ATLANTA — Salesforce Marketing Cloud CEO Scott McCorkle thinks marketers own digital experience. "We own brand, the brand of our organizations," he told a packed house at Salesforce Connections, a three-day conference at the Georgia World Congress Center here this week that drew about 6,000 attendees.
While some think it's shortsighted to suggest digital customer experience is exclusively a marketing issue, McCorkle was adamant.
"Brand," from McCorkle's point of view, is "every interaction, all added up, across all of the touchpoints of all of our customers." It seeds when an organization first meets a prospect at any touchpoint and continues through sales, service and beyond, to the point where the customer becomes an advocate.
Marketing clouds bring everything together, McCorkle continued, and tools like Salesforce's Journey Builder also empower marketers to pull and personalize content to move customers forward.
Salesforce users, especially those that also leverage Salesforce's sales and service clouds, have a lot of data about their customers, which can be easily analyzed and leveraged to steer customers in the right direction.
Marketing Cloud Created from Acquisitions
Salesforce's Marketing Cloud is an amalgamation of four acquisitions of Radian6 (social media monitoring), Buddy Media (Social Studio), ExactTarget (digital marketing automation and analytics software and services) and Pardot (marketing automation). These are all now integrated and, their names, save Pardot, are going away.
Next month, the Marketing Cloud will join the Sales and Service Clouds on the Lightning platform.
Salesforce users now have a fully integrated customer success platform, said McCorkle, with communities, apps and analytics blended into the mix.
"From my perspective Salesforce is coming together ... the Lightning experience is coming to the Marketing Cloud — one common user experience may become real in 2016," Constellation Research analyst Holger Mueller told CMSWire.
In addition, Salesforce's new Marketing Cloud app will empower marketers on-the-go, and act almost like a remote control to manage campaigns from anywhere.
Salesforce Email Studio
Email isn't dead and it isn't going anywhere, McCorkle told conference. "It is the workhorse of digital marketing," he said. As long as it is done right.
For email to be right, it has to target the right person, at the right time, with the right content, and it has to be personalized. Salesforce wants to help customers do that with its new Email Marketing Studio, which offers intuitive workflows, predictive intelligence content blocks that can be drag-and-dropped, and the ability to preview email to test content to drive desired engagement levels.
Constellation Research's Alan Lepofsky said the Email Marketing Studio "provides a robust suite of tools that allows end to end relationship management with customers. They are adding lots of predictive intelligence and dynamic content to the content you can send."
Salesforce Warns: Do Not Stalk Your Customers
While every marketer wants to reach the right person at the right time with the right message, Salesforce executives as well as conference attendees stressed it is equally important to know when to leave customers alone.
McCorkle mentioned it from the stage, and Bart Thornburg, associate director of lifecycle marketing at WeddingWire, told CMSWire it's something his company is getting better at putting into action.
"There’s a cycle (in wedding planning activities)," he told CMSWire. After more than 10 years in the business the company is now able to predict behavior well enough to notice trends — when couples are looking at and booking venues, when they are sending out "save the date" notices, and when they are likely to take a break. Not pushing too much at them during the quieter time periods is key to success too, Thornburg said.
It will be interesting to see if, over time, Connections becomes part of Dreamforce, Salesforce's mega conference in San Francisco in early October. For now, even as the lines between the company's clouds become blurred (in a good way), there's no sign of it happening.