With the dust settled from Salesforce.com’s acquisition of marketing automation provider ExactTarget in July, and following this week’s announcement of the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, the marketing automation provider is now unveiling a variety of new email marketing products.
The new products, rolling out by fourth quarter, introduce advanced mobile optimization, predictive content and a new user interface, and are intended to drive email marketing that features personalized content chosen from predictive analytics.
ExactTarget Marketing Cloud
The new capabilities follow an announcement earlier this week of the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, combining ExactTarget’s email, mobile, web, data, analytics and other resources with the social media tools Salesforce acquired when it bought Buddy Media, Radian6 and Social.com.
Bryan Wade, vice president for email products, noted in a statement that “email remains a foundation of digital marketing,” and provides a key channel for maintaining brand loyalty, retaining customer relationships and driving sales.
An expanded user interface offers an updated palette of workflow tools for collaboration, approval, editing-in-the-cloud and content tracking, all of which can be integrated with content management systems. Customer data can be managed through drag-and-drop and there’s ad hoc customer reporting. For the increasingly important mobile channel, the new tools include mobile preview, pre-header text, responsive templates and device-specific data.
Salesforce, in making its $2.5 billion purchase of ExactTarget, enlarged its social marketing solutions with the new acquisition's marketing automation and campaign management tools. This rollout of new email marketing capabilities strengthens one of marketers’ most dependable — and relatively controllable — tools. The use of predictive analytics, based on customer behavior and preferences, is based on technology that ExactTarget acquired when it bought iGoDigital in 2012.
Earlier this week, ExactTarget also announced a partnership with Webtrends, which provides ExactTarget customers with analysis of their marketing campaign performance through a real-time stream of user behavior data. It also inked an integration deal with OpenText's Digital Asset Management platform.
ExactTarget’s strength has been seen as centered around its email marketing platform and, following the announcement of the acquisition, some Salesforce-watchers said that ExactTarget could shore up its new parent’s weakness in this arena. In 2012, ExactTarget bought Pardot, which now provides the Salesforce family with the ability to provide small business marketing automation.
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