There are a number of important differences as well, including Adobe's proud media agnosticism. "We are not a primary player in media," Merickel says. "Google makes their money on search and display and on media inventory. That's not what Adobe does. We want to be an independent partner for our clients."
Adobe is increasingly focused on Facebook as well, and it was named to Facebook's new class of Strategic Preferred Marketing Developers last month. The strategic PMD program allows Facebook to call out exemplary third parties in its ecosystem with superior technologies, excellent results, or a global client base.
We asked Merickel about Adobe's value proposition on Facebook, in particular with regard to the Facebook Exchange. Here's what he had to say:
"It's a unique and high quality inventory source that our clients show strong demand for as a whole. Facebook has a ton of potential in looking at how do you tie engagement into the framework you're using for success. One of the ties we work to leverage at Adobe is that seamless integration between content and advertising. We haven't worked out how that plays into the Facebook Exchange, but certainly the more we drive engagement on Facebook, the more success we see in advertising looking at the proliferation of Recommended and Sponsored Stories.
While the framework is different [with Facebook Exchange], the inventory is similar and the broad goals clients have with Facebook are similar as well. I still think the goal of social advertising will be similar and the idea of leveraging the engagement of the brand will be critical to the success of the overall social programs.
A lot of the players today are pure DSPs and don't have access to the biddable markets. They can't run things like Sponsored Stories. We're looking at the full spectrum."