Jul 30, 2014
By Scott McCorkle
Customer Journeys, Marketing Cloud
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Today we hosted press and analysts at salesforce.com headquarters in San Francisco to celebrate the one-year anniversary of salesforce.com’s acquisition of ExactTarget, and debut some exciting new product innovations.

Today is all about the future of the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, and it is an exciting future, as we serve companies of all sizes, including the greatest, most-innovative brands in the world, across all industries. Our product innovation as part of salesforce.com has been extraordinary, and it is accelerating.  Here are just a few recent highlights.

  • We are routinely adding richer support for more digital communication channels. Pinterest is a great example.  We were recently named a launch partner for Pinterest’s Business Insights API, which allows marketers to see which pins are driving the most sales, which are being re-pinned the most often, and other insights that can drive future marketing activity.

  • As we became part of salesforce.com, we immediately integrated the Buddy Media and Radian6 organizations, the pioneers of social marketing software. In May of this year we reinvented social content marketing, engagement and listening. We call this product Radian6 Buddy Media Social Studio and it is part of the Marketing Cloud.

  • We also expanded our advertising capabilities with LinkedIn. With LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, marketers can raise awareness, generate quality leads, and build relationships with more than 300 million LinkedIn users through the Marketing Cloud, which also supports Facebook and Twitter advertising.

  • On the topic of advertising, Facebook advertising was an early area of integration for ExactTarget as we became part of salesforce. In October 2013, just a few months after the acquisition, we won a Facebook Innovation Award for our Active Audiences solution.  Active Audiences brings together the power of email marketing with social advertising to create targeted Facebook advertising based on customer engagement across email, mobile, social and Web.

  • In May, as part of the new salesforce.com and Microsoft partnership, Microsoft renewed its commitment to using ExactTarget Marketing Cloud for one-to-one digital marketing efforts.

  • In June, we were selected as the first marketing technology partner with LINE, the fast-growing group messaging service from Japan – and now worldwide – with nearly 500 million members. Our partnership empowers marketers to connect with customers in new ways through mobile messaging.  Supporting LINE as a communication channel for our customers was a big part of our expansion into Japan, which includes a new fully localized user interface in Japanese.  

This is an amazing list of innovations. And the product innovation that pulls everything together is Journey Builder. Journey Builder is the foundation of the Marketing Cloud, because the future of marketing is the customer journey.

Customer journeys are anchored in the way a customer thinks about their experience with a brand, not the other way around. Customer journeys capture each moment that matters, each event, each defining experience for a customer across for entire customer life-cycle, and customer journeys also define how a brand communicates with their customers at each of these moments that matter, across all touch points and all marketing channels.  

That is a powerful idea.

McKinsey recently found that 50% of all interactions for a customer happen during some multi-step, multi-event journey.

Customers don’t care that many cross-functional teams are required to deliver these journeys.  Customers want this experience to be seamless and consistent.

But there’s a gap. For most brands there is not a comprehensive, connected customer journey. Instead, organizations interact with their customers through a series of disconnected, independent campaigns and messages – often across many organizational functions– that are not designed to create a unified experience for the customer.

We need to change this. And that’s exactly what the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud is built to do. 

Today we are excited to announce the next generation of Journey Builder, with breakthrough innovations including Journey Maps, Journey Triggers and Journey Metrics. With next generation Journey Builder, marketers will be able to:

  • Plan the Customer Journey with Journey Maps - When it comes time to develop a new customer journey, Journey Builder delivers a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to map the exact path customers will experience with a brand across lifecycle stages and channels. With Journey Maps, marketers now have an easy to use canvas - an intuitive visual process - to map customer journeys across email, mobile, social, web and connected devices, measure performance, optimize for best results and create a holistic view of how customers experience the brand.

  • Personalize the Customer Journey with Journey Triggers - Predict and automatically deliver the right message, channel, and timing for each customer experience by setting up predictive intelligence triggers. With new Journey Triggers, marketers will be able to automatically trigger content and offers based on customer behaviors such as abandoned shopping cart, abandoned web browser, product purchase or affinity changes.

  • Optimize the Customer Journey with Journey Metrics - New visual analytics empower marketers to test and monitor the effectiveness of every interaction, and visualize which channels, messages and times are performing best, beyond just clicks and web conversions. Now marketers will be able to track and test every part of the journey in real time against goals using behavioral data such as purchases, downloads, loyalty achievements and app usage.

See how it works in this short video.

Thank you to our entire ExactTarget Marketing Cloud team, our customers, and our partners for helping us get to where we are today. When I look at the capabilities of the Marketing Cloud and Salesforce, and how these have come together, it is really the most important kind of software that has ever been built, software that will manage the customer journey end to end, across sales, service and marketing, and connect companies to customers in a whole new way.

I welcome you to join us this fall September 23-25 in Indianapolis for Connections, the conference for digital marketers, where we will announce many more innovations. We have a super exciting line-up of speakers, including salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, GE SVP & CMO Beth Comstock, Twitter Chief Communications Officer Gabriel Stricker, Entrepreneur, Musician, & Philanthropist will.i.am, and LinkedIn VP, Marketing Nick Besbeas. Join us at Connections. 

And of course, we are also super fired up for Dreamforce. Join us at Dreamforce, October 13-16 in San Francisco. I look forward to seeing you this Fall at one, or both of these great events.

Get marketing insights from the Marketing Cloudcast, a Salesforce podcast.

CROSS-CHANNEL, CUSTOMER JOURNEYS, MARKETING AUTOMATION
CROSS-CHANNEL, CUSTOMER JOURNEYS, MARKETING AUTOMATION, MARKETING CLOUD