Real time personalization for websites is the “next frontier” of marketing, according to Karl Wirth, CEO/founder of Evergage. In that sense, Marketo’s acquisition of Insightera makes sense, he told CMSWire.

“As marketers, we spend a lot of money — I’m looking at you Adwords — and time — yes, a keyword optimized blog a day takes time — driving people to our websites,” said Wirth, whose company offers real time web personalization. “We are inventing new ways to drive traffic to our sites, but our sites have stayed static.”

2014 Marketing Dynamic

This has to — and will — change in 2014, said Wirth, who blogged about the acquisition by Marketo, a partner of Boston-based Evergage.

“The mission for every marketer will be to make the website the company’s very best salesperson. A significant chunk of every email marketer's time and budget will move to behaviorally targeting website visitors. I give credit to Marketo for recognizing this trend.”

Wirth was one of the industry insiders CMSWire spoke to after news of Marketo’s $19.5 million acquisition of the Israel-based real time personalization web and mobile platform broke Dec. 12. With Marketo and Insightera each focused on B2B lead nurture, Wirth called the move a "logical play." But he also sees a "bit of a missed opportunity for Marketo to broaden its appeal."

Even within B2B, customers have multiple online touch points with a company; i.e. help portals, communities, apps. "A marketer's job is to understand and engage throughout the customer lifecycle," Wirth said. "Ideally communicating the context of the customer's digital experience throughout the relationship."

Big Data Presence

Marketo’s move strengths its behavior-based marketing, expands its capabilities beyond lead management and email marketing and helps it establish a big data and analytics presence in talent-laden Israel, another industry insider told CMSWire.

“I believe a key part of this acquisition was establishing a big data and predictive analytics presence in Israel,” said Chris Golec, CEO and founder of San Francisco-based Demandbase, a competitor of Insightera that provides targeting and personalization for B2B marketers.

Demandbase also works with Marketo. “It is hard to predict how much engineering and sales resources Marketo is going to put behind the acquisition, but I do think it will elevate the awareness of personalization in the B2B ecosystem.”

Marketing Automation Visionary

Brooke Campbell, marketing manager for Elcom Technology, which last month announced elcomCMS 9 and its marketing automation integration with Marketo, said Marketo’s acquisition of Insightera “sets it apart” from all other marketing automation players.

“This acquisition broadens and complements their current offering,” Campbell told CMSWire. “Ultimately Marketo is about helping marketers to deliver behavior-based, relevant messages in an automated and timely way.”

The acquisition, she said, means Marketo is now able to focus on websites as a channel — not just for tracking behavior with automated email response, but by also enabling real time delivery of relevant content.

“This behavior-based website content marketing is exactly why Elcom created the connector between the elcomCMS and Marketo,” she added.

Right Message, Right Content

Derek Slayton, chief marketing officer for NetProspex, a Boston-based B2B marketing solutions provider that works with Marketo's automation, said Marketo is broadening its tool set as a full-service platform for marketing professionals.