Salesforce vs Adobe Marketing Cloud

We are at an exciting juncture, enterprises are turning (more) digital. CMOs are concerned about innovative-n-engaging apps that connects brand with customers and CTOs are now concerned about security of data which is gradually moving on the cloud. The change isn’t voluntarily; consumers no more respond to whats tried & tested. We are now digital & hence marketing paradigms are shifting!

In the midst of rapid change in customer behavior, we have IT playing a major role in the guild of Business & Technology.

By 2016, advertisers will spend as much on interactive marketing as they do on television advertising today. Investment in search marketing, display advertising, email marketing, mobile marketing, and social media will near $77 billion and represent 35% of all advertising, as interactive channels gain legitimacy in the marketing mix.

Forrester Report


Marketing Cloud

I was introduced to Salesforce Marketing Cloud pretty early around last year at Dreamforce. However, not very late I got to know about Adobe’s Digital Marketing suite as well, that named itself ‘Marketing Cloud’ !! I was curious to know about both and the difference.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Both of them are amalgamation of different product softwares acquired by respective giants & what seems similar in both solutions are – “to listen, analyze and engage with customers and prospects. Turn social conversations into dynamic engagements that strengthen customer relationships. Also measure the efforts & returns on investment precisely.” Marketing Cloud

SFDC acquired Radian6 in around March 2011. Checkout Why I love Radian6, a post I wrote last year; Radian6 is world’s leading social CRM solution that converges conversations from all your customers and prospects from all social medias into a single dashboard for you to act upon. Later SFDC also acquired Buddy Media in June 2012 which focused on helping brands manage their social media presence using CRM-like tools and dashboards. (Lazerow tells his own remarkable story & about the acquisition)

Combine the power of two (Radian6 + Buddy Media) along with Salesforce Sales and Service Cloud and what you get is Marketing Cloud. World’s first unified social marketing suite. Here is how Salesforce explains this

Adobe Marketing Cloud

Adobe Marketing Cloud
Adobe Marketing Cloud

Adobe invested $2 billion in bringing the systems and people together, including acquisitions of Omniture, Day Software, Efficient Frontier, and Auditude. And they mention it as ‘true’ Marketing Cloud. Adobe Marketing Cloud offers a complete package of analytics, social, advertising, targeting, and web experience management products. It is a work that sums up Digital Marketing, pretty much and a true breakthrough part of Adobe’s business that brings marketing and creative teams together online to share campaign data, update creative work, and socialize progress within their own teams to enhance personalization and optimization.

They have also aired amazing ads to promote this. Here are a couple of them.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud vs Adobe Marketing Cloud

Both and Adobe have tried to offer a solution to problems faced by today’s technology aware marketers; however none is yet a one stop solution. I wont comment on which one of the two is better – that’s never my job as a consultant – but depends on the marketers’ objectives waiting to be achieved. On one hand Adobe has its own tool for analytics (Omniture), Salesforce uses Clarabridge integration which has its own limitations. Conversely  Salesforce has Sales and Service Cloud well in sync with Marketing Cloud – Adobe is yet to have a seamless traditional CRM integration capability. Salesforce has its own Content Management System (, Adobe has Day Software as a CMS! Difficult to say who wins..

Salesforce Marketing Cloud emphasizes more on customer engagement, interaction & converting prospects into customers (for life); on the other hand Adobe Marketing Cloud positions itself as solution that not only does engagement part of it but also focuses on metrics & ROI.

Among these two marketing solutions; Hubspot, Neolane, Aprimo, Campaign Monitor, Kenshoo, eCircle, Optify, ethinos & many more are operating in same environment providing their niche service solutions which ideally can be clubbed with any of the two to plug in gaps. I foresee some voids to be filled by more innovative product companies, some of them merging into or acquiring one another; and marketing solutions-cum-IT shall mature in time to come.

Whats your take?

Satyam is a Consultant with Infosys Ltd. and editor / founder of When he is not talking about Digital Marketing or dreaming of CRM strategies, he can be found on a treadmill. He enjoys travelling, reading and listening to music! Catch up with him on twitter at @xatyam