Salesforce.com is connecting its widely used system for tracking leads in the sales process with social-listening and social-media marketing tools, enabling users to tailor their social-marketing dollars to core customers and observe the resulting comments.
Starting this summer, customers paying to use the Salesforce customer-relationship-management (CRM) system and the Social.com publishing and monitoring tools will be able to combine both with the new functions. Gordon Evans, vice president of product marketing for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, said he expects customers to be primarily advertising and marketing agencies, big companies with in-house marketing and advertising operations, and gaming companies that run lots of advertising campaigns.
Once the new features are in place, if an ad agency wants to run a targeted Facebook or Twitter ad, it will be possible to aim the ad at people in the client’s lead pipeline. Those people are already documented in the CRM, waiting to be contacted or otherwise encouraged to close on a deal; it’s just a matter of using the existing intelligence in conjunction with social-ad publication tools to try to reach them in new ways. If more potential leads get thrown into the CRM, the ad will be able to target them, too. Users will be able to view tweets emerging in real time and perhaps uncover new leads. They can also manage multiple campaigns and compare them all to figure out which ones generate the highest click-through rates and cost per click.
The combined capability relies on pieces of software resulting from Salesforce’s acquisitions of Radian6 and Buddy Media, which together cost Salesforce more than $1.01 billion. More new features are surely on the way. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said in February that he wants to make more acquisitions this year, particularly in marketing — and adding more mobile functionalities is a focus this year, too.