Software company Adobe is best known for digital creation and distribution programs such as Acrobat, Photoshop and online imaging standard Flash. However, as growth of those products has slowed, the company has diversified aggressively into other areas such as web analytics, digital marketing and CRM through acquisitions including Omniture in 2010 and digital agency Efficient Frontier in 2011. Further such deals have followed. It added stock photo and illustration service Fotolia in 2015, while its acquisition of video advertising company TubeMogul for $540m was the single most valuable tech acquisition completed in 2016 by any purchaser. Commerce specialist Magneto joined the group in 2018, along with marketing analytics platform Marketo, Adobe's biggest deal to date at $4.7bn. The group was founded in 1982 by ex-Xerox software engineers John Warnock and Charles Geschke to develop PostScript, a page description language for printers, which itself evolved into the now-ubiquitous PDF format introduced a decade later. Adobe subsequently developed the Type 1 font family and drawing program Illustrator. Photoshop was introduced in 1989, followed by Acrobat in 1993. Since then, the company has expanded mainly through acquisitions, including Aldus (maker of PageMaker) in 1994 and Macromedia (Flash, DreamWeaver) in 2005. Several of these digital creation tools are now grouped under the banner of online platform Adobe Creative Cloud. The company's performance came under pressure after 2012 as a result of its shift from packaged software to online "software as a service" subscriptions for all its products. After a temporary lull in 2013, revenues have begun to soar once again, doubling over the course of four years to $9.0bn in fiscal 2018, while net income increased tenfold to $2.6bn. Digital media software under the Adobe Creative Cloud and Acrobat banners accounts for almost two-thirds of revenues. Founders Warnock and Geschke retired from executive roles in 2001 although they still remain directors. Shantanu Narayen is chairman & CEO.
Capsule checked 28th March 2019
Who are the competitors of Adobe? See IT Index for other companies.
Who handles Adobe's advertising? Find out more from Adbrands Account Assignments
Who are the marketing decisionmakers at Adobe? Find out more from Adbrands Account Assignments
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Adbrands Account Assignments track account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets.
Adbrands Social Media 5th Apr 2019: "In The Time It Takes To Get There". Oh, this is fabulous! Adobe and Pereira & O'Dell launched a promotion last year asking contestants to design a movie poster using Adobe software; the best would be made into a real film. Student Sam West's winning design has now been (very loosely) adapted by writer and director (and former 'Scrubs' star) Zach Braff, and boy has he done Sam proud. This fantastic film is a wicked satire on the evils of modern-day social media influencers, but set in some imaginary pre-internet epoque. No apparent reason for that but it adds hugely to the fun and also the look of the piece. The cast is led by Florence Pugh and Alicia Silverstone - both excellent - and there's even a cheeky cameo from Andy King, infamous producer of the ill-fated FYRE festival, which in itself encapsulated everything that's wrong with the world of the Instagram influencer. The film is 11 minutes long, but believe me, it's worth every minute. Could be our favourite ad of the year to-date.
Adbrands Weekly Update 27th Sep 2018: Adobe pushed back against its main rival in B2B sales marketing services Salesforce.com with a deal to acquire Marketo, a leading developer of CRM and marketing automation systems. The $4.75bn price tag makes it Adobe's biggest acquisition to-date. The new purchase will further expand Adobe's Marketing Cloud platform, with a system that helps marketing and sales teams find and develop new leads.
Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd Mar 2017: Ads of the Week "The Heist". Better leave your mobile at home next time you're thinking about doing something you shouldn't. The latest comedy gem from Goodby Silverstein for Adobe illustrates the advantages (some might call them disadvantages) of the modern Connected World. It's all part of Adobe's new Experience Cloud offering that links all your business processes. Just shows that B2B marketing doesn't need to be dull.
Adbrands Weekly Update 17th Nov 2016: Adobe continued to expand its digital marketing division with the acquisition of ad tech firm Tube Mogul for $540m. The company markets a leading software platform for planning and buying programmatic video advertising across online, digital TV and out-of-home networks. Adobe said the combination with its existing Marketing Cloud system will create "the first end-to-end independent advertising and data-management solution that spans TV and digital formats, simplifying what has been a complex and fragmented process for the world’s biggest brands".
Adbrands Weekly Update 30th Sept 2015: Ads of the Week "The Launch". Goodby Silverstein pokes more fun at undisciplined marketing strategies with another entertaining spot for Adobe Marketing Cloud. It's a bit broader in its humour, perhaps, than that last one about buying illegal hits for your website, but we all know that this sort of thing is worryingly close to the truth. The internet may be made of cats, but almost everything else is funded by advertising.
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