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Adobe and Microsoft Deepen Ties to Leapfrog Salesforce in Account-Based Experience (ABX)

Adobe, Microsoft, and LinkedIn are teaming up to enable account-based experiences (ABX) via deep integrations across all three platforms. A LinkedIn integration with Adobe's products assists in locating potential customers who can then leverage Microsoft Dynamics to execute the deals.

One advantage that Salesforce holds in the digital marketing space is its solutions also contain native CRM and Service product offerings that can be bundled and integrated in a relatively straightforward manner, making the sole source approach an attractive proposition for potential clients.

In response, Adobe has conducted in-depth research and believes that the key to advancing B2B marketing is the evolution from Account Based Marketing (ABM) to the ABX strategy illustrated here:

Source: CMO by Adobe

This illustration depicts the transformation from a linear-based hand-over of leads from Marketing to Sales to a re-defined vision with a much broader and intertwined relationship between Sales and Marketing designed to drive a sharp focus on target accounts collectively.

In the words of Adobe, “In an ABX strategy, both sales and marketing must focus on serving the same set of target accounts. Marketing shifts from generating leads to crafting personalized content. Sales move from pitching product capabilities to having highly relevant use-case conversations based on customers' buying signals and content consumption.”

Sounds great right? Well, the outcome is indeed a desirable one; however, the path to reach "ABX nirvana" may not be a straightforward one, based on Adobe's depiction of the required system level architecture:

Source: CMO by Adobe

Our Take

Salesforce has a built-in advantage of being able to offer a comprehensive suite solution that ties together digital marketing, CRM, and Sales capabilities from a single vendor. Adobe and Microsoft are extending their existing collaboration through a LinkedIn integration to tie together Adobe's best in class Digital Marketing Platform with Microsoft's evolving Dynamics 365 for Sales offering. The resulting product seeks to extend beyond traditional ABM into a more personalized and targeted ABX approach that may yield an overall lower marketing spend while increasing the customer prospect pipeline.

Adobe and Microsoft must prove that such a complex set of application and data integrations is worth the cost, both in terms of licensing and resources, for this bet to pay off.


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