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Dreamforce News: Customer 360 Truth on the Horizon

“This is our CDP, and it’s the first single source of truth for a marketer. It forms the beating heart of Salesforce for marketing.”

That’s how Adam Blitzer, CEO of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud announced the availability (next year) of Customer 360 Truth at Dreamforce 2019, attended by some 150,000 people.

This builds on the Customer 360 announcement at Salesforce Connections in August, and is the latest development in the CDP race between the major CX suite vendors, a race Adobe essentially claimed to have won about a week ago.

Among other highlights for marketers:

  • Significant advances in email capabilities
  • A bigger role for voice

I reached out to Chris Jacob, who leads product marketing and go-to-market efforts for the Marketing Cloud to steer me through the news.

The Customer 360 journey

“What’s great is a lot of the capabilities of Customer 360 are GA already,” he said. “The data manager part, which is the identity resolution engine across Salesforce and other systems. But the part which is near and dear to my heart is Customer 360 Audience; that is where we’re bringing known and unknown identities together, and it will be GA next year. The unified [customer] profile will give marketers two key use cases. One, insights which every marketer needs, and two, being able to create audiences and segments to activate in all the various channels.”

How significant is this development? “We think this will be really compelling because it gives marketers something they haven’t had before, but in a way that is compliant with everything they need to be compliant with, as well as something that’ scalable and works across the eco-system.” The solution has the capability of integrating not only known and unknown digital actions, but also in-person, in-store interactions. Data from outside the Salesforce eco-system can be ingested in a consistent and useable way via the “connect anything” solution Mulesoft, acquired by Salesforce last year.

Kicking off with voice

“Voice is in its early phase, but if you look at the adoption trends of people having devices in their homes, across generations too, it’s quite staggering. We’re excited about voice coming into business use cases.” In fact, Salesforce will offer the ability to use voice to talk to Salesforce itself, and in a form agnostic to which device is used, he said. That’s Einstein Voice Assistant, and also in the works is Einstein Voice Skills, to assist in the development of voice-powered apps. General availability for both is some way off: 2021.

“Where will voice go in two years time? What will be the most compelling use cases for marketers? I think we can all generally agree that voice is becoming this new frontier interface we need to address, and it’s becoming increasingly important in business as well.” There’s an awareness, said Jacob, that Salesforce needs to be involved in voice, just as it is in email, and any other channel.

A specific use case for Service Cloud will be available in 2020. “If you call a call center, while you’re having the conversation, the transcription can come to the service agent. Einstein can also make recommendations to address whatever the issue is, or make offers that are relevant. Call center managers can then use this as a coaching tool.”

Einstein in your emails

Jacob laid out three Einstein announcements relevant to marketing:

  • Messaging insights
  • Copy insights
  • Content selection

Messaging insights surfaces campaign performance metrics in the dashboard, giving immediate AI-driven alerts, positive as well as negative. Copy insights builds on that by identifying reasons for poor performance and recommending improvements, for example to email subject lines.

“Content selection is probably my favorite thing. Content within an email is AI generated, but also changes in real time —
meaning that if I open an email on day one, and you open it on day three, the content will change based on the engagement of all of us who had opened the email, and what we found compelling or not. What you see on day three may be very different.”

Conversion rates can be improved when customers can do things within the email, rather than following links to web pages. Salesforce is announcing Interactive Email which will allow customers to complete forms, answer questions, and engage generally without leaving the box.

“Every click that happens reduces the conversion rate by some percentage amount,” Jacob explained, “so if I’m able to fill out forms, answer questions, there will be an incremental lift for the conversion rate.”

Salesforce aggregates all the Dreamforce 2019 announcements here.

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