Salesforce has made some pretty hefty bets on social monitoring, engagement, content and advertising with the acquisitions of Radian6 and Buddy Media. As you may remember, the CRM giant shelled out $326 million for social media monitoring company Radian6, and most recently, social media marketing giant Buddy Media for $689 million. Today, Salesforce says it is bringing the best features from both platforms into one product—the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
As the company explained in a briefing this week, the aim of the marketing cloud is to give campaign managers and Chief Marketing Officers the ability to turn insight into action when it comes to social signals and data. The key components of the product are social listening, social content, engagement, social ads, workflow and automation and measurement.
Salesforce says it is seeing a major transformation take place on the marketing industry due to the emergence of social networks. The company says that CMOs will surpass CIOs in spend on technology within the next five years and that social advertising will be the largest growth area of online advertising by 2013. Clearly there’s a market opportunity for Salesforce to offer a comprehensive solution for CMOs that leverages the power of both Buddy Media and Radian6.
Here are the six components of the Marketing Cloud:
Social Listening: This allows users to listen to data from more than 400+ Million social sources, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, blogs, online communities and more, allowing companies to turn insight into action. The Marketing Cloud now supports a total of 17 languages for social listening, and with the launch of a new Apple native iOS app, social listening is also available via mobile devices.
Social Content: Marketing employees can create and deploy social content to customers wherever they are— on social networks, websites and mobile devices. Customers can now add social components to all content to maximize reach and leverage asset libraries to maintain brand consistency. With more than 50 social applications available, ranging from contests to video players to photo galleries, companies can engage fans with content.
Social Engagement: Companies can respond and connect with customers on their channel of choice, build a community of advocates by connecting with customers when and where they are most engaged and spark conversations that extend beyond simple text by attaching videos, images and links. Users can access exactly what they need without sacrificing security through granular rights and permissions.
Social Advertising: The Marketing Cloud allows users to manage and execute optimized social ad campaigns on Facebook and other sites, including sponsored stories and mobile newsfeed ads. Companies now have the ability to turn engaging content into compelling social ads, and optimize them with demographics and KPIs, by leveraging data to identify which ads and demographics deliver the best performance.
Social Workflow and Automation: Users can run analysis and rules to organize the thousands of conversations happening across the web by automatically routing relevant social content for quick engagement and response. The Marketing Cloud automatically populates social customer profiles, helping marketers create relevant programs based on consumer interests to align sales and improve customer service.
Social Measurement: Businesses can now track campaign results in one dashboard and leverage real-time data to adapt campaigns to be more effective, and create new campaigns and show exactly how engagement is driving revenue or other conversions. Marketers can create multiple, custom dashboards via a library of drag-and-drop widgets to deliver relevant, actionable insight to everyone, from the community manager to the CMO.
Michael Lazerow, the CMO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud and former Buddy Media CEO, said of the new offering, “Salesforce Marketing Cloud empowers brands to take advantage of this shift, turn insight into action, and connections into customers for life.”
Already, brands including Ford, Unilever, Carnival Cruise Lines, the National Football League and HP are managing their social marketing programs using the Marketing Cloud. The cost for use starts at $5,000 per month.
Rob Begg, VP of Product Marketing for Marketing Cloud, tells us that while Buddy Media and Salesforce Radian6 will still be offered as standalone products to brands and companies, the company believes that the blending of the two offerings will be appealing to CMOs. The Marketing Cloud tracks “measurement around paid content, earned content and owned content,” he explains.
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.