Agrees to Acquire ExactTarget for $2.5B

Share this content: Agrees to Acquire Exact Target for $2.5B Agrees to Acquire Exact Target for $2.5B

Hailing today as an “historic day for cloud computing,” chairman and CEO Marc Benioff announced this morning that the company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire marketing software provider ExactTarget for approximately $2.5 billion in cash. will commence a tender offer for all outstanding shares of the email marketing provider and expects the deal to be completed by mid-summer.

“Our whole industry is changing. Mobile and social have entered the cloud,” Benioff said this morning in a conference call. “[ExactTarget] has been along on the ride with Salesforce and we saw in them a perfect partnership. I've never been more inspired and motivated about what we can do to automate CRM.”

In a Magic Quadrant analysis of how CRM companies performed in lead management released in April, Gartner Research identified as a serious competitor, though a niche player in the field, lagging behind best-of-breed providers with turnkey campaign and lead management functions. In the same report, ExactTarget was hailed as a “visionary” in marketing automation and lead management.

“We want to be the number one CRM company, and we have been number one in service and sales, but we have to be number one in marketing, too, “ Benioff said.

Yvonne Genovese, Managing VP of Gartner For Marketing Leaders, says that the ExactTarget deal will allow Salesforce to maximize the effectiveness of its previous acquisitions of Radian 6 and Buddy Media, both of which constitute Salesforce's Marketing Cloud product, giving the CRM giant presence in the areas of publishing and social media listening.

“This is a big deal for marketing. There is a lot of attention being paid [by providers] on marketers spending more to automate what they're doing,” she says. “All these providers know the marketing area has a lot of money. Companies are allocating more than 10% of revenue on marketing budgets, and that's a big number. By way of comparison, IT department budgets are 2% to 3% of revenue.”

Other players in the CRM and marketing automation space agree that the ExactTarget acquisition is a watershed deal. “While Benioff has long indicated that marketing technology is the next big thing for his company, he's now confirming that commitment with today's announcement,” says Stephane Dehoche, president and CEO of marketing technology provider Neolane.

Brad Wilson, CEO of Emailvision, thinks the high-profile deal may inspire marketers to take a more studied approach to their email operations. “Email is still the most profitable channel, but it can be done more intelligently—not just pulling a list,” he said. “This [deal] could cause more people to think about, ‘Am I missing something in my marketing mix? Can I be more effective as a marketer?”

Benioff remarked that the ExactTarget deal had its beginnings in the servicing of one of its largest clients, Bank of America. “There was this other company doing great work with them in the area of mobile and email,” he said, “and that company was ExactTarget.”

Salesforce's acquisition of ExactTarget reflects increasing consolidation among providers of CRM, marketing automation, and email marketing technologies. Last October, for instance, ExactTarget itself acquired marketing automation provider Pardot; and last December, Oracle acquired marketing automation provider Eloqua.


Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above