Adobe Buys Efficient Frontier For Digital Marketing

Adobe Systems’ focus on digital marketing and advertising space leads to Efficient Frontier acquisition

Adobe Systems announced an agreement to acquire Efficient Frontier, a leader in multi-channel ad buying and optimisation, to boost its presence in the advertising space.

Adobe officials note that the company’s products are central to how digital marketing and advertising is created, managed, executed, measured and optimised. The acquisition of Efficient Frontier will enhance that. Adobe said the acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of the company’s 2012 fiscal year pending regulatory approvals.

Digital marketing push

Early in November, Adobe moved to restructure along two primary business lines: Digital Media and Digital Marketing. The pending acquisition of Efficient Frontier falls in line with the Digital Marketing piece.

Indeed, the acquisition of Efficient Frontier will add multi-channel ad campaign forecasting, execution and optimisation capabilities to Adobe’s existing Digital Marketing Suite. Along with the Suite, Adobe’s digital marketing capabilities include a data management platform, a video ad management and monetisation platform, and an enterprise content management system

The company will continue to build upon the foundation of its independent ad buying and optimisation platform for search, social and display, enabling the company to offer a more complete suite of capabilities to digital marketers, advertisers and publishers for reporting and analytics, personalised experiences, multi-channel campaign management and media monetisation.

Adobe currently captures approximately five trillion digital transactions per year for more than 5,000 customers, including many of the world’s largest advertisers, publishers and advertising agencies.

“With the explosion in global Internet advertising, our customers need to know where, when and how to spend their digital marketing dollars to get the greatest return,” said Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager of Adobe’s Digital Marketing Business, in a statement. “The addition of Efficient Frontier will give our Digital Marketing Suite customers a leading platform for turning ad spend into business impact.”

Vision synergy

“Adobe’s vision of digital marketing is perfectly aligned with the Efficient Frontier approach – use data and intelligence to manage risk and drive ROI across a growing number of digital channels,” said David Karnstedt, president and CEO of Efficient Frontier, in a statement. “Adobe customers will have greater insight into how their social, search and display spend impact one another and how to optimise their cross-channel campaigns.”

Adobe officials said Efficient Frontier will bring to Adobe a social ad buying capability for Facebook, which uses Efficient Frontier’s optimisation algorithms to predict results and drive greater return on investment (ROI). Additionally, a marketer can upload various creative elements into the product and it will automatically generate ad combinations, the company said. These capabilities will be integrated with the Facebook ad buying functionality currently available with Adobe SearchCenter+.

The acquisition also will bring a social marketing engagement platform, offering customers tools and services to help them build, manage, monitor and measure their brand presence across the social Web. Adobe will combine this social engagement capability with Adobe SocialAnalytics, an analytics product that moves beyond social monitoring to tie social media to business results.

The Adobe Digital Marketing Suite features a paid search management product, SearchCenter+. However, Efficient Frontier will extend this search capability with a complementary search portfolio optimisation system. These products will be combined to create a search optimisation product that scales from mid-market to the largest enterprises and agencies.

Display advertising

Efficient Frontier also brings its experience in search optimisation to display advertising with a real-time bidding system to increase ad performance on major display inventory sources, Adobe said. This bidding system uses Efficient Frontier’s algorithms, which will learn using site traffic and conversion data from the Adobe Digital Marketing Suite, and will complement the Adobe Dynamic Ad Targeting product that dynamically generates display ads with personalised messaging and offers.

Integration of Efficient Frontier and Adobe Digital Marketing Suite capabilities will give customers a more complete view of their display advertising campaigns and provide a unified ad-to-site optimisation system to increase qualified clicks and conversion rates, Adobe said in a press release.

Moreover, Adobe said the auction-based buying process for search, display and social media puts marketers under pressure to decide what and where to bid. However, Efficient Frontier takes the guesswork out of the process by using an algorithmic approach to generate optimised bids and allocate budget across digital channels for maximum ROI. The customisable algorithms are built on the marketer’s historical performance data from the search, display, and social marketplaces as well as conversion data from the marketer’s Websites and offline sources.

The Efficient Frontier algorithms will benefit from the clickstream data and conversion metrics captured by the Adobe Digital Marketing Suite. Thus, Adobe customers will be able to develop predictive models and simulations that are highly accurate and actionable.