Social marketers: May the salesforce be with you
Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce.com at the Cloudforce in New York on Nov. 30
Marketing in a social era definitely required a fresh perspective – and when Salesforce.com scooped up social CRM vendor Radian6 back in March for a cool $326 million, it was clear that the face of social marketing was about to get a lift. At the CloudForce customer event today in New York City, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said his company was “born cloud and reborn social.” But clever-speak aside, the Social Marketing Cloud unveiled at CloudForce is pretty darned cool.
Without a helping hand, the deluge of data that marketers have to deal with daily – constant tweets, Facebook posts, untold number of YouTube views – is almost un-scalable. I mean, I have difficulty managing my own wall, so I can only imagine the scramble brands have to go through to stay on top of all the conversations going on about their products.
In essence, the Social Marketing Cloud allows marketers to engage more effectively with their customers by helping them tackle the mass of social information swirling around them. I mean, what's the point of a Facebook “like” if you're not doing anything about it?
According to Radian6 marketing VP Rob Begg, who took a few minutes to speak with me today from a momentarily vacant conference room at the CloudForce event, there are five pillars supporting today's roll out.
“Like the five pillars of wisdom?” I asked.
Begg chuckled. “Five pillars of wisdom or maybe the five amigos? I might need to find a better corny analogy.”
- Social monitoring: “Social monitoring is key to us,” Begg said. “Radian6 got it's start by listening and helping make sense of the hundreds of thousands of conversations going on out there.”
Radian6 supports a total of 17 languages, with the addition of Turkish and Polish, which were announced today.
- Social insights: “Typically with social media listening, the marketing metrics available for marketers are very much data-driven: How many followers? How many posts? How often do people comment – and while all of that is useful, marketers started to want more," Begg said. "The insight platform brings more interesting metrics [into the mix], such as likes and dislikes, influences, influenced by – all things that marketers look at when trying to understand consumers.”
Ultimately, Begg says the company envisions a thriving marketplace populated by the best of third part analytics companies integrated with Radian6 technology where marketers can shop for real time marketing products tailored to their specific needs.
- Social engagement: “Engagement has always been the other half of the Radian6 product line – giving marketers the tools and the applications to go out and engage one-on-one with their customers on social platforms with tracking and workflow,” Begg said.
At CloudForce today, Radian6 announced the addition of “even deeper integration” with Salesforce.com to “really expand it and make it more native to the application,” he said.
- Social workflow: “The biggest announcement, at least from a Radian6 point of view, is the social hub," Begg said. "It's like a rules engine – I know that sounds kind of nerdy – but what it's doing is it's taking hundreds of thousands of conversations and automatically applying rules and workflow to route those posts directly to the right person.”
It's about applying “business intelligence” to social so nobody slips through the cracks, he explained.
(I asked Begg what he thought the coolest part of the new platform is in his opinion and he said, without hesitation: “Oh, definitely the social hub.”)
- Social websites: Socially rich websites are vital if marketers want to engage meaningfully with their customers – and that's what Siteforce is about. According to Salesforce, Siteforce will allow marketers “to move at the speed of social” and easily build, edit and publish “pixel perfect websites” using a drag and drop interface. Not bad.
So, basically the philosophy behind the Social Marketing Cloud is that information is power – right? Begg demurred.
“Well, knowledge is power, yes,” Begg said. “But I would say it's even more than that. I would say: Engagement is possible.”