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Kudos to Radian6!

March 31, 2011

Kudos to Radian6 for their acquisition by Salesforce!

I would like to take this opportunity to provide our  perspective about Social Media Monitoring,  Marketing and Social CRM.

Radian6 has been very good at coining the “phone is ringing” expression. This was very clever and so true.

Social Media is like a phone. And as with the phone, different functions in the enterprise make a radically different use of it.

  • a call center agent, with limited expertise and decision power, uses the phone to put a customer back into operation as quickly as possible. This makes for reactive, time constrained, result driven, high volume, point interactions – i.e you tend not to speak to the same person more than once.
  • sales reps who need to find qualified leads and some context around these leads. They are engaged in both reactive and proactive, medium volume, repetitive interactions.
  • product marketers who need to analyze trends and insights from a specific audience. The result is proactive, usually small volume, very targeted and deep interactions.
  • a brand marketer who spends as much time as possible influencing the right people in his target audience so that he is covered properly and his message is understood. What we have here is proactive, small to medium volume, influencers focused, ongoing relations and trust building, highly repetitive interactions.

R6 and monitoring solutions in general have provided an excellent solution for sales and service. They are very good at grabbing tons of opportunities (and noise) for brand to solve customers’ and prospects’ problems.

But for marketing, IMHO, it’s a complete different story. Marketing without segmentation and focus does not make sense.

This is where Seth Godin comes to the rescue with the idea of Tribes. As Seth explained, social media/web 2.0, by lowering the cost of writing and building up audiences & virtual communities, has enabled the emergence of zillions of Tribes (Mommy bloggers being the most famous). The challenge for marketers is to rethink their strategy and segmentation to address these new “organizations” that come in with influencers, rules, dynamics, logic and places.

Monitoring, as long as it does not provide capabilities to uncover, analyze and engage with these tribes, leaves brands blind on what the social landscape really is, and does not do the job for marketing.

For CRM – and Social CRM – it is a different story and it is quite natural to me to see Radian6 going the CRM/ Salesforce direction with this acquisition.

Dominique – @dominiq

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