Salesforce Unveils Customer Data Platform to Unify All Marketing Data


New platform services enable companies to unify customer data, manage identity and consent, segment and activate audiences and optimize engagement with AI-powered insights


Chicago: Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), today unveiled its Customer Data Platform (CDP) with the next generation of Customer 360. New platform services will enable companies to unify disparate customer data throughout their entire organization and then personalize every engagement based on a single view of the customer. Customer 360 will go beyond traditional CDP capabilities and extend the power of CRM with consumer-scale data management and activation.

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“Customers today will not settle for fragmented experiences, and companies recognize that creating a single view of the customer is imperative to earning their loyalty,” said Bret Taylor, President and Chief Product Officer, Salesforce. “With Customer 360, we continue to extend our platform in new ways, empowering brands to unify data and personalize customer engagement at scale.”

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Customers Expect a Level of Personalization They’re Not Getting

Most of the interactions that customers have with brands today are disconnected and therefore underwhelming. The latest Salesforce Connected Customer report finds that 78 percent of customers expect consistent interactions with a company regardless of the department they’re dealing with, yet only 50 percent of companies tailor their engagement based on a customer’s past interactions.

The challenge for companies is that they are swimming in a deluge of customer data. Many are trying to unify data from legacy systems, disconnected channels, multi-channel attribution and elsewhere. They also need to adhere to regulations like GDPR and adapt to new channels like voice and chatbots. In this reality, delivering personalized and integrated engagement is difficult, and customers often pay the price. A retailer is unlikely to know that the customer who just contacted customer service for a broken product is the same one that also just received a promotional email for that same product.

The Next Generation of Customer 360 Delivers Integrated Customer Engagement

At Dreamforce 2018, Salesforce introduced Customer 360, which allows companies to connect Salesforce apps and create a unified customer ID to build a single view of the customer. Additionally, by extending the power of Customer 360 with MuleSoft, companies can connect any app, data source or device across any cloud and on-premise. Today, Salesforce is expanding Customer 360 with new advancements that will make it easier to bridge fragmented customer data across the entire organization and enable companies to deliver integrated customer engagement at scale.

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The next generation of Customer 360 will enable:

  1. Data Unification and Consent Management: Brands will be able to unify all of their customer data to create rich customer profiles. This includes known and unknown data such as cookies, customer first-party IDs and more. With Salesforce’s consent management framework, companies also have the ability to easily gain customer consent wherever they engage–from email marketing to digital advertising.

  2. Advanced Audience Segmentation: Segmentation capabilities will allow companies to identify specific groups of people to engage with in real-time based on demographics, engagement history and all other customer data available. For example, a company will be able to build an audience of female shoppers interested in running shoes based on information gathered from a combination of web browsing activities across several retail sites, marketing email interactions, previous purchases and more.

  3. Personalized Engagement Everywhere: Once a brand knows what audience segment they’d like to reach, it can then activate the customer data across marketing, commerce, service and beyond. This means companies won’t skip a beat, reaching customers and prospects across channels like ads, email, social, mobile and web that are all integrated to deliver a continuous experience with the brand.

  4. Optimization Based on Einstein Insights: With artificial intelligence, companies will be able to analyze and understand how and when to engage with customers to drive customer loyalty and improve business performance. Customer profiles are continuously updated based on their behaviors – as customers click on an ad, browse an e-commerce catalog, buy a product and open an email. This allows brands to leverage AI to drive the most relevant mix of product and channel recommendations to optimize channel engagement and customer satisfaction.

Speaking to MarTech Advisor, Jeff Lunsford, CEO of Tealium said,  “As specialized enterprise software propagates throughout the enterprise, companies are also using an increasing number of software applications. Even companies that select an all-in-one suite for customer experience or marketing purposes will typically have ten more or more very critical systems outside that suite that they want to share data with. This challenge leads to the logical evolution of a vendor-agnostic, neutral data layer within the enterprise, which sits underneath and orchestrates data flows between these various suites and solutions. The neutral data layer helps enterprises overcome classic data silo issues and allows data to flow freely across the organization. Enterprises that want to future-proof their tech stack and maximize the insights they can gain from their data would be wise to select a solution that enables data freedom and empowers them to quickly adapt to evolving customer needs.”

Adding more light on it Theresa O’Neil, CMO of Showpad adds “Tech giants’ moves to launch CDPs demonstrates the focus B2B companies are placing on creating streamlined, omni-channel customer experiences. Once the sales team gets involved, it’s essentially a black box, with zero awareness of who the customer is and a lack of insight into previous interactions with content and other sales materials. With disjointed information, salespeople can’t demonstrate unique business value, which thereby prevents them from hitting quota. And without bottom of the funnel data and analytics, marketing can’t optimize content to support the sales team.

We need the same data analysis we have at the top of the funnel extended through the bottom of the funnel too. We’re seeing more enterprise players invest in customer data management capabilities for risk of losing their customers with a disjointed omni-channel experience. Having prospect data aggregated and centralized from the first interaction will help salespeople and marketers provide an exceptional experience for the customer and at the end of the day, boost revenue.”

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