Salesforce.com has a developed a new tool for companies to help them develop and publish Web pages and landing pages specifically for marketing campaigns.
The tool, called “Siteforce,” is built on the Force.com platform. It focuses specifically on new technologies that legacy content management systems do not tend to support, such as iPads or mobile or social marketing initiatives, Anshu Sharma, Salesforce.com’s VP of platform product management, told CRM Buyer.
“What marketers need today are content management systems that can support open, social and mobile initiatives, Sharma said. “They also need to be able to rapidly respond to new trends and campaigns that are developed in support of those new trends.”
Many of the tools available to marketers tend to developed for marketing campaigns of 10 years ago, when a few weeks lag between development and publishing was acceptable, he observed. “Today, they need to respond at a very fast pace without having to wait for an IT department to build the necessary Web page.”
Therefore, Salesforce.com built Siteforce so that the same tools are used to both post and run the marketing page, explained Sharma. “You can build, manage and host the page at one time — the cycle time is literally days, if not hours.”
Drag and Drop
Siteforce comes equipped with a number of drag-and-drop tools, as well as a studio environment, to make the campaigns as easy to implement as possible, Sharma said.
There are also templates to help marketers manage several different campaigns but still provide them with similar branding.
For the same reason, the application also manages the assets — the images or widgets that are part of a particular campaign — in a similarly uniform manner, Sharma added.
Because it is built on Force.com, the underlying architecture is very elastic, he noted, allowing users the flexibility to scale up as quickly as needed. “So a company that decides to run an ad during, for example, the World Series or the Super Bowl, will not have to worry about a website crash because of the sudden influx of traffic.”
The Social Piece
Siteforce also supports the social elements that are ubiquitous in today’s online marketing campaigns. There is support for Facebook’s Like button and other social sharing features, Sharma said.
“At the end of the day, marketers need to be able to manage their Web presence,” he concluded, “and that is a process that goes beyond any one campaign.”
Siteforce is not the first or best to market a cloud-based CMS. But they are the first to charge the price of a Macbook Air to run an online business. Their software suite is no better than open source solutions like Joomla, Typepad, or WordPress, and their cloud-based hosting service is 100 (hundred) times the price of other hosted solutions like Squarespace. So you need CRM connectivity? Salesforce users can already add web forms on basically any HTML page, and other platforms will allow you to store your own data for pennies on the dollar relative to this new Saleforce service. Am I missing something? Oh yeah, design services and extra add-ons aren’t included! Need to allow a few extra contributors to add content to the site? That’s more, too. Being a Saleforce fan of yesteryear, I wanted to move everything to a single platform. This Siteforce makes me want to abandon Salesforce altogether. Personally, this is a $20/month service at best.