Marketo finds a new home – at Adobe

Marketo finds a new home – at Adobe


It’s been a crazy few days in MarTech-land.  Especially if you’re a Marketo customer.

The news – in case you missed it – is that Adobe has announced an intention to buy Marketo – for a tidy few US$billion.  A nice earner for their present owners, who’ve made a few billion in just over a couple of years. It’s indicative of the MarTech landscape – which is a completely insane space at the moment.

So – to the important issue – What does this mean for you, the Marketo user?

  • Short term, it won’t make our live any different.  If rumours are to be believed, Adobe will keep Marketo as a separate division – as its B2B Marketing Tool in its arsenal.  Adobe’s own Marketing Automation tool, Adobe Campaign, is aimed at B2C and marketing transactional systems. But with the acquisition of Marketo, Adobe now has a fuller suite – and can legitimately compete with Oracle, Salesforce and others who can offer a B2C and B2B offering.
  • Medium term, I am terribly excited for us all. Adobe is big, man!  At long last Marketo will have the tech resources and marketing dollars. Marketing first: there will now be marketing ‘umph’ to put behind Marketo.  Hurrah ! I hope Marketo doesn’t get lost in the crowd a bit – although I doubt that – because Adobe has specifically bought Marketo for Marketo. And as for Technical Resources and creating beautiful products: well hurrah again! – Marketo will maybe now get an injection of funds into R&D to finish off a few long running projects [ahem, gonna finish Sky sometime soon, guys?]. That can only be good for RMS’s customers.
  • Longer term, Adobe clearly has a strategy here.  Their most recent purchase of Magento really surprised me at the time, but it makes sense now if they’re on a shopping expedition.  Expect more.  Vista Partners was an OK home for Marketo – and I loved it when I saw all the other digital platforms they owned [cvent, tibco etc.] – but I never saw any evidence of the tools in the Vista stable ‘coming together’. To be a part of the Adobe ecosystem will be fabulous for all of us. Also – we cannot help but make a comment about Adobe’s products.  They are beautifully crafted, emulated the world over and incredibly easy to use for both novice and expert.  Marketo can only benefit from that.

Customer feedback from you.

  • I’ve only had a few conversations with RMS’s customers thus far – which makes me think that we all think not a lot will be affected .. but the below are a few thoughts expressed to me yesterday
    • Will the price of Marketo go up?”.  Well, I’m not gong to comment on that – but as an organisation that uses the Adobe Creative Suite, we now spend less on Adobe NOW than we did 6 years or so ago – when Adobe moved to a cloud subscription model.  I LOVE the Adobe tools – they’re massive value.  I think Adobe gets pricing like no other, and I can do nothing other than cross fingers here 🙂
    • Marketo is valued at $4.75b – with revenues of $321M.  That’s a 15x valuation.  Seems like they got a bargain“.  Well, having being involved first-hand with a recent acquisition myself, these things are valued at very different ways – and future sales, customer growth, money in the bank etc. are all important.  But Marketo was trying re-classify itself in the last 3 years – away from being a Marketing SOFTWARE Company … towards becoming a Marketing PLATFORM Company. For one good reason – companies that own a platform are valued a heck of a lot higher than software companies.  Now, you could argue that the Marketo sale came a little early, they could have gotten further with Launchpoint and other  things – but being in the Adobe stable will do a lot for their reach and capabilities to extend the Marketo platform’s reach.
    • Can I bundle in my Adobe Creative Suite with my Marketo now?” I rather don’t think that’s the point of this acquisition … so I’ll let that one slide … I’ll ask next time I see a Marketo rep 🙂

Like many things – there will be a lot written – and Scott Brinker’s version is a nice one … but the sky is still blue [with a hint of purple] at Marketo.

If you have any questions about any of this – drop me a line.

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