Salesforce Acquires Radian6, Line Between Social & CRM Blurring

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Earlier this morning Business Insider reported:

Salesforce just spent $276 million in cash and $50 million in stock to acquire Radian6, which makes tools for big companies to monitor their social media presence, the company has just announced.

While not being as dollar-impressive as the acquisition I’ve written about yesterday, this one is quite significant in the meaning of it. While Warren Buffett believes that valuations for “most of” social media networking websites are “overpriced”, even he acknowledges that there “will be huge winners” [italics mine].

Radian6 “helps companies listen to what people are saying about them online and engage in those conversations across the social web” [source]. Kind of like the tools I mentioned in my Brick and Mortar Businesses Must Monitor Online Space post back in 2009, but on a different scale (more comprehensive and flexible).

So, what has just happened? A popular “on-demand Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution vendor” [source] invested a third of a billion dollars into a social media monitoring startup. How else could we better underscore the importance of social media to present-day CRM? The line between the two is blurring quickly, as one becomes an integral part of the other. Radian6 describes itself as “a next-generation listening platform that includes the integration of social media monitoring and analysis with social customer relationship management (CRM) and web analytics.” They made “listening and engagement” their core goals, and that was the best decision they could’ve made.

On a separate note, I find Impact6’s example extremely encouraging. Every industry, company, and manager who focuses on active listening and strives for engagement wins. It was good to be reminded of it once again today.

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