This morning Salesforce.com announced that it was purchasing Radian6 for $326 million. If you don't know already, Salesforce.com is the market leader in sales force automation software, and Radian6 is one of the leading platforms for social media monitoring. Three weeks ago Salesforce.com announced its investment in HubSpot's inbound marketing technology along with Google Ventures and Sequoia Capital. Obviously, Salesforce is getting their inbound marketing software ducks in a row. What does this mean for inbound marketing agencies and companies doing their own inbound marketing?
If you read between the lines, clearly Salesforce is making a major move towards consolidating the major "players" in inbound marketing under one roof. HubSpot already has the most integrated software solution for inbound marketing, combining a website CMS, SEO, blogging, social media promotion, lead generation and analytics. What was missing from that solution? Social media monitoring (Radian 6) and closed loop marketing and CRM (Salesforce). HubSpot already has tight integration with Salesforce via its API, and you can bet that in the short term, there will be a Radian6 integration. But those are just connections, not true integration. Here is what I predict in the longer term (not years, months at most):
The question is, as always, are we better off with a competitive marketplace for inbound marketing software, or are we more likely to get the ultimate toolkit with consolidation?
What do you think?
Cute duck photo credit: antaean