The mergers and acquisitions frenzy in marketing technology continued recently with the purchase of Marketo by Adobe. Many martech observers, including me, had predicted this seemingly inevitable event since the gap in Adobe’s product portfolio was so obvious.
But is this good news for B2B marketers who have adopted the Marketo platform as a critical component of their martech stack? I believe in the short run, it won’t matter much, as Adobe plans to keep Marketo as a separate entity and not integrate it into Adobe Experience Manager. Over the long run, the answer could be different.
The battle plans of the B2B martech titans are getting clearer with each M&A event. Salesforce, the almost ubiquitous foundation of most B2B sales and marketing organizations, has already acquired Pardot, a Marketo competitor, and has recently announced its intention to acquire Datorama, a data reporting and visualization platform. Its missing capability is enterprise web content management so I’d expect an acquisition of either Sitecore or Contentful in the near future. Oracle Marketing Cloud’s acquisition of Eloqua hasn’t vaulted them into the leadership role the company had hoped for, despite also picking up BlueKai a few years ago. Its acquisition of NetSuite may have confused the long-term plan given the marketing automation capabilities in that platform. Contenders Microsoft and IBM haven’t made aggressive M&A moves lately, so we’ll have to see if they will be happy playing in other areas of the martech stack, such as commerce and collaboration.
So as Adobe and Salesforce begin to lock down their components for B2B marketing, the question of long-term interoperability will be a lingering concern for Marketo users. This may increase interest in orchestration platforms like Engagio in the short term to build a bridge between the two behemoths. Customer data platforms may also become more appealing as a way to consolidate important customer information from various martech tools in one independent place. And as interest in account-based marketing grows, ad tech tools like RollWorks that interconnect with both Marketo and Salesforce will gain popularity.
If it’s time to reassess your martech stack, drop us a note. Our team can help guide you through the toolset confusion that results from over 6,000 offerings vying for your attention. We can help you implement some of the new tools that are showing amazing results for our clients while helping you get more out of the tools you already have. And who knows, we might be able to simplify your martech stack and get you back to focusing on what really matters most — driving growth for your company.