Microsoft, Adobe join hands to take on Salesforce’s cloud marketing software

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Saurabh Joshi
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Adobe Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have partnered up against their common rival Salesforce and will be supporting one another in a bid to solidify their place in the cloud-based marketing space.

Adobe and Microsoft hope to make it easier for users of Adobe’s marketing software to find and target teams of potential customers for business goods on LinkedIn, by planning to leverage Microsoft’s $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016 to integrate Adobe’s marketing software with the social media platform. The move, according to officials, would “empower B2B marketers and sellers to easily identify, understand and engage B2B customer buying teams.”

“The LinkedIn network is one of those clear holy grails” for business marketers, Steve Lucas, senior vice-president of digital experience at Adobe and former chief executive officer of Marketo, a business-to-business marketing software firm that Adobe acquired last year for US$4.75bil (RM19.36bil), told Reuters. “It has just become such a huge lever for B-to-B marketers that it would be impossible for us to ignore it.”

While this partnership is being as a major step in both Microsoft’s and Adobe’s capabilities in the B2B arena, experts claim this is also a chance for them to take a collective shot at Salesforce. Widely considered as the top player in the customer relationship management industry, Salesforce’s cloud software offerings are best known for their sales and marketing capabilities. Teaming up against a shared competitor, Adobe and Microsoft hope their newly combined integration with LinkedIn will be enough to sway marketing and sales teams hoping to work with big companies.

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