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Adobe to Buy Marketo; Leaps Ahead in the B2B Engagement Economy with this $4.75 Billion Acquisition

Adding Marketo’s Engagement Platform to the Adobe Experience Cloud Will Enable Adobe to Offer an Unrivaled Set of Solutions for Delivering Transformative Customer Experiences Across Industries and Companies of All Sizes

The company that promoted “Engagement Economy” as a pillar of customer success in business is now set to sail on a new path with Adobe. Marketo, the leading B2B marketing technology company and a MarTech RADAR 150 company for 2018, will enter Adobe’s stable, adding to the matured group of Marketing Technology platforms that include Adobe Experience Cloud and Sensei AI.

Marketo recently acquired Bizible to make ABM more productive and intelligent with refined marketing attribution. Then, it also forged a significant partnership with Madison Logic to further boost ABM’s effectiveness for the engagement economy. The company was also featured in the first-ever Gartner Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hubs.

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A $4.75 Billion Deal that Could Change the B2B Engagement Economy Forever

In an official press release, Adobe announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Marketo for $4.75 billion. The deal is subject to customary purchase price adjustments. Currently, with close to 5,000 customers, Marketo brings together planning, engagement and measurement capabilities in an integrated B2B marketing platform.

Adding Marketo’s engagement platform to the Adobe Experience Cloud will enable Adobe to offer an unrivaled set of solutions that deliver transformative customer experiences across industries and companies of all sizes.

At the time of this announcement, Brad Rencher, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Digital Experience, Adobe, said, “The imperative for marketers across all industries is a laser focus on providing relevant, personalized and engaging experiences.”

Brad added, “The acquisition of Marketo widens Adobe’s lead in customer experience across B2C and B2B and puts Adobe Experience Cloud at the heart of all marketing.”

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A Summary of Marketo’s Twelve-Year Journey

Going back to 2006 when Marketo was co-founded by former employees of Epiphany, Jon MillerPhil Fernandez, and David Morandi, the company’s primary goal was to turn email marketing into a powerful arsenal for CMOs and marketing teams. They were largely successful in justifying the returns on marketing campaigns for global CMOs.

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Their first product suite included Marketo Lead Management, followed by Marketo Sales Insight in 2009 and Marketo Revenue Cycle Analytics in 2010, all launched between 2008 and 2010. In April 2010, the company made its first acquisition, Crowd Factory, a social media analytics platform integrating into Marketo’s existing Marketing and Sales products.

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That helped the company file for an IPO in 2013, and they successfully went public within a month in May 2013.

The biggest moment in Marketo’s existence came when Vista Equity Partners offered to buy the company for $1.79 billion in June 2016. Current CEO, Steve Lucas, was named to the position in October 2016. The acquisition was completed in August 2017. From promoting the company as a distinguished leader in ABM, email marketing automation, customer experience management and B2B content marketing, and to now becoming a successful technology partner in MarTech community, Marketo has come a long way.

Marketo also recently tapped former SAP CMO, Mika Yamamoto as their Global President.

In his official blog, CEO Steve Lucas mentioned, “There has been one common thread in each of my customer conversations throughout the past two years, and that is the desire to deliver—and be part of—a seamless and unforgettable end-to-end customer experience. Today, we’re one step closer to making this a reality for our thousands of customers and partners worldwide.”

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The Vision Ahead

The power of analytics and intelligence could now be fully tapped as Marketo and Adobe’s Experience Cloud form a definitive system of engagement for B2C and B2B enterprise marketers.

Steve said, “Marketo’s exceptional lead management, account-level data, and multi-channel marketing capabilities will combine with Adobe’s rich behavioral dataset to create the most advanced, unified view of the customer at both an individual and account level. The result will be an unprecedented level of marketing engagement, automation, and attribution power, all with a goal of delivering end-to-end, exceptional experiences for our customers, where and when they want them.”

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The transaction, which is expected to close during the fourth quarter of Adobe’s 2018 fiscal year, is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. Until the transaction closes, each company will continue to operate independently.

Upon close, Marketo CEO Steve Lucas will join Adobe’s senior leadership team and continue to lead the Marketo team as part of Adobe’s Digital Experience business, reporting to executive vice president and general manager Brad Rencher.

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