Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff has a knack for taking what is happening on the consumer web and applying it to business. He even spins #OccupyWallStreet as a something businesses should learn from and emulate. He makes his case in the video above, which I shot yesterday in New York with my iPhone (sorry for the bad lighting). His point is that if protesters can use Twitter and Facebook to #OccupyOakland, why can’t companies use the same social tools to organize themselves and motivate their customers?
“Facebook is really eating the Web,” he says, echoing Marc Andreessen’s notion of software eating the world. Benioff points to the fact that people are spending 4 hours a day on the social network. He mentions Disneyland as an example of a brand using Facebook to engage effectively with people after their visit.
But it’s not just Facebook, it’s Twitter too. Airlines like KLM are using Twitter to manage angry customers and reward loyal ones. Check out the video below to see how far KLM went in one marketing experiment to find passengers checking in on Foursquare or Tweeting about their flight and surprising them with a gift. (Notice also the ancient airplanes in the background. Are those DC-10s?). But at least they are up to date with their social marketing.
Benioff is talking his own game a bit, since he is trying to sell enterprises his own social tools with Chatter. But he does truly believe that if companies are ignoring social they are ignoring their customers. “We see it transforming our society,” he says, “we can use it to make our companies stronger. … This is a social revolution in regards to business.”
Salesforce is an enterprise cloud computing company that provides business software on a subscription basis. The company is best known for its on-demand Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions. Salesforce was founded in 1999 by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff, and went public in June 2004. Salesforce has been a pioneer in developing enterprise platforms through its innovative AppExchange directory of on-demand applications, and its Force.com “Platform as a Service” (PaaS) API for extending Salesforce.