Marketo buys Bizible, adds ‘deeper attribution’ to its engagement platform

The move gives marketers the ability to track the buyer journey across all activation points.

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Marketo has acquired performance management software Bizible, the company announced Monday at its annual conference, the Marketing Nation Summit.

The merger brings together two companies that are well-known in the industry for the services they provide. Marketo is an enterprise-level marketing automation provider, and Bizible is known for its ability to provide attribution for conversions across channels.

It’s the largest acquisition in Marketo history. The company says that though it currently has some tools that provide attribution, the Bizible acquisition will provide “deeper analytics.”

I spoke to Bizible CEO and Co-founder Aaron Bird about the merger, and what the company means by “deeper” analytics.

“All engagement, across all channels, is something that Marketo covers in its engagement platform, and that’s part of what we’re helping with here,” Bird said. “That’s a breadth play across all channels, and then depth as well.”

Bird said the move is about evolution.

The story here isn’t really about [what] Marketo didn’t have, and has now, but rather, if you look [at it] as B2B marketers are getting more and more advanced, they’re asking for more and more detail about attribution and measurement and analytics and the buyer’s journey. This is exactly what we focus on. So, I think that this is where the market’s going and we spent a long time solving this problem, and Marketo is excited to have us as a complement to its other products.

The Bizible team will continue to work out of its Seattle office; Bird wasn’t sure if it will retain its name.

Part of a larger expansion

In a press release on Tuesday, Marketo added some context to the acquisition, saying that Bizible will be part of an overall initiative that helps users plan, engage and measure. With Bizible, “marketers will now be able to have greater visibility into full-funnel marketing, from campaign planning through to execution and revenue. This will enable teams to make smarter investments and only on the things that offer them the greatest impact.”

The release said that its measurement capabilities will be further enhanced by the launch of Marketo Performance Insights analytics, “which provide marketers with a 360-degree view of campaign performance from top-of-funnel engagement to revenue impact.”

The release also announced Marketo Sales Engage, new marketing software that will help “sales and marketing teams partner to drive more pipeline faster, by allowing teams to communicate with the best prospects and deliver a highly personalized and coordinated experience ” … and Marketo Sky, a new experience platform that’s currently in beta.

Attribution key to better marketing efforts

I spoke with Justin Gray, CEO at LeadMD, which is an implementation partner and client of both services.

“Marketers are looking for ROI metrics, they’re looking for attribution, and that’s just something you can’t get natively from that platform,” Gray told me. “I think that the long and the short of it is that Marketo’s been driving this ‘marketing as an ROI’ function without a solution to back up those claims. So it’s a good augmentation, but it’s also a very needed one.”

“I think it also speaks to the evolution of where marketing’s truly at; people have been talking about providing returns on their [marketing] activities and that they are revenue drivers for a decade now, but now they’re really being held accountable for it,” Gray said.

Nancy Lim Rothman, director of marketing at CallRail, agreed that this level of attribution was key to marketers’ understanding of their campaigns.

By acquiring Bizible, Marketo is emphasizing the need for CRM and sales/marketing tools to include more analytics data. The need for multi-touch attribution and an understanding of which marketing channels are contributing to ROI is now more important than ever, and Marketo’s acquisition of Bizible reflects that. For so long, these tools have focused on sales efficiency. This acquisition is shedding light on the amount of efficiency that could be found in analytics and attribution data. It’s essential for marketers’ businesses to understand what is truly driving leads and which customer touch points need the most attention. Focusing on attribution and analytics is the only concrete way to figure out how marketers can improve their campaigns moving forward.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Robin Kurzer
Robin Kurzer started her career as a daily newspaper reporter in Milford, Connecticut. She then made her mark on the advertising and marketing world in Chicago at agencies such as Tribal DDB and Razorfish, creating award-winning work for many major brands. For the past seven years, she’s worked as a freelance writer and communications professional across a variety of business sectors.

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