For­rester Research recently pub­lished “The For­rester Wave™: Social Rela­tion­ship Plat­forms (SRP), Q2 2013”. Adobe Social was one of just eight ven­dors selected for eval­u­a­tion, and received a Strong Per­former rank­ing for ver­sion 2.1 of its plat­form, released in Q4 2012. Across Forrester’s four cat­e­gories (Risky Bets, Con­tenders, Strong Per­form­ers, and Lead­ers), Strong Per­former was the high­est des­ig­na­tion given in this evaluation.

So what does this mean? The For­rester report is clear on the fact that “mar­keters need help man­ag­ing their branded social pres­ences” and that “social rela­tion­ship plat­form ven­dors offer tools that help mar­keters effi­ciently and respon­si­bly expand their social capa­bil­i­ties”. But the For­rester report is equally clear on the fact that there are no clear lead­ers in the space—many good solu­tions, yes, but none that get every­thing right. This rep­re­sents a big oppor­tu­nity to fill a leader posi­tion by dri­ving inno­va­tion and lead­er­ship in the market—an oppor­tu­nity Adobe Social is aggres­sively pursuing.

Specif­i­cally, we are focused on mak­ing social media mar­ket­ing more scal­able and more reportable for enter­prise com­pa­nies. And we’re deliv­er­ing results in the fol­low­ing ways:

  1. Inte­grated mea­sure­ment and report­ing: The For­rester report rec­og­nized Adobe for its “best-in-class” social mea­sure­ment capa­bil­i­ties. One of the great­est chal­lenges brands cur­rently face is the abil­ity to effec­tively mea­sure the impact of their social efforts. Fully inte­grated with Adobe Ana­lyt­ics, Adobe Social helps con­nects the dots between social inter­ac­tions and web­site activity.
  2. Strat­egy and Pro­fes­sional Ser­vices: Adobe doesn’t stop with soft­ware. The For­rester report gave Adobe Social the high­est score pos­si­ble for pro­fes­sional ser­vices, and noted that we view ser­vices as “a long-term part of [our] social offer­ing”. We offer strate­gic guid­ance and tac­ti­cal sup­port in areas like social KPI rec­om­men­da­tions, com­pet­i­tive analy­ses, com­mu­nity man­age­ment and mod­er­a­tion, ana­lyt­ics, and creative.
  3. Prod­uct Strat­egy: For­rester rec­og­nized the strength of Adobe Social’s prod­uct strat­egy, which is focused on exten­sive part­ner­ships and global, multi-platform deliv­ery. The report stated that being part of Adobe “ensures that [Adobe Social] has all the right part­ner­ships and cer­ti­fi­ca­tions”. We already have a rich inte­gra­tion with Adobe Ana­lyt­ics and are focused on deeper inte­gra­tions in the near-term with the rest of the Mar­ket­ing Cloud, as well as Adobe Cre­ative Cloud.

Of course, there are a few areas in which we can improve, and we are focused on sev­eral ongo­ing efforts and strate­gic pri­or­i­ties, including:

  1. Usabil­ity and col­lab­o­ra­tion. Adobe Social 3.0, which will arrive this sum­mer, will unveil a com­pletely over­hauled UI, includ­ing a mobile-optimized browser expe­ri­ence, opti­mized col­lab­o­ra­tion work­flows, a feature-rich con­tent cal­en­dar, and smarter design and usabil­ity across the board.
  2. Evolv­ing social data to busi­ness insight. We’re work­ing to turn the vast amounts of social data we col­lect into more intu­itive, action­able insights for mar­keters with a new inte­grated ana­lyt­ics dash­board and smarter data orga­ni­za­tion and deliv­ery across data sources.
  3. Account kick-off. We are improv­ing the tim­ing and con­tent of startup train­ing deliv­ery for all cus­tomers, and will be offer­ing more ongo­ing cus­tomer train­ing ses­sions too.

The Wave has also left us with a clear direc­tive: con­tinue to address cus­tomer needs and pri­or­i­ties, and drive inno­va­tion and suc­cess within the SRP mar­ket­place. You can down­load and read a copy of the full report here.

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