At least one analyst said the acquisition ‘fundamentally resets the competitive playing field’ for B2B martech buyers and vendors.
With the announcement Thursday that Adobe is buying Marketo, the world of major marketing platforms looks different.
“This deal,” wrote IDC Sales Technology Research Director Gerry Murray and Program Vice President Melissa Webster in a blog post today, “solidifies Adobe’s position as the market leader in marketing campaign management.”
“The conversation is over,” they said.
While there might appear to be “functional overlaps” between Marketo and Adobe Campaign, they pointed out, Marketo is focused on B2B and Adobe on B2C, providing the kind of dual engines that Oracle has with its B2B Eloqua and its B2C Responsys or Salesforce with B2B Pardot and B2C ExactTarget/Marketing Cloud.
“This acquisition,” Marketo CEO Steve Lucas said in an email to customers, “brings together the richness of Adobe Experience Cloud analytics, content, personalization, advertising, and commerce capabilities with Marketo’s lead management and account-based marketing technology.” He added that there will be “no immediate change” for Marketo’s customers in “the immediate future.”
Even if Adobe is now the leader in campaign management, Hubspot VP and MarTech Conference Chair Scott Brinker told me, it’s “likely that Marketo will remain separate from Adobe Campaign, as Adobe’s B2B and B2C solutions respectively.”
Helping in two B2C areas
A key competition Adobe needs to address is the growing alliance between Salesforce and Google, Murray and Webster said. Most Marketo customers also use Salesforce, with which Marketo is deeply integrated, so Adobe may choose to invest more heavily in the sales side — such as broadening its alliance with Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM.
But, Forrester VP and Principal Analyst Joe Stanhope noted in a phone interview, “Marketo capabilities have to continue to work with whatever the client wants, and that leader [in CRM] is Salesforce.”
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