Yesterday, a blockbuster deal was announced in the marketing software world, as Adobe agreed to purchase Neolane, a Paris based company for $600 million cash. The enterprise software and marketing worlds are aflutter today, as analysis pours in to help paint the strategic picture behind the deal.
Adobe, as most of the technology using world is aware, has long been associated with tools that creative marketers use to design, deploy and deliver creative content. (Is there anyone who hasn’t opened a .pdf file in the life?) Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop and the Adobe Creative Suite are iconic products that are used by creative folks worldwide. Less known about Adobe is that they’ve spent the past several years trying to diversify their business into the marketing management software world. Over the past couple of years, they’ve been on an acquisition binge, buying Omniture in 2009 and followed by Day Software (2010), Demdex (2011), Auditude (2011) and Efficient Frontier (2012). This vast assembly of systems, databases and code has been thrown into a meta brand called the Adobe Marketing Cloud. Neolane is the latest and not probably the last in this attempt to create a strong position in the enterprise marketing software market.
What is interesting about the acquisition, at least from a Boingnet standpoint, is what Neolane has built and the fact that Adobe felt it had to grab it. Neolane has specialized in “cross-channel marketing campaign management”, which is a fancy way to say that they provide software that manages how campaigns are deployed, tracked and reported on across both print and electronic channels. Boingnet has been leading the way in this space for years. The Boingnet platform manages online and offline campaigns, with all data tracked through Personal URL’s (pURL’s), which are personalized landing pages optimized for targeted content delivery and for conversion of leads into sales. While Boingnet is focused on the mid market, SMB’s and agencies, Neolane has traditionally done well with extremely large enterprises (approximately 400 customers generating an estimated $80 million in 2013 revenue – about $200k per customer!).
As Boingnet rolls out version 2 of the Boingnet platform in coming months, many of the same features that only the largest companies in the world have been able to afford will be available to the massses. We applaud Neolane with what they’ve built, and think that the Adobe acquisition might be a great thing for their employees and customers. We welcome Adobe to the cross-channel party, and we look forward to delivering on a similar vision, but with a platform for the 99% of businesses and agencies, not the 1%.