Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why Did Adobe Buy Omniture?

The news of Omniture Acquisition by Adobe came as a big surprise to me. I was not surprised that Omniture got acquired just the fact the Adobe acquired them.

I always thought that Omniture would be a good fit for Oracle as an extension to their CRM tools. Adobe was not even on my radar as a company who could potentially acquire Omniture. I was also surprised at the valuation Omniture got. 1.86 billions for a company that is still in red and had 335.5 Million in sales in last 12 month (source: MSN Money) is way too much in my opinion.

So why did Adobe pay such a premium to acquire Omniture? What does it bring to Adobe? I am not entirely sure what Adobe has in mind. Following are the ways that I think Adobe might use Omniture:
  • Measurement Ready Interactive Media – Flash, PDF, Adobe Air application will all come ready with Omniture tags for measurement and optimization.
  • Self optimizing flash widgets/ads – Designers will be able to put all assets (copy, images, etc.) in a flash file/Adobe Air application and the application will automatically arrange them on the fly based on customer’s interest, intent, day part etc. This will be driven by both Site catalyst and Test&Target. However designers might have a hard time dealing with this concept.
  • Self optimizing landing pages – Same as above but will be more on site. Flash on the landing page will change based on who the customer is.
  • Self guiding PDF – Ability to modify/adjust the pdf content on the fly based on who the customer is, what have they done in past on site or with other content etc. Think about A/B testing or Targeting within a PDF document.
  • PDF Tracking – Creators of pdf content will not only be able to see how many people downloaded a particular piece of content but they will also be
    • Find out about the circulation of the content. Did a person who downloaded the paper sent it to others?
    • Find out, how far did the reader go through the file?
    • Find out, if reader searched for something in the pdf? What were the keywords?
    • Tie the content analytics with site analytics to optimize and target the site side experience as well as arm the sales force with the information.
  • Adobe products as SaaS- Omniture brings SaaS expertise to Adobe which adobe might be able to leverage to sell their products as SaaS.

Other Players in Web Analytics

Coremetrics and Webtrends are the only two large Web Analytics companies that are still independent. The whole industry is talking about when and who will acquire them.

I have long speculated that Webtrends will be acquired by Microsoft. I still believe that it is possible. Given that Microsoft and Adobe have a few competing products, why would MSFT continue to use Omniture on their web properties and provide that information to Adobe? Microsoft might decide to part ways with Omniture and once again seriously consider other options e.g. buy Webtrends.

Some of the other possible candidates to acquire Web Analytics companies are
Big Interactive Agencies
Ad Networks

I think Webtrends will be acquired in less than a year, possibly in next 6 months. Coremetrics might remain independent for a while.

What do you think?

Few other blogs that you might want to read:
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  1. Curious why you did not include Amazon on the list. I have been awaiting a digital marketing extension to their brand as well.

  2. I actually almost did. But when I thought more about how Amazon has been operating (e.g. building tracking, optimization, and personalization technologies in-house) it did not seem like they were going to buy anybody. However it is entirely possible and will make sense.
    eBay is another possibility.

  3. Anil - great post on the deal and some good thoughts. We've been playing around with Flash and I've been impressed with the design layers that can be applied. With another level of targeting and optimization applied, this could be a real win for marketers to develop campaigns that produce higher engagement.

    Now, if we can only get easy Flash support on all smart phones.


  4. Nice post.

    Unica could also be acquired by Oracle or SAP as this is a web analytics tool oriented "Campaign management" and these BI companies could befenit from its expertise to "wrap" the whole consummer lifecycle.

    Concerning MSFT, maybe they are waiting for a decrease of webtrends shares, what is likely to happen.


I would like to hear your comments and questions.