Salesforce.com retools marketing message around 'customer companies'

CEO Marc Benioff described the repositioning away from 'social enterprises' in a keynote address

Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff has laid out a new strategic and thematic direction for his company, saying that its goal will now be to help clients become "customer companies," with the end result being greater success.

He started off a keynote address in New York on Tuesday by applying the message to Salesforce.com itself. "We believe strongly right now that listening, as a vendor, is probably the most important thing you can do," Benioff said to the customers in attendance.

There are eight components to realizing Salesforce.com's vision, Benioff said. Companies must "listen to every customer," "engage on every channel," "sell as a team," "service customers everywhere," "create communities," "connect partners," "connect products" and "deliver apps everywhere," according to a slide Benioff displayed.

To the last point, "every company in this room, not just Salesforce.com, is becoming a software company," as consumers increase their use of mobile applications, Benioff said.

Meanwhile, a "customer revolution" is the next logical step for the business world, according to Benioff.

Benioff listed a series of trends to support his thesis, including the billions of people now using social networks, the rampant rise of mobile and touchscreen-powered devices, geolocation, and portable identity management.

"How do we reconceptualize our companies around these critical technologies?" Benioff said. "Are you connected to your customer?"

The new theme will succeed Salesforce.com's previous marketing tagline, "social enterprises," which had been its focus for some time but never seemed to catch on broadly with its customer base.

Last year, Salesforce.com withdrew a trademark application on the phrase following criticism from social and environmental agencies.

Some might find it odd that Salesforce.com would reposition itself around the "customer companies" theme after so many years in business as a CRM (customer relationship management) software vendor.

But the move really speaks to the fact that CRM as a concept just hasn't delivered on the promises inherent in its name, according to one observer.

"Customers seek outcomes," said analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research. "The social enterprise message didn't address what the outcomes were. Customer companies is really about the outcome, and it addresses what customers wanted from CRM but didn't get."

Salesforce.com's goal is to make money, however, and rhetoric alone won't make that happen.

To that end, Benioff's speech occurred shortly after Salesforce.com announced a number of new customer-service products that tie into the company's repositioning, including mobile live agent chat and mobile screensharing.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Launch marketing council Episode 5: Retailer and supplier

In our fifth and final episode, we delve into the relationship between retailer and supplier and how it drives and influences launch marketing strategies and success. To do that, we’re joined by Campbell Davies, group general manager of Associated Retailers Limited, and Kristin Viccars, marketing director A/NZ, Apex Tool Group. Also featured are Five by Five Global managing director, Matt Lawton, and CMO’s Nadia Cameron.

More Videos

Hi,When online retailers establish their multi channel strategy and they are using or will to use live chatbot to support their customers...

Alice Labs Pte. Ltd.

CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 6 May 2021

Read more

Thanks for nice information regarding Account-based Marketing. PRO IT MELBOURNE is best SEO Agency in Melbourne have a team of profession...

PRO IT MELBOURNE

Cultivating engaging content in Account-based Marketing (ABM)

Read more

The best part: optimizing your site for SEO enables you to generate high traffic, and hence free B2B lead generation. This is done throug...

Sergiu Alexei

The top 6 content challenges facing B2B firms

Read more

Nowadays, when everything is being done online, it is good to know that someone is trying to make an improvement. As a company, you are o...

Marcus

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

Check out tiny twig for comfy and soft organic baby clothes.

Morgan mendoza

Binge and The Iconic launch Inactivewear clothing line

Read more

Blog Posts

Getting privacy right in a first-party data world

With continued advances in marketing technology, data privacy continues to play catchup in terms of regulation, safety and use. The laws that do exist are open to interpretation and potential misuse and that has led to consumer mistrust and increasing calls for a stronger regulatory framework to protect personal information.

Furqan Wasif

Head of biddable media, Tug

​Beyond greenwashing: Why brands need to get their house in order first

Environmental, Social and (Corporate) Governance is a hot topic for brands right now. But before you start thinking about doing good, Craig Flanders says you best sort out the basics.

Craig Flanders

CEO, Spinach

​The value of collaboration: how to keep it together

Through the ages, from the fields to the factories to the office towers and now to our kitchen tables, collaboration has played a pivotal role in how we live and work. Together. We find partners, live as families, socialise in groups and work as teams. Ultimately, we rely on these collaborative structures to survive and thrive.

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in