Oracle/Eloqua Deal Will Fuel a Bidding War for Marketo
By Jim Lundy
This blog post is about the rise of the marketing suite because what has been missing all along has been marketing automation.
In one step, what Oracle did in buying Eloqua is to validate the growing importance of the marketing suite. They also helped to redefine it. We will be publishing a First Cut on the Oracle/Eloqua deal with more analysis. This blog is about the fast follower effect: the bidding war that will erupt for Marketo and others in the race to build the most robust marketing suite.
The Rise of the Marketing Suite
There are multiple tools that are being blended together to fuel what is being referred to as next-generation customer experience, which is what we are simply calling a marketing suite (see Figure 1).
Social media monitoring was hot first, followed quickly by social marketing (running campaigns on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn). As evidence of the popularity of social marketing, witness the sale of Buddy Media to Salesforce and Wildfire to Google, both of which happened this year.
Marketing automation, the engine behind much of the lead generation created by activities tied to a website, has been on the sidelines until now. With Eloqua having been taken out by Oracle, the race is on to acquire others to round out the new marketing suite.
The stakes are high, too. Adobe, IBM, Salesforce, and even SAP have made big investments in their customer experience/marketing cloud initiatives. Marketing automation really can’t be ignored anymore.
The Race to Build a Marketing Suite: Bidding Wars Begin
We expect that with the integration of marketing automation into these suites, the workflow will get easier than it is today. We also expect that the price tags for remaining marketing automation firms—such as Act-On Software, Genius, HubSpot, Infusionsoft, Marketo, and Neolane—will be much higher.
Having just been at an enterprise software provider, I can tell you that many CMOs do face-offs of Eloqua versus Marketo. That is why we expect the bidding war for Marketo to be fast and furious.
Of course, it isn’t just marketing automation that will be part of the race to assemble the best marketing suite. Other tools that are for sale include social media management, social marketing, email marketing, customer community tools, and social platforms. It is open season on all of them. The race to buy up all of the components of the new marketing suite is here.
2013 is shaping up to be the year that CMOs hope to get a better set of integrated tools to run their marketing campaigns with. Oracle may have just forced other vendors’ hands with the Eloqua purchase. The bad news is, CMOs may have to wait a little longer before the marketing suite is fully baked.
Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for our 2013 predictions and our forthcoming Strategic Report on Social (including social marketing and marketing suites) for more on this topic.