Social media marketing in the cloud has been on a supersonic jet plane ride for the last 3 years and it doesn’t seem to be losing any speed.
On June 4th, Salesforce.com entered into its largest agreement to purchase publically-listed ExactTarget for $2.5 billion dollars; 7.6x Enterprise Value to Revenue. This comes on the heels of Oracle’s acquisition of Eloqua just four months after its IPO for $871m. These two companies have been trading jabs, otherwise known as acquisitions, over the last few years. As soon as one announces an acquisition within as soon as a couple of days the other has their own in the same space. This happened on the last round of acquisitions with Oracle picking up Vitrue and Salesforce grabbing BuddyMedia. Collectively these two companies have spent over $6.5B to build their cloud-based, all-encompassing solutions for marketers but don’t expect them to be finished. What they are building are platforms that provide solutions from initial contact to relationship management to servicing work for end users with the intent of locking in a customer for life and making the switching costs extremely high between the two platforms.
For smaller software companies it will be extremely hard to compete head-on with existing solutions provided by Salesforce and Oracle but there is a lesson to be learned here. The massive giants will move forward and compete against one another through the new and shiny objects they pick up; therefore, develop the next gem that will catch their eye. As Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com announced their “vacation” from M&A in the near term, the smaller sized pick-ups may now garner more attention than in the past.
The “mega” theme continues in our next webinar with special reports on “Mega Valuations” and “Mega Debt.”