Salesforce acquires digital marketing firm ExactTarget for $2.5bn

Cloud computing giant Salesforce continues acquisition spree with latest conquest.

Saleforce.com's thirst to acquire companies shows no sign of being satisfied as the cloud firm has announced plans to snap up ExactTarget for 2.5 billion.

Digital marketing firm ExactTarget boasts 6,000 customers, including big names such as Coca Cola, Gap and Nike and, in acquiring it, salesforce.com will further boost its own cloud marketing play, according to the company.  

The deal, which has been given the thumbs up from the board of both organisations, is expected to be completed by the end of July during salesforce.com's second fiscal quarter.

Salesforce.com has made no secret of its bold ambitions to become the number one player when it comes to CRM by helping customers better connect with their customers across sales, service and marketing. This latest acquisition which follows those of Heroku in 2010, Assistly, Model Metrics, Radian6 and Rypple in 2011 and Buddy Media in 2012   will accelerate its plans to achieve this, the company claimed.

The cloud giant cited figures from analyst firm Gartner, which claims consumer tech companies will have moved one third of their marketing spend online by 2015, to add further weight to its choice to purchase ExactTarget.

"The CMO is expected to spend more on technology than the CIO by 2017," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, salesforce.com.

"The addition of ExactTarget makes Salesforce the starting place for every company and puts salesforce.com in the pole position to capture this opportunity."

Scott Dorsey, ExactTarget chairman, CEO and co-founder added: "ExactTarget's mission is to revolutionise how businesses connect with their consumers using data-driven digital marketing across all channels.

"Salesforce.com's 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."

Salesforce.com's Marketing Cloud was launched at last year's Dreamforce event in San Francisco to tap into the CMO's growing appetite for digital services, specifically those powered by cloud computing. 

"With [Marketing Cloud] we all have the opportunity to do social marketing right,"  Brett Queener executive vice president of Marketing Cloud at salesforce.com, said at the conference to mark the launch of Marketing Cloud.

"It's a really exciting time. We've been working on something amazing that we think has potential to transform the way that we all market. To say marketing is social is such an understatement. It represents the biggest change to marketing in last 60 years."

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