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 b-to-b 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 b-to-b organizations.
Besides an immediate entree into the marketing automation platform game, what does ExactTarget gain from acquiring Pardot?
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.
Jonathan Block is Vice President and Practice Director, Technology, at SiriusDecisions. He has developed key models and frameworks that enable b-to-b organizations to understand, evaluate and implement appropriate marketing and sales technologies, as well as advised executive clients on the role of technology to help drive sales and marketing integration and enterprise alignment. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @jblock.