co-founder diginomica
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Dreamforce: CRM goes full circle with the children of Benioff

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19th Sep 2012
co-founder diginomica
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And Larry begat Marc and Marc did begat…well, rather a lot of companies actually it seems. 

It’s a tortured and somewhat flippant analogy but one of the most interesting things about this year’s Dreamforce conference is how many companies there are that are effectively ‘next generation’ Cloud firms built on the legacy of Salesforce.com in much the same way that Salesforce.com itself could be said to have been built on the legacy of Oracle. 
Perhaps no company better represents that than Full Circle CRM, a firm with an advisory firm and management team that are both Salesforce.com and Oracle alumni and whose offering is built as 100% native on the Force.com Salesforce.com platform. 
Although it’s CRM in the title, it’s marketing in its delivery – or more specifically Marketing Performance Management. What does that mean? It means knowing how much you paid for marketing activity and what you got back for those pounds, euros or bucks. 
The firm launched its first set of products at the Dreamforce  conference in San Francisco this week offering: 
  • Campaign Lifecycle Management to  handle complex revenue attribution and funnel analysis so marketers know which campaigns are driving revenue. This includes customisable criteria for revenue attribution, tipping point campaign credit, campaign-level response scoring, sophisticated campaign influence rules and closed-loop sales follow up and tracking.
  • Response Lifecycle Management to drive more opportunities from every campaign with full visibility for every response – regardless of whether it was from an existing contact or a new lead.  This includes central views for response disposition, response scoring, assignment rules, notifications and alerts, and a full history of every historical response and its outcome.
  • Marketing Analytics to provide marketing answers inside Salesforce.com, including a real-time marketing barometer, detailed funnel analysis, pipeline influence and “tipping point” reports, and detailed breakdowns of responses from new business vs. house list vs. nurture programs vs. existing customers.

Impeccible predigree

The pedigree of the company seems flawless for this focused pitch into the Salesforce.com ecosystem.  For example, the  firm’s advisory board includes  Adam Gross, the man who brought Force.com to market for Salesforce.com and Judy Loehr, one of the first Salesforce.com staffers in which role she designed and launched the original Service Cloud product, the Campaign features within the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and the Salesforce AppExchange. 
Heading up the new firm is Bonnie Crater, former CMO at various tech firms, ex Salesforce.com and also an Oracle alumni who was with that company at the same time Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff was learning his stuff at the knee of Larry Ellison. 
“We decided to create a company around marketing performance management,” she explains. “As a company we are leveraging all the fantastic experience we had at Salesforce.com. We found that there’s an important trend which is that marketing people are being asked to measure performance against revenue.”
While most firms simply talk about the CMO as a critical decision maker, Crater makes an interesting distinction. “There are marketing scientists and marketing artists,” she declares. “The scientists – like me – want to be able to count. If you have a portfolio of marketing programmes, you want to know which classes of programme are the ones that are driving the revenue. With that information you can realign your whole marketing budget. When companies spend between 3-20% of total revenues on marketing, that’s important.”
And marketing arists? “They think about the next great marketing campaign and come up with ideas, but the scientists are the ones who count how it works,” says Crater. “Artists actually like scientists because we present them with accurate data that they can trust.”
This isn’t just about marketing, she adds. “It’s also about the sales campaigns and the partner campaigns that an organisation might be running,” explains Crater. “We give a company a complete view of everything about every type of campaign they’re running or are involved in so sales and marketing have one set of data and everyone is singing from the same hymn book.”
Crater cites a recent study by Gartner as evidence of the increased importance of the marketing function. “There is a revolution going on in marketing – these guys now have the budget,” she says. “The IT guys have already automated finance and accounting, everyone’s bought their SAP and their Microsoft, so the marketing department is the last major one that needs to get on with it.”
But if the CMO is now in charge of increased discretionary spend, do they spend it as scientists or artists? “A good CMO is a good scientist and a good artist,” says Crater diplomatically, but adds: “Not everyone is – it’s a right brain, left brain thing.”

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