Adobe’s Marketo Purchase Signals Shift Towards Emphasis on Customer Engagement

The latest Adobe headlines have generated a lot of interest and signal the winds of change in enterprise Martech. We explain why.

In June we commented on Adobe’s acquisition of eCommerce platform Magento at a price of $1.68B. More recently, there have been two further interesting announcements from Adobe: the acquisition of Marketo, and the launch of the Open Data Initiative (in partnership with Microsoft and SAP).

Not surprisingly, the Marketo acquisition generated a lot of interest and comment, not least for the $4.7B value of the transaction.  The Open Data Initiative, less so.

Plugging The Gap

What’s interesting is what it says about the state of enterprise MarTech.

Symbolically, the Marketo acquisition can be seen as closing the book on the old era of MarTech, filling a large B2B marketing gap in the Adobe suite but simultaneously paying a farewell homage to the era of email marketing.

The frontier has shifted. Experience dominates the thinking for most enlightened marketing and CX leaders, with the importance of shifting to understanding, connecting and personalizing the end-to-end customer journey. There is now a focus on what we’re calling ‘engagement-led’ marketing. Without this focus, the ‘customer engagement gap’ will continue to widen and brands relationships with customers will suffer.

Reimagining Customer Experience

The Open Data Initiative announcement looks to this future: “reimagining customer experience” in the era of digital transformation.

To question whether the Open Data Initiative is the right approach, or can be made to work, is to miss the point. This change in approach signals a shift, as key vendors begin to recognize that a new approach to marketing and customer experience in the digital economy is needed.

So what’s taken so long for vendors to get to this point?

The problems – lack of an outside-in customer-centric view, silos, the multiplicity of touchpoints, managing context, understanding the customer journey – have been evident for years.

But it is not just a question of consolidated customer data and insight.

What is absolutely critical is understanding the importance of relationships (rather than transactions) and the fundamental role that value creation and trust play in nurturing valuable, long-lasting customer relationships. It’s a strategic shift to becoming truly customer-driven that’s been talked about by many but delivered by few.

This is the customer engagement paradigm that Thunderhead has been driving for the last five years: the movement to transform customer experience, enabling brands for the first time to understand each individual customer’s intent and orchestrate personalized journeys for millions of customers across billions of touchpoints, seamlessly and in real-time, powering value-creation, trust and brand loyalty.

The winds of change are here and the shift is underway.