Adobe is acquiring marketing automation software Marketo for $4.75 billion from Vista Equity Partners.
Vista bought the company in 2016, taking the company private for $1.8 billion.
Here are some quick takeaways from journalists and marketing analysts:
The marketing and sales pond gets smaller
More consolidation could be on the way, according to journalists.
For years, marketing clouds have gobbled up their smaller competitors to scale their services, with the ultimate goal of being a comprehensive provider of all marketing and sales services.
The other major players – IBM, Salesforce, HP, and Oracle – could respond by acquiring companies to add greater scale.
TechCrunch reported: "We have been seeing more M&A action in this space as companies try to fill in various parts of the sale-service-marketing triumvirate."
Marketo adds a B2B dimension to Adobe’s consumer-focused marketing services.
Adobe’s been focused on building and buying capabilities for clients with both B2B and B2C divisions, according to The Wall Street Journal.
B2B brands make up most of Marketo’s client base. With Marketo, Adobe gains some much-needed B2B clout.
Adobe sees potential in marketing
While most of Adobe’s revenue has come from its creative cloud, digital experience, which includes marketing services, has high potential. It grew 21% year-over-year the last quarter to $624 million.
Marketo is Adobe’s biggest marketing acquisition so far
Over the years, Adobe has thrown around significant capital to build out its marketing services.
Adobe launched into digital marketing services in 2009 with the $1.8 billion acquisition of data-analytics firm Omniture. It followed that up a year later by acquiring Day Software, a content management system, for $240 million. Then it bought TubeMogul for $540 million.
This doesn’t quite get Adobe to the bottom of the funnel – not yet, anyway
Adobe is still light on sales and services, wrote Altimeter digital marketing consultant Omar Akhtar in a LinkedIn post.
The Magento acquisition, which gave Adobe a sales tool, is still underway, and Adobe still lacks dedicated platforms for managing customer service and delivering logistical information, Akhtar wrote.
"While Oracle and Salesforce continue to build out necessary integrations between different functional platforms, they are still in a position to claim that they’re offering solutions for the entire customer experience," Akhtar said.
A rivalry heats up
In 2017, Microsoft and Adobe partnered up in to offer an integrated CRM service, combining sales and marketing data.
That same year, Google and Salesforce teamed up to integrate Salesforce tool and Google’s G Suite and Analytics.
As Ray Wang, principal analyst and founder at Constellation Research, told TechCrunch: "If Adobe takes a stand on Marketo, it means they are serious about B2B and furthering the Microsoft-Adobe vs Salesforce-Google battle ahead."