What the Launch of Social.com Shows Us

Today Salesforce announced the launch of Social.com – a social advertising solution that brings the power of Radian6 (R6) and Buddy Media (BM) (two acquisitions made by Salesforce in the past two years for over $1 Billion total that had been floundering looking for a purpose) into an innovative way to use Marketing 2.0 (or is it 3.0? 4.0? whatever version number would be the next).

There are three reasons this is very interesting:

  1. It shows Salesforce listened to — well, virtually every analyst and pundit in the industry that told them that R6 and BM were nowhere near a traditional marketing solution; the number of functions that they were missing among traditional marketing resource management or marketing automation suites was staggering.  There was not a single person outside of Salesforce I found that thought they had something passable as a traditional marketing solution.
  2. IT shows Salesforce is adapting to the times – instead of acquiring more vendors or building functionality to deliver the same functionality as other vendors in the market they focused on where the puck was going (how to use cross-channel that includes social media to deliver personalized, focused campaigns to the “new customer”) and created a new model of marketing (I have been having very interesting conversations with vendors and customers lately as to what the next marketing suite should look like – this may be an interesting first step).
  3. It showcases how easy it is to use cloud-based technologies to deliver solutions heretofore non-existent in a relatively short time.  It also showcases how their move to a broader platform, in progress, can make integration between new solutions and established CRM components “easy” (you may say it has been a while since the acquisitions, but it was just in the past 6 months that Salesforce realized R6 and BM were not going anywhere and “pivoted” to this new model after significant “changes” in direction).

Now, for the interesting questions – will it work? does it work? is there anyone using it? what are the results?

Works in progress for the most part.  Time will tell – hope it does, not going to give them brownie points until the proof points being to accumulate.

I like the pricing (a percentage of the ad spending while using the solution) because is value-based pricing (a new innovation that Salesforce has been looking to implement since their acquisitions of Assistly, Buddy Media, and a few other properties in the past two years) and I find this a very interesting solution to a real-life, relatively new problem that customers were having and where solutions were lacking (although, a few vendors here and there proposed snippets of this solution, this is the first end-to-end with deep integration I have seen).

Link to coverage of the announcement

Available now, supposedly, but most of the components are scheduled for Summer 2013 launch – I’d wait to purchase, but definitely get a demo and pilot now if you can to see if it fits your needs – I am sure Salesforce would love to set you up with a trial or pilot… (my Safe Harbor statement, cannot make that commitment so don’t quote me on that; just guessing)

disclaimer: Salesforce is a retainer client with other projects also under contract.  I am not blogging this because of that, but because this could be something if they deliver on time and as promised. They do have other announcements from today that I am not  blogging since they are not as newsworthy IMO.