Starting today, you can see a list of the files you’ve shared with your contacts on Dropbox, and you can sort them by people or by file name. The move is the latest in a scramble by the two-year-old Nimble to stay ahead in the area of “social CRM.” It also comes at a time when many application companies are announcing almost daily integrations between their apps other apps.
Nimble has now integrated with more than 100 other apps, including Get Satisfaction, Yammer, Zendesk, Assistly, Quickbooks, and Wufoo. It is also working on more, including Box.
When you add a contact within Nimble, the software automatically pulls in updates, posts and correspondence the contact makes from places like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Gmail — which is especially powerful for users who like to have insight to the personal side of the people they’re doing business with. The product finds its natural user base among sales and marketing people.
Professionals at smaller companies are no longer using enterprise-grade CRM products, which are too expensive or cumbersome, says Nimble founder and chief executive Jon Ferrara. Rather, they’re using Gmail, calendar, contacts and documents — all of the places Nimble is pulling information from. Nimble then works to provide useful insights about contacts: For example, if you’re connected with someone on LinkedIn, but you don’t follow them yet on Twitter, Nimble may recommend that you follow them there after recognizing that they post more often to Twitter.
Nimble also pinpoints contacts of those contacts who also may be of interest.
Nimble said its usage has more than doubled from last year. The site gets 55,000 visits a month, up from 25,000 visits a year ago, Ferrara said.
Several Nimble customers I’ve talked with say they chose the service because it’s more immediately social than competitors, even while they recognize the service needs to make more aggressive moves in syncing its APIs with marketing automation tools like Marketo or Hootsuite.
Brian Butler, who owns a small business in Boston called Skyline that implements exhibits at trade shows, said he evaluated several CRM products for his team of ten people, and settled on Nimble because of the extra insight it gives about customers. For example, many Skyline clients post images of their exhibits on their Facebook page, and Nimble lets his sales people see that immediately via its dashboard. They can then use that information to better serve them.
Going in, Butler said he recognized drawbacks to Nimble, for example that it hadn’t implemented market automation yet. However, Nimble has been making speedy updates — including providing access via a mobile app — and Butler expects marketing automation will be coming soon. Nimble was also far less expensive than Salesforce, at $15 per month per user, versus $50 or more per month.
Matthew Kruchko, who owns a small brand marketing firm, said he chose Nimble because of the social insight recommendation engine it offers. He enters Nimble first thing in the morning to see all of the social streams of his contacts. He can then engage with their tweets or other updates from within Nimble. Once Kruchko tags someone as being a valuable relationship, Nimble goes to work to alert him about certain things about that person. “I can see what you do on the weekends, and have access to your social networks, and based on who you know, I can extend my network.”
Kruchko agrees, however, that Nimble needs move quickly to have true two-way syncing with marketing automation companies if it is gong to fend off moves by Salesforce in the social area. He still can’t launch an email campaign directly from within Nimble, for example. He’s found a workaround, though, by using a third-party company Zapier that helps integrate apps.
Salesforce is coming on strong, having acquired a string of companies, including BuddyMedia and Radian6, to build out its “social marketing cloud offering,” but Kruchko says Nimble has the opportunity to stay compelling given that it’s social at its core, and is still priced competitively.