Updated Salesforce Marketing Cloud tracks customer journey across channels

Online customer relationship management (CRM) platform vendor Salesforce has updated its Marketing Cloud platform with an eye to helping companies deliver an improved customer experience across whatever channel they interact with your company.

Formerly known as ExactTarget, the brand was renamed Salesforce Marketing Cloud after the company was acquired by Salesforce for US$2.5 billion in 2013. It’s a marketing automation and analytics software suite for email, mobile, social and online marketing.

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The enhancements announced this week to the new generation of Marketing Cloud include enhancements to Journey Builder, providing a single portal through which to track and influence customer journeys across sales, service, marketing and custom apps. An updated Active Audiences allows helps marketers orchestrate ad targeting and digital marketing with partners such as Facebook, LiveRamp, LiveIntent, Neustar, Twitter and Viant.

According to Salesforce, the increasing availability and use of smartphones, connected products, apps, wearable devices and digital communications is generating more and more customer interactions. Each of these interactions is an opportunity to build a relationship and the company brand, and as companies begin to compete on customer experience, no interaction can be wasted. The challenge for companies is delivering an exceptional – and consistent – interaction however a customer chooses to engage, and getting there requires ever-more automation, combined with the delivery of targeted and personalized messages that will be relevant to the consumer.

“Marketers now have an unprecedented opportunity to engage customers at every step of their journey,” said Scott McCorkle, CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, in a statement. “The next generation of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud uniquely helps companies take action on data from any customer interaction to deliver the right content at the right time across every channel.”

Among the enhancements:

  • Journey Builder now includes pre-built Sales Cloud and Service Cloud events and activities to make it easier to manage customer journeys that span marketing, sales and service. Also, new pre-built Journey triggers such as contacts, leads, accounts and cases allow marketers to automate inbound event-driven triggers, such as joining a loyalty program, and send them a specialized message.
  • Active Audiences now includes new advertising network partners such as LiveRamp, LiveIntent, Neustar and Viant. Integration with Journey Builder also allows for more targeted and relevant advertising based on a consumer’s entire experience with a brand, including the emails they’ve opened, their purchase history, engagement with customer service and stage in the sales cycle. Also, partnerships with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter allow for a fuller view of the consumer.

Marketing Cloud and Journey Builder are now available, with Journey Builder pricing starting at US$3,750/month. The new Journey Builder activities, triggers and events with Sales Cloud and Service Cloud will be available in the fourth quarter. Active Audiences is available now starting at US$4,200/month, with the new display features coming in the third quarter.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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