Lithium, a new-ish player in the Social CRM circle, has just made a significant investment. The acquisition of Scout Labs has left them a whole US$ 20 million dollars lighter in stock and cash. Meanwhile, social media startup founders are seeing dollar signs.
From Gaming to CRM
Scout Labs' technology provides a Web-based application that lets users track what's being said about them by consumers across the Internet. According to the company, the tool is mainly used to:
- Know when to tune in and what's most important to pay attention to
- Hear what customers love and hate, want and wish, think and feel, in real-time
- Reach out to influential customers to build relationships
- Engage in proactive customer service
- Let the voice of the customer inspire new product and marketing ideas
It's basic Web engagement, which, apparently, Lithium has a thing for. The little Social CRM company hasn't been chipping away at their current goal for that long--in fact, before jumping into the CRM pool, they were all about gaming.
"Online gamers demand novel personalization features and innovation, they probe for security vulnerabilities, and they use vast amounts of bandwidth," explains Lithium on their official site. "Developing a platform to address this criteria warranted a fast, scalable, reliable, secure, and easily customizable solution. All the required elements for success in other enterprise communities as well...and this foundation became the perfect springboard for businesses that wanted to let their customers communicate in their own online forums."
Lithium's switch from joysticks to customer relationship management is very telling of what direction business is moving in, and their addition of sentiment analysis certainly indicates that they're aware of the importance in listening to today's customer. We can see the combination of these two players resulting in a solution similar to what SugarCRM and Salesforce.com currently offer. Both companies have made significant forays into the social computing world this year, including Salesforce.com's introduction of the Cloud2 concept, and SugarCRM's attempts to be faster than real-time.
Meanwhile, several other acquisitions and partnerships aimed at the Social CRM target have taken place recently. Semantic analysis company Attensity acquired SM monitoring specialists Biz360, for example, just last month.
"By adding the massively growing Internet data source securely to core enterprise applications, we can help enterprises enhance both customer intimacy and transparency," said Ian Bonner, president and CEO of Attensity Group, at the time of acquisition.
If you're ready to be a part of the Social CRM trend, now's the perfect time to get involved. You've got lots of options, but if Lithium strikes your fancy, check out more information about their offering here.