At the annual Dreamforce conference today, Salesforce.com will unveil the Marketing Cloud, a new service that aims to address this challenge by providing a unified platform for businesses to listen, analyze and engage with customers on social media. It will be available from today at prices starting at US$5,000 per month.
“Until the Marketing Cloud, companies had fragmented conversations and uncoordinated social marketing programs,” the company said in a statement. “By combining industry leaders Buddy Media and Radian6 to power the Marketing Cloud, brands now have the proven suite to manage all social marketing activity and access common assets in one place.”
Last year, Salesforce.com acquired Radian6, a social media monitoring and analytics specialist for US$326 million. This was followed by its recent US$689 million acquisition of Buddy Media, which sells social media marketing tools used by companies to listen, engage, gain insight, publish, advertise and measure social marketing programs.
In a global media pre-briefing teleconference, Salesforce.com executives showed how an organization like Australia’s CommBank was able to use Marketing Cloud to view social media activities across various channels, publish and track the performance of social media initiatives, and even promote Facebook posts in a social ad campaign.
With Marketing Cloud, it’s clear that Salesforce.com is eyeing the moolah that chief marketing officers (CMOs) will be pouring into social marketing. “With CMOs surpassing CIOs in spend on technology within the next five years, our Marketing Cloud leadership will allow us to capitalize on this massive opportunity,” said Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff earlier in June.
While tools like Marketing Cloud will pave the way for businesses to better engage with potential customers, a successful social media strategy goes beyond marketing efforts to gain mindshare for your brand or product. Ultimately, your strategy should deliver value to a customer’s experience, which could mean making him feel good about himself or solving a problem.
As Gartner group vice president Mark McDonald noted in a blog post, “the application of social media only to marketing creates false comfort and limited appreciation for what is possible using mass collaboration that is enabled but not defined only by social media”.