Email marketing provider ExactTarget announced yesterday (October 11) that it is acquiring privately held marketing automation platform (MAP) vendor Pardot.
Email marketing provider ExactTarget announced yesterday (October 11) that it is acquiring privately held marketing automation platform (MAP) vendor Pardot. ExactTarget (NYSE: ET) paid $95.5 million total for Pardot, consisting of $85.5 million in cash and $10 million in ExactTarget common stock. ExactTarget had previously partnered with marketing automation platform vendor Marketo, but one can deduce that this acquisition effectively ends that arrangement.
High-performance B2B organizations have long recognized the limitations of relying primarily on email marketing in today’s multi-touch, multi-channel buyer-centric world, and have been adopting marketing automation platforms for years. This acquisition immediately makes ExactTarget more relevant to small and medium-sized B2B organizations.
Besides an immediate entree into the marketing automation platform game, what does ExactTarget gain from acquiring Pardot?
- On the features side, Pardot’s progressive profiling capabilities are robust. The marketing automation platform vendor also has broad support for search marketing, keyword tracking and competitor monitoring for search engine optimization.
- From a usability perspective, Pardot’s design philosophy emphasizes usability for average marketing users over advanced functionality (e.g. Pardot offers wizards for creating forms, landing pages, email templates and drip programs).
- For sales force automation integration, Pardot recognizes the need to integrate with applications that smaller organizations require, although its Salesforce.com and SugarCRM integrations are robust.
In summary, Pardot to date has focused primarily on the small and medium-sized business market and it remains to be seen if under the ownership of ExactTarget it will attempt to shift upmarket. To make such a move would require permission-based access for restricting access by region or business unit, among other features, and would also put ExactTarget and Pardot up against a new realm of competitors and requirements.