Adobe: Marketing Is the “New Finance”


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Adobe’s many tools are well understood and valued by both graphic designers and software developers. Now, Adobe is making a major move “up market” to appeal to the marketers who plan and implement product marketing strategies, who oversee customer experience, and who control agency budgets. Adobe’s acquisition in 2009 of Omniture—a major web analytics platform and closed loop marketing environment—has provided the company with the opportunity to both move “up market” and to flesh out an end-to-end platform and ecosystem.

One of our Senior B2B marketing consultants, Sue McKittrick, attended Adobe’s Omniture Summit this month to rub shoulders with many of Adobe’s customers. Her takeaway: Adobe is successfully repositioning itself as an end-to-end platform for marketers. At the summit, Aseem Chandra, Omniture’s VP of Marketing, referred to marketing as “the new finance” because it can now measure the pulse of the business in a way that only finance could have in years past. Think about it. Finance tracks the value chain of the business. It’s important, but mostly inward facing. By contrast, marketing’s aim is to “know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.1

Facing outward, the marketer sees where the business is heading. Analytics provide the real-time monitoring tools that enable marketers to spot opportunities, sense trends, and shift quickly. Finance provides the rear-view mirror.

Because customers control the buying process today, facing outward is more important than ever. Customers have gained control through the online environment where:

  • Customers’ online interactions, which comprise an increasingly larger proportion of the buying cycle, are measured and tested.

  • Customers’ behavior on the whole web has become as important as their behavior on your company web site.

  • Timely relevant content, tailored to the customer, has become the currency of marketing. It motivates action better than free trials and discounts.

  • Video, social media, mobile channels, new advertising opportunities, widgets, and games are invigorating and adding layers of complexity to marketing campaigns.

  • Competitors are quicker and more agile but can also be tracked more easily than ever before.

This environment, and the tools and processes that enable marketers to measure and experiment, propel them toward becoming “the new finance.” According to Adobe, this is a transformative opportunity, in which the leaders accrue great rewards and the laggards risk obsolescence.

Adobe’s Online Marketing Suite
Adobe Omniture Summit 2011 Showcases Momentum, Tangible Progress Toward Aggressive Vision
Susan McKittrick, Analyst and Senior Consultant, Patricia Seybold Group, March 24, 2011

1) Drucker, Peter. Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices. 1973.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ronni Marshak
Patricia Seybold Group
Ronni Marshak co-developed Patricia Seybold Group's Customer Scenario® Mapping (CSM) methodology with Patricia Seybold and PSGroup's customers. She runs the CSM methodology practice, including training, certification, and licensing. She identifies, codifies, and updates the recurring patterns in customers' ideal scenarios, customers' moments of truth, and customer metrics that she discovers across hundreds of customer co-design sessions.


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