10 Benefits of Using Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Perhaps you’re a marketing professional looking to take your digital marketing to the next level, or you’re faced with managing campaigns across disparate platforms? Or you may have received a request from your marketing team, to use your technical know-how and propose the best marketing platform?
Regardless of which applies to you, understanding the benefits of Salesforce Marketing Cloud is the first step in making an informed decision.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a digital marketing platform for multi-channel marketing. In short, Marketing Cloud brings multiple marketing channels together – including email, website, social media, SMS, WhatsApp and more – to ensure your marketing journeys can be both high-touch, and engaging.
We hear the phrase “single view of the customer”. In reality, many organisations are still far away from achieving this vision, due to substandard multi-channel marketing that’s unable to aggregate all the rich interaction data, ultimately in a meaningful way.
As a marketing automation platform provided by the world’s leading CRM platform, Marketing Cloud benefits from innovative product development, and a solid connection with the rest of your business functions.
What is Salesforce Marketing Cloud?
Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a digital marketing platform that excels at multi-channel marketing. As we mentioned, Marketing Cloud brings multiple marketing channels together, including:
- Website (behaviour/interaction)
- Mobile apps (in-app and push notifications, behaviour)
- Social media marketing
- Digital advertising.
Then, apply the following Marketing Cloud capabilities to analyse, and maximise, the interaction data acquired from these channels:
- Dynamic content: emails, webpages, and more can adapt according to who the viewer is (demographic), and their past interactions (behavioural).
- Campaign automation: organise campaign touchpoints on a visual canvas.
- Segmentation: quickly build lookalike audiences to target, based on what’s been successful so far.
- Reporting: slice and dice data from various channels, plus predictive analytics to anticipate campaign results before they even happen.
- Data management such as “extract, transform, and load” (ETL) enables data to move from one source to another system regardless of different formats.
The list could go on! Salesforce Marketing Cloud is made up of modules called “Studios”, “Builders”, plus a collection of other analytics and data management capabilities. This means that organisations can “mix and match” according to their needs, even if these needs grow over time. While “land and expand” is an advantage, it does make navigating the Marketing Cloud product suite challenging – in other words, pinning down what you actually need, now.
Who Should Use Salesforce Marketing Cloud?
There is no definite, “yes or no” question to deciding which organisations should use Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and which would find a better fit elsewhere.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud is best suited for high-touch marketing journeys (lots of touchpoints, at speed), plus “transactional” interactions, common in e-commerce. “Transactional” shouldn’t be misinterpreted here; these customers are typically making high-value purchases and the brand’s priority is personalisation (creating that “VIP” feel).
Organisations who are acquiring masses of data points about an individual, from multiple sources, are an ideal fit for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. They enjoy the most benefits because the tool supports aggregating data into one, understandable view.
In our experience, we’ve seen these characteristics in consumer B2C (or B2B2C) brands. Aside from the obvious industries that come to mind – such as retail, FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) – we see a great fit for B2C FinTech, too.
What Are the Benefits of Salesforce Marketing Cloud?
By this stage, you may feel ready to adopt new marketing automation technologies that will springboard you beyond the traditional definition of “marketing automation”.
Choosing new technology can be nerve-wracking because, with every investment, there’s a return expected. Having worked on countless Marketing Cloud projects, we put our minds together to come up with 10 positive outcomes you could enjoy in the immediate terms, or long into the future.
1. Integration with Salesforce:
Marketing Cloud and Salesforce integrate using a connector. This is a pre-built integration that you “plug in” and amend the settings for. As a Salesforce product, Marketing Cloud can “reach” into your Salesforce org data better than most other tools on the market, meaning you can pull in CRM data to use in Marketing Cloud segmentation, personalisation, and more.
2. Aggregate Data Points
A theme that we’ve honed in on throughout the guide is the “single view of the customer”.
As brands explore more marketing channels, the number of data sources grows, too. Each source can bring its own data formats, which need to be “meshed” together. Using products from the same product suite alleviates some of the “pains” when aggregating data – you’ll be well on your way to the “single view of the customer”.
3. Behaviour Intelligence
Following on from the previous point, behavioural data can be incorporated from other channels that aren’t “traditional”. Take Marketing Cloud Interaction Studio, for example, which adapts your website content and messaging according to their trail of interactions. This real-time responsiveness requires a fast and faultless exchange of data from all corners of your marketing technology.
4. Data Management
There are countless ways you can work with your data within Marketing Cloud. Build “lookalike” audiences that share the same characteristics as your most engaged contacts. Take personalisation to a new level by including information across emails, web content, etc. that goes far beyond just the subscriber’s name. You can also supplement your Marketing Cloud data with data extensions, adding more context to the contact’s profile.
5. Visual User Interface
Marketing Cloud does come with a learning curve – but that’s to be expected for such a powerful marketing machine! Luckily, even novices can interpret what is happening in campaign automation terms, thanks to Journey Builder (which organises campaign activities visually, on a canvas).
6. Built-in AI
Salesforce’s “Einstein” brand identifies its AI-enabled features. Marketing Cloud has several “Einstein” features, such as Einstein Send Time Optimization, which takes the guesswork out of when the best time to send an email to a specific audience is, to increase the chances of engagement.
7. Reporting and analytics
Datorama brings AI-powered marketing intelligence to Marketing Cloud. Datorama is designed to connect data from multiple sources, bring it into one view for analysis and predictive data insights (what’s happened, and what the engine expects will happen in the future).
8. Combined CDP
Marketing Cloud benefits from innovative product development. Salesforce have broken into the CDP space most recently, which stands for ‘Customer Data Platform’. Salesforce CDP brings all the information about an individual customer that is generated and stored across various platforms in your technology stack. A unique identifier is the core element that constructs the “single view of the customer”. We predict that CDP will continue to be the “must-have” piece of tech – not just in the Salesforce space, but across the board.
9. Expand as you grow
We’ve seen how Salesforce Marketing Cloud is made up of modules. While organisations can “mix and match” selectively, it does make navigating the Marketing Cloud product suite challenging. You would like the technology that will make a huge impact, without investing too much, too soon.
Not only can experts determine what you need now, but they can also help by creating a roadmap for your next purchases, at a pace that is optimal for your organisation.
10. Partner applications
We’ve mentioned that Marketing Cloud comes with a learning curve, but it’s also part of the Salesforce partner ecosystem. These are third-party organisations, vetted by Salesforce, which either develop additional tools or provide consulting and training services. These two arms of the Marketing Cloud partner ecosystem will help bridge knowledge gaps.
Even if you don’t dive into all that Marketing Cloud offers from day one, you are future-proofing your technology stack by giving yourself the option to buy into further modules down the line. You’ll also give yourself the peace of mind that these additions won’t be disruptive to your overall marketing operations.
These are all considerations you should be making when considering the future of your digital marketing. We’ve helped many organizations make informed decisions about how to get started with Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
We are Ceterna – Hong Kong’s only Salesforce consulting firm with a singular focus on Salesforce CRM solutions. Our team of certified experts can effectively leverage Salesforce’s products to centralise your systems and processes. You can trust us to complete your digital transformation as we customise Salesforce for you in a realistic and sustainable way. Start the conversation with us today.