Enterprise software company Salesforce.com has expanded the capabilities of Marketing Cloud, its new marketing software, by adding a host of data analytics features designed to help companies better understand the flood of tweets, posts, and other social media data related to their brand.
Salesforce has incorporated analytics from the following companies into its software: Bitext, Calais, Caterva, Clarabridge Link, EpiAnalytics, Kanjoya, Klout, Kred, LeadSift, Lexalytics, LinguaSys, Lymbix, Metavana, OpenAmplify, PeekAnalytics, Rapleaf, Solariat, Soshio, The SelfService Company, and Trendspottr. Customers will be able to pick and choose which features they want to incorporate into their own marketing platform and can access them from a common dashboard.
"Customers are asking for deeper insight on their social media data," said Rob Begg, VP marketing for Marketing Cloud, a Facebook inspired enterprise marketing application that Salesforce launched last month. The product is designed to let companies communicate with customers, employees, and partners. Salesforce says companies including Air Canada, Carnival Cruise Lines, Ford, Hewlett Packard, Southwest Airlines, and Unilever have signed up for the product.
The new features can be grouped into three areas; intelligence, influence, and intent, according to Begg, which will give them a host of new data points. Vendors such as EpiAnalytics are designed to give companies intelligence that goes beyond mere numbers of followers on a social media platform to things like gender, demographics, or user tastes. And apps such as Klout and Kred will help companies determine which users of social media are the most influential and how to reach them.
Salesforce made the announcement last Friday at a cloud computing event held in New York, in which the company's CEO Marc Benioff declared that "all business is social" and that social media was the biggest change to occur in the history of marketing. "Social helps connect the dots and will transform how we market, sell and collaborate," Benioff said.
The expansion of Marketing Cloud follows a strategic move made by Salesforce in June 2012, where the company acquired Buddy Media.
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Mary Lisbeth D'Amico is a freelance writer based in Jersey City who frequently covers digital marketing, social media, tech startups, and venture capital. She has contributed to a wide range of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Red Herring, and Real Deals. Find her on Twitter at @mldamico.
March 19, 2014