9 “New and Improved” Tools for Customer Engagement

**Image of Bryan Wade courtesy of Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud

“Every company has to compete with the on-demand, we’ll-do-anything-to-serve-the-customer companies. How you communicate in that world is very different than blasting out mass messages,” Mike Lazerow, chief strategy officer for Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud (ETMC), told me when we met at Connections 2014. “Fortunately, we now have a data model and the computing power to do one-to-one at a scale never available before.”

Lazerow wasn’t just refering to parent company Salesforce.com and its marketing cloud when he said “we”; he also meant its marketer customers. In fact, the conference was all about Salesforce ETMC taking its clients along the journey to become “customer companies” by not only rethinking their marketing strategies, but also by offering a collection of new and enhanced products. “There are applications and tools to create a wonderful customer journeys, helping customers along their path in a way that works for them,” Lazerow said.

Indeed, Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud launched nine new and enhance products at its Connections 2014 conference that aim to do just that.

During a capacity-crowd keynote, Bryan Wade, SVP and chief product officer of ETMC, took attendees though the list of updates, all of which map to at least one the six pillars of marketing the company is focused on: customer journeys, contacts, content, channels, analytics, and apps.

Wade presented an overview of Journey Builder for Apps, which is designed to help marketers map out customer journeys and then bring them to life via mobile apps, as well as linking them to other digital channels, such as email and SMS. It also aims to enable marketers to deliver contextually relevant, personalized content, messages, and offers in real time. “You can tailor each customer journey,” Wade said.

Journey Builder puts customers and their journeys in the center and shows you how you can optimize marketing based on that,” Lazerow had explained to me when we met. “It helps you visualize all of your customer journeys on one screen.” Marketers can decide what message they want to deliver next based on where customers are in their journey, and where they’ve come from, he said. And once marketers map a journey, they can set triggers along the way. “It bridges marketing art and science and allows marketers to be more creative,” Lazerow said.

Analytics was another area of enhancements Wade discussed during the product keynote. “We’re innovating around data,” he said, adding that with enhanced analytics tools there are no limits on number of customer attributes marketers can track. He cited customer LiveNation as an example of a company that tracks myriad customer attributes—4,000 to be precise—and then uses that information to deliver relevant communications.

“Everyone needs to know their customer,” Wade said.

So, ETMC also launched Predictive Intelligence, which provides such cabailities as an algorythm for next best offer, as well as new real-time mobile and Web analytics that allows marketers to respond in real time based on customers’ behaviors. Another launch is Proximity, which uses beacons to collect customer data and trigger real-time marketing.

The company also launched the next generation of Salesforce integration to Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Platform. “We have a vision of blending sales, service, and marketing to better serve customers,” Wade said. “Being a customer company is connecting with customers on every step of their journey.”

Wade highlighted three channel-related offerings: Social Studio, which integrates Radian6 and Buddy Media into one product, now links with Service Cloud to enable improve the connection between social listening and customer care; Active Audiences, a new advertising product powered by Salesforce.com’s Social.com site deisgned to help marketers map their customer contacts (using email addresses) to users on Facebook and Twitter and target them—as well as lookalike prospects—with relevant messaging or offers; and integration with LINE and WeChat group messaging services, which aims to extend the customer journey.

Additionally, Wade noted that on October 6 Salesforce ETMC will release new content creation tools (for asset management, workflows, approvals, and version control) and an enhance version of CloudPages, which marketers can use to build content once and then push it out to websites, social sites, and mobile.

“[Marketers] need to connect with customers in a new way,” Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff told a rapt audience of 8,000 attendees. “That’s we’re focused on creating a customer success platform. It’s about helping our customers create more success for your customers. We only succeed at Salesforce if you succeed.”

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