Microsoft and Adobe are teaming up to make it easier for users of Adobe’s marketing software to find and target potential customers for business goods on Microsoft’s LinkedIn, thereby fighting their common competitor Salesforce.com Inc.

What Is Salesforce?

Salesforce is a market leading American cloud-based CRM platform. The company’s 2018 revenue was $10.5 billion, most of which came from sales of the CRM platform itself although the company also makes a lot of its revenue from selling other applications that work with the platform.

Adobe

California-based multinational Adobe Inc. became most widely known for products like Photoshop, but the company has more recently turned its attention to making the software used for business marketing campaigns e.g. Adobe Experience Cloud and Advertising Cloud Creative. The recent acquisition of leading marketing automation platform Marketo by Adobe for nearly $5 billion has meant that there has been a coming-together of Adobe Experience Cloud’s content personalisation capabilities and Marketo’s lead engagement and account-based marketing. This has enabled Adobe to work better at combining data and personalisation in its products, thereby giving it some more of the pieces that it needed to challenge big marketing automation players such as Oracle and Salesforce.

Microsoft

Microsoft is known, of course, for its Window OS and Office suite, but it also has Dynamics 365 which is software that allows salespeople to track deals. One major and vital asset that it can bring together with Adobe to tackle Salesforce is the LinkedIn platform, which Microsoft acquired in 2016 for $26 billion.  This platform is used as a valuable tool by business-to-business marketers to generate new business and is a very powerful and tempting asset to have access to for any company that is seriously looking to become a major contender in the marketing automation market.

Combined

Market analysts have noted that the combined effort of Adobe and Microsoft will essentially mean that it will be much easier for users of Adobe’s marketing software to find and target teams of potential customers for business goods via LinkedIn. The integration of Adobe and Microsoft will allow them to fill in the gaps that either company had in making marketing content (via Adobe) and being able to target large numbers of B2B prospects (via Microsoft’s LinkedIn), thereby enabling them to bring a much broader offering to market against Salesforce.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

If you’re a business-to-business marketer the synergy and broad scope offered by the joining of these two companies could provide a level of value and potential leverage that surpasses that of the current market leader, Salesforce.  The move looks set to cause a serious stir in the marketing automation market and could prove lucrative for Microsoft and Adobe, as well as providing new knowledge insights and opportunities to both companies that could shape further product developments.