Many companies today are using more than just email marketing as a tool to reach and engage with prospects. This is especially the case in the B-to-B realm where companies are using marketing automation platforms that lead score and lead nurture potential buyers in a competitive and complex marketing and sales environment.
Take for instance ExactTarget, a leading global provider of email marketing, and its acquisition of Pardot, a leading business-to-business marketing automation software company. Clearly this unique acquisition indicates where the marketing automation industry is headed as more companies can now offer multi-channel functionalities under a single platform.
According to Scott Dorsey, ExactTarget Co-Founder and CEO, “With the addition of Pardot to the ExactTarget suite, we will redefine marketing automation and deliver the most scalable, comprehensive automation solution that helps both B-to-B and B-to-C marketers leverage the power of data to connect with customers across email, mobile, social media and the Web.”
As more of these acquisitions in the industry occur, what impact will they have on current marketing automation companies that already offer clients multiple functionalities under their platform?
Joe Payne, CEO of Eloqua, provided his rationale to this question based on the ExactTarget purchase of Pardot on It’s All About Revenue, the official Eloqua blog.
Below is an excerpt on what Joe had to say:
While both Pardot and ExactTarget are good companies with leaders I deeply respect, the truth is we don’t compete much with Pardot, and we certainly don’t compete today with ExactTarget. Pardot has served the small business market well in our space and I expect them to continue to do that now that ExactTarget is bringing them on board. As long as the combined businesses sell the same product, we don’t expect to bump into them often.
And there’s some history here, also.
Three years ago, Oracle bought Market2Lead, a strong marketing automation solution targeting the business buyer. Not too long after that, Teradata purchased Aprimo, another well-known brand in the space. What we saw in both cases was that the consolidation didn’t lead to tougher competition. In fact, as the acquired companies were assimilated, they became less effective at competing with Eloqua. While I like Scott Dorsey and David Cummings personally, I don’t expect they’ll be able to change that pattern.
Marketing automation isn’t just about tools and technologies; it’s a fundamental shift in the way you market and sell. Modern marketers need more than a vendor, they need a partner with the expertise to train, educate and guide them through a constantly changing communication and business landscape. These consolidations, though, haven’t led to the kind of focus and dedication the enterprise needs.”
Ultimately, as marketing and sales cycles continue to challenge companies, marketing automation tools and technologies will continue to be a valuable resource for marketing and sales departments to connect with buyers. And for the marketing automation industry, offering the right functionalities that meet organizational needs under one platform will help determine who clients choose and remain with in years to come.