The Other Adobe Experience Cloud
14 Jun 2020 » Opinion
When we talk about the Adobe Exprience Cloud (AEC), we tend to ignore a part of it. Some weeks ago I wrote about the typical AEC solutions, but I skipped on purpose three of them: Advertising Cloud, Magento and Marketo. If you were waiting to hear about them, here you have the details of the smaller siblings of the AEC.
The Advertising Cloud
If there is a word that describes the Ad Cloud, it is ignored. I have been fortunate enough to meet different people working for this cloud in the London office, which has given me the opportunity to know more about it. I am not an expert, but I think I understand it fairly well by know.
Demand Side Platform
In the AEC, when we talk about display advertising, we think about Adobe Audience Manager. Granted, this tool is a DMP, which plays a pivotal role in the display advertising world. I have spent a couple of years at Adobe working as an AAM consultant. One key feature of any DMP is to create segments, but the next key feature is its connectivity. A DMP cannot do anything with the segments it creates. Other systems need to be added to the mix. And the typical destination of a DMP is a DSP. No, I am not talking about Digital Signal Processors, but Demand Side Platforms. If you thought about the former, you are probably in the wrong blog.
I will not try to explain here what a DSP does in detail or the whole industry. It is a bit difficult to follow. What I recommend instead is that you watch this video, the best I have found so far.
Now that you know that a DSP is, you can now start to understand the Ad Cloud. As you can probably guess, the Ad Cloud is, among other things, a DSP.
The other important branch of the Adobe Advertising Cloud is search advertising. These are the ads you see when you do any search:
For historical reasons, advertising in publishers and in search engines have followed different paths. So have the tools to manage the campaigns. Still, Adobe AdCloud supports both.
Yes, the AdCloud technology allows for other type of advertising. I will not get into the details, but you get the gist. With this solution, you manage all your advertising campaigns.
Magento has been one of the latest acquisitions from Adobe, just over 2 years ago. All our retail customers, and also from other verticals, needed this type of technology, so it was seen as an obvious move by Adobe.
And… what is Magento? The simple answer is: an e-commerce platform. Unless you work for an online commerce website, we tend to think that most of the effort is on the front-end. This means that you may think that you can easily build your online shop with a CMS. However, there is a lot going on in the back-end, more than you think, and this is where this type of software comes in. There are some very key functionalities that a typical CMS will not offer and would require custom development:
- Shipping management
- Inventory management
- Order management
- Product management
- APIs to sell through other portals
Obviously, if you sell your handmade masks in ebay and shipping them through your local public mail system, you probably do not need a platform like Magento. But if you plan to sell at a large scale, a spreadsheet or a custom development will not be enough. Think about all the combinations you could have with:
- Selling hundreds/thousands of products.
- Serving markets worldwide or, at least, in many countries.
- Having multiple warehouses, distributed around the globe.
- Different delivery services to be used depending on the region and urgency.
- Integrating with various payment gateways, usually depending on the region.
- Selling both directly through your website and through 3rd parties (Amazon, ebay…)
You definitely need a platform that can support such complexity.
Since Magento started as a stand-alone platform, you can build the full website with it. But if you want to combine the power of your CMS for content (like AEM), with the power of Magento as the back-end system for e-commerce, you also can. In fact, this is a trend we are seeing more often.
One final note about Magento. Most of its code is open source and you can download it for free. Obviously, there is no Adobe support in this case, but there is a community around the product.
To finalise with, I will explain briefly what Marketo is. It one of the latest additions to the AEC family, coming also from an acquisition. To put it simply, Marketo is a marketing automation tool. So, with Marketo, you can manage the messages you send to your leads and clients, based on the step of the sales cycle they are in. Some key features are:
- Personalisation capabilities. Well, if it did not have it, Adobe would not have purchased it and I would not be talking about it.
- Lead Management. Help your sales team by attracting new clients.
- Email Marketing. It is what it says on the box. The most common way to communicate with your customers is through email.
- Revenue Attribution. Marketo offers an add-on called Bizible, which is especially built with this objective.
- Account-based Marketing. This is a shift from the consumer-based approach that the rest of the AEC takes. Instead of targeting individuals, Marketo targets accounts. It may sound similar, but it is not.
You may be thinking that there is another AEC tool that does that, Adobe Campaign. So, why did Adobe acquire Marketo?
The answer is that each have different strengths and, depending on the intended usage, you would use vs the other. In general, we tend to say that Adobe Campaign is for B2C, whereas Marketo is for B2B. If you want a better distinction, Adobe Campaign was design to address the masses, millions of consumers, which you know something about them, but not a lot. On the other hand, Marketo is better suited for a smaller number of client, with whom you are establishing a more tightly knit and long lasting relationship.