Adobe’s $4.75 billion acquisition of Marketo last month represented the latest move in the piping hot marketing technology (MarTech) space. MarTech has seen its fair share of consolidation in 2018, with five major MarTech acquisitions between March and September totaling around $10 billion. And we've still got about three months to go before 2018 is over.
More MarTech Acquisitions to Come?
Before we take a deeper look into this consolidation trend, let's do a space forecast. Are there more MarTech acquisitions to come, and soon? “My best guess at the moment is there will be a significant shakeout of the current marketing technology landscape over the next 12 to 18 months as vendors that were funded by VCs in the past 5 to 7 years, have failed to achieve either a breakout growth trajectory or profitability, run out of money and are either sold or shut down,” Scott Brinker, author of the Chief Marketing Technologist Blog, wrote after the Adobe-Marketo deal. “As an over/under, I’ll predict — even though I hate predicting anything in a world of constant change — that 25 percent of the existing landscape will euphemistically ‘consolidate’ within this next 12 to 18 month period.”
MarTech Market: Good Enough vs. Best of Breed
Michael Fauscette, chief research officer at G2 Crowd, called the MarTech market, "a study in good enough vs. best of breed."
"The extreme fragmentation of the market fuels this situation by making very granular and focused solutions available to marketers to solve nearly every imaginable use case and problem,” he said.
Consolidation has also led to the emergence of broad marketing platforms that solve many issues, but often fall short in some specific pain point. “Marketers then, are left struggling between integrated platforms and standalone solutions that often create data silos,” Fauscette said. “This creates a serious conflict between the need to build out a complete account picture to support the [account-based marketing] ABM approach and the difficulty created when data is orphaned across multiple point solutions.”
Now, in chronological order, a look into the big 2018 acquisitions that shook up the MarTech world:
1. Salesforce Acquires CloudCraze, Undisclosed Terms, March
Salesforce got into the MarTech acquisition mix with its acquisition of CloudCraze in March. Just when you thought Salesforce was done investing in the ecommerce space (it acquired Demandware for $2.8 billion in 2016) the CRM giant acquired B2B ecommerce engine CloudCraze. It integrates into the Salesforce Commerce Cloud to help B2B commerce scenarios along with existing B2C.
Related Article: Marketo Acquires Bizible, Salesforce Buys CloudCraze, More News
2. SAP Acquires CallidusCloud, $2.4 Billion, April
In April, SAP acquired Callidus Software, known as CallidusCloud, and announced plans to consolidate its product within the SAP Hybrid cloud portfolio. CallidusCloud solutions, which allow sales to follow leads to cash, compensation and career success, is complementary to SAP Hybris marketing and Gigya solutions. It was the latest in SAP’s quest to own the front office suite, following the acquisitions of Gigya and Hybris and preempting the unveiling of SAP C/4HANA in May. SAP C/4HANA is an integrated offering “designed to modernize the sales-only focus of legacy CRM solutions,” according to SAP officials. SAP “now ties together solutions to support all front-office functions, such as consumer data protection, marketing, commerce, sales and customer service.”
3. Adobe Acquires Magento, $1.68 Billion, May
In May, Adobe announced its agreement to acquire major ecommerce provider Magento. The acquisition represented a marriage between the Adobe Experience Cloud, which powers marketing and customer experiences, and the Magento Commerce Cloud, which features digital commerce, order management and predictive intelligence. Industry observers said that a native commerce offering was a big missing piece of the Adobe digital marketing puzzle, and Magento more than fulfilled that.
Adobe paid 10 times the annual revenue of Magento, Ali Alkhafaji noted in his June CMSWire column. He wrote that Magento is on a completely different technology stack (PHP) than Adobe’s (mostly Java). “While a headless integration could resolve this,” Alkhafaji said, “it still means the commerce piece would be living on an island by itself, unlike the rest of the Adobe Experience Cloud.”
Related Article: Adobe Makes a Play for Mid-Market Customers With Magento Buy
4. Salesforce Acquires Datorama, $800 Million, July
In July, Salesforce made a near $1B grab of Datorama, which offers a cloud-based, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered marketing intelligence and analytics platform. Salesforce officials said in a press release the new capabilities would power the Salesforce Marketing Cloud with expanded data integration and intelligence. “With one unified view of data and insights, companies can make smarter decisions across the entire customer journey and optimize engagement at scale,” Datorama CEO and Co-Founder Ran Sarig said in a blog post at the time of the acquisition.
5. Adobe Acquires Marketo, $4.75 Billion, September
The MarTech world was abuzz in September when Adobe pulled the trigger on a major acquisition, buying B2B marketing automation provider Marketo for nearly $5 billion. Company officials promised the melding of the Marketo Engagement Platform with the Adobe Experience Cloud. Specifically, it brings together Adobe Experience Cloud analytics, content, personalization, advertising and commerce capabilities with Marketo’s lead management and account-based marketing technology, according to a press release on the acquisition.
“This is a big win, as many B2B shops, which comprise the lion’s share of the existing Marketo user base, actually have B2C elements to their business through freemium models, trials and SMB focused offerings,” Justin Gray, CEO and founder of LeadMD, a Marketo partner, told CMSWire last month. “Marketo has also been focusing on expanding their B2C customer base with fervor over the last 24 months and those users will see areas of the Marketo platform that have historically underperformed, now become best in class. It’s a great complementary acquisition.”