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Salesforce has added two features to its B2B marketing capabilities, Einstein Key Account Identification and Accounts as Campaign Members. Both expand Salesforce Einstein's account-based marketing feature set.
ABM is a marketing technique that enables B2B selling teams to market to their customers' buying teams. Einstein Key Account Identification surfaces those accounts among a Salesforce user's customer base that are likely to become repeat customers.
The AI melds historical trends for a Salesforce user's business to determine what drives sales, and matches it to customer behavioral data that can signal future potential sales. It then prioritizes the best candidates to pursue and can also build customer segments for marketing campaigns.
Accounts as Campaign Members enables a buying team -- as opposed to individuals only -- to be targeted for a marketing campaign.
Both features tap into a Salesforce user's Customer 360 data from sources such as marketing, sales, customer service and e-commerce to surface AI insights. Both features will be generally available this summer to customers on Pardot Advanced subscriptions. Some customers are already using Einstein Key Account Identification in a pre-release pilot.
While customers on those buying teams expect companies to know them as well as targeted consumer marketing campaigns they're used to in their personal lives, it's a difficult technology trick to pull off. Many-to-many marketing campaigns require a lot more heavy data lifting, said Predrag Jakovljevic, an analyst at Technology Evaluation Centers. But that's changing.
"The industry as a whole has gotten its head around AI and how it applies to sales and marketing use cases -- it's easy to see how AI can do matching and other predictions to drive marketers to the right individuals at targeted accounts," Jakovljevic said.
"We are seeing buying groups grow from one or two people to six or seven. B2B marketers want to target the right people inside those teams with the right messages at the right time. ABM is [one of] the more convoluted campaign models vendors are building that identify, target and engage in a far more dynamic and multi-tiered way than previous types of B2B marketing."
Predrag JakovljevicAnalyst, Technology Evaluation Centers
Salesforce's existing ABM tools, he added, didn't have strong features for ingesting third-party data from companies marketers often purchase to augment to their own customer data in order to drive deeper insights into the companies and individuals on those buying teams. It will be interesting to see if future Salesforce Einstein ABM features will reinforce those capabilities, he said.
Building out ABM tools was a priority for Salesforce for some time prior to the pandemic, said Meredith Brown, senior vice president and head of product at Salesforce. But during the pandemic, Salesforce customers turned to ABM to offset losses in in-person activities as conferences and trade shows were canceled, and features to support ABM campaigns rose to the fore.
"We've been investing in ABM for several years now," Brown said. "Year-over-year, it's something we will continue to do."
Editor's note: TechTarget offers ABM and project intelligence data, tools and services.