors

matt-spiegel-conceptConsulting activity around marketing technology continues to gain steam, with interest coming both from small boutique firms such as Unbound Company and Freestyle Consulting (both established by former Mediabrands executives) and large established advisory companies such as Deloitte and Accenture.

The latest company to join the fray is Concept Corridor, a one-man consulting play founded by serial agency and ad tech CEO Matt Spiegel. Spiegel was most recently SVP, GM of the Americas for MediaMath, a position he assumed when the demand side platform (DSP) bought his previous startup, mobile and video ad server Tap.Me, in November 2012. He stayed on with MediaMath for a year, first running its OPEN Partner arm and later its revenue operations in North and South America.

Before that he was instrumental in building Omnicom Group's answer to the audience buying trend, first as CEO of Omnicom Media Group Digital and later as head of its trading desk, Accuen.

The vision with the new firm is to advise marketers trying to figure out what they need to get from their "marketing stack." On the publisher side, he will help media and technology companies speak the language of agencies.


Facebook PMD ifeelgoods, VivaKi Partner Up On Personalized Offers Push

MichaelAmarPalo Alto and Paris-based startup Ifeelgoods is betting consumers will gravitate toward personalized offers over traditional loyalty concepts like deep discounts.

The digital rewards network founded in 2010 has launched a Personalized Offers Platform for marketers and established a strategic partnership with VivaKi for an initial rollout to Publicis Groupe agencies Razorfish, Digitas and Performics.

The technology allows marketers to strategically swap an offer in real-time for one that the target consumer will care about more, said Alyson Hyder, VP and president of VivaKi Ventures. “An example I love is: It’s Valentine’s Day and 1-800-Flowers offers a free vase with a flower purchase,” she said. “My boyfriend doesn’t care about a free vase, but he cares if he gets an Amazon or iTunes gift card.”

Although Publicis Groupe agencies and its clients have altered creative dynamically and changed copyrighting, color or brand images in past campaigns, there was no real way to select diverse offers and surface them in the moment. Ifeelgoods’ platform and catalog of 1,000 rewards offers from partners ranging from Pandora to Spotify will solve that, she said.

“It’s a new layer of targeting that’s interest and promotion-centric,” said Michael Amar, ifeelgoods’ cofounder and CEO. “As a marketer, if I can give you a small token of appreciation for the time you spend looking at my ads or interacting with my site or apps, it’s a natural gesture that consumers like."