Adobe, Omniture, and the End of the “Mad Men” Marketing Era


I’ve been predicting for a while that the marketing agencies and website developers that don’t have deep technical capabilities in search engine optimization will be left by the side of the road. Now we’re seeing it come to pass with Adobe’s $1.8 billion buyout of Omniture. [Adobe Systems announced the acquisition on Sept. 15, and U.S. antitrust regulators recently granted an early termination of their review.]

When Adobe’s chief marketing officer, Ann Lewnes, says marketing is the new finance, she’s not talking Orwellian double-speak. She means the digital age is driving the corporate marketing function to become accountable for spending in a far more rigorous and precise way than the “Mad Men” days of estimating “reach and frequency.” And that’s what Adobe’s Omniture acquisition is really all about.

This merger is intended to develop creative content in a holistic way and to measure the value of that content—whether it is video, web pages, mobile content, or social media content. This deal represents a way to “close the loop” in terms of creating digital content and measuring its impact.

Precisely measuring how people use a website is what we do at San Diego-based Covario. We view this deal as a brilliant strategic move for Adobe—one that could change the rules of the game for digital media, from creation to measurement to monetization. It represents changes in technology that will finally and irreversibly mark the end of an era.

This is what we see coming in the new Adobe media world:

—Video developers and agencies will build Adobe Flash creative content with Omniture tracking codes implanted from the beginning. This will enable them to track online views of that content across the web, and perhaps even begin to … Next Page »

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Russ Mann is a co-founder and CEO of San Diego-based Covario. For the past two decades, his career has focused on digital marketing, advanced analytics, and customer relationship management technologies for enterprise-class organizations. Prior to Covario, he was part of the turnaround management team at San Diego's Peregrine Systems. He also worked at HNC Software,, and Onyx Software, specializing in strategy, alliances, sales, marketing and product management. Follow @

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