Adobe Systems announced plans to acquire Parisian marketing automation player Neolane for $600 million. The move comes weeks after Salesforce.com said it would buy email and CRM vendor ExactTarget for $2.5 billion, part of a plan to “double down” on its Marketing Cloud strategy in the face of Oracle’s acquisitions of Eloqua, Vitrue and Involver.
Neolane counts 400 customers ranging from retail and insurance clients to banking and financial services. The company is now the sixth “leg” of Adobe’s burgeoning Marketing Cloud suite, joining the ranks of its Target, Social, Analytics, Experience Manager and Media Optimizer product offerings.
“The acquisition of Neolane brings critical cross-channel campaign management capabilities to the Adobe® Marketing Cloud,” said Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager of Adobe’s Digital Marketing business.
“Adobe’s marketing portfolio is largely designed to support the inbound efforts of marketers,” said Carlos Hidalgo, CEO and Principal, ANNUITAS. “With the acquisition of Neolane, they are able to provide their customers with the enabling technologies that allow them to better integrate their inbound and outbound strategies into a cohesive, end-to-end Demand Generation Strategy.”
“The deal is not particularly surprising,” said David Raab, Raab Associates. “Adobe was on everyone’s list of potential buyers, and Neolane was ripe for acquisition or an initial public offering. It reinforces suspicions that Adobe was the mystery bidder for ExactTarget mentioned last month by Salesforce.”
The deal leaves a few independents which include Marketo, Hubspot, Silverpop and Act-On among others. “As the larger players snatch up the independents, there is a lot of opportunity opening up for niche marketing technology such as content marketing or influencer/relationship analytics, to name a couple,” said Paul Greenberg, ZDNet.