Salesforce update: Einstein AI is coming to Marketing Cloud

Welcome to TFM’s Salesforce Marketing Cloud hub, our summary of the latest advice and information about this fast-growing and fast-acquiring marketing cloud.

Salesforce announce Einstein: AI for everyone

artificial-intelligence-in-businessSalesforce have announced they are bringing artificial intelligence capabilities such as deep learning, natural language processing and predictive analytics into all areas of their business.  Billed as ‘AI for everyone’, Einstein will bring a predictive experiences for customers of Marketing Cloud, CRM and all other Salesforce platforms.

It is the culmination of $600m investment in artificial intelligence by Salesforce who have built Einstein from acquired companies such as MetaMind, PredictionIO and RelateIQ.

The platform will take various data sources  to train machine learning models, including “customer data from CRM, activity data from Chatter, email, calendar and e-commerce; social data streams such as Tweets and images; and even IoT signal”.

While timing and pricing details are still to be confirmed, the initial benefit to users of Salesforce Marketing Cloud will be able to start creating predictive journeys. For example:

  • Predictive Scoring will score every customer’s likelihood to engage with an email
  • Predictive Audiences builds custom audience segments based on predicted behaviours
  • Automated Send-time Optimisation predicts the optimal time to deliver messages based on past customer behaviour.

Einstein will enable Salesforce developers to quickly build AI-powered apps using the tools that they already use.

AI-powered marketing is going to be a hot topic at TFM 2016 next week and we will be ask Salesforce to explain more in the Marketing Cloud All-Star Debate. Register for your ticket.

 

 

Salesforce Marketing Cloud updates

An image with the text Salesforce Marketing Cloud updates hub featuring a cartoon scientist offering a comprehensive guide

What is Salesforce Marketing Cloud?

Salesforce is generally recognised as the leader in CRM software, and has been aggressively expanding into marketing with high profile acquisitions including ExactTarget in 2013 (which itself had acquired CoTweet, Pardot, iGoDigital and Keymail Marketing). In 2014, the group of services was rebranded Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SMC).

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As with other marketing clouds Salesforce Marketing Cloud covers marketing automation (still branded as Pardot) and analytics across email, web, social and mobile, selling multi-year subscriptions to the software:

 

Salesforce provides an uplifting two minute video overview of the :

Salesforce Marketing Cloud review: What do the analysts say?

Salesforce Marketing Cloud can be found among the leaders in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs, alongside Adobe, Oracle and Marketo:
Gartner's Magic Quarter for digital marketing hubs, showing Salesforce among the leaders

Gartner, in its analysis, recommends Salesforce Marketing Cloud for “midsize-to-large B2C enterprise[s] in the consumer products, retail, high tech or financial services industry with a moderate- to-high level of digital marketing expertise.” It also reports that “customers report high satisfaction with its intuitive user experience and journey-modeling capabilities” but also that some “report concerns over pricing and diminished support quality.”

TrustRadius sees “Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email” score 7.3 out of 10. One anonymous reviewer comments:

“We have not had great support when adding a new business into our existing account. It would be great to get a dedicated person that could help with implementation/consultation even after we have our initial on-boarding. Businesses change over time, and it would be great to get the support from Salesforce Marketing Cloud”

Danny Tran, Lead Technical Developer at WebMD, is positive, saying:

“this is a very solid solution for email marketing. It is very scalable from a developer’s view. The proprietary AMPscripting is very powerful in allowing developers to leverage most of platform programmatically which most providers are lacking. I believe that is the one key component making the Salesforce Marketing Cloud superior to others.”

He adds:

“We are leveraging their API to hook in several of our company systems to process triggers, imports and other applications. There is a lot of flexibility in terms of how you would create different applications depending on what outcome you are looking for.”

Further reading: Rise of the Marketing Clouds

 

Salesforce Marketing Cloud updates: What’s the latest news?


SEP 2016 – Salesforce announce Wave Analytics for B2B Marketing app

Salesforce have launched Wave Analytics for B2B Marketing app, a new app to enable marketing cloud users to dive deeper into marketing, CRM other sources such as Google Analytics, webinar or event registration data into a single view.

This easy-to-use app is based in part on consumer apps such as “Fitbit, Mint and Waze” which have made analytics more intuitive, and should improve the connection between marketing cloud and the sales activity recorded in Salesforce CRM.

Salesforce’s Wave B2B Marketing app in action

Read more about Wave Analytics B2B Marketing app here.

JUNE 2016 – The Demandware acquisition

In the largest ever acquisition in the marketing technology industry, Salesforce purchased ecommerce platform Demandware, effectively kickstarting the formation of a commerce cloud to complement its sales and marketing clouds – TFM.

The Demandware logo

Demandware brings with it hundreds of clients including Marks & Spencer – Adexchanger.


FEBRUARY 2016 – Quarterly performance
Salesforce’s marketing cloud revenue grew 31% to $184 million in the fourth quarter (ending Jan 31st 2016) of its fiscal year – Ad Age.


JANUARY 2016 – Free consultation
In the US at least, Salesforce is offering businesses in the retail industry a free consultation with its Marketing Cloud team to demonstrate, through bespoke planning, how its software suite can help them “build smarter one-to-one customer journeys” – Marketing Land.


NOVEMBER 2015 – Feature roll out
Salesforce has added predictive analytics – leveraging machine learning and data science to score and segment customers in real-time – to its marketing cloud – Information Week.


 

Salesforce Marketing Cloud pricing: How much is it?

SMC pricing starts from £280 per month (billed annually, so £3,360 per year) for personalised promotional email marketing. There are four broad solutions – “Email, Mobile, and Web Marketing”, “Social Media Marketing”, “Digital Advertising” and “B2B Marketing Automation” – each split into four packages – Basic, Pro, Corporate and Enterprise.
Salesforce marketing cloud updates pricing chart

The Corporate package for Email, Mobile and Web Marketing starts at £2,625 per month, billed annually (£31,500 per year).

Salesforce Marketing Cloud training and certification

Salesforce University offers training and certification, via corporeal and virtual instructor-led training, self-paced online resources and private workshops.

Training paths include “User”, “Administrator”, “Developer”, “Solution Designer” and “Technical Architect”, with prices ranging from £325 to £3,250. Official UK courses are taught in Staines (near Heathrow).

Salesforce calls its combined support and training packages “Success Plans”, offering Standard, Standard+, Premier and Premier+ which cover the Marketing Cloud.

Certification tracks for marketers include “Email Specialist” and “Social Specialist”. Both involve a 90 minute exam and registration fee of $200.

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Luke Bilton

Luke Bilton

Director, Digital & Content, UBM

Luke Bilton is Director of Digital and Content at UBM EMEA, one of the world’s largest event organisers, where he is responsible for live and online content and digital products.
Luke has worked in publishers such as Future Publishing, IPC and the Chelsea Magazine Company where he has launched magazines, websites and events.
Luke is a member of the IDM Qualifications Advisory Board, advising on business-to-business digital marketing.

Connect with him on Linkedin or Twitter

September 20, 2016

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