Commentary

Marketing's Newest Friends: Traditional IT Vendors Looking For Customer Data

Salesforce this week announced that it has inked deals with media agency Omnicom and MarketShare that demonstrate a shift in focus from IT to marketing and analytics. The company does not plan to discard its core customer base, but the move indicates a greater focus on marketing and data. The move to reach out to partners further cements the centralization of customer data, creating a hub for the company.

A customer's time is the most important commodity, aside from the data she is willing to share. An introduction to a new company may take seconds, but the nurturing and the trust involved in building the relationship can take years. This means having access to the correct data and partnerships to cultivate the connection based on fact, not fantasy. Most consumers are willing to pay more for a product if they have a better buying experience. For some companies, this requires finding the correct partners.

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Since the acquisition of ExactTarget in 2013, Salesforce has positioned itself to become the dominant platform to integrate data across marketing channels. The ability to accurately measure and model audiences through data redefines marketing by providing access to the correct audience. The correct data also provides a better opportunity to generate the highest return on investment from campaigns.

Omnicom's data arm Annalect will manage the services ranging from application development to marketing cloud offerings, and CRM to customer service.

MarketShare became an ExactTarget Marketing Cloud partner in the community network to provide advanced cross-channel planning and attribution solutions to the company's customers.

As digital channels grow in complexity, marketers need sophisticated solutions to identify the most effective channels and content, with the ability to make changes to campaign course as they run and decipher performance reports that are sometimes conflicting.

MarketShare's solution, offered through ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, will improve marketing performance and increase sales with email, social and digital media analytics. It will become available in early 2015.

The solution, which is intended to fill the need for more powerful planning and attribution for online and offline campaigns, has the ability to measure cross-media impacts and long-term consequences, and to integrate market- and user-level analytics to improve overall marketing ROI.

"Holding hands" photo from Shutterstock.

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