Spotlight on the Cloud-Salesforce/ExactTarget

CloudWarHere’s a look at our final reviewee in the cloud marketing game, Salesforce/Exact Target. Salesforce’s historical strength has always been in its CRM capabilities, especially with Sales Cloud. However, with a string of big-name acquisitions, it has announced itself as a major player in the digital marketing space. Upon acquisition of Indiana-based marketing analytics firm, ExactTarget in mid 2013, “the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud is the customer platform for 1:1 marketing, connecting companies with their customers in a whole new way,” says Dorsey, CEO of ExactTarget. Folded into that Exact Target deal was the October 2013 acquisition of Pardot. Pardot may actually be the real jewel in that deal.  It is a great solution for B2B marketers requiring sophisticated, yet easy-to-use lead nurturing capabilities . In addition, each application: Radian6: social media listening and monitoring; Buddy Media: social media content publishing and management; and  social media advertising serves a different part of the digital marketing strategy. The flagship platform ExactTarget is a massive data analytics operation. “It gathers data on consumer buying habits, browsing behavior, social media presence and it serves as the base through which all these apps work together”,  says Scott McCorkle, ExactTarget’s president of technology and strategy.

ExactTarget may be the flagship application for Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud, but the real stars of the production are its social products, Radian6 and Buddy Media. Radian6 was named as a leader in Forrester Wave’s Enterprise Listening Platforms report, receiving special praise for the comprehensive features in its dashboard, as well as its established market footprint. Buddy Media regularly makes it to the top of Gartner client shortlists for social media marketing. Coupled with, the three make up an impressive array of social marketing tools.

Buteven though has had an easier time with the integration process, it still has a long way to go. While its individual products are top-notch, their value as a whole is still below its potential. In addition, Salesforce currently lacks a content creation offering, instead allowing its platform to be integrated with the client’s existing content solution. images

Stay tuned next week for our final wrap up of series and let us know what you think. Stay #TopRight


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