Why Google would be interested in buying Salesforce


Benioff Salesforce Page Google

Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

Amid all the chatter around Salesforce's rumored acquisition, another tech giant has emerged as a possible bidder: Google.


According to Pivotal Research Group, Salesforce's marketing automation technology, which helps companies create and drive marketing campaigns more efficiently, makes it an attractive acquisition target for Google.

Here's why: Google has recently been testing a new data management platform, which would help advertisers target ads more effectively.

Pivotal says both products fall in the marketing technology segment because they all use a marketer's actual data on customers and prospects. Bunches of that data resides in Salesforce's marketing software. Marketers love this data. And Google wants its users to get access to it.

"The logic might go, why not push boundaries wherever possible in order to maximize the potential value that Google can offer advertisers and consumers alike?" the report said.


Another benefit of buying Salesforce is it gives Google more leverage against Facebook in the small and mid-sized business market. The SMB advertising market is a huge part of Google's business, but Facebook has been gaining a lot of ground in that space recently. Salesforce has a dominant position in sales and customer service among SMB customers. Google can definitely use some of that data to expand its advertising offerings in that market.

"Google has significant capacity to develop a category-killer in this space," it said.

Pivotal made sure its report is highly speculative and it has no strong view on the chances of the deal actually going through. But it also said that Google is aware of the "growing intersection of advertising, ad tech, and marketing technology," and that a Salesforce acquisition would only help it gain a better position in that space.

But it's also worth noting that Credit Suisse picked Google as a possible bidder for Salesforce in an earlier report. The reason: it would give Google a huge enterprise salesforce and application base, including marketing automation and campaign management systems.

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