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Industry Reaction: Adobe Acquires Efficient Frontier


Adobe-Efficient Frontier Industry ReactionOn Wednesday, Adobe Systems announced the acquisition of media buying platform and services company Efficient Frontier. In an interview with AdExchanger.com, Adobe’s John Mellor said in regards to the acquisition, “We are answering the call of customers to give them more capability in how they spend those dollars, how they understand performance, and how that understanding loops back into how they can spend more.” Read more.

We asked a selection of executives across the digital ad ecosystem, their “take” on the deal.

Click below or scroll down to read their responses:

Chris Copeland, CEO, GroupM Search (WPP Group)

“Adobe’s purchase of Efficient Frontier strikes me as a decision made by a company (Adobe) dead set on spending money on something, regardless of what it is. For the past decade, Efficient Frontier has been positioned as a search bid technology, focused on its portfolio management approach. Now, it seems Adobe is buying Efficient Frontier for the value they perceive their social toolset brings to the Omniture suite. Any other reasoning for this move would have to be questioned, owing to the fact that Adobe spent so much on Omniture which already has Search Center as a core component. The acquisition will certainly make Adobe stronger, but I question why Efficient Frontier as opposed to a smaller, cheaper entity with a social-only component to avoid redundancy. Also in question is the likelihood that the team at Efficient Frontier will stick with Adobe/Omniture long-term, which makes the potential for successful integration and true impact a debatable point.”

Daina Middleton, CEO, Performics (Publicis)

“Efficient Frontier has been a respected technology leader in our industry for many years, and we feel this announcement reaffirms the value of search in today’s evolving digital marketing toolkit. We have long believed that the DNA of search marketing can and should influence the integrated digital media landscape. There are many complimentary and previously competitive aspects of Omniture and EF’s offering that, if integrated successfully, will help marketers leverage the ever-expanding data trail to make better decisions.”

Jeff Green, CEO, The Trade Desk

“On one hand, I’m glad to see companies making bets. Adobe has always been a player to watch in this space, and I’m glad to see them taking the end-to-end challenge to Google. I also think the multi-channel approach that Adobe is building is the right one – tying together search, display, social and more.

However, I’m not sure that the E-Frontier acquisition gets Adobe what they’re looking for. It’s difficult for one company to build a world-class product in every channel, and also provide managed service. E-Frontier has tried to do both, and it’s arguable how successful they have been to date.

Ultimately, E-Frontier has evolved into an agency for all media channels. Does Adobe – who is still new to the online marketing space – really want to be an agency?”


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David Kidder, CEO and Co-Founder, Clickable

“Digital advertising continues to grow rapidly, though multichannel complexity is growing much faster. In fact, it’s overwhelming. As a result, advertisers and agencies — under great pressure to grow revenue — are longing for solutions to make sense of the chaos, streamline work flow, and achieve success in less time. That’s resulted in our industry’s vision of the online marketing suite, and that is the path Adobe is pursuing with the acquisition of Efficient Frontier.

With Efficient Frontier, Adobe gains a competitive search product, with new social capabilities that will broaden its leadership position in marketing analytics. To be sure, Adobe will face a new class of competitors in large incumbents like IBM as well as new, nimble platforms

As with any acquisition, you can never underestimate the task of integration, and you have to fight to keep vision, positioning and product focus that resonates with customers. Technology is not complex, people and customers are.”

Andrew Leinecke, Media Director, RBM

“My colleagues and I were enthusiastic to learn about the acquisition of Efficient Frontier. This move will give EF access to all those enterprise clients who use Omniture. Moreover, it gives the engineers at EF access to those clients’ post click data. It will be fascinating to see who can build next generation marketing platforms that draw from analytics, search, and ad serving. I think we can expect to see similar partnerships in the future.”

By John Ebbert

More AdExchanger “Industry Reactions”…

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