Marketo takes on the big marketing clouds with a new customer engagement platform

Watchout Salesforce, Oracle and especially Adobe. With the launch of its new digital marketing platform, Marketo’s gunning for the legacy software makers’ marketing clouds in a big way.

Today, at the start of Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco, Marketo announced the introduction of a brand new customer engagement platform. The platform will give marketers the ability to engage with customers in real-time, deliver personalized content and campaigns, and create a single view of a customer profile using integrated data from digital, social and mobile channels.

Here are the key capabilities of the new platform: 

Marketo Real-Time Personalization: This will allow marketers to present customized web and mobile content to different customers/website visitors based on their individual demographics, browsing activity and other digital presence. Websites today tend to present the same content to all visitors, without any recognition of the individual and communication in other channels such as email.  Marketers will be able to offer this level of personalization across email, web, and mobile – with the ability to integrate with any CMS. If Marketo’s previous marketing automation software was directly competing with ExactTarget and Eloqua, this new platform goes up directly against Adobe Target.

Marketo Marketing Calendar: Creates an integrated, central view for campaign deployment that makes it possible to make changes and adjust programs based on data in real-time. It also allows marketing teams to coordinate execution and share activities with internal audiences in a single place. 

Marketo Search Engine Optimization: This is a tool to help marketers without specialized knowledge to optimize their web content, making it easier for it to be discovered through search engines. The tool analyzes keyword rankings, suggesting new keywords and recommending web page optimization. 

“The idea of one-to-one marketing has been around so long that it has become synonymous with the unachievable – the holy grail of marketing,” said Phil Fernandez, Marketo President and CEO. “With our customer engagement platform and our continued innovation, we are ready to claim that it is not only possible, but it is here.  And, marketers need it more than ever today as they compete for customers’ time and attention.”  

Speaking to CMSWire, Marketo’s VP of marketing content and strategy Jon Miller says the new product has several unique features that set it apart (and ahead) of the big marketing cloud makers such as Salesforce, Oracle, and Adobe.

“We do a lot of stuff that Oracle and Salesforce just don’t do,” says Miller. “The web personalization, Oracle and Salesforce just don’t have. The calendaring and SEO, Oracle and Salesforce don’t have that.” 

The new platform does however, directly compete with Adobe, which recently announced even more integration, and updated features for the Adobe Target and Adobe Experience Manager solutions in its Digital Marketing Cloud. Miller says Marketo’s product is ahead when it comes to integration and individual customer targeting.

“For Adobe, they’re telling a very broad story,” says Miller. “They have a lot of integration work to do to stitch all that stuff together. Our ‘wow’ factor is that we’re not just pretty on the outside. It all works together really, really nicely.”

In addition to launching a new product, Marketo announced that the new software’s analytics will be powered by an integration with consumer data analytics firm Acxiom. The personalized web experience Marketo will deliver to an individual customer will be based on the data gathered by Acxiom’s Audience Operating System, regardless of whether they have visited the client site before. The new partnership would work similarly to Oracle’s planned acquisition and integration of third-party consumer data platform BlueKai.

In other words, through a new platform and integrations, Marketo has made a few big moves to place itself as a credible challenger to the marketing cloud offerings of Salesforce, Adobe and Oracle. And in some ways, it may even be ahead in its integration journey. It already had a premier marketing automation product, but with its partnership with Hootsuite (for social media lead generation,) integration with Axciom (for consumer analytics) and new consumer targeting capabilities, it’s jumped ahead of Salesforce and Oracle to challenge Adobe with a very similar set of offerings. But it’s still early days for all the players, and we’ll be waiting to see which one emerges with a truly valuable, and (more importantly) fully integrated marketing cloud product.

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