On June 5, Oracle announced its intent to purchase social media intelligence vendor Collective Intellect. Terms of the acquisition were not released. Along with the other vendors in its space, Collective Intellect resides on the more analytical end of the social intelligence market. Over the last 18 months, these social monitoring vendors have evolved from their brand reporting roots (relying on reach, sentiment, share of voice) to focus more on delivering analytics and insights based on social activity.
This shift in focus motivated Salesforce.com to purchase Radian6 in March 2011 (and by extension to announce on June 4 that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire social enterprise software company Buddy Media) in order to eventually offer the ability to integrate social demographic and activity data into a contact record. Presumably, Oracle is planning on adding the same social intelligence capabilities to its own enterprise offerings, and the purchase of Collective Intellect could hasten such a move.
Such acquisitions stand to benefit b-to-b organizations from a more effective targeting perspective as well as expanding the ability to achieve more accurate campaign and program attribution. SiriusDecisions has long advocated the need for organizations to collect and integrate social activity with other contact and account data, not only to improve visibility but also to optimize their lead scoring frameworks. The sooner the social intelligence capabilities that Oracle and Salesforce.com have gained through acquisitions are integrated into their offerings, the better.
Jonathan Block is Vice President and Practice Director, Technology, at SiriusDecisions. He has developed key models and frameworks that enable b-to-b organizations to understand, evaluate and implement appropriate marketing and sales technologies, as well as advised executive clients on the role of technology to help drive sales and marketing integration and enterprise alignment. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @jblock.