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Denis Pombriant Salesforce.com Social Marketing

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By Denis Pombriant, of Beagle Research

Social Insights Partner Ecosystem Looks to Consolidate Social Data Snapshots

Continuing its defacto Blue Ocean Strategy Salesforce.com announced important new social marketing capabilities at Cloudforce, New York last week. The announcements put some meat on the bones since initially offered at Dreamforce, the company’s flagship event held last month in San Francisco when company Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff unveiled the Marketing Cloud.

Salesforce's Marketing Cloud is a social marketing platform that leverages social media, social concepts and user generated data to derive important insights into customer demand and behavior. The announcement puts more bullets in the social marketing gun in the form of multiple additional forms of analytics that can ferret out more insights and drive better marketing results. The technologies also have customer support implications.

In part of the announcement the company introduced its Social Insights Partner Ecosystem, a nod to the multiple best of breed analytics companies springing up, each intent on providing a different angle on slicing and dicing social data. So for instance, there are analytics for emotion, natural language processing (NLP), predictive and trending analytics, affinity and segmentation and, of course, influence.

These are all point solutions and the other important part of the announcement is the platform technology that provides a common socket into which vendors plug their analytics engines. The rest is magic… Oh, all right, the rest involves feeding the insights into Radian6 so that marketers can design relevant campaigns and take action.

As mentioned, the social analytics work equally well in service and support. Most support groups are always searching for instances of @#$%! INSERT COMPANY NAME HERE on social networks so that it can soothe frayed nerves and make nice with customers. This technology makes the search infinitely simpler and should be a boon to customers and customer service people.

There’s been some criticism of Salesforce.com recently for not buying or developing more of a conventional marketing automation or campaign management application. But this announcement coupled with the company’s bias for finding and occupying novel market niches shows there is plenty of undiscovered opportunity in marketing and as long as there is, it will continue to partner with innovative marketing automation software vendors while pursuing future opportunities.

Salesforce.com has developed a three-pronged approach to creating the social enterprise. With solutions for the vendor-customer, employer-employee and man-machine interfaces, the cloud company is positioning itself to be the go-to provider of solutions that incorporate low cost and highly effective social applications that will enable users to be highly competitive in tomorrow’s marketplace.

It remains to be seen how well the company can pull it all off but the customer stories — told in videos — presented at Cloudforce offer an appealing glimpse of the future of business. End

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There’s been some criticism of Salesforce.com for not buying or developing more of a conventional marketing automation application. But the company’s bias for finding and occupying novel market niches shows there is plenty of undiscovered opportunity in marketing and as long as there is, it will continue to partner with innovative marketing automation software vendors while pursuing future opportunities.

 

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