Yesterday, Adobe announced the acquisition of data solutions provider Demdex, which will be added to Adobe's Omniture unit and folded into its Online Marketing Suite. Read the interview with Adobe Omniture VP John Mellor.
AdExchanger.com reached out to members of the ad ecosystem to get their thoughts on the following question:
"What does the Adobe acquisition of Demdex say to you about the digital ad ecosystem and advertising as a whole?"
- Tom Chavez, CEO, Krux Digital
- Rajeev Goel, CEO, PubMatic
- Marc Kiven, Founder and CRO, BrightTag
- Richard Jalichandra, CEO, Technorati
- Mark Zagorski, CEO, eXelate
Tom Chavez, CEO, Krux Digital
The Adobe/Omniture acquisition of Demdex certainly is an exciting development.
Data has the potential to energize new consumer experiences across content, commerce, advertising, devices, sources, and formats. The opportunity with data is bigger than just advertising. From this perspective I think it's to Adobe's credit that they understand that premise and are investing early to pursue it.
I'm guessing that Adobe aims to cobble together a platform for data management from Demxdex, Omniture, and other internal assets. Having worked in a large company, I can't help but wonder whether a sophisticated undertaking such as this can unfold successfully and speedily in a big company. Plainly Adobe is resolved to make that happen.
Taking a broad view of both existing players and how the Adobe/Demdex vision has been presented, one gap remains. Our industry is long on rules and short on tools, especially when it comes to privacy and choice. If data management infrastructure fails to address the data protection and data governance questions, saber-rattling in Washington could turn into poorly conceived rules that inhibit the growth of future revenue from data and likely slow the growth of the industry overall. Given Adobe's breadth and reach, I don't doubt that they're attentive to the issue. It will be interesting to see how they address it in the context of the Demdex acquisition.
This is good news for the industry and further proof that audience targeting is a key revenue generator for publishers.
Publishers should view this rise of audience selling as an opportunity to increase the value of their ad inventory via both direct and indirect sales channels.
As advertisers continue to increase demand for audience-targeted campaigns, there will likely be more M&A in this space in the near future.
Marc Kiven, Founder and CRO, BrightTag
This is a very smart acquisition for Adobe. Not only are they getting in on the ground floor of the hottest digital segment, they are doing so through a new company that has designed their technology to empower website owners. The elephant in the room of the “data ecosystem” is that website owners and e-tailers own the relationships with consumers and are realizing that they must take back the ability to control, protect, and manage the data generated by consumers through their pages. Adobe's announcement is a clear signal that the conversation should be focused on how data helps website owners build stronger relationships with consumers, which is a real shift in thinking from seeing data only in terms of media buying transactions. In particular, Adobe has signaled an immediate intent to focus on managing publishers's data, which speaks to their historical strengths in creating technology and insights for content producers. We expect to see the data conversation accelerate from here. We look forward to working with [Adobe and Demdex].
Richard Jalichandra, CEO, Technorati
This is the direction that the entire digital media services ecosystem is moving naturally. This isn't the first consolidation move and won't be the last; in fact, we're probably still very early in the curve. When you think of "The Slide" (Terry Kawaja's), most of the firms there will merge into more integrated, multiple-trick ponies both organically and via acquisitions.
Mark Zagorski, CEO, eXelate
I think that the acquisition shows a continued,profound interest in data as being the key accelerator to the growth in the online advertising business, and that pure-plays in the data space will receive a lion's share of the focus. Traditional online companies that haven’t been following this trend over the last two years are waking up and saying 'I need a data component to my strategy, and I need it fast.