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On the heels of Adobe's quarterly earning call, where they announced the grim news about software sales, they also announced the acquisition of Omniture. Is this a play to be a player in the analytics market, to have a strong presence in the SAAS space, to take advantage of Omniture's recurring revenue model, or something else?

There have been varying opinions as to why Adobe is planning to acquire Omniture. There is no question that in some verticals Omniture's margin on "web analytics" has been squeezed harder than a lemon in a power juicer, by pressure from other fee and free web analytics tools including Google Analytics. Retailers that were paying a $600,000 a year contract may be paying only about a third of that as their contracts come up for renegotiation. That is because the real value that I think Adobe sees isn't in the traditional "web analytics" space, but in the publishing and advertising space.

Speaking to Matt Belkin, senior vice president, emerging business for Omniture, about the independent deal Omniture announced with Comscore, allowing them to share data for publishers and advertisers leveraging the Omniture tags and their Genesis solution; Omniture's customers and agency partners account for approximately a third of all online advertising spend. This includes companies like AOL, CBS, NBC, CNN and many others. Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said in a statement announcing the deal:

"Adobe customers are looking to us for solutions to deliver engaging experiences and more effectively monetize their content and applications online,... This is a game changer for both Adobe and our customers. We will enable advertisers, media companies and e-tailers to realize the full value of their digital assets."

Adobe controls approximately 90% of market share in every space they are in. What they are looking to do is own the digital create - deploy - test - measure workflows. The piece they are missing is the test and measure aspect. That is certainly what Omniture's solutions bring. According to Omniture:

Genesis automates the integration of all your digital marketing tools into one central location. Your applications, data and processes will become more effective by being integrated into an analytics-empowered digital marketing ecosystem. With Genesis, you’ll be able to:
  • Consolidate measurement and reporting around virtually any success metric
  • Identify and target the most meaningful customer segments
  • Take the most relevant actions to optimize customer engagement and loyalty

Adobe has done a pretty good job bringing their past acquisitions into the workflow, and while it saddens me this may bring a lack of innovation into the traditional web analytics space, this could be a very smart move from Adobe to own more of the digital publishing and advertising space.

Bryan Eisenberg

Published 22 September, 2009 by Bryan Eisenberg

Bryan Eisenberg is a New York Times best selling author, speaker and industry pioneer and a contributor to Econsultancy.

3 more posts from this author

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Ben Rush

I was surprised by the volume of people saying "huh? that doesn't make sense" the acquisition makes perfect sense to me.

They already dominate the market in terms of web, graphic design etc through programmes such as Dreamweaver, Photoshop. I see the acquisition of Omniture as a sign that they will package analytics up into the likes of Dreamweaver.

Perhaps a free version similar to Google analytics or at least a lite version at low price.

almost 7 years ago

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Gerry White

i think oddly this isn't directly about analytics, Omniture is more than just analytics now and Adobe is more than just photoshop and Dreamweaver, with Scene7 and various other serverside apps there is more synergy than I originally thought about. As mentioned above - the Genesis angle would work brilliantly for Adobe.

almost 7 years ago

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Rodney Loges

This is a bold and smart move on the part of Adobe's leadership.  It simply isnt enough to build a good looking site.  The businesses that succeed online today value their need to be able to understand, plan, and execute campaigns that drive measurable results with transparency to all the key stakeholders.  Congrats to Adobe and Omniture for pulling together the complete picture for Internet Marketers.

almost 7 years ago

David Iwanow

David Iwanow, SEO Product Manager at Marktplaats.nl

I think it is a smart move, it allows Adobe to set Omniture as the standard web analytics tool for any flash tracking. As this article points out Adobe hasnt failed to dominate any major area that it operates in, so why couldnt they bring a free model to compliment the expensive enterprise Omniture?

almost 7 years ago

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Lucidiom Group

I think it's going to fail. They don't share actual customers or competencies. They sell to the same companies but the customers/users of each couldn't be more different - and those users don't necessarily get along with each other. Yet future Adobe/Omniture products will be dependent upon it. I think the leverage between the design/create (Adobe) side and the measure (Omniture) side of an optimal web strategy is imagined. It may have all looked good on some slides but the reality is going to be very tough. It is difficult enough for huge companies to actually use Omniture. Now add more complexity by forcing everybody (including designers) to behave differently and the only people making money from this deal in the future will be organizational change consultants. If interested, here are my full thoughts: http://lucidiomgroup.com/index.php/2009/09/adobe-and-omniture-made-me-laugh/.

almost 7 years ago

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Ryan Dearlove

I think it's calculated move by Adobe, SEM/SEO spending is set to hit the $23.4 billion by 2013. Why wouldn't you want a piece of this and im sure you will see these features implemented into dreamweaver in the near future.

Good luck to them. Hope it works out.

over 6 years ago

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Tracy Diziere

Good point about innovation. Especially since Omniture (and other relatively small companies) excel in the details that make for satisfied users.  I've always found value in Omniture's free tools and hope that tradition continues.

over 6 years ago

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