Marin Software will make integration with Salesforce's customer relationship management (CRM) platform available in September with an application through the AppExchange, the cloud computing company's online marketplace.
A disconnect between an online campaign, such as paid search, and social media with CRM platforms has become one of the biggest problems for marketers that want to tie together the marketing and the sales processes. The app from Marin gives advertisers the ability to connect paid-search advertising campaigns with the CRM sales funnel in Salesforce.
The integration, built using the Force.com platform, enables marketers to pull data in and out of Salesforce CRM, as well as pull conversion data into Marin. It synchronizes the data in the Salesforce.com system, allowing marketers to see in the CRM platform a dashboard monitoring the number of leads a campaign drove on Google, Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, and Facebook.
There are other marketing applications from companies, such as Aprimo, ExactTarget and Silverpop, but none supporting paid-search apps through the cloud marketplace integrating with Salesforce.
Paid search and other online campaigns can drive leads.
Historically, once that lead leaves the Web, the information is inputted into the Salesforce CRM platform, and someone from the company follows up with a call. However, the salesperson can lose visibility of the potential customer down the road if he doesn't immediately make a purchase.
Even if companies pay $20 on average for a sales lead, some campaigns may convert better later. But the marketer doesn't know that because they lose the connection between the online marketing campaign and the CRM platform.
It's not clear whether Marin will provide the same integration with CRM tools offered by IBM, Oracle, Microsoft and SAP. Matt Lawson, Marin vice president of marketing, said Salesforce came to Marin with the request to build integration between the two platforms. "They have seen lift from their marketing campaign by being able to optimize the process," he said. "For one international campaign they increased their ROI by 60%."
Lawson said Salesforce increased return on investment by optimizing to a generic cost per lead. Once Salesforce marketers realized the online performance for the campaigns, they increased investments in some that overperformed a specific cost-per-lead metric, while decreasing in others that underperformed. This increased the ROI.
Salesforce has a product called a Web-to-lead form that allows marketers to embed forms on a Web site to capture leads. This allows Marin to tie the online campaign to the Web lead and capture it on the backend.