What to Make of Adobe’s $4.75 Billion Acquisition of Marketo
My first thought is the value. This is a lot of cash to jump into another cloud that is crowded by B2B marketing solutions. But then I think that many of them have yet to integrate such a solution across the marketer and advertiser experience (I am talking to you Oracle).
Below I enumerate why this deal makes sense from my market analyst point of view. To be clear, I am not, nor does The Relevancy Group (TRG) provide a financial analyst perspective. That is, we are not offering investment advice.
1) Adobe is a winner, they have a process to satisfy clients. In our most recent ESP Buyer’s Guide – Enterprise edition they received client satisfaction awards in deliverability support, technical services, and omnichannel marketing. Customers we spoke with had high praise for the Adobe technical teams and remarked that “implementation has been a ten out of ten,” and that they “anticipate [our] needs ahead of time.” Marketo clients you are going to be fine. The company that has a cloud called “experience” respects, embraces this client-oriented culture. The experience will likely be an upgrade for you.
2) Adobe does acquisition and integration better than most. Earlier this year they jumped into the commerce cloud with the $1.7 billion purchase of Magneto in May. This commerce platform is ripe for the Adobe Sensei framework and every element of the Adobe Experience Cloud. Integration is coming. I can’t say what I saw, but I can say it was impressive.
3) It is not about B2B and B2C but is about what B2B is Missing. If you have read my book, seen me speak or just overall – I see everyone as a client and we all have journeys, events, experiences and things that could trigger us. Some like Eloqua and Responsys did an awful job of competing internally as to who had the best automation. I realize there is a true B2B element, I am talking about Account Based Marketing, but this is just a way to say that we are all as an industry moving to individualization. As people, we don’t have different buying or online expectations as a consumer or a business operator. We have the same respect for relevant experiences. Adobe’s win here will be if they can utilize the best aspect of that platform – but the real value upside is to sell all those 5K plus Marketo B2B clients all the other elements in Document, Creative and Experience Clouds. I believe Adobe can do this better, certainly in comparison to Oracle.
4) For the Buyer, This Completes the Adobe Cloud Picture. Adobe can now tick the front office, traditional CRM off the capabilities that they used to rely on partners. They have always done well in Financial Services and industries where capabilities that define Marketo are necessary, but they did so through a tapestry of partners. This will combat vendors such as Oracle when they pitch and throw in their email capabilities (formerly Responsys) for free to sway a deal. Adobe’s more robust offering will have new implications for their partners, some of which that go to market with a blended bag of partners. It will be most interesting on how this is received in their partner and agency channels.
Congratulations to Adobe and Marketo, as stated we believe that this is an upgrade that will benefit Marketo and Adobe clients alike.
Until next time,