March 30, 2011
/ by Kelly Pennock
The Radian6 acquisition by Salesforce.com is an extremely exciting event for everyone in this space. Congratulations to both parties. Salesforce did the analysis and made the bet that the ability to understand and engage with social media will be an integral component of customer relationship management going forward. If early reports on Radian6’s revenue (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/salesforce-buys-radian6-for-326-million-enters-social-media-monitoring/46710) are correct, Salesforce apparently placed a great premium on these capabilities.
The acquisition is exciting, but not a great surprise. For those of us who believe that social media analysis and insight will soon play an important role in the business processes of every sizable company, the deal is confirmatory more than surprising. The integration of social media monitoring with established efforts in brand and competitor tracking, PR, market research, marketing measurement, lead generation, customer support and much more is already under way. More and more companies are recognizing this as a best practice. The market is growing quickly year over year and at a quickening pace. In other words, social media monitoring, and all that it implies, is already going mainstream and this just an illustration of how mainstream.
This acquisition is also exciting because it raises the stakes for the existing social media monitoring vendors. The most viable vendors in this space will need to deliver scale, performance, quality and reliability—all the things that big companies and technology giants of the Salesforce ilk will require of partners. Going mainstream carries the responsibility of delivering real value, consistently, much like existing CRM systems, marketing automation platforms, and other enterprise mainstays. The deal may very well hasten the coming shakeup, since many vendors in this space won’t be able to deliver against those demands, but in the end, the impact will be healthy.
The size of this deal, the multiple, and the name of the acquirer should have a very positive impact on social media monitoring and the broader social media business stack. In a market that is already on the move, the acquisition will increase awareness even further and faster.
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