The marketing world has been abuzz after the announcement earlier this month that enterprise software giant Salesforce.com will acquire ExactTarget. So why did the company behind the number-one-selling sales and CRM system make this purchase, what will be gained by the two companies merging together, and most importantly, what do these changes in the marketing software industry mean for your brand?
First, let’s focus on the existing strengths of each company and how they complement each other. Salesforce.com’s software is known for excelling in influencer relations. The company’s offerings have helped thousands of organizations automate internal sales processes, allowing them to gain customer insights that they use to leverage relevant one-to-one communications. Enter ExactTarget, the number one cloud-based marketing software company, whose platform streamlines everything from email to texting to social media. It’s easy to see how these two companies’ offerings naturally go together.
But the move also illustrates Salesforce.com’s developing strategy to be a big player in the cloud space. In September 2012, the company unveiled the “Marketing Cloud,” which harnesses the social media marketing power of industry leaders Radian6 and Buddy Media. Now with the acquisition of ExactTarget, the “Marketing Cloud” has grown to include cross-channel digital marketing automation capabilities that encompass web, email, mobile and lead management (Pardot). In other words, Salesforce.com will be able to leverage all of these services to connect the dots of customer engagement.
In terms of what this means for brands, the convergence of these two companies signals the arrival of comprehensive marketing platforms that will enable marketers to collect, analyze and respond to data across multiple channels at a customer level. Not only will marketers have the ability to create and automate engaging, transparent, targeted communications, Salesforce.com is hoping the acquisition will allow marketers to directly manage the integration of databases and applications to quickly respond to customer needs—instead of falling onto the shoulders of overburdened internal IT departments.
As companies scramble to adapt to a changing digital marketplace, early adopters in the marketing automation and CRM space will have a measurable advantage against their rivals, resulting in increased revenue.
There is a reason why Gartner states that by 2017 the CMO will be responsible for more technology spending than the CIO— because it’s his or her job to drive that unique, relevant customer experience in an ever-changing digital marketplace. And just how will these marketing managers accomplish this? With the acquisition of ExactTarget, Salesforce.com is making a major play to be the one-stop solution for CMOs everywhere. If you're interested in learning more about launching successful email campaigns, contact us today!