What is Salesforce Marketing Cloud?
In 2013, Salesforce acquired the e-mail marketing platform ExactTarget and eventually turned it into Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
While there are technically 2 marketing automation platforms within the Salesforce ecosystem of products, Marketing Cloud is focused on B2C customer acquisition and nurturing across e-mail, social, and paid advertising to unify a company's data from all digital touch points. This enables companies to build real-time insight models that deliver powerful automation and campaign execution.
Over the years, Marketing Cloud has grown in complexity and offers a number of add-on products in addition to the core e-mail platform. We highlight some of the main components below before diving into the technical expertise needed to manage Marketing Cloud and continue building out functionality within it:
This lives inside of Marketing Cloud suite and is one way to plan the customer experience. This allows you to be automate follow up and customer engagement based on prior actions that customer has taken. Let's break this down more. As an example, customers may take a variety of steps and interact with your brand across various channels before ultimately buying what you are selling. The journey builder allows you to make a chart with blocks and arrows to build automated solutions that execute next actions and deliver dynamic messages to target customers. As the customer navigates landing pages, you can build a journey to nurture them through a purchasing funnel and automate touchpoints over time.
Creating Dynamic Content
While journey builder lets you automate messaging, delivering the right message at the right time in the purchasing funnel is critical to converting new customers. Salesforce applications are great at gathering data insights about customer intent, which can be used by a Marketing Cloud Developer to craft responsive website design or dynamic HTML e-mail content unique to them. Building out dynamic content within Marketing Cloud does require specific technical knowledge.
SQL Queries and Marketing Cloud
In general, SQL queries are the best way to work with relational databases and it's an important component to Marketing Cloud, particularly in Automation Studio. Using these queries, a company is setting up how they want data to flow into and out of Marketing Cloud, what to do with the data when it arrives, and provides specific instructions and how to analyze various imports to inform on the next action in your marketing campaign.
Using Content Builder
Effective online marketing requires unique content for each channel you are utilizing, whether that's e-mail, custom landing pages, social, or paid ads. Content Builder is a content management system within Marketing Cloud that serves as a repository for a company's images, documents, and specific messaging and provides a drag-and-drop interface for Marketing teams to publish into various campaigns.
This is another core feature provided by the marketing cloud. This allows you to create and develop emails based on profile data. This being said, you can also send mass emails without leaving any customers out. For example, if you wanted to send a follow-up thank you email to customers that purchased something within the past 30 days, you can tell the email studio to only send it to those customers. If you want everyone to get your email about an exclusive promotion that is going to happen next month, you can have the email sent to everyone.
In this studio, the sky is the limit. You can make the email as attractive or bland as you'd like. It has the ability to hold photos and videos, as well as include links and hold multiple lines of text. These emails are sent as if it is a one-on-one conversation. Even though you're probably sending out a couple hundred emails. The email is going to look like it was created specifically for that one client. There is no easier way to make them feel special.
This studio is just for what you think it is - mobile marketing. These feature allows you to elevate the way you are communicating with your customers. You're able to send text messages, allow push notifications, and even chat back and forth. A helpful feature is that it allows you to see a mock up of a cell phone to demonstrate exactly how your message will be delivered to the customer. We live in a world where more and more people are able to communicate and complete tasks on their mobile devices.
Some customers may find it extremely helpful to communicate via text instead of a phone call or email. If this is the case, and you're using Mobile Studio, you are going to deliver professional text messages as part of a more robust campaign.
This feature is completely unique and allows you to manage all of your social media platforms. You're able to dive deeper into the industry you are in. For example, if people mention a certain topic that applies to you like "new roofing materials being used," you're able to see more conversations about the pros and cons of using this material. If your company is on all social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc) this can be a great tool. You would be able to create social media posts to store in your content management studio and then automatically publish across social accounts for you. This is going to save you a lot of time because you won't be creating the same content over and over.
One more exciting option is the fact that Social Studio is able to monitor the performance of the post and put the data into a readable report. The goal is to see how the Marketing Cloud is able to measure this specific data. A lot of marketers want to know how many people read the post, did they click on it, did they happen to share the post and more importantly, what next actions they took after interacting with your content on social. This is a key component to cross-channel marketing attribution!
If you've never used artificial intelligence (AI) before, you surely will with this feature. AI helps you to make decisions based on the content you are creating. It has the intelligence to help you fine-tune content for the algorithms. Salesforce Marketing Cloud's AI is specifically named Einstein. It is there every step of the way to make sure you are using the feature to the best of your ability.
For example, you are presenting your customers with the next best thing, or a discount on something you offer, AI is automatically going to show them content based on past Google searches. AI is simply always analyzing the actions of customers and organizing the information in a way that you're able to maximize your business. Additionally, if you're able to define goals and key metrics, Einstein is going to give you some ideas in order to test your content before publishing it. This allows for a broader scale of analysis.
By using this feature you are going to ensure your customers are getting a one-on-one experience, like the advertisement is specifically talking to them. Not only is this feature going to give you incredible reach, but you're able to see how far it goes. You're going to be placing this ad on sites where you know your customers are and similar to Social, will allow you to track web behavior across your own properties and beyond.