After six months in partnership with Google in an effort to improve marketing effectiveness via an alliance of their respective platforms and strengths, Salesforce Marketing Cloud went live with its first Google Analytics 360 integrations today.
The new integrations are designed to enable companies to better understand their customers and make insight-based marketing decisions via Salesforces’ massive marketing platform twinned with Google Analytics 360’s market-leading web analytics product. They were announced along with new AI and commerce initiatives at the inaugural Salesforce Connections conference in Chicago and in a keynote address by Salesforce president and chief product officer Bret Taylor.
Marketers will be able to analyze cross-channel engagement data in one place—a single customer journey analytics dashboard housed in the Marketing Cloud. From the dashboard, marketers can better visualize how email, mobile and web interactions are performing and how they’re impacting each other. Connections, with a focus on the B-to-C marketing proposition, drew 10,000 attendees.
Under the theme of the Fourth Industrial Revolution—first put forth by Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff at the company’s DreamForce conference last November when the Google partnership was first announced—Taylor spoke of the challenges and opportunities that technology-driven disruption presents. “Competing for customers today goes beyond building the best product. It requires creating connected digital experiences that transcend individual touch points,” said Taylor in announcing new Google integrations. “It is the greatest opportunity that we’ve had in generations to connect to consumers.”
According to the recent Salesforce State of the Connected Customer report, 80 percent of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services, and 57 percent have stopped buying from a company because a competitor provided a better experience. Yet, companies struggle to keep pace with customers’ expectations for smarter, faster and always-on experiences, which are driven by the role disruptive new technologies play in their daily lives.
“We are seeing this very clear trend, with cross function and integration, of getting closer to consumers and driving growth across marketing, commerce and service,” said Jon Suarez-Davis, svp, chief strategy officer, Salesforce Marketing Cloud in an interview prior to the keynote announcement.
“This underscores the importance of companies reorganizing to meet the pace and expectations of their customers,” continued Suarez-Davis, adding that in this transforming ecosystem, “companies are often competing against their own pasts that are not designed to keep up with the pace of modern customers.”
Also springing from the partnership is a beta trial starting in the third quarter of this year, in which marketers will be able to create audiences segments—like category buyers, loyalty members and abandoned browsers—in Google’s Analytics 360 before connecting with those audiences within Marketing Cloud.
According to Salesforce, marketers using the dashboard will be able to pick up on signals about products that are getting seen but not purchased. The marketer can then create a new audience based on that information in Analytics 360 and publish it to Marketing Cloud. They can add that audience to a “re-engagement journey” to offer additional information or discounts via email or mobile notifications.
“This a huge productivity gain for marketers out there,” said Stepahnie Buscemi, evp, product marketing, Salesforce. Buscemi, who Taylor brought to the stage to discuss how the launch will help marketers better serve customer needs, noted this type of function had been done via old school cut-and-paste from platform to platform and that affinity-driven brands like Ticketmaster can now create personalized experiences in one place.
“Ticketmaster has an incredible gateway for peoples lives. We believe in that fancentric view and have to deliver on how to we get the right message to the the right audience at scale and this platform allows us to do that,” said Kathryn Kai-ling (H0) Frederick, evp, growth and insights at Ticketmaster, who also briefly spoke of the keynote stage along with Google’s Babak Pahlavan, senior director, product management, ads cross-channel management, global head of products.
“We have to lean on Google and Salesforce to be the bedrock of our marketing,” concluded Kai-ling (Ho) Frederick.
“Essentially, we are taking the complexity out of the equation completely,” added Pahlavan.
Taylor’s keynote also focused on new innovations for the Salesforce Einstein artificial intelligence for CRM offerings that is built into the Salesforce platform as new marketing, commerce and service innovations.
The latest Marketing Cloud Einstein innovations are Einstein Segmentation and Einstein Splits. Leveraging machine learning and pattern analysis, Einstein Segmentation will analyze billions of consumer signals, uncover patterns in consumer behavior and discover new audiences to reach with personalized messages. Einstein Splits enables marketers to create personalized journey paths based on Einstein engagement likelihood scores. Those Einstein Split stats then land in the Marketing Cloud Journey Builder to test customer paths and messaging tactics.
Taylor also touched on new marketing, commerce and service innovations: Commerce Cloud B2B Commerce is designed to deliver consumer-like shopping experiences to business buyers with B2B-specific functionality; Marketing Cloud Interaction Studio enables companies to visualize, analyze and manage contextually relevant experiences to consumers, including offers, promotions, discounts and more across a brand’s owned online and offline channels (email, social, mobile and in-store); and Service Cloud LiveMessage, which is expanding SMS support globally to 17 additional countries in APAC, EMEA and Latin America, including Singapore, France and Brazil, enables companies to communicate with customers through two-way mobile messaging. Customers can message a brand to ask a question, initiate a return or schedule a delivery time.
Finally, Salesforce announced new integration pilots between Service Cloud and Commerce Cloud designed to increase customer satisfaction and enable customer service to become more agile by accessing commerce data in real-time within a single console, including up-to-date shopper data and order-on-behalf-of capabilities. Commerce Journeys brings together Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud to allow marketers and merchandisers to trigger transactional and behavioral journeys based on customer actions, such as abandoning a shopping cart, confirming an account or making a purchase.