ExactTarget supports Salesforce’s digital marketing initiatives


Sep. 12 2014, Updated 4:35 p.m. ET

Salesforce.com acquired ExactTarget for $2.5 billion

In June 2013, Salesforce.com (CRM) announced the acquisition of ExactTarget—a digital marketing company—for $2.5 billion. So far, it’s the company’s most expensive acquisition. ExactTarget provides cloud-based software that integrates customer data from any source to power digital marketing campaigns across multiple channels. It leverages sophisticated marketing automation capabilities to improve customer engagement and sales. Its customers include Coca-Cola (KO), Gap (GPS), and Nike (NKE). It has more that 6,000 clients worldwide.

ExactTarget acquisition 

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Salesforce.com brought acquisitions together in the social media and marketing business—ExactTarget, Buddy Media, and Radian6. Salesforce.com launched “Marketing Cloud” or “Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud.” It’s a customer platform for one-to-one marketing. It allows marketers to manage their digital marketing. Digital marketing includes email, mobile, social, web, marketing automation, and data analytics. The digital marketing can be managed from a single platform. Marketers can connect social advertising with their customer data and real-time trends. This allows them to maximize their advertising dollars’ return.

ExactTarget cloud marketing software is used by businesses to personalize emails and text messages. It also allows them to run ad campaigns on social media platforms. Companies are wanting to advertise their brands and offerings through social media—like Facebook (FB). ExactTarget’s acquisition will complement Salesforce.com’s suite of marketing products that it offers to customers.

Huge growth is expected

The managing vice president at Gartner’s Marketing Leaders Research, Yvonne Genovese said “Marketing will be the largest growing CRM category through 2017.” The International Data Corporation (or IDC) expects the overall market for marketing automation to grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $4.8 billion in 2015.

The dramatic increase in consumer and business use of social networks, mobile devices, and new digital technologies is causing a revolution in marketing. Budgets that were previously reserved for traditional media are now spent on digital campaigns. Salesforce.com’s acquisition of ExactTarget will capture this rationale.


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