Speaking to press and analysts at Dreamforce in San Francisco, Benioff said marketers’ increased influence over chief finance, operations and information officers has come as a result of the shift from purely using traditional offline media to adopting new technology.
He added that a previous Gartner prediction that CMOs will spend more money on technology as CIOs by 2017 was “underestimated”, implying the shift will come sooner than analysts think.
His views came hours after Salesforce launched what it claims is “the first unified social marketing suite”, which allows marketers to manage and measure all their social media opportunities in a single cloud environment.
Functions include the ability to look at trending campaigns from competitors, details on how many fans have been reached on Facebook, instant ad booking, the ability to contact other employees within the organisation and a view of the financial ROI of a brand’s social marketing activity.
The Salesforce Marketing Cloud launch follows its recent acquisitions of social media marketing companies Radian6 and Buddy Media.
Benioff said of Salesforce’s first move into cloud marketing programmes: “CMOs are flying these expensive jet fighters, they need a cockpit.”
He predicted that marketing programmes are Salesforce’s next $1bn product line, after its sales and services software.