Excerpts from industry analysts and journalists...
- Raises the specter of further market consolidation by large players. By making a bold move into not just automation, but digital media, Salesforce will raise pressure on Adobe, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and other traditional enterprise application providers to make similar moves, raising the valuations of Responsys, Neolane, and Silverpop. Salesforce can now monetize both seat licenses and media CPMs, and clearly wants to create a billion dollar business line in the marketing cloud.
- As a large, established vendor, Salesforce will make it easier for marketing departments to convince their IT and procurement peers of adopting ET. If Salesforce chooses to suppress digital media CPM rates, existing ET customers benefit, but Salesforce would make it difficult for (now much) smaller vendors, like Responsys and Silverpop, to compete.
Salesforce.com Acquires ExactTarget - Gartner
- Why ExactTarget? With a marquis customer list, and the ability to support robust email marketing programs, they offer Salesforce.com and their customers the capabilities needed to build out the marketing cloud. In fact, when existing Salesforce.com customers were seeking support for complex email requirements, the folks in San Francisco would point customers east to the folks in Indianapolis…often enough that integration via the Salesforce.com APIs already exists.
- I doubt Salesforce will suddenly stop integrating with other marketing automation vendors. Small, independent marketing automation firms already had a tough time selling against big competitors, so this only makes their lives marginally harder. The smart ones (and that's most of them) already have a strategy in place to differentiate themselves from the big industry leaders.
- I've long argued that CRM and marketing automation should be part of the same system. Like a broken clock, the time has come when I'm right. Marketing automation sits between email and CRM, in the sense that it uses both heavily. So Salesforce has effectively surrounded the marketing automation vendors with its purchase, even ignoring Pardot. This means that Salesforce will be in the room with a solution when email and CRM users discuss expanding into marketing automation. In many cases, clients will extend their Salesforce deployment without considering anyone else..
- If Salesforce.com does wish to push deep into lead management, it will need to either invest heavily in its own development or acquire a company, which will bring another hefty price tag. Last month, Marketo, a marketing automation leader, had a successful initial public offering. It opened at $13 per share. Today it is trading in the $22 range with a market capitalization of about $812 million. Eloqua, the other leader in the category, sold to Oracle late last year for $871 million. [TechCrunch blew it with this analysis, not realizing that Pardot came with ET!]
- This move is precisely (I would have said "exactly" but that sounded redundant) what salesforce needed to do. They now have an excellent email marketing suite, a strong upper-end-of-the-small-and-through-the-middle-of-the-mid-market marketing automation suite (via the Exact Target acquisition of Pardot last year) and, as an added bonus, the social comms tool Co-Tweet, which was one of the underutilized gems owned by Exact Target. They are also acquiring a substantial customer base that is reasonably ripe for salesforce's other offerings.
- By combining ExactTarget's digital marketing capabilities with Salesforce.com's sales, service and social marketing capabilities, Salesforce said it will create "a world-class marketing platform across email, social, mobile and the Web." Salesforce marketing capabilities were previously limited to social channels, powered by capabilities gained through the acquisitions of Radian6 and Buddy Media. In contrast, rivals including IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAS and Teradata, among others, have much broader, multi-channel marketing capabilities, most on the strength of acquisitions over the last three years.
- For the CMO with SFDC and MA: You can maintain your MA without concern, regardless of vendor. You may, however, want to seriously consider the soon to be native ET/Pardot advantages, as that will reduce your operating costs to maintain separate systems.
- For the CMO with SFDC but without MA: Your IT challenges will be resolved. CIO concerns will be overcome as SFDC acts as a Trojan Horse for your MA.
- For the SMB marketplace: Your life just got a bit easier. Salesforce meets the needs of all sizes of businesses, and this bundled solution will improve your time-to-marketing efforts.
- For Oracle/Eloqua: This is going to be difficult. Oracle wants to improve its CRM business, and the Eloqua acquisition to round out its offering makes sense. However, Salesforce want to improve its marketing capabilities, not necessarily its CRM business, so that it can fully assist the Marketing function. Big difference. Salesforce just cut Oracle off at the pass.