That's good for sales and marketing-now vendors can more easily target and market to the decision-makers within a company-and it opens Jigsaw users to a new level of exposure to those vendors. Depending on which side of the fence you're on, that may or may not be a good thing.
Salesforce.com customers will benefit by having access to a database of potential customers and, through data mining, can tailor-make a list of potential customers that are most likely to purchase their product or service based on what other products and services those potential customers already use. They then can use customer relationship management (CRM) software from Salesforce.com to keep track of those potential customers, also known as sales leads, more effectively.
That could be a powerful weapon in the sales and marketing game, if those companies go about it correctly. But such information in the hands of a company that doesn't qualify its sales leads and instead blankets any potential customer with mass mailings followed by cold calls makes anyone who has listed himself or herself on Jigsaw a target.
You could argue that the potential for this scenario already exists-Jigsaw has been advertising its list services since its inception. But Salesforce.com's CRM service coupled with Jigsaw's business directory information can be an incredibly powerful sales tool if utilized correctly, and woe to the people targeted by companies that don't.
The Jigsaw acquisition illuminates how companies can find potential customers through data mining and data scraping on social networking sites. It's a double-edged sword-for every company that knows how to build and execute an effective yet non-intrusive marketing campaign, there are at least five that can't market themselves out of a paper bag. And those are the ones I wouldn't trust with my information.
Unfortunately, I'm already listed on Jigsaw. Which puts the target squarely on my back.