Adobe Campaign's Beta Phase, And How It Fits Into The Marketing Cloud

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campaignEvery couple of months, Adobe announces a new element of integration with its marketing automation and email product Campaign, the sixth and most recent addition to the Marketing Cloud.

Last September, Campaign rebranded from Neolane, its maiden name before Adobe acquired the marketing automation company. In January, Adobe stated its intention to integrate Campaign with Experience Manager, the content-management product within Marketing Cloud. And at Adobe Summit 2014, it announced a beta program around this new integration.

So what exactly is going on with Campaign? To what extent is it integrated? And what can marketers using Campaign do that they couldn’t do before? First off, marketers wanting to test the product will have to wait until the summer, when the integrated beta version of Campaign finally ships.

“Today, all customers using Adobe Campaign are just using this solution,” said Mathieu Hannouz, senior product marketing manager of Adobe Campaign. “They’re not quite yet integrated into Adobe.”

Integration, of course, takes time and Adobe has pushed Campaign into the Cloud piece by piece. Besides rebranding the product, it also revamped its pricing structure and reskinned its interface to match the other five Marketing Cloud products: Social, Analytics, Target, Experience Manager and Media Optimizer.

The expected summer roll-out of the beta Campaign product combines three integration points: the base Marketing Cloud platform, Analytics and Experience Manager. From a practical standpoint, what does this mean?

“Before this integration, we were a siloed solution,” Hannoz said. “You’re not sharing any resources or data, you’re not sharing the same interfaces with the other folks in the same company using other [Adobe] solutions.”

Bridging Campaign with Experience Manager and Analytics is intended to open avenues of data traffic that were previously cut off. It is expected to provide some additional capabilities around retargeting. If a customer abandons an online shopping cart, that data gets fed into Adobe’s recently released hub, Master Marketing Profile, through which marketers can use Campaign’s technology to retarget those customers.

This speaks to the other element that Campaign brings to Adobe Marketing Cloud: information about actual consumers.

“Before the acquisition, Adobe didn’t have the actual information at the individual level – name, email, phone number,” Hannoz said. The next step, he added, is combining the known information from Campaign with anonymous data points. This will be achieved through the next point of integration within Marketing Cloud: the site personalization engine Adobe Target.

“Before your customer became your customer, that person was an anonymous prospect on the website, or using your ad without being identified,” Hannoz said. “We need to personalize the experience for this anonymous person. That’s the job of Target. To connect any possible information to personalize the experience for that person, even if we don’t know first name, last name or email address.”

But once that prospect downloads something, creates an account or puts something in her cart, that anonymous prospect becomes a known customer, and it is at this point where Campaign’s technology ideally will activate.

And how, exactly, does Adobe plan on linking the anonymous data from Target with the individualized data from Campaign? Through its Dynamic Tag Management solution, which it inherited through its July 2013 acquisition of Satellite, soon after it bought Neolane.

This is Adobe’s immediate vision for how Campaign fits into the Marketing Cloud. If it pulls it off, the company will be formidable. Digital agencies familiar with the various marketing clouds agree that Adobe’s is the most tightly integrated, compared to offerings from Salesforce.com, Oracle and IBM.

Campaign, largely due to its newness to the Adobe stack, was a bit of a straggler. If the integration follows Adobe’s plans, this won’t be the case for much longer.

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