‘$10-bn Plus Opportunity In Digital Marketing‘

06 Aug, 2014 17:31 IST

‘$10-bn Plus Opportunity In Digital Marketing‘

Adobe is integrating marketing and creative clouds, says president and CEO Shantanu Narayen

For the $4.06-billion technology company Adobe, digital marketing and digital media are proving to be huge growth engines. Adobe’s digital marketing business touched $1 billion in 2013 and now it is targeting an aggressive 20 per cent growth from this.  Adobe’s India born president and CEO Shantanu Narayen feels digital marketing is a $10-billion opportunity. BW|Businessworld's Chitra Narayanan interviews him on the sidelines of the Adobe Digital Marketing Symposium in Singapore.  Excerpts:

How fast is your digital marketing business growing?
The digital marketing business last year exceeded the one billion dollar run rate. We are the fastest SAS (Statistical Analysis System)-based offering in marketplace, both on digital media side as well as digital marketing side. We exceeded the one billion dollar run rate on digital marketing through both organic innovations and inorganic acquisitions, and we are now committed to growing the business over 20 per cent. There are not that many businesses that can boast that.

Our approach is how do we offer the most comprehensive solution to marketers and we are doing that through the whole notion of marketing cloud. We bought a company called Neolane. It’s a French company and the whole idea there was the ability to do multi channel communication.
We have an Adobe Social offering now. We had also bought a company called Efficient Frontier. We are the leaders in content experience management. That business for us is on fire. For every single marketer today is rethinking their dotcom infrastructure. How to migrate their website on mobile, how to add ecommerce capability..

On the Measurement side we process close to 20 trillion transactions. We are the big data company for marketers. Now we also have started partnering with many advertising companies. WPP, digital agencies like Publicis, Razorfish and so on.

But aren’t you also competing with advertising agencies in the digital space?
No. We provide them with tools. For creative stuff, we are just technology providers. They standardise on the Adobe stack, and they build their specialised modules on top of it. That’s how they differentiate with each other. We don’t view digital agencies as a competitor at all. We are focused on providing the most comprehensive tech platform. We are focused on making sure that whether it is a digital agency or a traditional systems integrator we can extend the functionality. Whether it is an Accenture Digital, Infosys digital or Wipro, they are all our partners.

If you look at it, where is the spend happening on enterprise? The spend is happening mostly from the CMO. The spend is happening online. If you are a system integrator or a digital agency, it is a great time today. And that business for us has been growing. We have capacity constraint, not market constraint.

We have also taken upon ourselves the mantle of providing thought leadership to all the practitioners in this community. CMO.com is run by Adobe. We provide the Adobe digital index report because we have all this data collected anonymously, which we decipher as trends. What is happening on cyber Monday, what’s happening on mobile, what’s happening with social etc. We are really stepping up.

Since the playing field is changing so rapidly, how do you keep pace and step up?
In digital marketing we make sure we anticipate customer demand. We make sure that we understand and anticipate their needs. We have announced a strategic partnership wth SAP. SAP is also now going to be re-selling Adobe products. We have to be nimble and keep innovating at a faster pace.

Marketers have an affinity with Adobe because of our design. Design is important and customer experience is important.

I would say retail has not developed in this APAC region as in the US. But every single retailer and media publisher is our customer. And it is still early in the game. If you use a cricket analogy, we are somewhere in the middle of first innings I think.

Is your focus more on marketing cloud today than on your creative cloud?
Marketing cloud is the fastest growing opportunity for us. But while it’s the fastest growing business it’s not as large as our creative cloud.

However, we are integrating marketing cloud and creative cloud. Condenast and Fairfax are two companies that have unified these. They are taking their entire content production and with a single button click can send the content to application stores for mobile devices. What they are finding is that the cost savings and different extensions for brand is enormous.

Adobe’s core strategic focus is dealing with entire content lifecycle. Both the creative cloud and marketing cloud have got tremendous synergy with each other. Any one or the other without the other would be limiting our market opportunity. Creative cloud allows you to create content, marketing cloud allows you to market that content.  We think we are providing more value to our customers.

What are your future goals, targets?
On the creative side we have successfully reimagined the creative process with the creative cloud. We have got 10 million creative suite users. We are not going to rest till they convert to creative cloud users.

When you think about documents and pdfs, that business just continues to grow. With records management we are well positioned.

On the marketing cloud, we see it as a $10 billion plus opportunity. We are only at one billion now. First our comprehensiveness of what we are offering has improved as we enter what we can do on targeting side and social side. We have improved our addressable market.

This whole movement from analog to digital, that’s creating a rising tide of opportunity for us.



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