Product and Industry

Salesforce Buys Radian6: What Does this Mean for Revenue Performance Management and Marketing Automation?

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Today, Salesforce.com announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire social media monitoring platform, Radian6. This move makes sense: social media is playing an increasingly large part in how organizations listen to and engage with their customers, and Salesforce is already working with Radian6 as part of their Service Cloud 3 initiative.

In addition to enhancing the Service cloud, Radian6 will also help enhance Chatter by adding real-time insights from across the social web to the activity happening within the company. It will also add more social listening capabilities inside the Force.com platform. But what does it mean for Marketo and our customers and prospects?  Here are a few answers.

What does this mean for Revenue Performance Management and Marketing Automation?

Revenue Performance Management is a strategy to optimize interactions with buyers across the revenue cycle to accelerate predictable revenue growth. It is about transforming the way that marketing and sales work – and work together – which means that the lead management capabilities must integrate seamlessly with the CRM system to enable a single optimized revenue process.

When done right, this means that as the CRM system gets better, the entire revenue cycle gets better. Today, a key part of revenue performance management is the ability to “listen” to what prospects do online, but it is primarily focused on listening to what they say on your website. With enhanced social media monitoring capabilities, the ability to listen and react to prospect behaviors will expand to many more channels off traditional corporate websites.

What does this mean for Marketo’s solutions, specifically?

Marketo boasts the best integration with Salesforce, including the ability to bi-directionally sync data with leads, contacts, opportunities, activities, campaigns, and custom objects.  This integration, combined with Salesforce for Twitter, allows Marketo to attach Twitter profiles and tweets to leads and contacts in our system. With Radian6, this ability will give Marketo greatly expanded B2B social media marketing capabilities, including an enhanced ability to:

  • Monitor what prospects say on social sites
  • Segment campaigns based on social interactions
  • Trigger follow-up campaigns based on social media interactions
  • Adjust lead scoring to reflect social conversations
  • Notify sales reps when prospects and customers make interesting comments

What about Chatter?

Chatter is a great private, secure social network for the enterprise, but it has been primarily about hearing what internal employees are saying about your customers and prospects.  Our Marketo Sales Insight already augments Chatter with the ability to add key “interesting moments” and buying signs to the feed for each customer.  The more information Marketo has about the buyer – including all the new social signals from Radian6 – the better our ability to add intelligence to our interesting moments and incorporate customer intelligence in marketing campaigns.

Will Salesforce make other acquisitions in this space?

The short answer is, nobody outside of Salesforce.com executives really know. Personally, I think Salesforce will continue to make acquisitions “around” the marketing automation space (such as Jigsaw and Radian6) without moving directly into the category; I also would not be surprised if they bought an email service provider.  Salesforce has never shown much interest in a “Marketing Cloud“; they seem more interested in Chatter, the Force.com Platform, and Service Cloud 3, and I suspect future acquisitions will focus on augmenting those capabilities more than in marketing.

What do you think this means for Revenue Performance Management?  What other acquisitions do you think Salesforce will make?