Adobe Makes Inroads Into Marketing Operations With New Acquisition

Multinational software giant Adobe is looking to further expand into the marketing sector with a new acquisition that will aid in bringing further efficiency, collaboration, and productivity to marketing teams.

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Adobe has announced it is set to make a $1.5 billion deal with Workfront to acquire the Utah-based marketing work management platform. Adobe and Workfront are longtime partners and have more than 1,000 shared customers.

The acquisition will see the San Jose-based tech company combine Workfront with Adobe Experience Cloud, which helps companies manage complex projects inside the marketing department, namely marketing operations. Most of the big marketing clouds haven’t traditionally focused on marketing operations in the past, making this acquisition a big deal beyond the mammoth price tag.

The Experience Cloud is an AI-powered platform for marketing, analytics, advertising, and commerce technologies. It provides tools to help manage, deliver, and optimize marketing experiences. It also connects all advertising into a single offering for media buying, unlocking deep insights from marketing data, and developing a seamless buying experience across multiple vendors.

“Adobe is the undisputed leader in content creation, management, delivery and measurement and a trusted partner to digital leaders around the globe,” said Anil Chakravarthy, the Head of Adobe’s Digital Experience Business and Worldwide Field Operations. “The combination of Adobe and Workfront will further accelerate Adobe’s leadership in customer experience management, providing a pioneering solution that spans the entire lifecycle of digital experiences, from ideation to activation.”

Founded in 2001, Workfront has 3,000 customers including big names like Home Depot, T-Mobile, and Deloitte. The company’s platform can be reconfigured as needed to support any team, region, project, or program across an enterprise.

The acquisition comes two years after two large acquisitions by Adobe. In 2018, Adobe acquired commerce software provider Magento for $1.68 billion. Later that same year, the company bought marketing automation company Marketo for $4.75 billion.

Workfront’s 960 employees will become part of the Adobe Experience Cloud. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of Adobe’s 2021 fiscal year, subject to regulatory approval and closing conditions. The two companies will operate independently, with Workfront Chief Executive Officer, Alex Shootman set to continue leading Workfront while reporting to Chakravarthy.