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B2B Media Opps: SalesForce taps new CMO amid ad spend increases, upcoming Slack acquisition (Score 77)
Effective immediately, SalesForce appointed Sarah Franklin as its new CMO to replace Stephanie Buscemi, its incumbent CMO of two and a half years. Franklin joined SalesForce 13 years ago as platform product marketing director. Her most recent role was as the EVP and GM of Platform & AppExchange.
During her tenure as the company's CMO, Buscemi and her team spearheaded several marketing efforts such as "Leading Through Change," a virtual event series, and "Dreamforce to You," an online version of SalesForce's annual user conference.
Since joining the company, Franklin led the team that debuted TrailHead, SalesForce's gamified online learning platform which supports users' pursuits of STEM careers.
While Franklin's leadership will result in shifts in the company's advertising strategy, I expect SalesForce to continue investing in virtual events and other online initiatives.
This promotion closely follows SalesForce's announcement that it will buy Slack later this year; view more details regarding this deal, along with Slack's recent ad spend data and current agency roster, here.
According to iSpot, SalesForce first began investing in national TV commercials in the beginning of 2020, and it continued doing so throughout the year. The company's full-year spend ended up amounting to roughly $15m; its commercials targeted male sports fans viewing programs such as NFL Football, College Football, NBA Basketball, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and MLB Baseball.
In all of 2020, Pathmatics reports SalesForce earned ~3b digital impressions via desktop display (41%), desktop video (29%), Twitter (14%), Facebook (11%) and mobile display (5%) ads. The company allocated around $18.1m toward this channel last year, up 62% from the roughly $11.2m allocated in 2019.
Additionally, Magellan reports SalesForce aired 534 podcast ads within the past year.
I expect SalesForce to continue utilizing national TV throughout this and coming years considering its relatively recent foray into this channel. Similarly, its upward momentum in digital ad spend, along with its usage of podcast ads, will likely continue.
The company tends to target business DMs with a male skew, so offer high-ROI B2B strategies. Per Kantar data, SalesForce also invests in OOH, print (national newspapers), radio and local broadcast.
Agency & martech readers - This CMO switch could easily result in agency roster shifts; remember, its leaders might also seek new agency partners for Slack in the coming months (more Jellyfish split additional digital duties.