The Challenge of Marketing Automation and Cutting ERP Costs

Jul 18, 2012

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Where is the Cloud shifting Enterprise software, and most importantly, how will that be helping you cutting ERP Costs.

Prior to Cloudforce London in May, Marc Benioff talked to the press about a building a full marketing suite/desktop/front office, quoting: “We’ll have a lot to say about that at Dreamforce in September.”

Marketing Platform and Cost

Then Salesforce’s recent acquisition of Buddy Media on June 4 was the largest since Heroku and Radian 6.  The Buddy Media deal followed Oracle’s Vitrue acquisition with cost unknown.

So the real question is, how does all this fit in the entire marketing suite from monitoring, managing, and measuring the effectiveness of social media from end to end?

In a recent Q&A with Marcel Lebrun, we have some insight to this acquisition, and that is to help CMOs find a solution that ties things together for them.  They can have one platform to invest in the following needs:

  1. How to build community
  2. How to listen, to gather insights from their customers
  3. How to engage in two-way conversations with their customers
  4. How to publish to their social channels
  5. How to do social advertising
  6. How to measure the effectiveness of those campaigns
  7. How do they do ROI on all this.

The first 5 points are fairly well known using a variety of tools out there, with free and premium products.

75% of SAAS Cost is Sales and Marketing

Taking a step back. When you look at the labour cost of a software vendor, it’s not surprising that 50% of the expense goes to the Sales staff, and 25% goes to Marketing.  Yes, that’s 75%, and you still have to build the product!  Contrast that with the early days of the 1999 dot com bubble, I’ve seen 75% spent on Technology staff instead.

How do you do less with more?

It makes sense to come up with sales force automation tools (SFA) like CRM software, marketing automation tools, and getting rid of the monolithic expensive ERP systems!   Yes, that includes server costs, licensing cost and support contracts!

No doubt, has successfully become the number one CRM tool out there, but Marketing Automation and reducing ERP costs are still a wide open market.  Hence all the recent acquisitions.  Companies are taking social seriously now, just like everyone has accepted the Cloud (in public, private and hybrid models)

I’ll get into ERP in another article, but Cloudforce London in May showcased how Human Resources management and Salesforce’s Rypple were being used.  That is just the beginning of the end of the traditional monolithic ERP.’s tagline and message may be “social” but it’s just a cover up to bigger projects under the hood.  They are encroaching the front office space because it’s easier to have everything under one platform.

One platform.  One vendor.


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