What Are the Capabilities of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud?

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is the second product offering in the marketing automation category offered by Salesforce. Originally known as ExactTarget, the Marketing Cloud technology platform was integrated into the Salesforce platform after the $2.5 billion ExactTarget acquisition in 2013. In that acquisition, Salesforce acquired the two (2) main technology pieces that they’ve integrated as their Marketing Cloud; one being Pardot which we reviewed on episode 7 of the Cloudify Podcast the other – the ExactTarget platform – now rebranded as the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

The Marketing Cloud is a digital marketing platform that can be used mainly by mid-market & enterprise companies as well as marketing agencies to implement digital marketing campaigns across multiple channels.

Salesforce does say that the Marketing Cloud is appropriate for small businesses. From a functional point of view that is probably true, although I’m not sure that it is competitively priced to other small business marketing automation options. I can see that in certain instances for email marketing. Indeed, the platform originally was strictly email marketing, but ExactTarget through their own acquisitions incorporated additional digital marketing capabilities.

If you look at the Marketing Cloud, it’s very comprehensive platform covering every single aspect of digital marketing that a modern marketing department would need to address. Whether you just need email marketing in your small or mid-market company or you scale up to the Enterprise and you want to implement a very complex digital marketing strategy, the Marketing Cloud can handle it all. It really is best of breed.

Beyond the ability to create both simple and complex drip email campaigns, The Marketing Cloud also offers a platform to implement and manage:

  • Search Marketing (organic) campaigns
  • Paid Digital Advertising on different platforms including Google AdWords, Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Publishing & Social Listening
  • Mobile Marketing

Predictive Analytics and Reporting

The Marketing Cloud offers the best of breed analytics and reporting capabilities in the industry. Beyond simply reporting on outcomes, the Marketing Cloud offers digital marketers the ability to utilize Predictive Analytics — so basically identifying trends around traffic, trends on your web properties, trends on mobile, trends within again the social sphere and trends around user behaviors based upon persona across all of these channels. This forms the basis of Marketing Cloud’s ability to create 1:1 tailored user experiences at scale.

Workflow and Content Planning.

You can automate workflows and you can build out your entire marketing calendar and publishing calendar. It’s pretty crazy. Again, this can be the whole enchilada.

Journey Builder

This is quite interesting visual mapping approach to creating 1-to-1 personalized experiences for visitors to your various properties and various digital assets, whether they’d be apps, websites, landing pages, any content you have all of your social profiles and being able to personalize on scale at mass. So this makes it practical for a non-technical marketing resource to create personas and track them and deliver a personalized buying journey. Journey Builder is definitely a very powerful toolset that any enterprise or mid-market company that was serious about B2B or B2C marketing automation could implement.

Group Administration Roles and Permissions

The Marketing Cloud has a very powerful group administration capabilities beyond what the normal Salesforce administration capabilities. This allows you to setup the roles and permissions of various marketing users according to their job function.

Sales & Service Cloud Integration

In addition to all of this, there’s really deep integration with not only the Sales and Service Clouds or the sales cloud, CRM on Salesforce, but also the Service Cloud. You can have a really . This allows marketers to implement a complete marketing plan that extends beyond just lead generation. It can be the entire lifecycle of the client.

Originally ExactTarget (now the Salesforce Marketing Cloud) was an email marketing platform. Because of this the platform allows you design, track and optimize email campaigns. It’s got all of the ability to create drip or nurturing emails campaigns and automated responses based upon the actions that customers take.

Powerful Email Personalization

You can really get into behavioral aspects of different persona of your visitors. Basically I can send out and segment my email marketing campaigns and then I can create real world 1-to-1 content engagement for those users. You can profile the user and learn about them based upon the content they consume through email marketing.

Mobile Marketing.

Obviously mobile devices represent a huge percentage of web traffic now. Much of the email and web traffic and content that’s being consumed is being done through a smaller smartphone or even a tablet devices.

Marketing Cloud’s Mobile marketing features will allow you to incorporate push notifications, SMS, and multimedia messaging into marketing campaigns.

You can even incorporate geo-fencing capabilities into your campaigns. So you can segment your customers by where they are and what messages they receive when they’re within a certain geographic area. So lets sya you have multiple locations— think of a company that has location maye a chain of restaurants or stores, and a customer that is in your system goes within a geo-fence of a specific location. The Marketing Cloud allows you to trigger push messaging and push content to thos emobile users.

Social Media Marketing.

Really there are two key aspects to this. One is you are able to publish content and posts across multiple social profiles from the Marketing Cloud. The second aspect is social listening. If people are out there and they need support on Twitter, so they’re posting about an incident for example with your company via Twitter, the social listening features of the Marketing Cloud will trigger automatic content being sent out to them, or it can create things like cases within the Service Cloud or a task in Sales Cloud for a sales person to contact the poster.

That means that Marketing Cloud can really be the glue that ties together all the different aspects of the Salesforce platform. Whether a customer is an actual customer or a prospect you’re going to be able to create a journey for them using the Marketing Cloud. Whether they’re on social media, they’re on mobile, whether you’re contacting or reaching them through email marketing or web, you’ll see it’s basically going to profile and surround the customer and give them what they need at the right time.

Web Marketing.

Obviously your website is a massively important channel for research, sales and support. It’s where you primarily provide content so that people that are researching on their own for some sort of a purchase, whether it’s B2B or B2C are going to find the content they need to help them through their own buying journey.

The Marketing Cloud gives you all the tools you will need to personalize and manage that content and publishing and to monitor the trends and traffic on your properties, and provide a personalized experience to those visitors.
Here is a really interesting example. Lets say you are marketing for a Concert Venue. You have a web visitor looking at a specific event, but they don’t buy tickets. The visit the event page for that concert or concerts multiple times. Marketing Cloud’s web amrekting capabilities allow you track users who visit the upcoming shows page multiple times without buying tickets. Next time they visit your site can personalize the web experience showing them the concerts that they were looking at but didn’t make a purchase from. Or maybe similar or related events. Now you’re personalizing their web journey. Some of that can be based upon the individual persona and some of that can be based upon the individual visitor that’s identified through visitor tracking.

Digital Advertising

You can manage all of your paid traffic campaigns through the Marketing Cloud. You can use it to manage your Google AdWords, your display advertising, your LinkedIn, Twitter and your Facebook campaigns. It’s pretty powerful to be able to manage that all in one place and across ad networks. You can personalize the journey where you’re delivering the right ad to the right person across different channels. You can have a prospect visit your website and then when they’re going on Facebook they’re going to see ads that are tailored to, hey, they were looking at XYZ on your website and now they see a display out for XYZ from your company on their Facebook page- or their LinkedIn – or their Twitter, or anywhere where there’s Google AdWords for example. The Marketing Cloud provides a very powerful cross ad network retargeting platform

Content and Messaging.

Here is where you can publish but also deliver the right content to the right person at the right time. This comes down to personalization on a mass scale. Marketing Cloud allows you to profile your visitors based upon the action of a prospect across different channels, whether it’d be web, mobile, or social, or anywhere where there’s display advertising. You can present to them the right content, whether that’s goods that they’re looking at, as we gave in another example, or it’s content that they would want to consume as part of their buying journey of where you’ve identified their ad in their buying journey towards your products. Maybe it’s more of a B2B play and they need to go through certain steps of the sales process to research, where they identify a problem, they research the problem, they look at alternatives, and wherever you identify in that buying journey you can present to them across multiple channels the right information at the right time.

You can see where you would need a very comprehensive Digital Strategy so that you can then not only create content and messaging but also profile your visitors at scale and then map out the psychology that they would go through during there pre and post sale buyer journey across multiple channels.

Marketing Sales and Service Cloud Integration.

The Marketing Cloud allows you the ability to operationalize customer journey across more than just your web property at the point of lead generation. You can also manage, support, and trigger actions in the Service Cloud. For example, the example used here is a large bank closed the case in Service Cloud which automatically triggers Marketing Cloud to send a survey. A favorable response to that email triggers a nurture journey, so another drip campaign that keeps the customer engaged with you in an automated fashion. An unfavorable response to the survey creates a notice in sales cloud for follow up with a live sales representative. You can see that you’re not just limited to lead generation. Now you can interact with your sales and your service organizations in an automated fashion. This is really the n-th degree of marketing automation.

Obviously a critical part of deciding on if the Salesforce Marketing Cloud is the right fit to implement your Digital Marketing Strategy is to understand how it is priced and packaged in different editions. You can read more about that here: How is Salesforce Marketing Cloud priced?

What do you think? Is the Marketing Cloud for your organization? Are you currently using Marketing Cloud? Let us know at ideas@cloudadvisory.io.

You can listen to this episode of the Cloudify Podcast on Soundcloud:

How is Salesforce Pardot priced?

What are the editions and pricing of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud?