ExactTarget Marketing Cloud – Salesforce’s secret weapon
- Posted: 9th February 2017
The 21st century has exploded with innovation. The rapid delivery of game-changing technologies such as social media, smart devices and the cloud in the past 17 years alone, has transformed how brands engage with their customers. This in turn, has led to the development of increasingly intuitive sales and marketing software to help companies communicate better with their target audiences.
Towards the end of 2000, shortly after the dot-com bubble had burst, a little company called ExactTarget was founded by Scott Dorsey, Chris Baggott and Peter McCormick, with just $200,000 in financing. Their original idea and vision for the business may feel like common sense today, but at the time it was ground breaking. Essentially, they envisioned a future world where every company used the Internet and email to deepen their relationships with their customers. The trio had no software experience, but spotted an opportunity to bring database marketing principles from print to online.
ExactTarget began as an email marketing software suite, but expanded quickly from there; growing from $11.5 million in its second year of operations to $41.1 million in 2006. The company went public in 2012 and extended its capabilities to include social comms and marketing automation by acquiring two smaller companies: Pardot for $95.5 million and iGoDigital for $21 million.
Their market leading position did not go unnoticed and just one year later, the company was bought by Salesforce for around $2.5 billion. At the time this was Salesforces’ biggest ever acquisition, and the company was best known for its world-beating CRM and AppExchange partner ecosystem. As part of the integration, ExactTarget was first renamed Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud before changing to Salesforce Marketing Cloud in 2014.
Chiefly responsible for building the SaaS and cloud industries, Salesforce recognised the importance of the ‘marketing cloud’ for its customers and believed in ExactTarget’s solution. The acquisition and creation of Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud was a smart move for Salesforce, enabling it compete with rival marketing cloud giants such as Adobe. Marketing budgets continue to rise and Gartner studies predict that in 2017, chief marketing officers (CMO) will buy more IT than chief information officers (CIO) to support their web, digital commerce and digital advertising needs. Digital commerce is a high priority for marketing leaders as a means of driving revenue, measuring campaign performance and gathering actionable insights through direct customer engagement.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud has built a proposition that meets today’s CMO’s needs. It enables brands to listen to their customers and gain in-depth information about their likes and dislikes, pains and pleasures. Brands can then turn these insights into actions, and target their audiences with highly personalised content delivered through a multi-channel strategy that includes email, social, web, and mobile. The user-friendly platform allows marketers to easily design and manage their campaigns, publish content and analyse results.