Friday, September 18, 2009

When Designers Buy Analysts

What is an Adoniture?

The big news this week in these parts was the acquisition of Omniture, the web-analytics company, by Adobe, the content creation company for $1.8 billion.

Here's the picture being used to explain the new beast - delivery and engagement are optimized/analyzed.

The above looks like a lot like embedding analytics into Content Distribution and it implies that the decision about what creative to use will be made AFTER consumers see it/use it.

At first glance this might seem just a bit odd: This would be like our Creative Director hiring me.

Is this a good thing?

On the rational and paper side of things:
  • both companies need a new way to grow; analytics and designing are mature markets.
  • both needed a broader portfolio to compete with the likes of IBM's 4,000 strong analytic consultancy
  • Omniture's new target market - the CMO - fits with Adobe's existing market - the creative
  • both companies love agencies (but for different reasons)
  • the idea of convergence of design and analytics is attractive
Why might this not be such a good idea?

On the human side of things:
  • radically different cultures emerge when selling a $100,000 product and a $1,000 product; not to mention UT and CA
  • clearly not a merger, but rather one group to subsume the other - expect an exodus of people as soon as options vest
  • the process of creating content will change because the objective is different;
  • this model suggests that 10x the versions will be requested to find what works; it will become mechanistic
On the business side:
  • the companies don't sell to the same person or thru the same buying process
  • optimizing web traffic, user flows and ecommerce aren't usually the art director's job.
  • it is damn near impossible for an enterprise software company (Omniture) to go down market into the SMB world
  • retrofitting an old-school approach to web analytics to the nuances of content distribution will be very hard
  • page views (the guts of Omniture's pricing model) aren't relevant in a chunked or engaging world
  • still some missing pieces, but nothing another acquisition couldn't resolve, e.g. ad server or offline media
On the marketing side:
  • it is now very confusing just what an 'Adoniture' is; people will not combine two existing pigeon holes in their brain
  • in the age of open source, APIs, and bits it is hard to see how this could be unique with a significant barrier to entry.
  • the markets (Fortune 100 vs. creative shops) cannot be rationalized into one; hard to see new/under-served consumers
I like the idea. The question on our white boards for education and B2B clients: How can we a track a chunk of content thru social media sharing?