Philosophically speaking, it’s getting more difficult to tell where the Salesforce customer relationship management application stops and its fast-growing marketing applications ecosystem begins.
That’s by design, of course, and the latest update to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud makes the case for using the software giant’s two services side-by-side even more compelling.
There are two big changes in store. The first involves an update to “Journey Builder,” the dashboard used by marketing teams to define parameters for cross-channel campaigns. The second centers on the Salesforce “Active Audiences” service, which helps digital marketers coordinate advertisements across more than 100 networks. New partners include Krux, LiveRamp, LiveIntent, Neustar, and Viant.
The long and short of this morning’s news: marketers can call upon CRM data from online and offline sources—everything from a person’s purchase history to recent customer service interactions—to make individual customer engagements even more personal. “We can use the CRM data to take the campaign down to an audience of one,” said Eric Stahl, senior vice president of product marketing for the Salesforce marketing business division.
For this capability, marketing teams can expect to pay at least $3,750 per month.
The notion that marketing teams want a single view of the customer “journey” from first touch to purchase to ongoing relationship isn’t really new for any of the vendors trying to claim share in this category. Accordingly, it’s one of the big themes at the Salesforce Connections conference that starts today in New York.
Last fall, Forrester Research pointed to analytics and integration as one of the shortcomings of the Salesforce marketing cloud offering. This update addresses those criticisms, at least partially.
One of the better-known Salesforce technology integration partners, Bluewolf, figures that the cloud software giant has the opportunity to double the number of companies using its marketing cloud applications this year.
“Marketing is rapidly becoming the most data-driven and technology-dependent function,” the company writes in its annual report on Salesforce technology adoption trends, this year based on a survey of about 1,000 existing customers. “This year, a focus on mobile, data and analytics will separate the average marketer from those leading digital transformation.”
Increasingly, marketers are placing more value on retaining customers than acquiring them, the Bluewolf report shows. That makes closer CRM integration far more relevant.
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