• What Salesforce.com’s Financials Say About Social Media for B2B Companies

    by  • February 6, 2013 • Content Marketing, Marketing, Social Media Marketing • 0 Comments

    Here’s the headline from a recent report by Peter Goldmacher, a Cowen investment analyst, regarding Salesforce.com’s latest financial results:

    Moving Away from the Social Enterprise

    I’ve repeatedly said Social Marketing isn’t the main way to increase leads for all businesses. See: 2 Dirty Secrets About Content Marketing and Social Media

    But Salesforce.com’s promotion of Social in the last year seemed to suggest I missed something. So I confess to feeling some vindication to read this:

    Despite making a big splash around Social at its user conference in October, conversations with the CRM ecosystem around weak “Social” pipeline conversion, a lack of customer traction around Social Marketing and accelerating declines in sales productivity lead us to believe that SFDC’s latest marketing gambit isn’t paying off.

    Social Media Means B2C to Salesforce.com

    Salesforce.com’s big social acquisitions were Radian6 and Buddy Media

    Radian6 helps companies monitor and respond to what’s being said on social media.

    Marquis customers include AAA, Dell, GE, Kodak, Molson Coors, Pepsico, and UPS.

    Buddy Media helps companies manage their pro-active social media posts.

    Buddy Medias’ top clients are Ford, Hewlett Packard, L’Oreal and Mattel.

    Notice the type of companies mentioned. Largely ones that have businesses that sell to consumers. Dell, GE, and HP all have businesses that sell to very small businesses through retail outlets. Most prototypical B2B organizations with salespeople using CRM software are selling to larger clients. It’s no surprise that Salesforce.com is seeing underwhelming  enthusiasm from its customer base for social media services.

    Key Takeaways

    Some social marketing is so low cost, there’s no harm in investing in it. The danger comes when the wrong companies rely inappropriately on it. Social marketing is much more valuable to B2C companies. Businesses that sell to very small companies where 1 person makes the purchase decision act like B2C companies more than they do B2B companies.

    If in doubt about the value of Social Marketing for your company, see:

    Infographic: How to Estimate the Value of Social Media Marketing for Your B2B Company


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    B2B marketing is a little like kayaking in the everglades. You don't have signs to let you know the exact right route. Deep experience elsewhere doesn't always help in the current situation. Plotting your course by interpreting the moves of others can mislead you. You can spend a lot of time testing the wrong channels before you find the right one.

    I started this blog to share tips for how to achieve the insights that help you plot the right approach to attract more prospects and win more customers.

    For more on this story see http://bit.ly/qw0G9c

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