New Life And Next Steps For Neolane Under Adobe’s Wing

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CrossChannelOne of the first items nixed from Adobe Campaign management – once known as Neolane, the French cross-channel marketing automation platform Adobe bought for $600 million this summer and rolled into the sixth leg of the Marketing Cloud – was a standard pricing model.

Beginning Jan. 20, Adobe Campaign will be licensed to user-companies through customer profile fees instead of the traditional CPM-based model for emails sent; this is not the first time Adobe has treaded new territory in billing.

The company moved to monthly subscription pricing this spring amid backlash from Creative product diehards as it shifted the much-revered Adobe Photoshop and Creative Suite products into Adobe Creative Cloud. Adobe told Mashable then that “our single highest priority has to be about blending tools and services.”

It’s easy to see the benefit to Adobe to operate on a recurring-revenue basis rather than flat-fee – if a user is paying monthly, it can be easier to justify a $29.99 a month payment rather than a larger flat sum for its Creative products.

Back to Adobe Campaign – the price-per-customer-profile clearly paves the way for Adobe to maximize usage of its other Marketing Cloud products, which include Analytics, Targeting, Social, Experience Manager and Media Optimizer platforms. At present, 400 Neolane customers now run on Adobe Campaign and the majority of customers use at least two channels for messaging, be it email or a combination of email, text messages or the call center.

The idea is that “maybe you will send more emails or lower your number of emails because perhaps it’s more suitable to [call] a customer or send them a push notification,” commented Mathieu Hannouz, senior product marketing manager for Adobe, formerly of Neolane. “It’s really a result of our customers [and the industry demanding] cross-channel marketing.”

But, what’s the benefit for Adobe in nixing CPMs? Although the company did not outline specific “customer profile” price structures, as it varies per size and type of client, Forbes’ Robert Hof reported that Adobe spends approximately $700,000 per year on 700 million outbound emails – that figure can now be applied across other channels like SMS or even direct mail, pushing marketer traction cross-platform.

To speak to marketer demand, Shar VanBoskirk, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research, said that "To be honest, I have not heard marketers asking for this price change [and] I think they will be somewhat resistant at first and not because their costs go up at all, but because it's different and change is hard."

Adobe/Neolane and other vendors who follow suit will have to consider a "reconditioning" of the email marketer and other buyer entry to sale as "this shifts to more of a technology buy than a media buy." Vendors are looking for new pricing models that will not only support them better financially, but also associate money where the value is in the email equation -- tools, data and services for more relevant messaging over delivery method, she said.

On the data side of things, Neolane afforded Adobe campaign execution capabilities based on a swath of data derived from CRM, loyalty, call center, and other transactions. Coupled with Adobe Analytics, for instance, “if you’re shopping on a website and you are browsing around for different products and for some reason you’re distracted or you haven’t found your exact product, Adobe Analytics will use this data in order to get that data to Adobe Campaign for the marketer to [target you through a] remarketing strategy saying, ‘Can we help you finalize an order or help you finish an order you started on your mobile device?’ Hannouz said.

He said more details on the product integration will be apparent in the next few months.

The end-goal of the integration is for all six of the solutions to work in tandem, using what Adobe calls internally “a bus of data.” Essentially, it means every solution will be responsible for its own data stack, but this data can be shared across the board.

“If I look at what Adobe’s doing, they’re looking at building a cloud platform that is an enabler to making marketing better, which is partly external campaigns, but mostly internal, working with agencies and making sure you’ve got the right additional assets and combining creative,” commented Gerry Brown, senior analyst at Ovum.

He added, “[Adobe has] managed to mobilize their partner network very successfully and as one competitor said to me recently, ‘Adobe’s everywhere.’ They’ve spent a lot of money on promoting their market position and advertising campaigns and all kinds of sponsorships and their message is resonating.”

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