Wednesday, September 9, 2009

SaaS products: Capitalizing on Social Opportunities

Watch TV much? No? Did you know that according to Nielson, in July users spent and average of 5 hrs, 10 minutes on Facebook? I missed the last season of Lost, and heard there was a new show about advertising in the 60s, but man, I do know that a few friends successfully weathered the fires in Los Angeles, and that the health of my friends cat is doing much better. I'm a Facebook casuality. While advertising is declining at a double-digit rate, the behavioral shift seems to be towards social networks- spending time reading tweets and videos - and some of the money at least seems to be following.

As marketing advertising shifts more to online advertising, email, social media and mobile, SaaS marketing software providers are often one step behind the hockeystick growth - with metrics and execution tools to streamline and report out on the overall success of the social channel. Here's a few things I'm seeing:

1. Web Analytic providers integrating social media and emerging channels in digital analytics. Recently Omniture launched their CMO dashboards. Like many web analytic provides these bundle various digital channels: online direct, online advertising, search mobile, and social. Now it's beyond reporting metrics - it's analysis on channel performance - to prove the value of their marketing budgets.

2. CRM providers include customers through social networks channels. Salesforce.com integrates communication through Twitter and integrates customers who set up communities on Facebook. They even integrate metrics to measure a communities involvement. Meanwhile Microsoft Dynamics Social Networking Accelerator allows customers to discover online conversation, identifiy influencers, and engage through the Microsoft Dynamic Platform.

3. Email ESPs power social sharing. Whether it's Yesmail's (where I work) integration with ShareThis, or ExactTarget's Social Forward, or Silverpop's Share-to-Social - the majority of ESPs have social sharing technologies that allow an email to be shared to a social site - and tracked.

4. Integrated Marketing Platforms add the social channel. Recently Alterian's acquisition of Techrigy and Axciom's Relevance-X platform brings social media listening in the context of a multi-touch point, integrated marketing platform. These tools add social intellence to the mix to understand behaviorally how customers interact and engage with brands in social media channels - and how they can best leverage this information in interacting with their base.

Convergence - it's what's next. As SaaS providers coming from different perpectives all have their unique bent for capitalizing on social media, I'd predict that SaaS providers which complement each other (Marketing Platform + pure emerging channels, for example) will converge to show metrics on social marketing success in the context of evaluating marketing channel performance and maximizing customer value as a whole.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks Julie for a great post.

    I think you are most definitely right. It is still early days but as the social networks become more user-friendly and targeted advertising gains the upper hand the scenario you describe is looking increasingly likely.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Social media and websites are really good ways of promoting your businesses.CRM Providers.Just like facebook,millions and millions of people around the globe are using it for social purposes.

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