In case you haven’t heard – Salesforce announced yesterday that it is acquiring ExactTarget for $2.5B in cash. This comes in at a whopping 50% premium above the previous day’s close and comes on the heels of Marketo’s IPO as well as the surprising acquisition of Eloqua by Oracle announced earlier this year.

This transaction was a consistent topic of debate coming out of the rumor mill at last month’s Sirius Decision conference in San Diego. It’s becoming increasingly clear that technology spending at large organizations is no longer solely budgeted for the office of the CTO or CIO – it’s falling into the hands of the CMO.

What can we ascertain from this news?

Marketing Software makes Money

Sirius Decisions has stated 70% of the buying process in a complex sale is already complete before prospects are willing to engage with a live sales person. This opens the door for software and cloud tools that make the modern marketer’s mission of generating a higher volume of highly educated leads possible.

A Clear Bridge has formed between Cloud Marketing and Sales Enablement

As above, Marketing’s role in an organization is to develop the content and presence to establish the highest quality pipeline for the sales organization. This doesn’t happen over-night, but the tools that have been developed to improve this process (Eloqua, Marketo, Exact Target, Pardot, SilverPop, etc.) have become a key part of this process for innovative organizations.

Both Oracle and Salesforce have now made the move – these companies can own the entire lead development process, from gathering to nurturing to closing. There is no doubt in my mind that the Exact Target/Salesforce integration will be a powerful piece of Software for the companies that are smart enough to buy.

How does Video fit into all of this?

We’re glad you asked!

Last week, I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by Lisa Arthur (CMO at Aprimo and Forbes Contributor) about the next steps in Video Marketing. At the core of any marketing strategy is content – that is, e-mails, white papers, blog posts, tweets, facebook posts and most importantly – video. 

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the article, we’ve summarized the contents into this 2-minute video:

The ability to feed user-level video engagement data into your core sales and marketing tools is the ultimate enabler for Smarketers.  Pumping key video analytics directly into lead or contact records in your MAP or CRM allows you to seamlessly integrate your video content executions right into your sales and marketing wheelhouse! Now video data can be used like every other piece of data in your system: for segmentation, nurturing, scoring and passing on to your sales team.

This is just a small piece of the magic that is modern, internet enabled business.

Keep Smarketing!

Michael Litt