Thanks to The New York Times article yesterday — What Did Microsoft and Adobe Chiefs Talk About? — there are a lot of rumors flying about a potential merger between the two.
Although the hubbub surrounding this possibility is mostly about (1) the two teaming up to compete with Apple, particularly in the mobile space, and (2) the potential synergies between thousands of Microsoft .NET developers and thousands of Adobe Creative Suite users, I’m more intrigued by a third option: Microsoft finally getting into the marketing software business.
Adobe’s acquisition of Omniture last year led to the Adobe Online Marketing Suite (pictured below), and their pending acquisition of Day Software has the potential to add web content management (WCM) to the mix — all of it available as software-as-a-service (SaaS).
If Microsoft were to inherit this marketing SaaS portfolio — in addition to Adobe’s more well-known tools for creative development in marketing — they could give IBM a real run for its money (which is doing its own roll-up of marketing operations software with their recent acquisitions of Coremetrics and Unica).
Some of the potential synergies here:
- integrating online marketing with Microsoft’s new mobile platform
- enlisting the .NET developer community into marketing applications
- leveraging Bing as the #2 search engine in search engine marketing
- integrating with Microsoft Dynamics for the midsize enterprise market
- connecting the marketing suite with in-game marketing (such as Xbox)
- feeding marketing applications into Microsoft’s growing cloud services
I’d say that could lead to some very intriguing possibilities, no?
P.S. By the way, Mr. Ballmer, if you’d like to launch this new era of Microsoft online marketing SaaS with an amazing landing page management/conversion optimization platform — one built on the .NET platform, I might add — send me an email, let’s talk.