But in a recent interview with Ad Age, Marketo CEO Phil
Fernandez said b-to-c customers could make up 60% of his firm's
business by 2016.
"Twelve percent of our bookings in Q4 were actually b-to-c,"
said Mr. Fernandez, up from zero a few quarters earlier. "We see
this complete crossover starting to happen between the techniques
and systems that grew up in the b-to-b world now being applied into
consumer marketing applications."
Marketo is being used by companies marketing everything from
salad dressing to cars. It's gaining traction among consumer
marketers, Mr. Fernandez said, because they want to segment and
tailor their messaging based on consumer profiles.
"There's no attempt to make a sale, but the same kind of
content, engagement, and follow up and personal communication tools
provide the ability to really build brand loyalty or repeat
purchase or advocacy -- we're seeing a lot of that," Mr. Fernandez
said. And while much of the outreach through Marketo is via email,
Mr. Fernandez said the company is seeing marketers use in-app
messaging as well.
The digital marketing space
is seeing major consolidation as companies such as IBM, Oracle, Adobe and
Salesforce.com try to build suites of tools for CMOs. Earlier this
Oracle acquired BlueKai, a data management platform typically
used for b-to-c marketing, which Oracle said would be integrated
with its marketing automation platform, Eloqua.
Marketo, which is public and has a market capitalization of
about $1.6 billion, is viewed as a hot acquisition target. Its
growth in b-to-c could certainly make it more attractive to
suitors. Mr. Fernandez said the company will easily hit its goal of
generating 20% of its business from b-to-c by the end of 2014.
In a visit to New York this week, Mr. Fernandez met with
executives from a demand side platform (DSP) company. He said an
integration with a DSP -- which are used to buy digital advertising
through the automated ad exchanges -- will likely occur this
Mr. Fernandez said the b-to-b applications of Marketo were
something of a petri dish and that the platform is "ready for prime