Microsoft has announced the acquisition of MarketingPilot to bolster its Microsoft Dynamics CRM business. This is the second marketing software acquisition in a week (ExactTarget acquired Pardot on October 11 for $95.5 million), putting an exclamation point on the importance of marketing technology solutions. This acquisition also signals Microsoft’s intention to do more in the rapidly growing market for marketing applications.

MarketingPilot’s core capabilities are in marketing resource management. It has a powerful marketing budgeting capability, combined with campaign planning, project management, asset management and analytics. MarketingPilot expanded its vision to encompass the breadth of integrated marketing management, and recently began to offer marketing database management, marketing automation and enhanced analytics. Its goal has been to expand into integrated marketing management and move upmarket into larger implementations with larger customers. Today, the organization has about 400 clients representing a mix of midsized B2B, B2C and agency clients. SiriusDecisions estimates that MarketingPilot’s annual revenue is between $1 million and $10 million. Its solution is delivered as a cloud-based service.

Microsoft’s decision to expand into marketing applications is another milestone in the recognition of the importance of technology to marketing organizations. It also signals the advancing alignment between sales force automation applications and the marketing organization. You can rest assured that Microsoft will want to integrate the marketing and sales databases to reduce complexity and increase performance.

Microsoft will be laying out the product roadmap for its portfolio of business solutions at the Microsoft Dynamics’ Convergence conference next March, and it will be interesting to see how it will expand its Microsoft Dynamics CRM vision to include the marketing organization. It’s a safe bet that this won’t be the last marketing technology acquisition we will see in the coming months.