With the trend of acquisition and consolidation continuing to play out across the marketing technology ecosystem in mind, What does Adobe’s recent acquisition of the marketing automation platform (MAP), Marketo mean for the landscape? In Marketo, Adobe gets a large and loyal userbase and a product with a reputation for effective and easy-to-use technology. In return, Marketo’s clientbase will now have native integration with Adobe’s best-in-class design and technology tools.
Putting Marketo on Level with Pardot and others
Marketo’s difficulties in appealing to enterprise customers has been rooted in its plug and play nature- ironically, one of the strengths that helped it win over droves of SMB and mid-market accounts initially. The intuitive user interface Marketo built was designed with marketers in mind and its modular approach to email templates and website pages made it a powerful tool for the less technically inclined. But as Marketo has tried to scale up and woo enterprise companies they increasingly encountered larger teams with in-house production teams who found the drag and drop tools limiting. With the pending Adobe integration, Marketo will be able to offer the best of both worlds: easy to use automation for marketers and a full suite of production tools for in house design teams. This will keep Marketo competitive against other MAPs such as Pardot, a highly customizable marketing tool that offers native integration with the Salesforce CRM, with a much steeper learning curve for the uninitiated.
Positioning Adobe to Challenge Salesforce
With the addition of a strong MAP like Marketo, Adobe can offer a compelling alternative to the Salesforce CRM juggernaut. Salesforce still leads the market in enterprise-focused CRM platforms, but Adobe is building a dominant position at the other end with top-of-funnel sophistication and flexibility stemming from their position as an industry leader in digital production software. Couple that with Adobe’s recent CRM-related partnership with Microsoft and Adobe may soon have a viable Salesforce alternative for enterprise-level businesses.
Marketo’s Digital Asset Management Tool
While Marketo’s CMS usually takes center stage in discussions of the company, earlier this year they rolled out a powerful digital asset manager (DAM) which is a game changer for organizations. Traditionally, the lack of control and accountability within corporate databases for asset storage, file duplication, and file naming conventions has impeded website efficiency. Adobe inheriting this DAM in the acquisition will mean they can solve for the creation, optimization and (now) storage of marketing assets which serves to further embeds them within the marketing creator community and will widen the scope of their business solutions.
Adobe has a track record of integrating and utilizing its acquisitions better than many companies, and Marketo is more than just a new feather in its cap. Having Marketo puts Adobe on track to develop into an even stronger leader in the space as marketing and sales teams become ever more entangled. Salesforce will always be a market leader, but for companies looking to focus on the creation, optimization, deployment and measurement of content, the case for going with Adobe just got a lot stronger.