The Journey into AdTech
For over 30 years Adobe has been redefining industries and technologies with products like Photoshop, Acrobat, and the Creative Cloud. With the Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe is redefining digital marketing and advertising by merging Marketing Tech and Ad Tech, connecting Marketing Tech to programmatic advertising, and offering a comprehensive buy-side ad stack with the industry’s most advanced cross-channel programmatic ad buying platform. According to Forrester’s Digital Experience Platforms report “Adobe’s integrated platform leads the market. Adobe has established a platform of best-of-breed technologies that support marketing activities.” (Forrester Wave™: Digital Experience Platforms, Q4 2015)
What is Ad Tech? What is an Ad Stack? And what was Adobe’s path to get here?
What is Ad Tech?
Ad Tech, or advertising technology, is the technology to manage, optimize and buy paid digital advertising. This includes anything from demand side platforms (DSPs) and retargeting vendors to search bid optimization, to data management platforms (DMPs) and dynamic creative optimization (DCO) technologies.
An Ad Stack (or advertising technology stack) consists of various Ad Tech components that an advertiser is using for their paid digital advertising – this is commonly referred to as a programmatic ad stack or platform as well. The key to an Ad Stack, is that the various pieces should be integrated and work seamlessly together. Advertisers want more simplicity, not a complex set of disparate technology. When we think about the technology that is required for programmatic ad buying, we all think about these basic elements and the technologies required to execute on each. These are the key technologies that make up a programmatic ad stack.
- Audience – who are we trying to reach
- Media buying – where are we going to reach those audiences
- Creative – what is the content and message we will deliver to those audiences
Building the Ad Stack
Adobe has built a comprehensive ad stack to meet the needs of agencies and advertisers. Adobe has created an integrated ad stack through acquisitions and building out capabilities through integrations with the Adobe Marketing Cloud.
- Adobe Audience Manager – In 2011 Adobe acquired the Demdex Data Management Platform (DMP) – this was well ahead of the market realizing the power of a DMP. The DMP allows an advertiser to consolidate audiences from various data sources, identify and segment high value audiences, and activate them for cross channel advertising.
- Adobe Media Optimizer (AMO) – In 2012 Adobe acquired Efficient Frontier, a cross channel (search, social, display) programmatic ad buying, management and optimization platform. For display ad buying, it includes global real-time bidding (RTB) capabilities and a demand-side platform (DSP).
- AMO Dynamic Creative Optimization – In 2015 Adobe acquired Tumri’s dynamic creative optimization (DCO) technology from Collective. With DCO, an advertiser can reach granular audiences with flexible ad creative that is personalized in real time to drive user engagement and conversions.
Native Integrations for Data & Audiences
To gain the most from programmatic, it’s all about using and applying data. This includes offline and online data (first, second, and third party data sources). Data powers performance optimization algorithms, enables advertisers to identify and reach high value audiences, and deliver consistent and relevant experiences across programmatic channels.
Adobe’s ad stack is natively integrated with Adobe Analytics for first-party site engagement data. In AMO, Analytics engagement metrics (time on site, number of pages viewed, bounce rate) are available alongside campaign performance reports and are used to optimize campaigns. Analytics audience segments are available for targeting across the web with display ads. And Audience Manager natively ingests Analytics attributes that can be used to build audience segments for cross channel targeting in AMO and with external partners.
First-party online data can be augmented with offline data (CRM, POS, Call Center), demographic and business attributes from third-party data providers, and expanded using look-alike models to find more users that look like high performing audiences.
“We got better results with AMO because we leveraged our Adobe Analytics engagement metrics to optimize our campaigns.”
– Nurullo Makhmudov, Director, Online User Experience and Strategic Initiatives, Sears Canada
“The primary benefit of using Adobe for our programmatic display buys, as well as analytics, is the opportunity to integrate that data to see a more accurate ROI and make smarter advertising decisions.”
– Katy Wortham, Digital Marketing Manager, CreditCards.com
Delivering Integrated Digital Experiences
With Adobe’s ad stack as part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud, an advertiser has the ability to reach the same audience across channels and devices to deliver personalized creative experiences along the user journey and better optimize their media budgets. For example, they can deliver a relevant and consistent creative experience in a display ad, on a website, in a social ad and in a search ad – all powered by data, audience segmentation, and programmatic ad buying via Adobe’s ad stack. Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) personalizes and optimizes the display ad experience in real time at a granular level based on the viewer and audience increasing performance and user engagement.
“By managing all our programmatic channels (display, search, and social) in AMO, we get incredible insights into attribution and path to conversion, and that allows us to more efficiently manage and optimize our budgets.”
– Latanya Hodges, Sr. Interactive Marketing Manager, Redbox
Empowering Agencies and Advertisers for their Programmatic Needs
Global programmatic ad spend was over $20 billion in 2014 and it is expected to more than double to $53 billion in 2018, according to Magna Global. With its comprehensive ad stack, Adobe is addressing the needs of agencies and advertisers for the management, buying, and delivery of programmatic advertising and redefining digital marketing through its integrations with the Adobe Marketing Cloud.