The deal has been struck. Adobe will be acquiring privately-held cloud marketing software group Marketo from Vista Equity Partners for a whopping $4.75bn (£3.6bn)!

The common and unwavering belief in the power of content and data to drive business results has brought these two magnets together according to Steve Lucas the CEO of Marketo. “Marketo delivers the leading B2B marketing engagement platform for the modern marketer, and there is no better home for Marketo to continue to rapidly innovate than Adobe.”

This announcement followed Adobe-Marketo rumors that were reported by Valasys last week and the ongoing speculation on the kind of impact such a purchase would have on the fiercely-competitive marketing software market.

With the addition of Marketo’s engagement platform to the Adobe Experience Cloud, Adobe will now be able to offer unbeatable solutions for transformative customer experiences across industries and companies of all sizes. Marketo has nearly 5000 customers and through this landmark deal, they will be able to bring together planning, engagement and measurement capabilities to an integrated B2B marketing platform.

The richness of Adobe Experience Cloud analytics, content, personalization, advertising and commerce capabilities along with Marketo’s lead management and account-based marketing technology will enable B2B companies the ability to create, manage and execute marketing engagement at scale.

This landmark acquisition will fundamentally reset the competitive playing field for B2B marketing technology buyers and vendors according to Rusty Warner, Forrester principal analyst. He further adds that even though Adobe has been a leader in the marketing cloud landscape from a consumer perspective, the investments that they hadn’t made in the past few years had rendered it unviable for most B2B use cases.

Warner continues, “Now, it is able to compete in the B2B marketing cloud business against Salesforce, Oracle, and SAP. Marketo is on the short list in just about every B2B marketing automation platform selection.”

According to Brad Rencher the executive vice president and general manager of Digital Experience at Adobe “The imperative for marketers across all industries is a laser focus on providing relevant, personalized and engaging experiences. The acquisition of Marketo widens Adobe’s lead in customer experience across B2C and B2B and puts Adobe Experience Cloud at the heart of all marketing.”

But according to multiple sources, Adobe’s latest move can be seen as a play to take on Salesforce and Oracle in enterprise marketing. Max Faingezicht the CTO at ThriveHive predicts their next move to be that of acquiring machine learning and other artificial intelligence technologies to “try to extract more value out of the data” that it will gain access to through Marketo.

The deal is expected to get closed during the fourth quarter of Adobe’s 2018 fiscal year and is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. Each company will continue to operate independently until the transaction is closed. Marketo CEO Steve Lucas will then join the senior leadership team at Adobe and will continue to lead the Marketo team as part of Adobe’s Digital Experience business. He will be reporting to the executive vice president and general manager Brad Rencher.


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