Adobe doubles down on account-based experiences with extended Microsoft partnership

Adobe also announced a brand new partnership with ServiceNow which the companies say will lead to significant advances in the integration of customer experience data.

Ex-Marketo CEO and now Adobe SVP Steve Lucas at Adobe Summit

LAS VEGAS – The first day of the Adobe Summit here saw the announcement of significant new product from Adobe. However, it also saw a pair of critically important strategic partnerships which are also likely to have major implications for the Adobe Experience Cloud. First, Adobe announced an extension of its partnership with Microsoft, which leverages  a new integration with Microsoft’s subsidiary LinkedIn that will accelerate account-based experiences through new marketing solution integrations. Adobe also announced a new partnership with ServiceNow, that will  enable integrations between the Adobe Experience Platform and the ServiceNow Now Platform, which will enhance Adobe’s real-time customer profiles with rich customer data.

“This event is like the Woodstock of Marketing –  just without drugs,” Steve Lucas, Marketo’s former CEO who is now Adobe’s SVP, Digital Experience Business, declared in an enthusiastic appearance in the opening keynote.

“Our amazing partner ecosystem includes Microsoft and LinkedIn,” Lucas said. “We are pleased to announce that we are extending our global partnership with Microsoft and LinkedIn. It’s a new account-based experience initiative – an entirely new way to identify, engage with, and deliver new experiences to account buying teams. It enables real-time hydration of account profiles in real time.”

A key part of this is the ability to make detailed use of the LinkedIn Data.

“We are extending the partnership even further with LinkedIn so that you can calibrate target accounts with information from Linked,” Lucas stated. “You can address them on LinkedIn. That’s where they live.” Marketing and sales teams will now be able to leverage data from Marketo Engage and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales to get a deeper, real-time understanding of targeted accounts, including insights into individual roles, influence and preferences. This integration of LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences with Marketo Engage will let the combined account-based targeting capabilities help marketers identify the right contacts within an account to reach on LinkedIn.

“This is just the beginning of the B2E marketing revolution,” Lucas stressed.

Mary Koberstein, Integrated Marketing Practice Director at Chicago-based Avionos, which has been a close partner both Adobe and Marketo, said that this is a very big deal.

“This is a huge evolution,” Koberstein said. “The account-based experience announcement is highly relevant for the B2B market, because integrating LinkedIn into the Adobe suite will bring in truly account-based marketing. It takes a more effective, account-based approach to lead generation. To effectively nurture an account, you need to have the right people, and it needs to be contextually relevant. We don’t want people deleting emails they receive. We want them to open them and engage with us. You can best to that by sending them to the most appropriate people in the organization.”

The new integration with ServiceNow and the Adobe Experience Platform will enhance Adobe’s real-time customer profiles with data from ServiceNow’s Customer Service Management  solutions, to create a more comprehensive view of a customer. It will also allow mutual customers to integrate and leverage digital workflows, service catalogs, intelligent content and knowledge management capabilities.

“With this ServiceNow integration, another building block is coming in place,” said Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen. “The more we can raise the bar on what we do with infrastructure, the more  companies can focus on what they do best. We are tremendously excited about what this will do for our joint customers. Adobe and ServiceNow will enable integrations to enhance Adobe real- time customer profiles with their rich service data, to create a more comprehensive view of the customer.”

“This combination of Adobe’s customer experience management services and our platform will let you break down siloes and elevate AI to deliver the very best customer experience,” said John Donahoe, ServiceNow’s CEO, in a videotaped message at the keynote. “Together with Adobe, we will power the end-to-end customer journey of the future.”

In a related announcement, Lucas announced onstage that the Marketo Engagment platform is now generally available as Marketo Engage.

“Together, every single one of us can transform customers experience and brands,” Lucas told the audience. “That’s our sweet spot – empowering businesses to engage with their buyers through powerful experiences. Here’s a simple observation – people don’t want to be sold to. No one wakes up and says ‘Hey, I hope there’s an email about a mattress sale in my Gmail.’ But we all want to be engaged with. We have 5000 customers and 550 technology and services partners, and they equal trillions of digital marketing decisions. These are B2C numbers, but this is B2B. This aligns perfectly with the Adobe vision – the convergence of B2B and B2C that we believe in at Adobe. Adobe didn’t stop with PDF. Amazon didn’t stop with books. So we are introducing Marketo Engage, which makes this possible for every marketer.”

Mary Koberstein from Avionos said that this new synergy stemming from Adobe’s acquisition of Marketo will amplify their effectiveness.

“It’s a huge competitive advantage to have Adobe paired with Marketo in this way,” she said. “For us, it’s not about trying to drive Marketo within Adobe, but driving the synergies between them to better create marketing automation.”