A Word from the Experts: Adobe Acquires Marketo...Now What?

By: Lea Titas  | 09/26/2018

If you're in the digital marketing industry, you've no doubt heard by now that Adobe has acquired Marketo. But what does that mean for Marketo users? Well, you're in luck because the good people at Hileman Group have a few ideas! 

We interviewed Tom Hileman (CEO), Brett Colasanti (Managing Partner), Kyle Chandler (Director of Marketing), Chelsea Kiko (Marketing Automation Team Lead) and Angela Ruggeri (Marketing Automation Specialist) to get their expert opinions. Check out what they think about this announcement and what it means for the future of marketing automation.

What does this ACQUISITION mean for our current contract and the tool itself, will there be any immediate changes?

Kyle: In the short term, no, there will be no major shifts or changes. If we look at other larger acquisitions in this space – like with Salesforce or IBM – the change or effect on the core software is typically slow to happen. Even in the case of tools like Pardot (acquired by Salesforce) or Bizable (acquired by Marketo), the tools themselves have almost not changed at all, with the exception of greater integration and the idea of single sign on with other tools within the suite. In the long term, it is tough to tell the timeframe exactly, but there will for sure be an eventual merge of the system into Adobe’s Marketing Cloud suite. However, this is many years down the road simply because of the customer and technology management that would be required.

Is the platform going to suffer because of this acquisition?

Kyle: No. In fact, we are thinking quite the opposite. Both companies have a proven history of investing in their products and driving innovation within the market. This acquisition, if anything, will continue to drive innovation in the marketing automation and marketing technology space.

Chelsea: I think this was a smart investment by Adobe – they noticed a gap they were missing and why not buy the global top marketing automation platform? It can only enhance the business and tech stack offerings. As for Marketo, I think the investment will help enhance the platform and have more money behind doing so. As a power user, I am nothing but excited. I love Adobe products and I love Marketo – so I am sure the joining will be something innovative that I love using to reach and convert leads. I am interested in seeing how Salesforce reacts…they have some hefty competition coming their way.

Angela: I am excited and interested to see how Adobe will integrate MA into their already powerful offering of Analytics and Creative tools. This acquisition has given Adobe the opportunity to allow both B2B and B2C customers to leverage a one-stop-shop for marketing and sales. Creating full insight into programing from inception, design, execution and optimization. Moving away from the silos in the mar-tech world and being able to provide a jack of all trades SaaS offering will help to eliminate a lot of the current noise most buyers are hearing today in the buying cycle.


Brett: Overall, I think it’s a really interesting combination. Adobe has a strong enterprise software install base to leverage and their MA tool has good features to support advertising and creative asset management.  Marketo is stronger in the B2B space, and the feature set in the tool is stronger in the middle of the funnel with the nurture, campaign management and AI/Predictive/Custom content. Should work for both teams.

Tom: The best two companies to acquire Marketo for long-term investment are Adobe and Microsoft. Adobe is an excellent outcome as it has strong enterprise software roots and Marketo will fit in nicely with its strong focus on Customer Experience, as well as with commerce through Magento. Additionally, Marketo’s B2B experience will couple nicely with Adobe’s B2C to provide a well-rounded offering. In all, Adobe’s acquisition rounds out its product offerings to compete effectively with Salesforce.


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