Adobe Marketing Cloud is getting an update with tools for both apps and location, an integral focus of any mobile experience.

With the new in-app messaging feature, marketers can now deliver location based "in-app" messages in order to create real-time engagement. It also allows one to do follow-ups with email campaigns, which likewise generate information on a customer's previous retail store negotiations and several other points of interest.

While it is true that this type of messaging is available in mobile marketing platforms, it has now been introduced for the first time to marketing clouds. Other newly created data-driven marketing features include multi-dimensional portfolio bidding, an intuitive dashboard and real-time mobile app testing.

Through in-app messaging, marketers are able to draft, manage, measure and publish in-app messages with consumers that interact using the apps. The feature, which is part of Adobe Mobile Services, allows messages to get triggered by life cycle metrics, user behaviors and location data that are gathered from iBeacons.

"With Intelligent Location Marketing we are delivering new, innovative ways for marketers to engage customers and prospects across mobile screens," said Adobe's vice president of digital marketing Suresh Vittal. "The tight integration of our six Marketing Cloud solutions gives Adobe the unique advantage to enable consistent, cross-channel experiences that keep the individual interests of customers in mind regardless of the device they are using."

Adobe Marketing Cloud is touted as the leader in the recent Marketing Cloud Wave report conducted by Forrester, which gave it the highest overall score. It is used by more than two thirds of Fortune 50 companies and is said to handle mobile transactions of 2.5 trillion every year. Globally, there are major brands that use mobile marketing innovations. These include Wyndham Hotel Group, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, NBCUniversal, First Energy, CBS Interactive, Apollo Education Group,, A+E Networks and more.

Apart from creating in-app messages, other mobile capabilities brought by the update include mobile campaign management, mobile app management, mobile search advertising, and Adobe social app.

Adobe aims to stay in the lead in cloud-based marketing automation. If there's competition in terms of app messaging with analytics that could come close enough, it would be the point-solution competitor Localytics. However, other marketing clouds such as Salesforce's can be a potential challenger as it also places a heavy emphasis on mobile and beacon-based marketing.

"Beacons aren't just changing the retail environment," said principle analyst Tamara Gaffney at ADI. "They're being used in other venues as well, such as travel and hospitality and sports stadiums. Location awareness is coming from everywhere, since people have their phones everywhere they go."

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