SAN JOSE -- Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) is spending $600 million in cash to buy a Paris-based company that helps companies provide a consistent marketing message over a wide range of voices -- from direct mailers to social media.

Adobe, which provides tools for digital media and has been expanding into data-driven marketing, signed its agreement with Neolane on Thursday and expects to close the deal in the third quarter of this year.

The two companies have been working together since Adobe became interested in digital marketing about four years ago, said John Mellor, Adobe's vice president of strategy and business development.

At the same time Neolane, which has 300 employees across offices in Paris, London and Boston, had been working for the last 12 years to help companies market a consistent message.

"We feel (Neolane's) the best of breed," Mellor said. "In a lot of ways, it's the only one that does this at the level of maturity and sophistication at which they do it."

Adobe's purchase of Neolane follows a series of deals designed to strengthen Adobe's push into digital marketing, which began with its acquisition of Omniture in 2009.

Acquiring Neolane will make it easier for Adobe to help companies solve the problem of sorting through their own consumer data to deliver a consistent message to individual customers, Mellor said.


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"You might get a direct marketing mailer for a new mortgage, but when you call into the call center they want to talk about credit cards," Mellor said. "Then you get an email about debt consolidation. You want to say, 'Guys, get it together.' The reality is it's a hard problem to solve. ... Neolane makes it so that if you want to go on vacation with your wife and kids ... you won't be getting a picture of a tiki bar at night talking about the single's scene."

Stéphane Dehoche, Neolane's CEO and co-founder, said in a statement that Adobe and Neolane already share many of Neolane's more than 400 customers.

"Combining our capabilities into Adobe Marketing Cloud will open up a level of visibility that makes these marketers' day-to-day work easier and more effective," Dehoche said.

Contact Dan Nakaso at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/dannakaso.