Social CRM

Spredfast Gets Something to Shout About

Spredfast last week announced its acquisition of Shoutlet, a social data aggregator.

Shoutlet has been a “huge innovator” in the social CRM space, according to Spredfast CEO Rod Favaron.

“With this acquisition, Spredfast gains that technology as well as the team that built it,” he told CRM Buyer. “It’s a game changer.”

The deal means “customers will have more ways to understand their audiences and impact the customer journey through a greater breadth and depth of integrations,” Favaron said.

Spreading Fast

Spredfast’s technology lets large companies manage their social media presence, build social media campaigns, and analyze social media performance.

Its partners include Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Spredfast has more than 800 customers, including Target, Pepsi, AARP, Nascar, American Idol, HBO, Whole Foods Market, and a number of ad agencies.

It has launched three new products in the past 18 months.

Spredfast last year acquired social media marketing firm Mass Relevance, which provided the technology used at the White House Twitter Town Hall in 2011.

Spredfast learned a lot from the Mass Relevance merger, “in terms of integrating teams, technology and customer bases,” Favaron noted.

What Shoutlet Brings

The Shoutlet tech lets users gather key social data on customers, convert it to customer intelligence, and then leverage that intelligence to drive value-based business decisions. It’s designed to take the guesswork out of such decision-making.

Clients can offer timely customer service, create relationships with customers, and mitigate brand risk.

Shoutlet’s 500 or so customers include the Four Seasons hotel and resorts chain, Best Buy, Orbitz, 3M, Lowe’s and Canon.

Going Forward

With Shoutlet under its wing, Spredfast will have more than 1,400 clients, including all five major broadcast TV networks and half of Interbrand’s top 100 global brands.

Spredfast will maintain both platforms, integrating tools from each.

Shoutlet has a strong CRM component that links social data with customer management platforms, while Spredfast recently updated its social intelligence and listening tool.

“From the product side, there are a lot more complements than overlaps,” Favaron remarked. “Spredfast has focused on helping companies find and create content for social; Shoutlet’s strength was more on the data side.”

Customers will “have more ways to understand their audiences and impact the customer journey through a greater breadth and depth of integrations,” Favaron said. Further, customers “will benefit from faster innovation, a larger team of experts, and a larger family of brands, media and agency folks to learn from.”

Social CRM Trends

Gartner earlier this year identified nine types of social applications for CRM: social publishing, social media engagement, social analytics, external community software, internal community software, content enrichment, product review, social network selling and product advocacy.

The global social CRM software market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 38.1 percent during the period from 2014-2019, Research and Markets predicted in a report released early this year.

The social CRM sector “is very competitive and has been so for several years,” Beagle Research Principal Denis Pombriant told CRM Buyer.

The biggest challenge resulting from deals like this is “always making sure you don’t slow down as you grow,” Favaron observed. “We’ve seen that happen to others. We’re committed to not letting that happen; in fact, we’re quickening our pace.”

Richard Adhikari

Richard Adhikari has written about high-tech for leading industry publications since the 1990s and wonders where it's all leading to. Will implanted RFID chips in humans be the Mark of the Beast? Will nanotech solve our coming food crisis? Does Sturgeon's Law still hold true? You can connect with Richard on Google+.

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