When all considerations are tallied, it’s possible that Salesforce has invested over a billion dollars into social media through the purchase of Buddy Media and Radian6, not to mention the smaller companies they bought such as Rypple and Jigsaw. Is all of this an ego play to be the biggest and baddest in social media, or is this a series of great moves for the CRM company?
Social media is extremely hard to predict and the numbers involved are staggering, but the buzz that will surround the company in 2013 after all of the deals are finalized tend to point to the latter, that these moves will make them the player in corporate level social media. It won’t be a matter of selling the products to the Fortune 500. It will be a matter of picking which companies to build relationships with and which ones will be stuck in non-compete hell.
Ford, for example, has had a long-term relationship with many components of this deal. Their dominance amongst automakers in the social media world is apparent. This will give Salesforce more toys to offer Ford and will give them leverage to negotiate a sweet deal to keep the assets out of the hands of competitors.
Social and CRM are merging in more ways than Salesforce can possibly represent. Maintaining customer relationships is both easier and much more challenging in today’s social media world. Kudos to Salesforce for stepping up and continuing to be a trendsetter as the disciplines combine into one.