Oracle announced this week that it has purchased the intellectual property assets of marketing automation platform (MAP) vendor Market2Lead.

We’ve been predicting the consolidation of the marketing automation platform market for a number of years and, after the 2007 acquisition of Vtrenz by Silverpop, expected there would have been more closer to that time. On the other hand, even with growth in the market, none of the marketing automation platform vendors has yet reached high enough annual revenue to entice a major buying spree. Due to that, we’re not sure the Oracle acquisition will be enough to bring the other CRM players (such as Salesforce or Microsoft) to the buying table in the immediate term. In the longer term, however, we fully expect most of the current players we consider a marketing automation platform to be acquired eventually.

A few market signs suggest that Market2Lead has been on the market for a while. For example, the list of customer shown on their website remained unchanged for well over a year. In addition, while we believe their marketing efforts often appeared inconsistent, from our viewpoint they’ve also been out of the collective marketing automation platform buyer’s consciousness. It’s been some time since we since we heard form a client who told us they were seriously evaluating Market2Lead.

But having said that, we’ve always been very positive in regard to Market2Lead’s technology. On the data management side, they’re particularly strong. We believe Oracle made a wise decision in buying the technology, not only because of its strength in data management, but also because it will help elevate Oracle’s own marketing offerings. Finally, and importantly, Oracle states that it plans to integrate the Market2Lead technology into its CRM products. This is good news for marketers: Siebel Marketing has been a weaker offering for B2B marketers compared to functionality in competing products, but it is the mandated marketing automation tool for many companies. This move is great news for those marketing teams.