TMCnet Feature
June 28, 2013

Adobe Fills Hole in 'Marketing Cloud' with Acquisition of French Digital Marketer Neolane

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor

Adobe (News - Alert) has filled out its new “Marketing Cloud” with the acquisition of French “conversational” marketing company Neolane. The purchase, which cost Adobe about $600 million, is expected to help Adobe with its aspirations to become a digital marketing leader. Neolane helps marketers manage their efforts across a variety of digital and social channels such as Web sites, Facebook, Twitter (News - Alert), mobile app and point of sale. Twelve-year-old Neolane is headquartered in Paris and has offices throughout Europe, North America and Asia.

Adobe’s Marketing Cloud is a complete set of tools, including analytics, social media management, advertising, targeting and Web experience management solutions linked by a real-time dashboard that brings together everything companies need to know about their marketing campaigns, according to Adobe. Neolane will become the sixth solution to occupy the Marketing Cloud, joining existing modules “Analytics,” “Target (News - Alert),” “Social,” “Experience Manager” and “Media Optimizer.”

“The acquisition of Neolane brings critical cross-channel campaign management capabilities to the Adobe Marketing Cloud,” said Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager of Adobe’s Digital Marketing business. “Adobe has long been the trusted partner to creative professionals and we are now extending our lead in the digital marketing space with the addition of Neolane.   From campaign creation through planning, execution and optimization, Adobe technology is driving the entire marketing process.”  

For its part, Neolane says Adobe’s Marketing Cloud is a good place to be, and that many of its more than 400 customers worldwide are also Adobe customers.

 “Combining our capabilities into Adobe Marketing Cloud will open up a level of visibility that makes these marketers’ day-to-day work easier and more effective,” said Stéphane Dehoche, CEO and co-founder of Neolane. “Adobe has an incredible vision for the future of marketing along with a connection to the creative process that no other company can match. We’re ready to help take their market leadership to the next level.”  

The acquisition was a very wise move, according to Gerry Brown, senior analyst at research company Ovum. Brown wrote in a report that the acquisition fills a “glaring hole” in Adobe’s solutions offering, despite the high price tag (News - Alert): more than 10 times Neolane’s annual revenue.

“This was an expensive acquisition at over 10X Neolane’s previous year’s revenues, but it should be worth it,” he wrote. “Clearly a catalyst for this acquisition was’s recent $2.5 billion purchase of Exact Target. Industry talk suggests that both Exact Target and Eloqua (News - Alert) (which was acquired by Oracle in December 2012) were acquisition targets for Adobe, and Adobe was likely compelled to act before all the their campaign management best-of-breed vendor acquisition options evaporated.”

Brown notes that the integration will not be without challenges, particularly when it comes to integration of the two businesses. Neolane is very French, he says, and has some “strong and forceful personalities” at the top of the organization.

Edited by Alisen Downey
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