Managing social media is getting more sophisticated and we’re all looking for ways to show ROI and bring followers into our CRM systems. There are heaps of tools on the market and acquisitions by large companies are snapping up the independents. Where will it all go?
I read a great article outlining some 2013 predictions for social media marketing tools by the CEO of EngageSciences, Richard Jones (@oldstriker).
- There will be a lot of layoffs amongst social marketing platform companies
- Innovation amongst first-generation platforms will be pushed to the periphery
- CRM vendors take the marketing out of social marketing
- Adobe see the opportunity to own the market, but needs the tools
- Wildfire becomes a marketing platform focused on Google+
- Brand websites become portals into what it happening on social channels
- Marketing discipline will finally be needed for social marketing
I couldn’t agree more that the recent acquisitions we’ve seen are going to slow down innovation in marketing. Where CRM companies see the necessity of acquiring social tools, they may focus almost entirely on integration with their other products rather than creating value in the functional freshness of the social tools. I’ve seen it myself over the past couple months with Salesforce. After all, the reason companies want to use Salesforce products is to share customer behaviour/performance over many tools and consolidate it in an apples-to-apples way. The catch 22 is that if their individual products aren’t providing creative functionality, will the data still be worth having?
The other huge issue the acquisitions have created is a gross disparity in product knowledge and customer service across the Salesforce organization – I wonder if that’s the case with Oracle as well? Leads to an extremely difficult sales and implementation process which was not the case when products like Radian6 or BuddyMedia were stand alone.
Let’s hope these are growing pains and the tools flourish finally or bring on the competition!