Adobe Amps Up Facebook Ads With Efficient Frontier Buy

Adobe Systems is acquiring Efficient Frontier, bringing together a leader in software for digital media creation with a Facebook advertising management platform.

The deal accelerates Adobe’s entrance into display advertising on Facebook with Efficient Frontier’s tools for optimizing bids on ads for achieving a better return on investment.

Speaking of ROI, the financial terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.

In May, Efficient Frontier had acquired Context Optional, which creates software focused on social engagement. The combination of these two with Adobe results in a rather comprehensive array of tools for advertising on Facebook.

Here’s what the companies’ official press release has to say about the deal:

Adobe Systems Incorporated today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Efficient Frontier, a leader in multi-channel ad buying and optimization. Adobe solutions are central to how digital marketing and advertising is created, managed, executed, measured and optimized. Adobe currently captures approximately five trillion digital transactions per year for more than 5,000 customers, including many of the world’s largest advertisers, publishers and advertising agencies.

The acquisition of Efficient Frontier will add multi-channel ad campaign forecasting, execution and optimization capabilities to Adobe’s existing Digital Marketing Suite. Along with the suite, Adobe’s digital marketing capabilities include an enterprise-class datamanagement platform, a leading video ad management and monetization platform, and an enterprise content management system.

Adobe will continue to build upon the foundation of its independent ad buying and optimization platform for search, social and display, to enable the company to offer a more complete suite of capabilities to digital marketers, advertisers and publishers for reporting and analytics, personalized experiences, multi-channel campaign management and media monetization. “With the explosion in global Internet advertising, our customers need to know where, when and how to spend their digital marketing dollars to get the greatest return,” said Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager of Adobe’s digital marketing business. “The addition of Efficient Frontier will give our Digital Marketing Suite customers a leading platform for turning ad spend into business
impact.”

“Adobe’s vision of digital marketing is perfectly aligned with the Efficient Frontier approach – use data and intelligence to manage risk and drive ROI across a growing number of digital channels,” said David Karnstedt, president and chief executive officer of Efficient Frontier. “Adobe customers will have greater insight into how their social, search and display spend impact one another and how to optimize their crosschannel campaigns.”

Efficient Frontier will bring to Adobe a social ad buying capability for Facebook, which leverages Efficient Frontier’s optimization algorithms to predict results and drive greater ROI. Additionally, a marketer can upload various creative elements into the solution and it will automatically generate ad combinations. These capabilities will be integrated with the Facebook ad buying functionality currently available with Adobe SearchCenter Plus.

The acquisition will also bring a social marketing engagement platform, offering customers tools and services to help them build, manage, monitor and measure their brand presence across the social web. Adobe will combine this social engagement capability with Adobe Social Analytics, an analytics solution that moves beyond social monitoring to tie social media to business results.

The Adobe Digital Marketing Suite features a paid search management solution, SeachCenter Plus. Efficient Frontier will extend this search capability with a complementary search portfolio optimization system. These solutions will be combined, creating a market-leading search optimization solution that scales from mid-market to the largest enterprises and agencies.

Efficient Frontier brings its experience in search optimization to display advertising with a real-time bidding system to increase ad performance on major display inventory sources. This bidding system utilizes Efficient Frontier’s algorithms, which will learn using site traffic and conversion data from the Adobe Digital Marketing Suite, and will complement the Adobe Dynamic Ad Targeting solution which dynamically generates display ads with personalized messaging and offers. The integration of Efficient Frontier and Adobe Digital Marketing Suite capabilities will give customers a more complete view of their display advertising campaigns and provide a unified ad-to-site optimization system to increase qualified clicks and conversion rates.

The auction-based buying process for search, display and social media puts marketers under pressure to decide what and where to bid. Efficient Frontier takes the guesswork out of the process by using an algorithmic approach to generate optimized bids and allocate budget across digital channels for maximum return on investment. The customizable algorithms are built on the marketer’s historical performance data from the search, display, and social marketplaces as well as conversion data from the marketer’s websites and offline sources. The Efficient Frontier algorithms will especially benefit from the clickstream data and conversion metrics captured by the Adobe Digital Marketing Suite. Adobe customers will be able to develop predictive models and simulations that are highly accurate and actionable.

The completion of the transaction, which is subject to customary government approvals and the satisfaction of other customary conditions, is expected to close in the first quarter of Adobe’s 2012 fiscal year. The potential financial impact to Adobe of this transaction is not reflected in financial targets previously provided by Adobe. Until the transaction closes, each company will continue to operate independently and additional information regarding the potential financial impact to Adobe will be provided following the completion of the transaction.

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