"But unified suites are rarely best in class for individual technology categories," Smith says, adding that social listening platform Radian6 lost its leading edge after being acquired by Salesforce in 2010.
Give Me 3 Steps
Forrester cites three ways social listening platform vendors are trying to expand their service offerings rather than through mergers and acquisitions: integrating with feedback vendors, partnering with media-tracking vendors to get an omnichannel view, and going beyond keywords into complex queries in order to get a better handle on what's being said over social networks.
So what should marketers do? It's important to understand the value and limitations of a social listening platform. While it plays an important role in the marketing tech ecosystem, it requires other parts and people to glean actionable insights that will help marketers achieve concrete goals. Conversely, if marketers hope a standalone platform will simply save the day, they're in for a rude awakening.
"We've said it a thousand times: CI pros aren't failed by social listening technology providers, they fail themselves," Smith says.