Salesforce.com on April 23 baked up some of the services it already has, added a dollop of social networking, peppered in business analytics and then added a thick layer of marketing sauce to launch a new cloud business service called Social.com.
Salesforce's Social.com, a name the company has trademarked, was launched as an offshoot of the company's Marketing Cloud in a standing-room-only, morning-long media event at San Francisco's historic Palace Hotel, right up the street from Salesforce headquarters on Market Street.
Social.com is a cloud service designed to promote real-time buying. It works as a central controller for marketing and advertising social ad campaigns on Facebook and Twitter using real-time customer and social-listening data. The idea is to close the loop between enterprises and their customers or potential customers and maximize return on advertising dollars.
Radian 6, BuddyMedia Are Key Components
Key ingredients in this venture, CEO and founder Marc Benioff said, are two acquisitions Salesforce made in the last two years: Radian 6, which has a powerful social network monitoring ("social listening") application, and BuddyMedia, which publishes content to social networks.
Salesforce will add in all the databases, business analytics and other services from its catalog that a customer might need to fill out a customized Social.com deployment.
Social.com can get granular in approaching customers and potential customers because it is able to target specific mobile devices; age, geographic and cultural demographics; individual or multiple social networks; and other categories.
Marketing in the Moment
"It's always been known that marketing is all about the moment," Adam Bain, president of Global Revenue at Twitter, told the event audience. "Twitter is a series of 'now' moments. Marketing on Twitter is about winning the moment."
Here's an example of how this works.
TrunkClub.com, a men's fashion outfitter, takes calls or online messages from men about what apparel to buy for any occasion. If a man needs to buy a new suit for a speech at a conference and is in a hurry, a phone call, email, Instagram photo or tweet to his TrunkClub.com rep gets the purchase started in real time.
The TrunkClub rep, needing only a smartphone or PC, looks up the customer's stored information in Salesforce (sizes, color/style preferences and so on), chooses the outfit for him and has it shipped the same day, if the items are available.
Fashion and business problems solved, in real time.
Social.com also will optimize existing social ad campaigns by tracking and analyzing metrics over time with live campaign monitoring as well as receiving immediate feedback on social ad performance around particular goals, Benioff said.
Platform Can Automate Campaigns
The platform also will automate social ad campaigns by adjusting ad spending automatically and intelligently, Benioff said. It can automate how ad spending is allocated during campaigns by defining rules to make real-time optimization decisions across all ads and campaigns, he said.
Social advertising is a huge opportunity for marketers, with industry analyst BIA Kelsey estimating spending to more than double from $4.7 billion in 2012 to $11 billion in 2017.
Sixty-four percent of advertisers expect to increase their budgets to include social advertising in 2013, according to Nielsen researchers. The reason: Social advertising has created an opportunity to reach a huge number of consumers along with a completely unprecedented opportunity for targeting, Nielsen said.
With social media now being the No. 1 online consumer activity worldwide, Benioff said, brands not only have enormous global reach, but also the ability to target ads based on social profiles, likes, interests, activities and even locations by mobile device.
Social.com is available now.