Dec 21

Dear Omniture – Note that this letter and your response, or its lack thereof will probably go public

As a result of this Quixotic Quest for a mobile analytics vendor,
I started the “Omniture” group on LinkedIn. Join Today!

Omniture – Adobe SocialAnalytics – Seriously dubious solution

Below is my correspondence with Omniture about:

  • Their sales process and how it failed.
  • About their own social presence and how it failed.
  • And about their whole attitude and how it failed.

I am not claiming anything with regards to Omniture SocialAnalytics as a tool…

But I have serious doubts about a company that claims to be the best in social analytics – yet its own brand monitoring is a month later than its competition’s.

I have even more serious reservations about their understanding of the whole social media world, if after 4 weeks of ranting, I can still go to LinkedIn and claim their brandname, Omniture, for a group. What kind of a Social tool is this going to be if the entire company lacks even the most basic understanding of social media?

And I have even more concern about a company where a senior manager promises “let me have a few days to see where we went wrong and how we have/will fix it”, and two weeks on I can happily go on ranting.

So here we go – in chronological order.

“Getting hold of Omniture” – It ain’t easy

Nov 1, 2011 at 6:54 PM, Name: Jack, Website: http://adobe.com, Subject: Getting hold of Omniture, Time: Tuesday November 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm, IP Address:


Sorry to see the problems with getting hold of us. I run marketing for europe. Interested in the page with the wrong number. We just moved office so should be fixed now. let me know if you want to talk to us still!

How to hide your business phone number from search engines – Like Omniture, insert it as an image

02 November 2011 09:52, To: Jack, Subject: Re: leftygbalogh.com

Hi Jack,
Thanks a lot for getting in touch.
Jack, this is a systemic issue, not a marketing one.
What I just did, right now was:

  1.   I ran a search for http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=adobe+sales+uk -> http://www.adobe.com/uk/aboutadobe/contact.html
  2.   Called the number – 0207 365 0735
  3. Went through the long list of press this, press that and finally got to someone in India
  4.   Told him I would like to talk to someone about Omniture…
  5.   His final question was for how many computers I wanted to buy a license – he clearly did not know what we were talking about
  6.   He passed me on to sales – whom I told that I wanted to talk to someone who is proficient in Omniture
  7.   The lady transferred me back to the same operator.

So I ran another search http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=adobe+omniture+sales+uk -> http://www.omniture.com/en/contact/sales

  1.   Called A very clever way from hiding your business phone number from search engines. (I also wonder how long it has been best practice to insert vital company information as an image, without even an ALT tag.)
  2.   It ends up in an answer-machine that asks me to leave details and they will call me back…

Is this what you expect of company that claims to offer the best analytics tool in the world? The whole sales process right now is like customer care in a state-owned utility company.

You know, I would have imagined that you guys were meticulous about your own analytics, that you would be doing what you preach. On the contrary. You do not care about offline conversions, even though a big part of the sales are conducted over the phone, and an even bigger part of the leads probably find you offline.

Also, how can you claim to be offering the best weapon-grade analytics tool with a global launch of the new social analytics in 8 days’ time, if your own brand monitoring is almost a month late compared to your competition. I got the first contact from your competition on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM. Yours came in on Tuesday November 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm.

I know you cannot change the system alone.
But this is your fight. “Following Adobe’s acquisition of Omniture in late 2009 I have expanded my responsibility to include marketing strategy and execution for all of Adobe’s Enterprise Digital Marketing products in EMEA. This includes the EMEA teams who market our Digital Marketing Suite and Web Experience Management solutions.” You have proved that you can rule your home turf. You will probably put up an incredible show at emetrics in London only 4 weeks from now, I won’t even be there.

But social media and the blogosphere are different. In social, your thumbs-up is only as good as mine, we are on an equal footing. Social media and the blogosphere is the moment of truth, and the truth is that there is an increasing resentment against the way you handle things. Three out of my top most read stories over the past month were the Omniture Saga:

That is a thousand visits from people who were curious about your product and got a really bad review.

I know I caused immense damage because it will be rather difficult to turn these people around into proper qualified leads that sales can follow up on. But if it helps you guys realise that having a great product is not enough, and the almighty brand does not rule it all, I’ll take the blame.

Thanks a lot for reading so far. Note that this letter and your response, or its lack thereof will probably go public.
Kind regards,

“Omniture’s goal is to respond to your enquiry, if still relevant, and then to fix our responsiveness issue that you raised” – At least be straight about it, and say, look you are too small, and we can’t be bothered

On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 10:26 AM, Jack wrote:

Got this, thanks Lefty for taking the time to detail the issues you had reaching the right person at Adobe. I see some of the responses we have made, when you spoke to Jill in September and Bob in October. I can connect you now again to Jill to help answer your questions if you need to.
I’m just in Italy at the moment launching Adobe SocialAnalytics. Please let me have a few days to see where we went wrong and how we have/will fix it. My goal is to respond to your enquiry, if still relevant, and then to fix our responsiveness issue that you raised. We may even ask you to test it again!

Thanks, Jack.

“Consider the value of my criticism and respond if you deem it to be worthy” – Obviously, it wasn’t

From Lefty, To Jack, cc Jill, date Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 11:45 AM, subject Re: leftygbalogh.com

Hi Jack,

Thanks a lot for the quick response.

I copied Jill’s response to my professional query to the bottom of this email. It is a different issue, I cannot possibly propose a 7-figure solution to the team. So Omniture is not a viable option for the current project at the moment. So in this respect, do not feel obliged to pursue this any further.

My rant was completely personal. And I disagree about this being a responsiveness issue.

It is an attitude problem – no person takes ownership.

It is a serious skill-set issue – in social and the blogoshpere, you are completely out of your depth. You are relying on people whose understanding of the dynamics is very limited:

None of these have got anything to do with the ability to respond. They are a lot more about the ability to effectively handle unpredictable situations that are beyond your control, and to do things proactively to protect your digital assetts.

You probably do not get emails like this every day, so take your time to consider the value of my criticism. Respond if you deem it to be worthy, otherwise, we’ll talk next time when I need to tender for an analytics solution.

Kind regards,

——————Jill’s response from September————————-

Hi Lefty,
I have spoken with one of our account managers and our Insight solution can be hosted on site by you and will provide you with the analytics you are looking for.
It will be a 7 figure solution. If this is in your budget I am happy to have our Insight Specialist reach out t you to discuss next steps.
Account Development Manager
Maidenhead, SL6 8AD

Conclusion to this never ending story

There are some people who think old school when it comes to PR. They have this idea that if they have enough money, they can load a big PR cannon with carefully crafted messages and it will work. Moreover, they also have the misconception that if something nasty crops up its head, criticism like mine, that if they keep quiet about it, it will go away.

Have I got bad news for you, Omniture… In social, these things do not go away. They are here to stay whether you like it or not. And they grow, whether you like it or not. And the more you ignore them, the faster they grow. Fail once and your customers will punish you a hundred times with reviews, 1 star ratings, rants on twitter… You could be a part of it, trying to understand what they are saying, trying to make amends where you could, trying to apologise where you can’t. However, if you choose to ignore it because your PR cannon needs reloading, you are doing it at your own peril.

1 comment

  1. Benjamin Gaines

    Hi Lefty,

    I don’t represent Adobe or Omniture in the social media space anymore, but I used to do exactly that. I’ve been following your blog posts for several weeks now, and figured I would give you my two cents since the series of posts trashing my former brand has reached considerable length.

    As Ben’s comment deserves quite some attention, I asked him to move it into a full post. Read the rest of his comment there.

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