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Adobe May Acquire Marketo

In two years, CEO Steve Lucas, an SAP veteran, has done much to drive the transformation of Marketo from a leading player in the marketing automation space to a comprehensive platform for customer engagement. And the more Lucas talked about a system of record for engagement, the more he sounded like an Adobe executive:

One of Lucas’s most striking remarks [at Marketing Nation, 2018] referred to the transition from CRM to “something entirely new.” Namely, a system of record for engagement. That’s part and parcel of Marketo’s commitment to what Lucas described at last year’s summitas “the Engagement Economy.” (Echoes of Adobe’s “experience system of record” simply show, I believe, where the space is doggedly headed). 

Not only did Marketo and Adobe seem to be headed toward the same destination: rumors have exploded over the last 24 hours that they might meet at the crossroads. In an exclusive, Reuters reported that acquisition talks are underway, although the certainty of any deal is not established, let alone the price.

Marketo would strengthen Adobe’s B2B offerings, and help it in competition with Salesforce’s Pardot and Oracle’s Eloqua. However, a merger of the two platforms’ capabilities would face challenges, not least because of overlapping functionality. Marketo would bring with it, too, an almost fanatically devoted customer base.

Karen Steele, CMO at LeanData, and former GVP of corporate marketing at Marketo told me:

Regardless of where Marketo lands, the company will always boast the most loyal of customers and partners (LeanData included) and its amazing community called the Marketing Nation.  The strength of their engagement platform will provide value to any new tech stack they become a part of.

The Stackmate graphic above, from our friends at CabinetM, shows which solutions frequently share a stack with Adobe, and it’s clear that many businesses find Marketo a useful complement.

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