In addition to solving disjointed workflow challenges, Salesforce.com has had to grapple with the rapidly shifting social media space due to the growing importance of paid media on Facebook and Twitter, at the expense of organic reach. Salesforce.com, however, thinks it’s well-prepared to move quickly due to its legacy as a SaaS provider.
“You have large companies that are cobbling together acquisitions, some of whom are paying on-premise customers to move to the cloud, which is a lot of effort,” Lazerow said.
Lazerow did not explicitly state which “large companies” he’s referring to, however it’s notable that Oracle, another marketing cloud provider, historically deployed its solution on-premise and has itself been on an acquisitions warpath in recent months.
Though various marketing cloud providers each claim a well-integrated product, challenges remain for the major players. These include Salesforce.com, Oracle (which is in the process of integrating Responsys and will soon have to integrate BlueKai, once that deal closes) and Adobe (which is working to integrate the campaign management solution it inherited from Neolane).
Though Social Studio is focused on content marketing, Marcel LeBrun, former Radian6 CEO and and current SVP and chief product officer for the Salesforce.com ExactTarget Marketing Cloud insists there’s a media buying angle as well. In tying together various social listening widgets, he said, clients can identify the trends that influence a social ad buy; integration with Salesforce.com's social ad-buying platform Social.com will occur in the coming months.
“Going from the listening world to the paid world is really powerful now, especially with what Facebook has done to move beyond its own walls with identity (Anonymous Log-in),” he said.
In assembling their marketing clouds, enterprise tech companies have generally tackled the "owned and earned" before "paid" media. But, this is changing as the cloud marketing stacks like Oracle (with its launch of a paid social API partner program) and Salesforce.com (with Social.com and Omnicom Group agency roll-outs) begin to address the media buy.
But it’s the point solution providers that could find themselves most under the gun, said Peter Kim chief strategy officer and principal analyst at Constellation Research.
“Vendors who need to move quickly are those that are only focused on social media, even worse if they only cover a niche function like listening or publishing,” said Kim. Regardless of whether a point solution focuses on paid, earned or owned media, some point solutions could ultimately face the same fate as Argyle Social, which recently shuttered, if they fail to differentiate or keep up with cloud competitors.