Intuit, the company that delivers the small business accounting software QuickBooks, will purchase the email marketing-turned-SMB marketing automation platform Mailchimp for an estimated $12B. The companies announced the deal in a press release.
Intuit plans to integrate QuickBooks and Mailchimp to help companies draw immediate connections between their customer marketing data and their cash flow, which will ultimately give small businesses a better understanding of how their financial health is affected by individual marketing efforts.
Why is Intuit acquiring Mailchimp?
While on the surface, Quickbooks and Mailchimp seem like completely unrelated tools, despite having a similar customer base. But that’s entirely the point. In addition to expanding their service set, the acquisition is also a data play that will provide cross-marketing and deep customer data for both sides. And when the purchase is complete, Intuit will be able to access the robust datasets that Mailchimp accrues from providing email marketing, ad operations, website production, CRM, and marketing automation services.
And while expanding audiences and offering upsell and cross sell opportunities is vitally important for today’s companies, so is expanding your access to vital customer data. Every company is now a data company, so purchasing a new company with two decades of rich customer data is a huge move on Intuit’s part.
Small business customers win with their first marketing-focused ERP
While there are several enterprise resource planning (ERP) software platforms that are useful for small business manufacturing and retail companies, the combination of QuickBooks with Mailchimp seeks to build a company-wide data platform that enterprise companies have long had access to within ERP systems from Oracle, SAP, or Sage.
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Alex Chriss, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Intuit Small Business and Self-Employed Group said, “Together, Mailchimp and QuickBooks will become a powerful engine for small and mid-market business customers to get, engage and retain their customers, run their businesses, optimize cash flow and remain compliant.”
The difference between this partnership and more conventional small business ERPs like Odoo or Microsoft Dynamics 365 is that Mailchimp has its roots in building small businesses through digital marketing tactics. The last several years has seen Mailchimp grow from a standard email marketing tool to a full-scale marketing automation platform that is easy for customers of all experience levels to use. Mailchimp helps small businesses scale quickly with websites, lead forms, landing pages, and more.
This acquisition may help Intuit fill a data platform niche for small businesses who can’t afford a full marketing automation suite like Marketo or an ERP like Netsuite. Small companies are still interested in finding out how their marketing affects the bottom line, and this partnership may do that.
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