The way people and companies decide what to buy is changing, becoming intractably intertwined with social recommendations, noted Sanjay Dholakia, SVP of Marketo‘s product marketing and corporate development.
“This means that consumers and buyers have ability to educate themselves instead of going to salespeople with their questions, and they are increasingly doing so.”
With this trend in mind, the company has launched a new category — social marketing — in its application’s product lineup. “We are introducing a buyer-to-buyer-focused set of applications because that is where the momentum is now — on social,” Dholakia said.
A Social Marketing Suite
The name of the new application is “Marketo Social Marketing,” and it consists of two discrete products: Social Boost and Social Promotions.
Social Boost has applications to enable social voting, social polling, video sharing, social forms and Facebook page creation.
Social Promotions includes all of the above features along with support for referral offers, group offers, social sweepstakes, flash deals and contests.
A company can deploy either Social Boost or more advanced activities in Social Promotions.
Users must to have implemented Marketo’s core platform in order to install these add-on products, which can then be integrated with the core platform’s campaign creation functionality.
“You can also deploy these applications across multiple channels,” Dholakia said. “A group offer can be deployed to a landing page on Facebook and simultaneously to a corporate Web page, for example.”
Measuring the Activity
The suite also comes with analytical and data measuring capabilities. These features give marketers insight into conversion rates and the connection or linkages between an action — say a sale — and a social action or activity, such as a conversation between marketer and customer.
“All of that can be measured at the campaign level, or at more granular levels such as by time period or even individuals,” Dholakia said.
Understanding the Influencers
With this information in hand, the marketer can then change its relationship with certain customers. “So I as the marketer can see if one customer, for example, shared two offers with her friends. I would then score that customer differently following that and put her on a different relationship track.”
Ultimately that allows the company to better understand who its influencers are, he said. “That is one thing we hear over and over from folks — they want better insight into their most valuable customers.”
In particular, identifying those customers that serve as defacto voices for the company is not something many firms have been able to easily get their arms around, he said.