Adobe Systems’ $600 million acquisition of cross-channel marketing automation company Neolane begs the question: What is the use case for an advertiser, and how will the platform fit with Adobe's stack?
In the words of Suresh Vittal, Neolane’s chief product officer, Neolane helps solve campaign managers’ need to distribute content to the right audiences based on past interactions and their propensity to purchase or engage with the brand in the future. “The big challenge often is not understanding the customer or what business rules to use, and it isn’t creating the content,” Vittal told AdExchanger. “The biggest challenge is combining the content with the understanding of the customer to create multiple, personalized variations of that content," and then distribute it.
Beauty retailer Sephora used Neolane to personalize its direct-marketing efforts. Since Sephora operates both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce presences, marketing needed a way to bridge the gap between the two both for loyalty and segmentation purposes. This led Sephora to develop its own enterprise-level marketing automation engine.
Using the SPSS Clementine (now IBM SPSS Modeler, following a 2009 acquisition) statistic modeling solution, Sephora was able to run “predictive” algorithms on top of Neolane’s open architecture to run analysis on channel-specific campaigns, such as direct mail, email and SMS. Because Neolane is connected to the “customer record,” or CRM data, it’s also able to measure customer interactions that happened at the point of sale in-store, on the Web or even in the call center and loop that back to needed actions through marketing campaign management.
Using SPSS with Neolane, Sephora was able to double campaign response rates and reduce its overall campaign-analysis time by five days. Overall, the company reached 70% in productivity gains when creating and executing direct-mail campaigns using Neolane and SPSS.
Adobe, Vittal said, gave marketers access to the content supply chain, but needed a way to bring that content to life. Neolane essentially “ties together CRM, transactional databases and loyalty platforms to bring to the table ways to access and use that data,” Vittal said. “In addition, it also brings you the ability to communicate [and] execute campaigns in real time or in batch.”
The goal? To help campaign managers and marketers organize their data, create an accurate view of the customer based on data from multiple channels and, ultimately, use that insight to segment customers further and present communications in the form of messages, offers, services and information.
Adobe, which through its Marketing Cloud already supports social marketing, display and search-media optimization, analytics and landing-page optimization, “needed the [cross-channel campaign] management that is necessary at an enterprise level,” wrote Paul Greenberg, CRM analyst and president of The 56 Group, for ZDNet.
Neolane brings that capability to the table.