The Adobe/Omniture Merger: What It All Means

It’s not often that the geeky world of web analytics gets some sexy news, but that was the case on Sept. 15, when content creation tool provider Adobe Systems announced its intent to acquire Omniture, the web analytics vendor, for $1.8 billion.

It’s not often that the geeky world of web analytics gets some sexy news, but that was the case on Sept. 15, when content creation tool provider Adobe Systems announced its intent to acquire Omniture, the web analytics vendor, for $1.8 billion.

The goal of the merger, according to Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, is to create a holistic way to develop creative content and measure the value of that content — be it video, web pages, mobile or social media — to “close the loop” in the content creation and content measurement worlds.

With optimization capabilities embedded in Adobe’s creation tools, designers, developers and online marketers will have an integrated workflow that’ll streamline the creation and delivery of content and applications, according to an Adobe press release. The optimization capabilities also will enable advertisers and advertising agencies, publishers, and e-tailers to realize greater ROI from their digital media investments, and improve their end users’ experiences.

While mergers happen every day, this one appears to be game-changing, at least according to the myriad of comments from vendors in the space that appeared in my inbox right after the announcement was made.

Russ Mann, CEO of Covario, said the merger is “a brilliant strategic move for Adobe, one that could change the rules of the game for digital media — from creation to measurement to monetization.”

He also offered specific examples about what the Adobe media world would be like. They include the following scenarios:
• Video developers and agencies will be able to build Adobe Flash creative with Omniture tracking codes implanted from the beginning, enabling them to track the views of creative across the web.
• Web design firms and e-commerce companies can create dynamic landing pages and rich internet ads via Adobe that have tracking and multivariate testing codes via Omniture. These codes will allow marketers to create pages and new forms of user-customized content.
• PDFs could be tracked, providing valuable metrics for the creators of such content.

Blaine Mathieu, chief marketing officer of Lyris — and former executive at Adobe — said the acquisition demonstrates that the online marketing space is heating up.

“While the large enterprises that Adobe and Omniture serve will have the money and experience to understand the ROI of an integrated suite,” he said, “we believe this deal will also trigger marketers in midsized businesses to better understand the value of an integrated online marketing tool set.”

What do you think it all means? How will it affect your interactive marketing programs and strategy? Let us know by posting a comment here.

Crafts 2.0

I had a short e-mail exchange recently with Rob Kalin, founder of Brooklyn-based Etsy, which may be the first true Web 2.0 company.

Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade goods. It also offers a host of ways for its customers to connect with Etsy and each other. For example, the site offers user profiles, forums, blogs, and a rating and feedback system for the site’s registered users, including crafters and artisans who sell their wares on the site.

I had a short e-mail exchange recently with Rob Kalin, founder of Brooklyn-based Etsy, which may be the first true Web 2.0 company.

Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade goods. It also offers a host of ways for its customers to connect with Etsy and each other. For example, the site offers user profiles, forums, blogs, and a rating and feedback system for the site’s registered users, including crafters and artisans who sell their wares on the site.

Etsy was conceived by Kalin in early 2005. A painter, carpenter, and photographer, Kalin believed there was no viable marketplace to exhibit and sell his creations online. In his opinion, other e-commerce sites had become “too inundated with overstock electronics and broken appliances,” according to Etsy’s Web site.

As a result, he, along with Chris Maguire and Haim Schoppik designed the site, wrote the code, assembled the servers, spliced the cables and launched Etsy in June 2005.

Today, Etsy has more than 1 million registered members, 185,000 of whom are individual artists selling more than 1.9 million of their handmade creations. In 2007, Etsy’s revenues were $26 million; this year, to date, they are $35 million.

While Kalin says he would recommend that any company create a Web 2.0 site with similar community-oriented features to his, he admits “technically, much of what we do is difficult,” adding that “on the Web, we are conducting our education in public, [so] there’s no downtime.”

Kalin also says that Etsy does not really engage in any digital marketing programs, opting instead for an internal advertising system called Showcase, “wherein our sellers purchase spots to reach buyers’ eyes,” he says.

When asked if he has any Web 2.0 tips, Kalin replies, “Avoid buzzwords. Web 2.0 is simply a name older folks give to newer technologies they either don’t fully grasp and seem novel to them.“Do honest, hard work, be open to your community, be a good listener. It’s no longer possible to censor or manipulate the discussions your customers have about your company. The Web is an inherently open platform, and I hope it stays that way.”

True words indeed.