Thursday, October 12, 2006

Marketing Analytics for Salesforce.com

This week and last, we've had 2 good conferences in San Francisco, very relevant for marketing analytics. Last week it was DreamForce'06 from salesforce.com, and earlier this week, we had DMA'06.

Let me talk about DreamForce first because it has become a fad these days (specially for anyone working in BI or SaaS) to integrate with salesforce.com using AppExchange. Since early this year, I have been eagerly trying to find an angle between our business and salesforce.com, so DreamForce'06 was obviously very relevant.

A good friend of mine from college, John Barnes, was at DreamForce'06. John is the VP of Technology at Model Metrics, a Chicago-based firm that specializes in customization and integration of salesforce.com with legacy systems. I pinged John to find out more about what salesforce.com is actually doing about marketing automation and analytics, which was very insightful (thanks John).

Salesforce.com website describes marketing autmation as a key component of their platform, which also includes marketing analytics. Turns out while it is possible to define and manage campaigns using salesforce.com, the marketing analytics bit only provides some very basic reports.

So my idea is fairly simple. If people are actually running high-volume direct marketing campaigns using salesforce.com, then we will write an AppExchange component to suck in all the campaign and customer data into our platform and then provide much more sophisticated predictive analytics and other fun stuff on our platform -- make a lot of money, retire early, speak at next DreamForce (sorry I get carried away with this vision thing).

Anyway, about 10-20% of SF customers are using the marketing functionality today. The SFA is the main use but marketing is growing more and more. But 10% of 22,000+ customers is still a good market to go after. And the marketing analytics (and reporting) on SF is lacking. The main obstacle to making it better is that their API does not have a join capability so the only way to do better reporting today is to have a copy of SFDC locally and use replication software to keep it up to date (by DBAmp or Relational Junction on the AppExchange).

Sounds like a good opportunity.

So, overall I am happy with DreamForce'06. I had a chance to shoot breeze with an old college buddy, and learn about a very feasible way for us to get into the AppExchange game. Now I need someone who will go in on this with me as a "design partner" :-)

1 comment:

George said...

To track your sales and business trends you need to have a good reporting tool and salesforce reporting is considered to be one of the best.