Is the Future of Marketing Distributed? Adobe Believes It Is; Acquires Workfront for $1.5 B


Adobe snaps up Workfront for $1.5 billion to bolster its Experience Cloud offerings

Adobe announced yesterday that it is acquiring the workflow management platform, Workfront, for a cool $1.5 billion. With over 3,000 customers and a million global users, Workfront has emerged as a solution of choice for marketers looking to streamline campaign management and execute complex workflows across teams.

In a recent press release issued by the companyOpens a new window , Adobe has emphasized the strategic importance of Workfront for its Experience Cloud. Adobe expects the acquisition to help bring efficiency, collaboration, and productivity gains to marketing teams struggling with siloed work management solutions.

Also read: 5 Reasons To Ditch Email for Project Collaboration

“Adobe is the undisputed leader in content creation, management, delivery, and measurement and a trusted partner to digital leaders around the globe,” said Anil Chakravarthy, executive vice president and general manager, Digital Experience Business and Worldwide Field Operations, Adobe. “The combination of Adobe and Workfront will further accelerate Adobe’s leadership in customer experience management, providing a pioneering solution that spans the entire lifecycle of digital experiences, from ideation to activation.”

Workfront’s platform is well suited for the current realities of the workplace where marketing teams are distributed, and the need for effective collaboration is more than ever before. Workfront’s significant experience in orchestrating marketing workflows positions it favorably in the current environment to drive marketing agility and execute seamless integration with third-party apps.

“Adobe and Workfront share a common affinity to help the modern marketer thrive in an ever-evolving, increasingly demanding setting,” said Alex Shootman, CEO, Workfront. “We’re excited to join Adobe and believe this will be a tremendous opportunity for our customers and partners.”

Also read: 4 Lessons Remote Work Can Teach Us About Cross-Functional Marketing

Once the deal is concluded (tentatively the first fiscal quarter of 2021), Alex Shootman, CEO at Workfront, will continue to lead the Workfront team and report to Anil Chakravarthy, EVP and General Manager at Adobe.

Did Adobe Just Place $1.5 Billion Bet on the Future of Marketing?

It would seem that Adobe’s acquisition of Workfront will allow it to offer its customers more online marketing tools through the Adobe Experience Cloud. Workfront can help marketers manage complex marketing projects within the organization. However, it is more likely that Adobe anticipates a distributed future of work or marketing teams particularly.

Adobe’s dominance in the graphics and visual software industry makes Workfront a valuable addition to its Experience Cloud, which includes marketing, advertising, and analytics software across rapidly developing areas. The acquisition will help the company add collaboration to its experience suite. During COVID-19, organizations found collaboration and communication as the keys to future success.

Through the pandemic, we witnessed Adobe make a few cuts to its advertising services that had a low-profit margin and said it had a new strategy of focusing on customers who used multiple Experience Cloud tools.

Also read: 3 Ways Collaboration Tools Can Help Pandemic-Era Managers Level Up

Workfront stands out from other productivity or workflow management tools like Asana, Basecamp or Trello in the regard that it is exclusively intended for marketers who also happen to be among Adobe’s largest user base.

Anil Chakravarthy, who will be overseeing the integration of Workfront into Adobe’s Experience Cloud, has stated in an interview that Workfront and Adobe share over 1,000 mutual customers.

It will be interesting to see how Workfront evolves in its new environment and if distributed marketing is indeed the future.