Cloud Wars: Salesforce Marketing Cloud Is at the Head Table
Salesforce Marketing Cloud was leading in the cloud wars during our last review of the competitors, but its acquisition this year of Tableau, for nearly $16 billion, kept it on the cutting edge.
Here, Chris Jacob, Director of Product Marketing, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, speaks to Target Marketing about cloud platforms.
"Ultimately, marketers are searching for the ideal platform that allows them to harness all that data to generate actionable insights, allowing them to react and personalize communications across any channel, at-scale."
He continues, in his Target Marketing interview, below.
What are marketers looking for in a cloud platform?
Marketers are increasingly striving for two-way conversations, with opportunities for deeper engagement rather than generic, one-way messages. Increasingly, these conversations are happening in real-time, and marketers around the world say engaging with customer[s] in real-time is both their No.1 priority and No.1 challenge.
When it comes to actually using the platform, what capabilities are most important to marketing success?
There are four core fundamental capabilities that a marketing technology platform should have in order to help brands better understand and engage with their customers: know, personalize, engage, and analyze.
- Know your customers
- Personalize every interaction with intelligence
- Engage with them across the journey in any channel
- Analyze the results
Is there a gap between what marketers look for and need?
Yes, right now marketers are often working to find the right balance between multiple competing priorities:
- personalization and trust
- data management and speed
- legacy channel budgets and new frontiers
- optimizing their core competencies, while working with broader teams.
For example, we’ve seen that marketers’ use of AI has grown at a rate of 44% since 2017, but as personalization improves, only 30% of marketers are completely satisfied with their ability to balance it with privacy.
What capabilities are going to be more important for marketing clouds to offer during the next five years?
The ability to harness and use data, at-scale, is the core capability for any premium marketing solution in the period ahead. Global marketers are currently using 15 different data-sources to run their programs. This number has grown 50% in the last two years alone, and will likely continue to grow.
We’re also going to see the importance and use of AI grow. Global marketers are currently using AI for two different business capabilities today (i.e., personalize journey, real-time next best offers, deliver seamless online-offline experiences, predictive marketing, etc.) and are saying they will do an additional four use-cases by next year.
The ability for a marketing solution to handle this ever-growing scale of data to deliver useful insights, then enabling personalized engagement at scale — all powered by AI — is the direction we’re going to see marketing clouds continue to grow.
What caused previous contenders to drop off of the list of Cloud War contenders? What’s changed since our previous coverage?
If you look at the most successful technology solutions today, they are prioritizing unified data view, AI-driven personalization, analytics and holistic view of the customer experience. They are also being championed with digital-transformation change agents at brands who are leading the charge in their organizations to deliver a customer-centric experience and reorganize the teams, workflows, and technologies around that end goal.
What’s going to determine who wins “The Cloud Wars”?
Most of the interactions that customers have with brands today are disconnected and, therefore, underwhelming. ... The prevailing martech companies will be the ones that dedicate their time to seamlessly integrating data together across sources and channels to create a single view of the customer in [a] platform that places the utmost value on security.