New Salesforce Tool Can Help You Get Personal With 1M People
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New Salesforce Tool Can Help You Get Personal With 1M People

3 minute read
Tom Murphy avatar

Big data presents a big challenge for marketers: How can you personalize your email,mobile and web messages when you're reaching out to a million potentialcustomers — or 10 million?

It's hard to get personal in a crowd like that.

Several marketing technology vendors have tackled that challenge. But it's hard to create a tool with real time customer profile updates that marketers can use withoutthe help from a data scientist or someone from the IT staff.

In the Moment

Salesforce.com unveiled its latest solution today in the form of PredictiveDecisions, tool that lets marketers tailor content to eachvisitor based on data added in real time as they move through their customer journey.The new product will be available in May.

In a briefing with reporters, Scott McCorkle, the CEO of Salesforce MarketingCloud, said the new product "blends CRM and marketing datawith contextual information" in a way that turns customers from browsersinto buyers.

According a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by the SalesforceMarketing Cloud, 36 percent of marketers struggle to apply customerdata to enhance customer experiences, and 42 percent said they have troubleanalyzing data from all customer interactions.

Three things lie at the heart of the new predictive system:

  1. It can stream real time data on what shoppers are doing at any momentdirectly into their profiles on the system. That gives the marketer an peek intotheir states of mind and opportunities to send personalized information tothe shopper across email, web and mobile.
  2. It runs automated campaigns tailored to individual shoppers using datafrom all channels. This lets marketers set up predictive campaigns withoutany development help.
  3. It can predict which type of content will generate the highest conversionrate, whether through an offer, graphics or a product listing. Drag-and-dropcontent options (below) result in "making each message tailored to theindividual and the moment," the company said in a statement.

2015-04-March-salesforce predictive.jpg

Simplifying Algorithms

This requires the system to run algorithms, but marketers can drag-and-dropthose, too. They can pick from up to 30 scenarios, like items that are topsellers, or comparing buyers to other buyers. When combined with profile data,Predictive Decisions can tailor a newsletter or other communication to shoppersas they shop.

Learning Opportunities

For example, the newsletter may lead with a photo of a sofa the consumersjust looked at on the site, then follow that with complementary pieces offurniture that other buyers bought with that sofa.

"We're placing data science in the hands of marketers to help them drivebetter results," said McCorkle.

Virtual Sales Associate

Kimberly Ruthenbeck, director of web customer experience for Room & Boardput it another way. She compared the system to the personalized service of livesales associates on a showroom floor. "It's the data-driven sales associateon our site," she said.

To be sure, there could be something creepy about being followed aroundonline by a mind-reading machine. But Ruthenbeck said Predictive Decisions hadalready driven her average online orders up 16 percent.

Corinne Sklar, global CMO for the customer engagement consultant Bluewolf,  a Salesforce partner, said 71 percent of Salesforce customers haveindicated they plan to increase their investments in analytics.

"This is more than just investing in dashboards," said Sklar."It's about ... giving employees the insights needed to drive meaningfulcustomer moments."