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Wow – did you see Adobe coming?

Categories: GA & GTM / Comments: 9

Like everyone else it appears, I certainly did not see the announcement of Adobe’s acquisition of Omniture for $1.8 billion coming. However, it reminds me of Telefonica’s $5.4 billion mind blowing purchase of Lycos in 2000. A good sales person can make it sound like a perfect match and a bargain to boot. Yet for me, it does not appear a good fit…

In recent years (since November 2005 in fact), the web analytics market has been moving away from big, expensive software projects where you pay simply to collect data. The model is now about collecting data for free – computer memory, disk space and processing power are getting cheaper each year. This has been driven mainly by Google, but also adopted by Microsoft (though that failed) and more recently Yahoo.

The model is, collect data for free and instead use your budget on insights – understanding and taking action. Avinash Kaushik has famously been banging this drum since 2004 – he calls it his 10/90 rule i.e. spend 90% of your budget on insights and action and 10% on the technology (for a free product, the 10% is the resource required to implement). And that rule is not just applicable to small business – many Fortune/FTSE 500 companies use Google Analytics.

Is the future orange?

Do you view Adobe’s move of paying big bucks for Omniture and its 5000 or so clients, as being in the opposite direction to the market? I am no fortune teller, but I would be happy to place a small wager on where things stand in 5 years – more orange than green…

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Comments (most recent first)

  1. Justyn says:

    My hope is that Adobe will make the insights gleaned from the data collected to be more actionable. In other words, it’s not always easy to tell what should be done with the data you get from Google Analytics and other packages. Maybe Adobe will make the discovery of actionable data easier…

  2. Unny says:

    This was an unexpected buy out. It is not very clear that how is Adobe going to benefit from this. In India for example, it has been difficult to show a cost-benefit analysis on investing on an expensive web analytics tool. so most rely on a free tool like Google Analytics.

  3. Joao Correia says:

    Orange or Green a thing is certain: This will bring more awareness to the need of having a proper web analytics strategy in place.

    Exciting times ahead for sure.

  4. I actually think it is a great synergy (only time will tell on the $1.8B pricetag). Omniture’s products expand way beyond web metrics and really focus on end-to-end optimization of all channels (email, search, web, etc.) and bring it in to a unified platform. They have a great recurring revenue stream from the majority of the Internet Retailer Top 500 ranked companies and also do all of the high-end professional services you mention as well. I read that they did $25 million in training for one company alone.

    At most compnaies I have worked with, there has always been a big rift between the folks that collect/report data, the folks that develop the insights, and then the people who have to develop/code/design the website. In other words, web designers are not data heads and analytical folks are not creative types. I am anxious to see how Omniture & Adobe can bring these gaps a lot closer together.For example, a designer while designing a landing page for a DVD player campaign will know from within the Adobe tools the best layout, headlines, product images, and all the other elements that are tested & analyized via Omniture. Once that page is launched, it will be self-optimizing based on real-time analytics and adjust design, layout, messaging, etc accordingly.

    Lastly, I think that we are just on the forefront of optimizing the web. Many companies live and die by this practice like Google & Amazon, but I am amazed by the number of large e-commerce companies that I know first hand do little or no real optimization – just trial & error by opinion.

  5. Todd Toler says:

    Didn’t see this coming at all, and still trying to make sense of it. Sure, integration sounds peachy – but at what cost? Certainly getting tied into some proprietary system of content production, value-added hosting (if you accept Test n’ Target’s ambition to permanently serve content variants to different segments), and reporting is the opposite of our current thinking – which is closer to Avinash’s 10/90 rule. After all, we’re still in the adolescent stage of understanding the data we have now.

  6. Tim Wilson says:

    The BIG potential I see here is better out-of-the-box integration when it comes to data capture for Flex/Flash/Air applications. It’s straightforward today, but tedious. I’m not going to hold my breath that we’ll see it, but I’ll at least cross my fingers.

  7. Steve says:

    I don’t think anyone saw this coming. But I think it is great. Adobe has always done a good job of developing and marketing their products into top notch software. The last few years have been no exception.

    It will be interesting to see what they turn the omniture analytics product into.

    Hopefully, they will offer it for free and compete directly with Google Analytics.

  8. Gerry White says:

    I never predicted this one, whilst I love Omniture and I love Adobe – would this push much more advanced, adaptive web technology (test and target etc..) into developers hands and so more and more we will see technical web marketing being introduced into sites earlier and more complete.

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