On September 20, 2018, Adobe Corporation announced it was acquiring Marketo, a B2B marketing software platform.
Adobe purchased Marketo for the hefty price of $4.75 billion. Marketo’s software allows businesses to better identify and reach out to new customers via email, social media and SMS. The company also provides powerful analytics services that help improve outcomes for businesses marketing to other businesses. Marketo will join Adobe’s highly popular stable of products that includes InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, Dreamweaver and Lightroom.
Adobe’s Expanding Reach into B2B
Pending approval by federal regulators, the two companies will maintain independent operations until the end of 2018’s fourth quarter.
By acquiring Marketo, Adobe will be in a better position to take advantage of the rapidly expanding demand for marketing automation software solutions. Even though a previous acquisition of Magento by Adobe had already provided it with some capabilities in this area, the purchase of Marketo will greatly expand what Adobe can offer customers.
Steve Lucas, the current CEO of Marketo, will report directly to Adobe’s Executive Vice President Brad Rencher. Lucas will become part of Adobe’s senior leadership, continuing to lead Marketo under the umbrella of the Adobe Digital Experience Division.
According to Rencher, Adobe’s acquisition of Marketo, and specifically the Marketo Engagement Platform, will allow businesses to provide their customers with highly personalized, cross-channel experiences. These businesses will also be able to use targeted advertising to secure new customers and generally be more effective at using data to market their products to their best leads.
Putting It All Together for End-to-End Marketing Success
As Adobe’s current leadership points out, when combined with the company’s existing strengths in the areas of advertising, commerce, analytics and marketing clouds, the new capabilities Marketo adds will make it a major player in B2B marketing automation.
These new strengths and capacities will better position Adobe to become a force to reckon with for competitors like Oracle and Salesforce. The company’s willingness to spend such an enormous percentage of its available cash for this purchase makes it quite clear it is serious about being a major player in the marketing technology arena.
Marketo currently has more than 500 partners and an overall marketing community in excess of 65,000 users. Adobe suggests that they will be able to provide “unrivaled” customer experience solutions across many different companies and industries in a recent press release. Of course, a deep investment like this is almost certainly going to come with a lot of cheerleading. After all, Adobe doesn’t want to spook investors or give any impression that such a big purchase has any chance of going wrong.