A little over two weeks ago, yours truly here pointed out that Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) wasn’t just a document management and graphics software company anymore. Ownership ADBE stock was an investment in artificial intelligence company.
Adobe recently had launched a tool that processed a massive amount of customer data gathered by its business clients to figure out how to tailor-make an ‘experience’ for each individual consumer’s future contact with that company online or offline, if not both.
It was a slick solution to a problem most corporations didn’t even know they had, or hadn’t been able to solve even if they knew they had the problem.
More than that though, it was just a microcosm of the business-minded solutions Adobe is now offering.
If you were mulling a new position in ADBO stock, this just might put you over the edge.
What the Heck Is Programmatic Advertising?
On the chance that you missed it, my take from late October concluded:
“The company isn’t creating AI technology just for the sake of creating a new kind of technology. It’s building Sensei with the purpose of making its existing software platforms even more potent. In that regard, its wide moat just got a little wider.”
Thing is, the company’s moat was plenty wide to begin with, and became wider still this week. On Monday, Adobe officially launched a new ad campaign touting the difference between a mere string of advertisements and a deliberate management of a customer experience.
In fact, the campaign itself has been titled “Experience Business,” underscoring the paradigm shift Adobe is bringing to corporate offices. It’s not just software. Adobe’s software is a solution.
That’s not the interesting part of the story though. What’s interesting is how all the ad space bought to run the ads associated with the campaign are programmatic ads purchased using its own Adobe Advertising Cloud, which is part of the Adobe Experience Cloud platform.
It’s not a term familiar to most, but it’s not a complicated idea either. Programmatic advertising is, simply put, the purchase of advertising time and space using a software-based interface rather than buying ad space from actual salespeople.
In most cases the ad space is secured using a bidding process, and advertisers generally have more control over who does and doesn’t see a particular ad. The end result is greater cost-effectiveness, and greater overall impact.
Adobe isn’t the first to offer programmatic advertising tools. It is the first, however, to package the concept with such a robust suite of other business-minded tools, making ADBE stock a very interesting prospect.
Part of a Much Bigger Idea
As savvy as it may be to (1) use your own product to cost-effectively (2) sell your own product, it must be understood that Adobe Advertising Cloud’s programmatic ad buying feature is only a tiny part of Adobe’s business suite. It’s solving a slew of other business challenges as well.
Case in point: Earlier this month, Adobe and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) improved the way Adobe’s Experience Manager and Microsoft’s customer-relationship manager called Dynamics 365 work together.
In short, the two different platforms now automatically share more information with one another about individual customers, allowing salespeople greater insight about that prospect.
As Dave Welch, vice president or Microsoft Solutions at Adobe, put it, “The more personal we can make that based on what we know about you, it makes the experience more integrated for a customer.”
Motorola Solutions Inc (NYSE:MSI) and Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) are a couple other (of numerous) organizations that have tapped the Adobe Experience suite.
They will use it as a means of turning their respective websites not just into a collection of information for customers, but a dynamic, data-gathering sales tool in and of themselves.
Looking Ahead for ADBE Stock
To the average consumer, none of what Adobe’s Experience platform is obvious; that’s the point. To Adobe’s clients though, Adobe is a turn-key solution. It provides data and turns it data into marketing information that drives more sales, and does so cost-effectively.
And it’s this difference that makes ADBE stock so compelling now, where it may not have been in the distant past. Adobe is putting itself in its customers’ (current and prospective) shoes, asking “if I could have or do anything I wanted, what would that be?” and then delivering that product.
There’s no other outfit out there that offers a more complete and thoroughly thought-out platform.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can follow him on Twitter.