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8/22/2006
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Salesforce.com And NetSuite Debut Links To Google AdWords

The new services can be used to manage search-engine keyword marketing campaigns and measure their effectiveness.

Salesforce.com is offering a new service that allows its customers to link the vendor's on-demand Salesforce automation applications with Google's AdWords advertising system. The new link will make it easier for sales executives to manage search engine marketing campaigns and measure their effectiveness.

Competitor NetSuite has also added software to its on-demand product lineup. Called the NetSuite Keyword Marketing Module, it provides marketing campaign management capabilities and prebuilt reports for purchased search engine keywords on Google AdWords, Yahoo Sponsored Search, and Microsoft's MSN AdCenter.

The Salesforce for Google AdWords service, announced Tuesday, is based on technology that Salesforce acquired through a buyout of Kieden Corp., a startup that built its software on Salesforce's AppExchange application-sharing service. Terms of the acquisition, also announced Tuesday, weren't disclosed.

Salesforce for Google AdWords provides a real-time link between Salesforce's on-demand apps and Google that sales managers can use to create and manage search engine marketing campaigns and measure their results and return on investment.

Sales managers can place ads on Google through Salesforce applications, buying keywords and creating ads that comply with Google's editorial policies. They can then collect performance data in a Salesforce database, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said in a press conference. That data can be used to author reports about advertising spending and generated sales leads, as well as create management dashboards with performance metrics displaying, for example, a company's top revenue-generating keywords on Google.

NetSuite argues its KeyWord Marketing Module is superior to Salesforce's offering because it supports Yahoo and Microsoft search engines, not just Google. And because search results can be tied into NetSuite's order management and financial apps, a feature that Salesforce lacks, users can more effectively calculate marketing campaign ROI.

Google is an increasingly important sales channel for many businesses, but determining the ROI of that channel has been a challenge, says Judith Hurwitz, president of the Hurwitz & Associates research and consulting firm.

The NetSuite Keyword Marketing Module is available now as part of the NetSuite and NetSuite CRM+ packages of services at no extra charge. During an initial pilot phase that begins today, Salesforce for Google AdWords is available through AppExchange for a free 30-day trial period. The service is expected to be generally available later this year with a price tag of $300 per month per organization.

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