Marketers are starting to realize the power of mobile messaging but currently, full integration for such a channel may not be that simple. Today, Salesforce announced that it has teamed up with Line, the chat app with 450 million registered users, a move that aims to make it easier for marketers to reach customers through the service.
The partnership will see new mobile marketing ways created on Salesforce’s ExactTarget Marketing Cloud that are catered to Line.
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Line already has a service known as Line Business Connect, which provides a business-oriented API that includes features of Line’s official accounts, that companies can customize accordingly. Line says that it can be used to “enable targeted messaging or two-way communication with regular Line users.”
However, the company received feedback that there were concerns on schedule delays and development costs coming from developing integrations in-house to accommodate CRM on Line. The partnership with Salesforce will see both firms “work together in the co-development and sales” of ExactTarget Marketing Cloud instead — which offers a centralized management system for sending messages and content to the right users at the right time from determining data such as customer databases and browsing histories.
The cloud service will now integrate support for Line messages in addition to pre-existing support for email, SMS and other forms of electronic communication.
This means that going forward, riding on the expertise of Salesforce, companies will probably find it easier to market on Line and be more willing to include it in their portfolio. It would likely help Line solidify a revenue stream from marketing and play a part in raising its earnings — already Line generated revenue of 14.6 billion yen ($143 million) in its first quarter of 2014.
The development and introduction of Line Business Connect using Salesforce’s ExactTarget Marketing Cloud will start first in Japan, which has over 51 million registered Line users currently. Line says it plans to roll out the service in more countries around the world when it monitors an increase in the usage of Line as a marketing platform.