Marketo forms a new alliance with Google Cloud
Marketo, a leading marketing automation provider, recently announced their new alliance with Google Cloud. Starting in 2018 both companies will join forces to migrate Marketo's platform from their own data centres to the Google Cloud Platform. The multi-year deal will enable Marketo to scale its infrastructure and create an integrated solution for marketers including what Google now call G Suite (Google Drive and Apps). Marketo is effectively simply a customer of Google, although some have suggested this could lead to acquisition.
It's no secret that Marketo has experienced performance and technical issues as they have grown in size. It is a common problem for growing SaaS companies that try to host everything themselves. It's frustrating for their customers, but not unusual for the industry. It has been reported that running lists can take an unusually long time and users are having to 'game' the system to allow for the time it takes for processing the data required for complex automation sequences
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So, upon moving to the Google Cloud Platform these issues are now Google's problem. Which feels like a good call to me, if you're going to put your faith in anyone, Google seems like the safest hands in the business. But it does come with risks, ask anyone in your dev team if moving your whole site (never mind a complex marketing automation system) to a new server is easy and brace yourself for their reply. Because it has the potential to go wrong and mean that Marketo's whole business goes offline for a large period of time, which could do a lot of harm. But with Google's backing, I'd say it's near guaranteed that everything will be fine as it's in Google's interest to make sure everything is A-OK. Google Cloud does already have partnerships with other large-scale SaaS services like Evernote and Box.
What's in it for Marketo?
- Speed - reducing run times from minute to seconds and seconds to virtually instant. For a best marketing team time matters.
- They no longer need to build, maintain or expand their own data centres reducing costs and many stress-levels
- Ability to scale their business without having to worry about performance issues
- Integrating the G-Suite into the platform leveraging Gmail, Sheets and Hangout chat to build a rounded product offering outside of just marketing automation.
- Product development supported by Google opens a massive opportunity with the potential to take advantage of Google BigQuery and machine learning
- Marketers who may have chosen a different marketing automation platform could now favour Marketo due to Google's backing.
What's in it for Google?
- Another large brand added to the Google Cloud following Evernote and Box, which could have easily used Amazon Web Services, IBM or Microsoft.
- Ability to place the G-Suite in front of over 6000 businesses globally
- A marketing platform to introduce Google BigQuery and machine learning
What does this mean for marketers?
Marketers will be able to take advantage of a marketing automation platform that is fast and will evolve with new features and integrations over the next few years. The prospect of a solid and fast platform that not only provides marketing automation but also a way to leverage AdWords with more targeting and personalization options makes a lot of sense for both parties.
Should Marketers consider Marketo more seriously?
Definitely, with Google's vision and Marketo's base of marketing customers, this alliance could change the platform from one of the best into a must have for marketers. Giving Marketo a Google-sized advantage over its competitors.
Final thought, is this the first step to Google purchasing Marketo? In 2016, Marketo was purchased for $1.79 billion which could be too high for even Google. Who knows, we'll have to wait and see how this all pans out.
You can read the original announcements from Marketo here and Google Cloud here.