One of the first questions a client asks when I recommend solutions of the Adobe Marketing Cloud is, “How much does the Adobe Marketing Cloud cost?”
“If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”
-Joe Gunchy, the world’s worst Multi-Solution Architect (read more about Joe here)
Adobe generally will not just give you pricing for a few reasons. One, they will not lose a deal to a competitor on price alone. Their words, not mine. Second, they sometimes offer discounts for bundling solutions if you’re procuring more than one product, which you eventually will. In fact, it’s estimated that 83% of Adobe’s top clients own three or more solutions of their marketing cloud.
Some accounts may not have a dedicated Account Executive (AE) tied to your client. Whether you get an AE or not is determined by who your client is and what major industry vertical they operate within. The sales team is divided into Adobe’s strategic accounts (the top ~60 global accounts across all verticals), vertical-specific accounts, and the rest of you. Knowing this is important because the AE is not only responsible for managing the overall relationship with the client, but also helps provide the coordination and orchestration of the individual Solution Sales Representatives to execute against your digital strategy. See also: bundling.
When there is not a dedicated AE, the wrangling of sales reps may come from you, which looks just like this:
To start the pricing conversation with Adobe, some pre-work needs to be done by you (and client) before you ever engage with the sales team. Each solution is priced differently, requiring some product-specific information gathering. Here’s a good starting point:
Analytics: Number of server calls per year. Page views is a good proxy (also include mobile SDK usage and secondary server calls for multiple report suites).
Target: Server calls per year. Number of page views per year is a good proxy (also include mobile SDK usage and secondary call usage (like email integration)).
Campaign: # of active contact records, they don’t charge CPM. It is also product tiered (Standard/Premium/Ultimate)*
*Adobe has gone through more name changes than P. Diddy. -me
Media Optimizer: % of spend display, search and social. CRM for Dynamic Creative Optimization (number of records). Per click charged for click tracking on non-managed channels (redirects from emails, search engines, etc. – for attribution tracking)
Audience Manager: based on events (page views, log ingestion events, CRM ingestion events, etc)
Social: Price based on number of social profiles (Facebook accounts and twitter handles) and users of the solution (seats).
AEM Sites (On-premise)
- number of content authors
- page views per day (if there are peaks that we should be concern about)
- Page caching level (usually 95% and higher)
- Require Commerce Framework or connector
- Require Multi-site manager – charged for Author only
- number of asset users / workflow users
- number of assets being working on or changed daily
- Is there a need for Branding portal – SAAS offering
- Is there a need for Asset Share – publish instance required
- Dynamic Media or S7 – SAAS by monthly server calls
- InDesign Server – catalog producer or InDesign manipulation
- Number of instances to support the volume
- For Enablement Module – number of users
AEM Forms – licensed by CPU Core
- Number of transaction per day
- Complexity of the form
- Use cases (1-3 apps; department solution; enterprise solution)
For AEM Managed Services, also consider:
- SLA – 99.5% (basic), or 99.99% (BIG price difference here. Choose wisely based on your client’s needs)
- Amount of storage requirement – primary for AEM Assets
- Additional environments – dev, test, …
- Additional backup requirements
- Additional network I/O
- Additional CDN (Cloudfront) storage
- Additional CEE hours – for the managed services staff
Don’t forget to allocate a bucket of consulting hours for potential engagement of Adobe Professional Services for provisioning, setup, and guidance. That’s a nice way of saying, “Don’t F it up.”
I skipped school the day they taught writing concise conclusions, so instead I’ll leave you with this picture from 2017 Adobe Summit. Here’s me and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen:
Shantanu: Yo, Brad. What’s good, homie? Can I take a picture with you?
Me: Fine. Make it quick. Ryan Gosling is about to give a crappy interview…