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Enterprise Software: What are Adobe, Oracle, and SAP advertising?

March 26 2020 by Sarah Fleishman
Adobe, SAP, and Oracle's digital advertising strategy
Adobe, SAP, and Oracle's digital advertising strategy

As competition and cash flows increase for global enterprises, so have the needs and budgets for enterprise software. That’s why this market—though already enormous—is still considered to be in a blooming phase with room to grow to a projected $634 billion by 2023. This week, we’re taking a look at the advertising behaviors of three of the top players in the enterprise software market: Adobe, Oracle, and SAP. 

Adobe invests head and shoulders above the rest

Within a 30 day period, Adobe has spent almost $5.8 million in digital advertising.

Adobe digital advertising spend compared to Oracle and SAP
Adobe’s capital investments appear to be paying off in terms of impression volume compared to Oracle and SAP.

Adobe creative cloud

So what has Adobe been spending so much on? In the past 30 days, Adobe has introduced a whopping 577 new creatives compared to SAP’s 109 and Oracle’s 46. Overwhelmingly, these creatives promote the Adobe Creative Cloud rather than their advertising or digital experience offerings. Many different campaigns have been deployed onFacebook, desktop display, and video platforms to promote the Creative Cloud, though the company’s digital document management solutions are getting some love, too. 

The display creative above for Adobe’s full creative suite certainly is eye-catching, but the top creative by far between mid-February and mid-March was a paid Facebook post promoting Photoshop alone. The spend over this period for this single ad is over $775,000, though almost all of this spend occurred during the first couple of weeks of the period. So what’s been a bigger focus lately? 

Screen Shot 2020-03-17 at 3.48.27 PM


The top 2 video creatives are both part of the Make the Leap campaign, also promoting different parts of the Adobe Creative Cloud. They’re punchy and colorful, and messaging highlights how fulfilling the creative process feels rather than just “focusing so much on creating the perfect thing.” It’s a clear reach to young professionals, both because of the audio-visual appeal and the encouraging messaging.

Adobe Make the Leap Campaign

From the Make the Leap campaign, in this case promoting Adobe Lightroom.

In the past week, another video campaign has started to become a focus for Adobe as well, this time promoting Adobe Reader. It’s hashtaggable title, Edit Like a Boss, also points to Adobe’s trendy, on-the-pulse image as an advertiser. In the enterprise software market, this identity helps Adobe stand apart.

Scan like a boss, edit like a boss - Adobe Campaign

Oracle targets executives to generate demand for Oracle Cloud

Which brings us back to the more traditional firms in our enterprise software advertising analysis. Oracle spent 25 times less on digital advertising in the past 30 days than Adobe. It makes sense, then, that their campaigns would have a narrower focus.

Nine out of its top 10 creatives in the past 30 days share the same visual identity and direct possible new customers to Oracle Cloud case studies. The company was notoriously late to the cloud infrastructure and platform game, but cloud subscriptions do appear to be driving growth according to Oracle’s most recent earnings report. 

Screen Shot 2020-03-17 at 3.49.08 PM

All Oracle’s eggs are in the Cloud basket, except for that one about an Oracle blog.

Rather than focusing on Facebook and Youtube like Adobe, Oracle’s placements for these creatives appear predominantly on the website for the Wall Street Journal. This placement choice, as well as the use of a more classic visual identity, complements the purpose of generating demand for Oracle Cloud. With its budget, Oracle appears to be targeting older decision-makers rather than younger end users.

SAP goes all-in on Experience Management 

SAP’s level of spend on advertising was higher than but comparable to Oracle’s, and it also shared a pretty singular focus promoting one offering—Experience Management. This product offers an inside look into what a company’s customers and employees are thinking in order to better serve their needs. SAP’s top 10 creatives in the past 30 days were all videos dedicated to this effort. 

SAP digital advertising

Like Oracle, most of SAP’s Experience Management ads display on the Wall Street Journal website, but the company also has a strong presence on LinkedIn, Forbes, and Yahoo. Both in terms of placements and the choice to invest in video creatives, SAP appears to fall somewhere in between Adobe’s trendy approach and Oracle’s traditional one. This may be paying off for SAP—in spite of spending about 50% more on their advertisements, SAP’s creatives received double the impressions compared to Oracle.

Bigger Investments, Wider Returns

Ultimately, it’s clear that Adobe’s much larger budget for digital advertising gives the company an opportunity to run multiple well-planned thematic campaigns around different products. Between these three enterprise software companies, it’s clear they all understand the importance of creating a consistent campaign identity with its own distinct library of creatives to push what’s important to them right now, whether that’s Oracle Cloud, SAP’s Experience Management platform, or Adobe’s Reader and Creative Cloud.

Learn More

How would you feel about having a dashboard that shows you in-depth digital advertising data from hundreds of advertisers? Pathmatics Explorer offers insights on the enterprise software industry—and every other industry that buys digital ads. Schedule a custom insights session to see how advertising data can inform your company’s decisions.

Data taken from Pathmatics Explorer covering 30 days and two weeks prior from March 12, 2020.

About Author

Sarah Fleishman

With over a decade of experience across digital marketing, content, creative, and PR, Sarah is a creative and dynamic thinker who loves to delight clients with unique and relatable content. Sarah graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Sociology.

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