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Adobe, Microsoft to take on the Salesforce of marketing software, with LinkedIn as a weapon

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Adobe Inc Microsoft Corp are working together to strengthen each other’s sales and marketing capabilities of the software, taking aim at common rival Salesforce.com Inc, ” she said Tuesday.

An Adobe Systems Inc software box is to see in Los Angeles, California, USA, March 13, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Adobe and Microsoft hope to make it easier for users of Adobe marketing software to find and target teams of potential customers for business property on LinkedIn, the social network owned by Microsoft, ” she said at a conference in Las Vegas.

As an Adobe customer, the sale of medical equipment in the hospital, for example, the new partnership would make it easier to target tailored LinkedIn ads to all the people who are involved in the purchasing decision, such as doctors, engineers, and financial managers. If the marketing campaign works, sales people could then make use of Microsoft’s sales software to close the deal.

“The LinkedIn network is one of those clear holy grails” for business marketers, Steve Lucas, chief executive officer of Marketo, a business-to-business marketing software company that Adobe acquired last year for $4.75 billion, told Reuters. “It’s just a huge leverage for B-to-B marketers that it is impossible for us to ignore it.”

Long known as the maker of the content creation tools like Photoshop, Adobe has in recent years turned to making the software that is used for marketing campaigns, which are highly dependent on the content that is created with the software.

Most of Adobe’s tools for marketers trying to reach consumers, but the Marketo acquisition last year boosted its software for business marketers.

While Microsoft is best known for its Window operating system and Office program, it also works to grow a company with the name Dynamics 365, the software that the sales people to track down deals. The $26 billion acquisition in 2016 of LinkedIn, perhaps the most common tool used by the sales department, trying to drum up business, was an important part of the effort here

In doing this, both are in the Salesforce cloud software company with the sales and marketing of software, Adobe and Microsoft lack one or the other.

But by the integration of their systems, Adobe and Microsoft can offer something that is perhaps “much wider” because the Adobe software is how the most marketing-content is created, said Melissa Webster, program vice president, content and digital media technologies at research firm IDC.

“There is no doubt that Microsoft and Adobe both have a lot to gain by teaming up against Salesforce,” said Webster.

Salesforce could not be reached immediately for comment.

Reporting by Stephen Nellis; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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