Salesforce Purchases ExactTarget for $2.5 Billion

Salesforce Purchases announced that it will spend $2.5 billion to acquire ExactTarget which will be the company’s largest purchase to date. ExactTarget’s customers include Coca-Cola, Nike, and The Gap and it ran a $21 million loss on $292 million in revenue last year.

This $2.5 billion price tag is far more than the Oracle deal for Eloqua which was valued at $871 million.  This deal also comes after ExactTarget purchased Pardot in late 2012 for $95 million.

“The CMO is expected to spend more on technology than the CIO by 2017,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, “The addition of ExactTarget makes Salesforce the starting place for every company and puts in the pole position to capture this opportunity.”

Both Marketo and Hubspot had been rumored as potential acquisition targets for Salesforce to add marketing automation functionality to their Marketing Cloud.  Radian6 and Buddy Media were the first pieces of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud to provide social media marketing.

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

Click here to read about the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.


  1. says

    It is fascinating to see this consolidation happening as we have been predicting for years.

    But, what goes along with these purchases as well as IPOs leaves a lot to be desired. Prices are skyrocketing while customers are still juggling databases among applications that were never really built to integrate smoothly. That’s more investment in IT management.

    Then, there’s the matter of UIs (User Interfaces) that haven’t been updated/upgraded, in some cases, almost a decade. This means frustration, poor adoption, and more money spent on employee training and management. (Hint-no one likes being motivated by the “stick method.”)

    So, it’ll be interesting to see what SFA does with this latest acquisition. Meanwhile, congrats to ExactTarget. They all have to band make alliances to stay competitive with the comprehensive solution platforms that have been built from the beginning with deep integration, cross-organization transparency, and cost-containment as our mission.


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