Campaign Monitor acquires to move further into the world of CRM

When ecosystem partners become competitors, some sensitivity is required.

email computer send button

Campaign Monitor is an email marketing and automation software vendor that not only powers email for around 200,00 companies globally but, more importantly (from my perspective) powers my own email newsletter (shameless plug: you really should go and subscribe here, it’s good!). Apart from this author’s newsletters, other high-profile organizations such as Adidas, BuzzFeed, Chandon, Rip Curl, the San Diego Chargers, Topshop, Sephora, Vice Media and Virgin use the platform for their own newsletter needs.

But email is rapidly becoming a commoditized space and Campaign Monitor, along with its competitors, is in a mad race to innovate around the periphery of email. A good indication of this comes today with the news that Campaign Monitor has acquired Tagga, a marketing CRM offering. Tagga offers a customer data platform that marketers use to inform and fuel their engagements with customers and prospects.

The addition of Tagga to the Campaign Monitor stable delivers what Campaign Monitor describes as a platform to create a hyper-personalized customer experience. The combined offering will create what Campaign Monitor is calling a marketing CRM.

The theory goes that marketers have access to an unimaginably vast amount of digital information that’s growing faster than ever before -- and that these marketers want to harness this data to unlock fresh insights about their customers and prospects and send them relevant messages at scale. But, according to the company, historically this level of personalization in marketing has required massive budgets, armies of engineers and months to see a return. Which is where Tagga comes in -- with the combined solution, users can capture data in an ambient way and create behavioral profiles for their customers to drive a greater return for their business.

“Data is the fuel of the future and we need to help translate it for our customers in a meaningful way,” said Alex Bard, Campaign Monitor’s CEO,. “With Tagga, Campaign Monitor will be the marketer's behavioral data-driven engine, powering more effective ways for marketers to engage with customers.”

That "CRM" name

All of this raises an interesting competitive situation. Especially given the fact that Bard is an alumnus of Salesforce. While there was already competitive overlap, with Salesforce offering email services post its acquisition of ExactTarget, this move counters that development, with Campaign Monitor moving into Salesforce's core space, CRM.

Always one to look for a bit of a competitive angle, I quizzed Bard about this face. And, much to my chagrin, Bard was hyper-sensitive and diplomatic and wouldn’t give me anything even remotely resembling an aggressive competitive angle.

According to Bard, since Campaign Monitor caters to a different customer base than Salesforce, there isn't interest from the company in commenting specifically on a specific feature comparison. Bard pointed out that Campaign Monitor is delivering a CRM for an underserved market -- growing brands (rather than the large enterprises Salesforce and others cater to) and that, by extension, there is little competitive overlap between the two. Bard extended on this theme when he said that:

Gartner predicts that the CRM market will surpass $50 billion in the coming year, eclipsing the big enterprise software markets. Traditionally, CRM providers have developed software for B2B companies focused on account-based marketing, the kind of marketing that is heavily business process driven and requires a sales representative to nurture relationships. B2C brands, in contrast, need scalable software that keeps track of millions of customers and their associated behavioral data to segment and personalize engagement -- that’s what the new Campaign Monitor will be able to deliver for growing brands.


I get what Bard is saying here but, to be honest, I see more of an overlap than he does. While it is true that Salesforce is increasingly looking further up the food chain for its customers, it undoubtedly still has a large presence in the small but growing end of the spectrum. While it is probably unlikely that many existing Salesforce customers will jump on over to Campaign Monitor, the story gets more interesting for net-new opportunities.

Either way, this acquisition is an interesting one, and provides a way for Campaign Monitor to drive deeper value from its product offering.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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