Salesforce renames CDP and adds marketing features

Salesforce’s marketing-driven customer data platform has features slated for release in June to facilitate more granular segmentation, analysis, and integrations with external data sources.

The enhanced segmentation features allow marketers – as opposed to IT staff to create SQL database queries for them – to remix new customer groups with a drag-and-drop interface.

An example of this could be breaking up a group of potential campaign customers who are loyal buyers and tend to shop according to AI predictions, who have previously made purchases online and clicked on a product. especially on a website, said Robin Grochol. , senior vice president of product management for Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

The company also renamed it Salesforce CDP. Until now, it was called Customer 360 Audiences. Salesforce published its CDP last year, joining a crowded market that includes SAP, Adobe, Microsoft and Oracle, as well as dozens of small independent CDP vendors and emerging platform candidates from new mergers, such as Twilio Segment.

The name change of Salesforce CDP will reduce confusion among potential users, said Rebecca Wettemann, CEO of Valoir, an independent analyst firm.

Salesforce recognizes that integration and intelligence are the primary battlegrounds for differentiation.

Rebecca wettemannCEO, Valoir

“It’s important,” Wettemann said. “Salesforce recognizes that existing customers and those outside of the Salesforce group need to understand what Salesforce offers – calling it a CDP makes it clearer.”

The Salesforce CDP is built on the Salesforce platform, which means it can ingest customer data from all Salesforce clouds such as customer service and CRM, as well as external sources outside of the Salesforce platform. . For now, Salesforce is focused on features serving Marketing Cloud users.

That doesn’t stop Salesforce from making it more of a general-purpose CDP in the future, with features tailored for users in other industries such as sales and customer service, said David Raab, founder of the CDP Institute. He said that Salesforce users who haven’t purchased other CDP tools yet will be the most likely users of the Salesforce CDP – for now – and those who already have third-party CDPs in place are unlikely to be inclined. to tear and replace.

Pandemic, Martech Disorder Leads to Rise of CDPs

Grochol and Raab said CDPs are popular right now for two reasons: First, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced marketers to refine fully digital approaches as businesses shut down and in-person meetings and transactions. were interrupted.

The second reason, which began long before the pandemic, is that CDP technology allows marketers to aggregate customer data scattered over more than 8,000 plug-and-play marketing automation tools that they have employed over the past decade. The wide variety of marketing applications has given marketers the freedom to customize technology stacks for their businesses, but these tools tend to create their own siled datasets.

The Salesforce CDP has a graphical interface to make it easy for business users to ingest data from a variety of sources.

“The fundamental fact that drives the growth of CDP is the fragmentation of data spread across all of these tools,” said Raab. “People really want something to bring it together, and it takes a separate system to do it. It won’t be something in CRM, marketing automation, or any other product that wasn’t designed for it. They need specially designed software. “

Salesforce CDP users also benefit from new integrations with MuleSoft for ingesting customer data from external sources such as loyalty platforms, ERP, and retail. point of sale systems such as Microsoft, AWS, and ServiceNow. In addition, new connectors to the Tableau offer data visualizations marketers to make more informed decisions about which customer groups to use in marketing campaigns and also to measure campaign effectiveness.

These integrations can be what drives Salesforce customers to choose the Salesforce CDP when choosing between it and standalone CDPs.

“Every supplier with a CDP is trying to differentiate themselves right now,” said Wettemann. “We are increasingly seeing companies look beyond their primary CRM vendor when looking for a CDP. Salesforce recognizes that integration and intelligence are the primary battlegrounds for differentiation.

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