Customer relationship management company Salesforce.com—which has rapidly become much more than a CRM company—has announced its intentions to acquire social media monitoring company Radian6 for $326 million in cash and stock. Radian6 is a leader in the social media marketing ROI arena, offering dashboards and social keyword sen-timent analysis. It boasts such customers as Dell Inc., Eastman Kodak Co. and United Parcel Service. The deal is expected to close this summer. Salesforce.com has aggressively expanded beyond its original CRM model.
Google is rolling out a new feature that will allow users to recommend their own search results to others. Called +1 (“plus one”), the service will be available to users with a Google public profile linked to their Gmail or other accounts. Clicking a +1 button appearing next to search results and advertisements will send the recommendation to email contacts and social friends, and also serve to reorder future search results for the original user. Last fall, search engine rival Bing forged a deal with Facebook that allows users who log onto Bing through their Facebook accounts to see search results partly informed by “likes” from their friends.
Microsoft Corp. announced Mich Mathews will retire from her position as senior VP-central marketing group, after more than two decades at the software company. She will leave her job at the end of the summer to pursue other opportunities. In the interim, Mathews will work with Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft, while the company identifies a successor. Mathews has been named a BtoB top marketer for the past six years.
The U.S. Postal Service has announced job cuts and office closures to trim its operating expenses, even as newly released numbers for February reveal continuing losses. A “redesigned” organization announced by the USPS will mean the elimination of about 7,500 jobs, largely via an incentive-driven voluntary early retirement plan, and the closing of seven district offices. Meanwhile, the Postal Service reported a net loss of $1.1 billion for February, as overall mail volume dropped by 1.5%. The volume of standard mail, used most often by commercial mailers, held steady.
The Internet surpassed newspapers last year to become the second-largest medium in terms of ad spending, according to a new report from eMarketer. Last year, Internet ad spending reached $25.8 billion, making up 16.9% of total ad spending, according to the report. TV is still the largest ad category, reaching $59.0 billion and making up 38.6% of all ad spending last year. Newspapers, the third-largest ad category, had revenue totaling $22.8 billion last year, representing 14.9% of all ad spending. EMarketer projects that by 2015, Internet ad spending will account for one-quarter of all advertising.
UBM Canon announced it is shutting down two plastics industry print magazines: Injection Molding Magazine and Modern Plastics Worldwide. April editions will be the last for each title. The company plans to focus its plastics industry coverage around its PlasticsToday.com website, as well as e-newsletters, virtual events and webcasts. Additionally, UBM Canon plans to launch a new website, ResinPricingToday. com. With these moves, the company cut six jobs, said Paul Miller, UBM Canon CEO. Among those leaving the company is senior group publisher Patrick Lundy. Jason Brown, the company's VP-digital media, will lead PlasticsToday.com. UBM Canon said Matt Defosse will lead the content team.
Digitas, Boston, announced the introduction of Digitas Business, a dedicated practice focused on b-to-b marketing and communications. Digitas Business will develop digital content, social media, online marketing, CRM, mobile marketing and other services for b-to-b clients. Also, the agency announced that Dennis Reilly has been named senior VP-director of Digitas Business and will lead the growth of the new group.
Facebook's membership growth rate is reaching a saturation point, but the company is expected to continue to gain members in the foreseeable future, according to a new study from Internet marketing analytics company eMarketer. The company estimated that 132.5 million people in the U.S. will be users of Facebook this year, with that number rising to 152.1 million by 2012. (Facebook claims about 600 million users globally.) Meanwhile, professional social networking site LinkedIn announced that it has reached 100 million users worldwide, and is continuing to add 1 million users per week. LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering in January.