Adobe emphasizes B2B opportunities in $4.75 billion acquisition of Marketo

Adobe Marketo acquistion
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Adobe on Thursday confirmed it would fold the planning, engagement and measurement capabilities of Marketo into its Experience Cloud following a $4.75 billion acquisition it said will offer the integrated toolset B2B marketers want.

The company said Marketo CEO Steve Lucas will join Adobe’s Digital Experience business, which will become the home to Marketo’s technology and team. The move comes little more than two years since Marketo, formerly a public company, was bought by Vista Equity Partners for $1.8 billion.

In May, Adobe had made a similar move towards enterprise customers when it bought commerce provider Magento for $1.8 billion.

In a conference call with investors and analysts, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen noted that the company’s growth to date has largely been in consumer-oriented firms working in sectors such as retail, financial services and travel. However he said joint customers were looking for greater integration between the two vendors. 

“Increasingly our platform is also being adopted by B2B and B2B2C customers who face many of the same marketing challenges,” he said. “When we looked at what we had with the Experience Cloud, we recognized the engagement with these customers is critical and it’s increasingly digital . . . (Marketo) complements everything we have with Adobe Campaign.”

Brad Rencher, Adobe’s executive vice-president and general manager, Digital Experience, said adding Marketo will bring the company greater capabilities to assist businesses pursuing account-based marketing (ABM), improve campaign creation and execution and deliver cross-channel experiences that are personalized and consistent.

“When businesses buy from other business, they now have the same high expectations as consumers,” he said. “What we really see is the opportunity to connect much more closely to the core revenue flows of a B2B business.”

 According to G2Crowd, the most common alternatives to Marketo include HubSpot, Act-On Software and Salesforce’s Pardot. Those firms tend to have some tools that doesn’t, such as CRM and customer service applications, but Narayen dismissed that as a concern. 

“It’s less about going in (to a B2B customer) against another offering and more about going in with a more unified offering,” Narayen said.

Adobe’s current Experience Cloud handles everything from content creation and personalization to advertising, commerce and analytics. Some analysts on social media were quick to recognize that Experience Cloud could become more valuable to enterprise firms by integrating with Marketo’s applications, which handle things like lead generation.

Others in the B2B agency side sounded less confident about the combination, pointing to similar M&As in the martech space and the differences between the two firms.

Some of Marketo’s marquee customers include Palo Alto Networks, J.P. Morgan and Workday. Executives suggested more details on the acquisition would be available at Adobe’s MAX creativity conference that takes place in Los Angeles next month. 

 

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Shane Schick

Shane Schick

Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.