Adobe Acquires Efficient Frontier to Boost Digital Marketing

Adobe Systems announced a definitive agreement to acquire Efficient Frontier to bolster its position in the digital marketing and advertising space.

Adobe Systems announced an agreement to acquire Efficient Frontier, a leader in multichannel ad buying and optimization, to boost its presence in the advertising space.

Adobe officials noted that the company's solutions are central to how digital marketing and advertising is created, managed, executed, measured and optimized. 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.

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 multichannel ad campaign forecasting, execution and optimization 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 monetization platform and an enterprise content management system. And Adobe will continue to build upon the foundation of its independent ad buying and optimization 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, personalized experiences, multichannel campaign management and media monetization. Adobe currently captures approximately 5 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."

"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 optimize their cross-channel campaigns."

Adobe officials said Efficient Frontier will bring to Adobe a social ad buying capability for Facebook, which leverages Efficient Frontier's optimization algorithms to predict results and drive greater return on investment (ROI). Additionally, a marketer can upload various creative elements into the solution, 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 solution that moves beyond social monitoring to tie social media to business results.

The Adobe Digital Marketing Suite features a paid search management solution, SearchCenter+. However, Efficient Frontier will extend this search capability with a complementary search portfolio optimization system. These solutions will be combined to create a search optimization solution that scales from midmarket to the largest enterprises and agencies.

Efficient Frontier also brings its experience in search optimization 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 solution that dynamically generates display ads with personalized messaging and offers.

The 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 optimization 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 optimized bids and allocate budget across digital channels for maximum ROI.

The customizable 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.