One factor pushing the two together is the need for marketers to
diversify their communication beyond email, Mr. Kardon said.
"Marketers have become too email centric," he said. "Email
marketing, it's kind of lazy. It's the same old same old. You keep
blasting emails out and see the response rate. You know only 1% of
the people are going to care about your message, and you'll get
Smart b-to-b marketers -- the power users of marketing
automation -- are moving to advertising to get their message across
more channels, he said.
Bizo, an ad-tech company just acquired by LinkedIn, is
integrated with Eloqua and Marketo for this purpose. It also
recently released a product tailoring ad creative to prospects
based on their interactions with a company, mirroring how
traditional marketing-automation software works, but using online
ads to deliver the message.
"You can only reach people with an email so often before they
get pissed and don't open their emails anymore," said Bizo CEO Russ
Glass. "People don't get upset about seeing an ad multiple times a
Using ads from Bizo in conjunction with email marketing helped
DocuSign increase its conversion rate, according to Meagen
Eisenberg, VP of demand generation for DocuSign. "It is working,"
But running ads isn't attractive to all marketers. "Typically
our customers are accessible enough that advertising on a big scale
doesn't make a lot of sense," said Kim Metcalf-Kupres, CMO of
Johnson Controls, an industrial b-to-b company.
The role of data
Marketing automation tools are also often only as good as the lists
fed into them, meaning they aren't useful for marketers that don't
have significant databases of prospects. This is where the data
platforms -- Acxiom, Turn, and recent Oracle acquisition BlueKai -- come in. They allow marketers to
take their lists of known prospects and form audience clusters with
similar characteristics that can be reached with ads.
Maureen Little, Sr. VP business development at Turn, said the
integration allows marketers to pick desirable segments within
their marketing-automation platform, and expand those specific
groups. "I can say, 'Gosh, this is such a valuable segment; how
many more people can I find that look like it?'" she said. "They
will be able to say 'I just took the audience that is a couple
hundred thousand and I believe that I've found 1.2 million people
who look significantly like this consumer.'"
Looking for growth
Financial considerations have also driven marketing automation and
ad tech together. "In a lot of ways, it's the quest for growth that
has pushed them there," Mr. Kardon said. "Companies like Marketo
and Salesforce are on this treadmill and investors are looking very
closely at them and the expectations are extremely high for growth.
If they miss their growth targets, those stocks are going to be
Some of that punishment is already being meted out on Marketo:
Its stock has dropped from over $44 dollars in February to slightly
above $28 dollars today. But Marketo VP Mike Moeller said running a
business for the markets is not what Marketo is doing.
"Our moves are never around Wall Street," he said. "They are
always around where we see the market opportunity."