Adobe Puts Marketers Into More Social Situations
Just weeks after purchasing Neolane, Adobe on Thursday pushed further into marketing automation with the launch of Adobe Social, an application that expands the company's integrations with social networking sites and pretty much gives users a 360-degree view of their customers.
Integrated with Flickr, Foursquare, Instagram and LinkedIn, Social will, in essence, enable real-time monitoring across thousands of social networks and blogs, Emi Hofmeister, Adobe Social senior product marketing manager, told CRM Buyer.
"This enables our customers to capitalize on trends and topics that matter to their consumers and create content or respond from anywhere at any time," Hofmeister continued. "As we see it, the holy grail is the ability to then tie these social interactions back to key business objectives through the integration with Adobe Analytics."
Adobe's move makes sense because "one of the biggest challenges marketers have is to tap into and take advantage of all the social network traffic that's going on out there," William Band, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, told CRM Buyer.
What Adobe Social Offers
Prior to Social's launch, Adobe offered integrations with multiple social networking sites including Facebook, Google+, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter and YouTube.
Expanding the social networking interconnections will "provide users a comprehensive view of customer activity in social networks and across the customer's digital marketing activities," Hofmeister said.
Social lets users create the most relevant posts, monitor and respond to conversations, measure results, and connect social activities to business results. Companies can use the application's buzz-monitoring data to identify trends, opportunities and threats -- then route and track comments with a real-time moderation queue.
Adobe Social lets users post to hundreds of social pages simultaneously. They can use the content calendar for scheduling and approvals, as well as to target custom audiences.
Drag-and-drop actions let users build and customize contests and polls to increase customer engagement.
Social is integrated with Adobe Analytics, which lets users auto-generate tracking codes from within the publisher.
Social networks and social network monitoring are highly attractive to marketers and "a lot of other vendors, like Salesforce and SAP, have made acquisitions in these spaces," Forrester's Band said.
Social Sees All, Reveals All
Marketers can optimize posts before publishing through Social's predictive publishing feature.
Adobe Social "combs historical data related to a specific social account and, using this data, predicts how well a post is likely to engage customers through likes, comments and shares based on the performance of posts with similar attributes," Hofmeister explained. "We're looking at the type of post, time of day published, and day of the week."
The predictive publishing feature learns as it goes, so it continually refines its recommendations.
Currently, this feature is available only for Facebook.
Connecting With the Adobe Marketing Cloud
Social is part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud, and social data "helps to complete the picture of a customer or audience segment across paid, earned and owned channels," Hofmeister remarked.
"Social data can also make marketers smarter about the activities and preferences of their customers to drive more personal experiences and generally create better, more relevant messaging for digital audiences," he added.
Adobe Social has a unified Marketing Cloud interface and will deliver relevant internal content and insights shareable across Marketing Cloud solutions.
Flickr, Foursquare and Instagram functionality is available now, and LinkedIn integration is in limited beta with general availability scheduled for later in the year.
It's a Numbers Game
Data analysis in general and predictive analytics in particular are becoming increasingly important to marketers, noted digital marketing firm Evectyv.
Predictive analytics involves robust data collection from multiple sources; the ability to connect and combine these sources; and the ability to display them in a meaningful way. Perhaps with predictive analytics, the NSA would not need its Prism program.
A draft customer digital experience standard is being worked on at the World Wide Web (W3C) Consortium.
Earlier this month, digital and technology agency Razorfish announced that it has standardized on the Adobe Marketing Cloud, which it will use in its digital marketing programs for clients.