When I first heard the news that Adobe was acquiring Marketo, my first thought was ‘Wow, this immediately resets the Marketing Automation and Experience Management software platform market.’ In many ways, this was a long time in the making. In others, it will fundamentally transform the way customers consume, engage, and experience content and messaging. Some experts are predicting that the move could be the first of new acquisitions by Adobe in machine learning and other artificial intelligence technologies to add to its Adobe Sensei solution that extracts more value out of the treasure trove of data it will now have access to through Marketo.
The company’s data and the integrated platform was likely a key factor in Adobe’s decision to acquire Marketo as well to shore up Adobe’s own cloud platforms and content marketing models with expanded end-to-end customer experience management. Marketo provides Adobe another massive data platform that will help it compete with Facebook, Google, and others in big data. The addition of Marketo and its 5,000 customers expands Adobe’s leadership in customer experience management and the combination of Marketo’s leading B2B marketing engagement platform with Adobe’s Analytics, Advertising, Commerce, and Marketing Clouds now places Adobe strategically at the epicenter of all marketing both B2C and B2B.
A New Era of MarTech?
Additionally, adding Marketo into the Adobe Marketing Cloud lineup may usher in a new era of marketing technology companies who will have platforms powered by machine learning and big data analytics. These new MarTech leaders will build technologies and processes that bring closer collaboration between marketing and sales teams and will deploy a dual-based marketing strategy to B2C and B2B marketers that will include both lead-based marketing and targeted account-based marketing to large companies. This unique combination will enable businesses to acquire customers more efficiently and cost-effectively, use data-driven approaches that integrate sales and marketing activities on the most high-value prospects and customers, streamline and automate campaign creation improving execution, engagement and sales velocity, and centralize content delivery and management of content assets. The net effect will be a clear path for companies to accelerate their digital transformation efforts by delivering end-to-end omni-channel experiences with increased personalization to their customers across web, mobile, social, email, in-store, video, chat, and other channels.
Impact on the Market
With this $4.75 billion purchase of Marketo, Adobe has clearly stated its intention to expand its Marketing Cloud to compete more broadly with the leading players in the marketing automation and customer relationship management space in which Salesforce is a leading competitor. The end game for both companies is to offer marketers one-stop, cloud-based services that make sense of voluminous data and automatically take action across the customer journey whenever consumers or clients engage through omni-channels such as search, social media, email, video, and mobile. Jason Holmes, Chief Operating Officer at Showpad and former Chief Operating Officer at Marketo, states that “Adobe has been primarily focused on B2C customers whereas Salesforce, Oracle, and SAP are firmly driving toward owning the B2B space. This now entrenches Adobe as both a B2B and B2C intelligent (emphasis mine) – marketing platform, and squarely pits them against Salesforce and Oracle and well ahead of SAP.”
This acquisition by Adobe will definitely create for marketers the most advanced, unified view of the customer at both the account and individual levels and will result in as Steve Lucas, CEO of Marketo, calls it “an unprecedented level of marketing engagement, automation, and attribution power, all with a goal of delivering end-to-end, exceptional experiences for customers, where and when they want them.”
Perficient Digital Marketing Automation
Finally, Perficient Digital’s Marketing Automation practice has deep expertise across the top Marketing Cloud and Marketing Automation platforms today including Adobe, Salesforce, Oracle, and Hubspot. We stand ready to assist our clients in navigating and migrating to customer-centric and omni-channel digital transformation that this acquisition and future ones will bring to the marketplace.