Salesforce and Omnicom Ink Marketing Cloud, CRM Deal

Agreement Underscores Growing Importance of Marketing Technology

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Salesforce and Omnicom announced a partnership on Tuesday that will give the holding company's agencies and their clients access to Salesforce's full product offering.

The deal underscores how agencies are turning to marketing technology to centralize customer data. It also demonstrates Salesforce's attempts to expand its client base.

Michael Lazerow
Michael Lazerow

"Five years ago, I don't think Omnicom would have done something like this," said Michael Lazerow, chief strategy officer of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, in an interview. "They would have left it to a large system integrator to do [customer-relationship management]."

Annalect, Omnicom's data, technology and analytics arm, will manage the new offering, which involves all Salesforce products, including its marketing cloud offerings, CRM, customer service and app development. The partnership is not exclusive, but gives Salesforce a foothold with Omnicom. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mr. Lazerow said Salesforce's software will allow Annalect clients to better tailor their messaging. For example, different ads can be targeted to customers vs. prospects, and customer service teams will know a person's history when responding on social media.

The aim is to collect customer data and share it across all departments in order to improve the full customer experience. "It's really more about connecting the dots, than replacing any specific thing they're doing," Mr. Lazerow said.

The CRM market reached over $20 billion in 2013, according to Gartner, and its future growth is expected to be driven by marketers. "A huge, relatively untapped area of this is marketing," Omnicom Digital CEO Jonathan Nelson said.

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