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Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 04 June 2013 snaps up digital marketing service ExactTarget for $2.5 billion


CRM software company agrees to acquire digital marketing SaaS ExactTarget for $2.5 billion

Customer relationship management (CRM) platform has announced its acquisition of cloud-based digital marketing service ExactTarget for $2.5 billion. has agreed to buy ExactTarget for $33.75 per share in cash and is expected to close late in fiscal second quarter (ending 31 July 2013).  The acquisition allows the company to further compete with other cloud and CRM services from as IBM, Oracle and SAP that have also made significant plays in this space over the last year. head quartered in San Francisco, California was founded in 1999 by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff and Frank Dominguez as a company specialising in software as a service (SaaS).  Founded in 2000 Scott Dorsey, Chris Baggott and Peter McCormick, ExactTarget works with over 6,000 global companies citing Coca-Cola, Gap and Nike as its clients. 300by255 logoIt?s the second substantial acquisition, acquiring Buddy Media nearly a year ago for $680 million and its seventh acquisition in the last 12-months.  

With the increased activity with digital environments, mobile, social networks and developing technologies analyst and research company Gartner estimates that by 2015 consumer technology companies will have switched one-third of their traditional marketing budgets to digital, with chief marketing officers (CMOs) will outspending chief information officers (CIOs) on information technology by 2017.

Yvonne Genovese, managing VP, Gartner?s Marketing Leaders Research, explains, ?Marketing was the fastest growing CRM category in 2012, growing at 21% (more than four times the software industry forecast norm in 2012). ?We believe this growth will continue and marketing will be the largest growing CRM category through 2017.?

In reaction the acquisition in its press release Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO,, commented, ?The CMO is expected to spend more on technology than the CIO by 2017. ?The addition of ExactTarget makes Salesforce the starting place for every company and puts in the pole position to capture this opportunity.?

?ExactTarget?s mission is to revolutionize how businesses connect with their consumers using data-driven digital marketing across all channels,? explained Scott Dorsey, ExactTarget chairman, chief executive officer and co-founder.  ? tremendous strength in social marketing, along with its leadership position in sales and service, not only will accelerate this vision, but also provide our customers with a powerful, integrated CRM platform to transform their end-to-end customer experience,? added Dorsey.

By combining ExactTarget?s digital marketing capabilities with sales, service and social marketing solutions, the company strengthens its services across email, social, mobile and the web.  As with all acquisitions, only time will tell how these services may blend well, or not, given the scale of both companies and the different cultures.  What impact this will have upon clients that currently use both services and what reaction customers may make of this remains to be seen. With speculation over at Forbes by analyst firm Forrester on how services for its marketers clients may be impacted with possibility of them becoming more complicated, it will be interesting watching months ahead at

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