Salesforce.com (CRM) has completed its acquisition of cloud marketing platform company ExactTarget (ET), gaining the platform's technology as well as 6,000 customers including Coca-Cola and Nike.  The initial announcement in June of the deal placed the price at about $2.5 billion in cash, and TechCrunch reports that per an 8K form filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Salesforce.com took out a $300 million loan with Bank of American to help raise some of the funds to pay for the deal.

Salesforce said it plans to leverage ExactTarget for its digital marketing capabilities. The cloud-based CRM platform pioneer noted that Gartner (IT) had cited Marketing as the fastest-growing CRM category for 2012 when it grew at 21 percent, more than four times the software industry forecast norm for that year. Salesforce.com noted that Gartner has forecasted that 21 percent spending growth to continue through 2017.

Salesforce.com said in a statement that the deal will help provide its customers with marketing automation solutions.

Salesforce chairman and CEO Marc Benioff said in his prepared remarks that CMOs are expected outspend CIOs by 2017.

"The addition of ExactTarget makes Salesforce the starting place for every company and puts Salesforce.com in the pole position to capture this opportunity," he said.

ExactTarget CEO Scott Dorsey pointed out the synergies between the two companies.

"Together, we will enable companies to transform how they connect with their customers across sales, service and marketing," he said.  Dorsey will remain as CEO of ExactTarget, which will be a company under the Salesforce umbrella.

The news builds on Salesforce's May 2013 introduction of Salesforce Company Communities, a so-called next generation intranet alternative that enables employees to connect with their companies in real time.

Additional insights from Jessica Davis.