Live from Adobe Summit: The future of B2B marketing is buying groups

A photo from Adobe 2024 Summit showing the Summit branding on stage.
James T Fletcher
CEO, Principal Consultant


Just announced at #AdobeSummit 2024 is the launch of a brand new B2B product Adobe Journey Optimizer (AJO) B2B Edition. Read on to find out what this means for you!

What is AJO B2B edition?

Adobe Journey Optimizer (AJO) is Adobe’s customer journey orchestration tool for B2C. This new edition inherits and takes advantage of some of its capabilities and transforms it into a solution for B2B businesses who want to kick off an account based marketing (ABM) strategy that really works.

Put simply, AJO B2B Edition is a world-first in allowing B2B marketers to target buying groups and orchestrate effective buying group journeys. Adobe’s Badsah Mukherji said that feedback from Adobe’s B2B customers said the account was too high level (typically identified & tracked in CRM or in Marketo Target Account Management), and the person record (typically in Marketo) far too granular.

Introducing technology specifically to target the buying-group

Many B2B organisations have multiple products or services, and within one account that buying-group, or decision team may be different. Let’s say selling a global private networking service sold to the IT team, whereby the decision maker is the CTO, the influencers are the IT Manager and Network Manager. This may differ to another product/service targeted to a different buying group.

Overview of Adobe Journey Optimizer B2B Edition structure and capabilities.

From MarOps to RevOps

This is the first time we’re seeing the evolution of Marketing Operations (MOps) and Sales Operations (SOps) converge into Revenue Operations (RevOps). I know, I know, a few too many acronyms.

Ultimately what this means is that marketing and sales teams will finally have a single interface to act as a co-ordinated revenue team.

Buying groups will be created within Adobe Journey Optimizer B2B Edition by RevOps, they will be structured as ‘sales plays’ or ‘motions’ which will be aligned to your products or services, with specific buying groups.

The data will be sourced from Adobe’s B2B Customer Data Platform (CDP), which will integrate more comprehensively with Marketo Engage and other core marketing technology platforms.

Channel expansion

AJO B2B Edition will also integrate additional channels beyond those already found in Marketo Engage such as SMS, WhatsApp and LinkedIn. This will mean a more modern personalized omni-channel experience that will create demand with higher precision than most current ABM approaches.

Consolidated, digestible sales insights

Example of buying groups in Salesforce CRM when using Adobe Journey

Working with Sales to define buying groups is a critical step for success, a new interface native to CRM will enable sales to add, remove or change roles within a buying group. Plus Adobe’s GenStudio artificial intelligence will drive summaries, helping sales identify who and when to engage.

Hang on, what does this mean for Marketo Engage?

Marketo Engage remains the core B2B engagement engine within the Adobe Customer Journey portfolio. AJO B2B edition has been designed to be co-operative with Marketo Engage, including new data points that will improve targeting and profiling of Person records in Marketo Engage.

B2B Revenue marketing is ABM, but a notch down!

While B2B revenue marketing shares common ground with traditional ABM strategies, the introduction of AJO B2B Edition marks a refinement in approach, offering a more targeted and personalized solution. This evolution represents a strategic shift towards a more scalable and effective means of engaging buying groups within B2B accounts, promising improved accuracy and engagement in driving revenue.

Does this replace Target Account Management?

The use case of target account management is currently considered different to that of AJO B2B Edition. One thing that sets it apart is that it doesn’t require the B2B CDP.

A few points to be aware of…

  • You’re going to need Adobe’s Customer Data Platform (CDP) for v1, though the product team are exploring enabling non Adobe CDP integrations as future roadmap.
  • This is a new product, meaning more budget will be required, and likely a strong business case around ABM. However the benefits will show themselves in short time with improved accuracy, engagement and a real ABM motion that will scale.
  • The AJO B2C Email builder will come to B2B including GenAI capabilities, it will have the ability to source existing content from Marketo Engage and maximise existing assets from AEM.
  • Buying group predictions will come, but you will need to have a solid idea from the start to get this up and running.

Need more information about what this might mean to you and your #B2BMarketing team? As an #AdobePartner we at JTF Marketing can help – drop us a message via our Contact Us form and we’ll be in touch!