Salesforce Says OK Google: Live from Dreamforce

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Salesforce and Google: Benioff goes in for the hug
Salesforce and Google: Benioff goes in for the hug

At Dreamforce, San Francisco yesterday, Salesforce announced a series of integrations with Google, designed to closely connect CRM data with insights from analytics. In particular, Google Analytics 360 suite, the marketing-focused data management platform, will integrate with the Salesforce Sales and Marketing Clouds, surfacing a treasure trove of consumer website behavior for sales reps and marketers working inside Salesforce.

Activating 360 audiences in Marketing Cloud

"It's hard to keep a secret," said Meghann York, director of product marketing at Salesforce Marketing Cloud. York, a 2017 DMN 40Under40 honoree, told me she had been involved with this top secret product for months. "It's the first time Google has ever allowed Google 360 audiences to be activated outside Google." This is not the free Analytics product, she emphasized. While it has been possible to access this data through an API, the new partnership will allow Salesforce users to create audiences in Google 360, then push them into the Marketing or Sales clouds to activate customer journeys and campaigns. 

In addition, 360 data will be available directly within Marketing Cloud, giving marketers visibility into online customer engagement in their Salesforce dashboard.

"Google is managing hundreds of billions of interactions; the Marketing Cloud is sending out billions of emails," she reflected. "This takes the scale to a whole new level."

Other parts of the agreement included:

  • Salesforce named Google Cloud as a preferred public cloud provider
  • Google will continue to use Salesforce as its preferred CRM provider
  • Salesforce will continue to use G Suite as its preferred email and productivity partner
  • Salesforce Lightning and Gmail will integrate, enabling users to surface relevant Salesforce CRM data in Gmail and customer interactions from Gmail directly within Salesforce
  • Lightning will allow users to embed Google sheets directly within Salesforce, and push data from Salesforce directly into Google sheets
  • Users will be able to embed Google Calendar, Sheets, Docs, Slides, etc in the Salesforce Quip Collaboration Platform

Distributed marketing for franchise-based companies

In another development for the Marketing Cloud, York described Distributed Marketing — a brand new product — as a new built-in capability for corporations to cascade campaign strategies to franchises, dealers, and agents, while allowing thosee regional and local partners to customize and personalize the content for their intimately-known audiences.

"Corporate can take initiatives on CX," York explained, "But the people in the field may not have access to the materials." With Distributed Marketing its becomes possible to create cross-channel customer journeys in the Marketing Cloud, and then associate them with specific campaigns in the Sales or Community Clouds — clouds which local franchises and partners are more likely to be using. Franchises can use local knowledge to optimize the journeys inside the cloud platform they're more familiar with.

This is the first tight integration between the Marketing and Community clouds, York said.

The Benioff Keynote

When the Hula dancers emerge onto the Dreamforce mainstage, you know Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO is not far behind. Minutes later he was barreling through the aisles, and around the perimeter of the audience, his voice cracking as he rattled out the year's list of achievements — commercial and societal.

First, Dreamforce itself: 2,700 sessions; 171,000 registrants (I heard estimates of 135,000 attendees); 10 million expected online views.

For the company: $12.5 billion in revenue next year; the world's number one CRM, ahead of Oracle and SAP; number one, he said, in sales, service, and marketing. 

"Business is the greatest platform for change," he said, describing the success of the Salesforce "1/1/1" philanthropy model. This model, which pledges 1% of equity, 1% of product, and 1% of employees' time to charitable causes, has now been adopted by over 3,000 companies, Benioff said. The Salesforce commitment has grown over the years, for example, to encompass the donation of 23 million employee hours.

He also said that Salesforce is now a "net zero" (environmental impact) cloud, one of the first in the world on that scale.

Salesforce covered DMN's expenses to attend Dreamforce

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