Salesforce is more than just cloud-based customer relationship management software. It is now one of the most popular tech companies in the U.S., and it has a bevy of interesting partners and technologies that it is working with and on. In fact, according to Business Insider, Salesforce invests in more organizations valued at $1 billion than Google Ventures, and it supports over 150 companies across 11 countries, from handy notepad mobile app Evernote to Radius Intelligence, a predictive marketing venture.
While Salesforce did pop up seemingly out of nowhere in what was a rather stagnant CRM market, the company and its cloud-based products didn’t come to be overnight. Like the strategy of investing in cutting-edge technologies, Salesforce become the giant that it is due to its long-term gameplan to reinvent marketing as we know it. After all, the tech firm introduced the whole world to the marketing cloud.
So, what’s around the corner? What is Salesforce’s vision of the future of marketing? Let’s take a look.
“Salesforce labeled the present as the dawn of the digital marketer.”
A digital world
Salesforce Connections serves as an opportunity for the company, its partners and some spokespeople to explain their take on modern marketing as well as how Salesforce and its marketing cloud can support this future. According to CMS Wire, at this year’s conference, Salesforce officials labeled the present as the “dawn of the digital marketer” – nowadays, consumers live on the Internet, accessing it through mobile devices, and marketers need to capitalize on that with digital marketing campaigns. However, due to the immaturity of this space in regard to marketing, there are not many solutions out there to take advantage of mobile apps, social media trends and such.
So, Salesforce introduced a few new features and web-based applications that will help marketers easily adapt to the future of marketing on digital channels. For example, the company just announced a “set of tools” that allows marketers to integrate Salesforce Marketing Cloud products and other supported solutions with Instagram. According to the Salesforce blog, the Instagram APIs will enable the ability to advertise, publish content, engage with customers via comments and resolve customer service problems. Furthermore, marketers can run analytics processes on all their Instagram data. This tool is exactly how businesses can take advantage of new digital channels with ease and highlights the truth behind Salesforce’s statement that it is a leader and innovator in digital and social marketing.
The sales connection
While CRMs are often considered the tools of marketers, Salesforce has become a foundational component of enterprise IT across departments, from sales to finance. This is having an interesting impact on how these teams collaborate. According to ZDNet’s analysis of Salesforce Connections 2015, marketing scopes are growing, and now, a lot of marketing content is passed on to sales and customer service departments, with these materials defining branding more often than not. The result is “the alignment of sales and marketing,” the source posited.
ZDNet asserted that Salesforce is embracing the connection between marketers and sales professionals with Salesforce Engage. With this new product, marketing teams and sales departments have access to a single repository of customer acquisition and retention materials. Users can take that content and plug it into campaigns created in both Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud.
Better yet, if someone engages with those materials, sales and marketing professionals will receive an alert on Salesforce. So, marketers know what works and salespeople can get to work, and all that data is represented on dashboards. Salesforce Engage is exactly how marketing and sales teams can work in harmony successfully, and users can be certain that more features will only make the tool more powerful.
“Automation is the future of marketing.”
As digital marketing proves to be a critical aspect of any customer attraction and retention strategies, marketers need ways to make those advertisements and that content more personalized for its viewers. This had been a challenge for many years, until Salesforce released Pardot, a marketing automation solution. In fact, according to Salesforce, 70 percent of survey respondents rate automation as effective or very effective for digital marketing. Yet, Forbes reported that only 10 percent of businesses use marketing automation, indicating that Salesforce Pardot is still a cutting-edge tool set to revolutionize the way that brands bring in customers and clients.
Salesforce knows that automation is the future of marketing – going as far as to assert that it’ll be necessary for B2B marketers to target and engage with potential clients at the perfect moments. Nextiva Vice President of Marketing Yaniv Masjedi stated that Pardot makes customer communications more effective because clicks, behaviors and transactions are all analyzed to determine the best way to close deals more quickly and easily.
The future of marketing lies in technology, both in the hands of consumers and marketers. Salesforce knows this, and that’s why its solutions are designed to take advantage of emergent digital channels with some help from sales teams and automated tools.