It’s either a strategic move that boosts Big Blue’s digital marketing platform or it’s an acquisition IBM had to make because everyone else is adding marketing automation capabilities to their product suite.
Oracle purchased Eloqua two years ago and then bought Responsys last year. Salesforce.com, which bought ExactTarget for $2.5 billion last year, is all about the “marketing cloud” now. And last month SAP, rumored to be in the market for more marketing automation savvy, inked a deal with Adobe Systems to resell that company’s marketing cloud.
Remaining independents include Marketo, which went public last year, and Hubspot, which hopes to go public soon. The shrinking number of independent platforms means companies will need to rely on larger entities to be good stewards of the technology and less competition could lead to rising prices.