Salesforce benefits from growing CMO power, deals pressure SAP

|By:, SA News Editor

Gartner estimates that by 2017, the largest portion of corporate IT spend will be controlled by chief marketing officers (CMOs) rather than CIOs. CLSA's Ed Maguire views cloud CRM software kingpin Salesforce (CRM) as a major beneficiary of this trend, particularly following its $2.5B deal to acquire ExactTarget. Salesforce is adding ExactTarget's marketing automation software to its growing Marketing Cloud platform.

Other ad software/tech names that benefit from a spending shift to CMOs include Adobe (ADBE), Responsys (MKTG), Marketo (MKTO), Constant Contact (CTCT), and Marin Software (MRIN). Adobe's own Marketing Cloud saw 28% Y/Y sales growth in the August quarter, and was recently bolstered by the $600M purchase of ad campaign software vendor Neolane.

Like Salesforce, SAP is trying to create an end-to-end CRM platform aimed at CMOs. It recently bought top e-commerce software firm hybris for a reported $1.2B-$1.5B.

Maguire also states Salesforce's data integration deal with Workday (WDAY), together with a prior deal with Oracle (ORCL), "reinforce [Salesforce's] prominence as a de facto CRM standard." He reports hearing of "at least one competitive engagement where a customer chose Oracle over Workday" because the latter's Salesforce integration wasn't good enough.

Nomura feels likewise about Salesforce, and thinks its deals help negate the historical edge SAP has had in app integration (courtesy of its own apps, rather than partnerships). With two key ERP/HR software rivals striking deals with Salesforce, SAP is on the spot to strike one of its own.