Adobe ups data science game, revamps Marketing Cloud, launches co-op for cross device marketing

Adobe prepped a slew of new features and algorithms across its services as it unified its Marketing Cloud user experience.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Adobe on Tuesday revamped its Marketing Cloud with a common user interface, deeper integration among its core tools, enhancements for mobile and more analytics features.

The company, which will outline its enhancements at its Summit conference in Las Vegas, is also pivoting the Marketing Cloud to focus more on customer experiences.

On the data science front, Adobe is adding digital marketing algorithms, features to predict and deliver experiences and capabilities such as smart tags, audience segmentation, lifetime value predictions and automated ad insights. These algorithms are being sprinkled throughout Adobe services such as Photoshop CC for content aware technologies and Document Cloud for image processing.

John Mellor, vice president of business development and strategy at Adobe, said the company is in a unique position to combine content, data science and analytics to deliver marketing messages across multiple screens.

To Mellor, digital marketing is the next wave of enterprise disruption. "The Marketing Cloud is at the forefront of the experience business," said Mellor. "Consumer demand to interact with brands in new and unique ways is fundamentally changing the enterprise."

Adobe's plan is to deliver experiences with a creative content twist. Rivals ranging from Google to Salesforce and Oracle are focusing on data to deliver the right marketing at the right time. "Content is the trump card for us. Experience is not about defining a moment or opportunity. It's about delivering that experience."

Along with the Marketing Cloud overhaul, Adobe, which reported strong earnings last week, is creating the Adobe.io Developer Portal, which provides one API to connect with the company's services. Previously, Adobe had multiple APIs for its core services. Given Adobe's digital marketing business was built via acquisitions, the company had a bevy of APIs.

"The challenge was connecting and integrating those APIs and enhancing them," said Mellor. Adobe.io will have APIs for the Marketing Cloud, Creative Cloud and other Adobe services.

Another key launch for Adobe is the Marketing Cloud Device Co-op. This co-op will aim to combine anonymous data to better target customers across multiple screens. The aim is to use algorithms to predict that a woman who visited separate sites on different devices without logging in is the same person.

By keeping the data private, consumers can get people-based marketing at scale that's personalized and relevant.

Adobe outlined this overview:

Co-op members will give Adobe access to cryptographically hashed login IDs and HTTP header data, which fully hides a consumer's identity. Adobe processes this data to create groups of devices ("device clusters") used by an unknown person or household. Adobe will then surface these groups of devices through its digital marketing solutions, so Co-op members can measure, segment, target and advertise directly to individuals across all of their devices.

On the privacy front, personal identity data is never disclosed and personal site visit information isn't shared among co-op members. Only device links are shared. Consumers will be able to see their devices and participating brands and opt out. Adobe will create the privacy tools for co-op members.

Asa Whillock, product manager, Adobe Marketing Cloud, said Adobe functions as a steward of data in the co-op and each member has a piece of the data puzzle. "We're leveraging the power of log-ins, intaking IP addresses and adding probabilistic targeting for deterministic links," said Whillock.

The last part of Adobe's Summit barrage revolves around video services. The company is working to measure TV viewing across platforms, deliver personalized marketing and content and creating a streaming tool so TV can go across screens without being tied to a cable package.

Among others odds and ends worth noting:

  • Adobe will update its Adobe Exchange to add integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and other partner.
  • The company launched Certified Metrics with partners comScore and Nielsen to track cross screen usage.
  • Adobe will offer peeks at upcoming features and services from its labs.
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