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Marketing Automation Round-up, May 2016

Digital Clarity Group’s MAP round-up condenses and consolidates some of the marketing automation industry’s most topical news and happenings from the past couple of months.  This edition’s round-up catches up with why IBM is so interested in the weather and Marketo – the acquisition buzz, as well as its new partner and IoT offering.

IBM, the weather, and Watson.

weather_ibm_560When IBM acquired The Weather Company’s solution and tech business earlier last October, a lot of people were asking “why?”. Aside from its digital publication that offers IBM online advertising, how exactly was Big Blue going to make use of it’s the Weather Company’s weather and location related data?

Leveraging its new status as the world’s second largest location services company, IBM is taking that power and starting to merge it with Watson, its cognitive supercomputer. Supported by studies that correlate the impact of weather on online shopping, as well as how it affects people’s mood and how much they’re willing to pay, this integration is expected to have a positive impact on IBM’s marketing cloud and commerce businesses. Putting The Weather Company’s data together with Watson’s computing power gives IBM’s marketing cloud users a powerful tool providing access to highly segmented predictive analytics with which they can then leverage for personalized campaigns based on hyper-local weather forecasts. Further augmenting IBM’s existing marketing cloud weather-based trigger functionality.

Marketo: Last (big) MAP standing, for now.
Marketo acquistion

Marketo is one of the last major independent marketing automation vendors, but perhaps, not for long. The MAP’s stock price has been on a steady, and sometimes steep, climb up from $21 to its current $32+ per share. This has helped re-fuel the speculative chatter of an impending (and long awaited/expected) acquisition.

Who is the most likely courter?  Well, Microsoft or SAP would make sense. Both would benefit by adding Marketo’s capabilities to their existing stack (although so would adding a WCM, but that’s a topic for another post).  For SAP, marketing automation is a gap in their current solution set, and for Microsoft, what Marketo offers go way beyond what it can with its current marketing suite. This acquisition could/would put either in a much stronger competitive position against Salesforce, Oracle, and IBM. But really, any of these companies could easily stomach the expected $1 billion price tag, and would be the “oomph” Marketo needs to break out and be seen as an enterprise level solution.

Marketo: Acquisition buzz aside, it is business as usual with new partnerships

Marketo has a lot to share at its recent Marketing Nation Summit, held in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. A few of its key announcements included their result of its active partner recruitment activity that saw several companies to bring new, and needed, functionality to the platform.

First off, a new partnership with Vibes, a mobile marketer. Vibes to allow their clients to add mobile channels into their automated campaigns, enabling marketers to add text messaging, mobile wallet marketing and advertising to their existing campaigns. This new partnership once integrated will allows marketers to use mobile wallets as a destination for digital ad campaigns in Marketo.

Next up, with an eye on upping is content marketing chops, two new partners were to the roster:

  • Radius, a predictive marketing platform, and already integrated with the MAP, brings Marketo customers a new predictive scoring program that ranks inbound leads by interest and likelihood of conversion allowing marketers to segment tactics to audiences that are most likely to result in conversions.
  • NewsCred, a content marketing solution, provides content marketing and resource management services to Marketo’s customer base. Integrated with and accessed via Marketo’s Launchpoint partner ecosystem, NewsCred will make for easier for brands to manage content creation, distribution, and measurement across channels, teams, and global markets on a single platform.

When used, these two new Marketo partners’ solutions will help marketers be more efficient and effect in their communications efforts.

Marketo: Taking on the IoT

Marketio IOTMarketo also used its annual conference to announce its upcoming next-gen platform that is built for the Internet of Things (IoT) era with more powerful account-based marketing capability and additional intelligence for its email marketing capabilities.

Project Orion as it has been dubbed, will focus on enabling more personalized content across the customer journey via any channel; moving beyond traditional devices (mobile, tablet, etc.) to include consumer (toasters, cars, refrigerators) and industrial (production, farming, manufacturing) equipment. They will also add an email channel to the existing Predictive Content application to enable predictive content recommendations. Primarily for website content in the past, this new Email Insights feature will offer email performance analysis, which the company says will surface otherwise hidden trends. Marketo is also adding much needed additional account-based marketing tools to tighten the connection between marketing and sales teams’ efforts.

And while none of these new partners are exclusive partners of Marketo, and they are not the only MAP tackling the internet of things, all things together do add a few of more weights on the side of the scale of what the MAP can versus can’t offer. You know, in case anyone is tallying up pros and cons, for, oh, I don’t know, an acquisition assessment.

Catch up with the key news from around the related industries with Digital Clarity Group’s CMS and service provider round-ups. Which, along with other great posts, can be found in the Blog section of our website.


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