Clearing up the Salesforce Marketing Cloud

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By: David Rosenstock | 2.11.16

Social networks have not only revolutionized the way we say hello, but also how we consume information. As marketers, content creators, and development professionals, if you haven’t yet drunk the marketing automation Kool-Aid, now might be the time to finally let go of the ghosts of mediums past (print ads, billboards, flyers, mailers, etc.) and join the digital revolution.

We’ve already touched on how to pick a marketing automation solution, compared Pardot and Marketing Cloud, and published a whitepaper on marketing automation for nonprofits, but there’s much  to explore in this burgeoning field. Recently, we’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud, so we decided to dive in!

What is the Salesforce Marketing Cloud?

There’s bit of confusion around the solutions that make up the Marketing Cloud. According to the CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Scott McCorkle, “The products you know as ExactTarget, Radian6, Buddy Media, and Social.com are key pillars of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.”

If you’ve been in this space for a while, these names will ring a bell (Social Studio is even referred to as the Radion6 Buddy Media Social Studio on this ‘Getting started with Social Studio’ page). If you’re new to the scene, all you need to know now is that ExactTarget serves as the marketing automation foundation of the Marketing Cloud by providing essentials of mass email, mobile, and web marketing. ExactTarget is supported by Social Studio, Social.com, and more.

Here’s our overview of the pillars of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud:

This is what you think of when  you think of marketing automation: personalized and automated email and web journies for your customers or constituents at every stage of engagement. ExactTarget provides the foundational platform of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. To put it in perspective, Pardot and Hubspot could be considered competitors of this aspect.

Social Studio brings social listening, publishing, and engagement to the table. You’re able to pinpoint the demands of your constituent base by monitoring their social activity and actively reach out to them with content tailored to their needs. The ability to access stock photos when you publish a Facebook post or use content discovery platforms so you can find cool articles to Tweet make social publishing easy and personalized. Additionally, analytics integrated into your content calendar give you realtime feedback on the success of your posts. If social monitoring and engagement, SMS/MMS access, and push notifications are what you need, Social Studio is going to be a great option.

Social.com enables you to create ads using real-time metrics from your audience and allows you to respond to your audience’s interactions with ads, emails, and online purchases or donations while they’re still engaged.  Have you ever been browsing Facebook and there was an ad for the toaster you happened to be looking at on Amazon the day before? Or maybe you’ve heard of how Target knows when you’re pregnant. These are both examples of advanced social advertising.

Who is the Salesforce Marketing Cloud for?

You can choose to implement all of the Marketing Cloud elements as a whole, or look into them as separate entities. Obviously, this has a huge impact on the pricing.

*Make sure to check with your Salesforce Account Executive as prices may vary.

Like we mentioned earlier, you can look into each of these solutions on their own, or all together. If you’re looking at the Marketing Cloud full suite, it is best if you have more than 100,000 email subscribers, have the bandwidth to create, tailor, and analyze digital ads, and are interested in social/SMS/text message integration.

This requires substantial support to implement and requires your strategy to be airtight. Marketing Cloud is best for a large organization that has a solid communication and segmentation strategy in place and wishes to take this across multiple channels to get a 360 degree view of constituents.

Don’t Be Unfriended: Marketing in the digital age

So much of what marketers and salespeople have done in the past was adversarial, force feeding information at random when audiences aren’t interested. Don’t be unfriended by an entire generation of consumers. There is a better way! When you’re keyed in to your customers’, donors’, and constituents’ needs and are backed-up by current data, the sales pitch won’t feel like a cold call at the dinner table, but a welcome resource delivered through their preferred medium.

Are you wondering if your organization is ready to implement the Marketing Cloud or any other marketing automation tools or platforms? Do you need help with your marketing strategy? Let us know when you’re available and we’ll schedule a free assessment to get you going.

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