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Salesforce Marketing Cloud to get analytics boost

Salesforce to add analytics capabilities and AI tools that spider Salesforce CDP data; Commerce Cloud adds shipping and logistics integration through a FedEx partnership.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud users get a bevy of new personalization tools, Datorama analytics and an AI feature that taps the customer data platform to score customer engagement.

Salesforce released a long list of Marketing Cloud features in advance of next week's Dreamforce virtual user conference. Integrations between Datorama, the marketing analytics suite Salesforce acquired in 2018, and the Salesforce CDP as well as between Datorama and the Salesforce Interaction Studio personalization engine (formerly Evergage) top the list in terms of importance, said Liz Miller, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

These integrations tap first-party data in the CDP to understand what marketing activities drive revenue and how to more effectively personalize customer experiences across channels such as email, social media and advertising.

"It doesn't sound as fun or as sexy as some of the other [Dreamforce news], but it's important for marketers because it focuses our work, and it makes our day-to-day work of marketing that much easier," said Miller, as marketers increasingly need to tie their efforts to bottom-line results and not just guess which of their budget spends effectively drive revenue.

"Datorama can ingest data from internal sources, from the CDP, from all of your advertising sources, and from all of your revenue touchpoints," she said. "You can start to see if a [marketing activity] is something that helps move the needle, or not."

AI continues to be a priority

Another marketing tool that taps CDP data is Einstein Engagement Scoring, which utilizes AI to determine a user's most active customers and segment them. Marketers can then work on improving engagement and conversion with less-active customers, or can actively promote to their most loyal customers based on analysis from the CDP.

Interaction Studio also now integrates to the Salesforce Experience Cloud. New templates enable users to set up personalized experiences for customers at the point of sale in retail locations, at ATMs and with contact centers.

Coming next year will be Interaction Studio integration with CRM, which will offer sales and service teams insights on customer activity and provide next-best actions for optimizing customer experiences. Also due in 2022 is Einstein Designer, which taps AI to generate content that will be "engaging" and "relevant," according to Salesforce.

"AI has become critically important to the marketer," said Mike Kostow, Salesforce Marketing Cloud executive vice president and general manager, who added that 60% of 8,227 marketers Salesforce surveyed in May and June indicated that they either were already using AI for marketing campaigns or plan to. "That's significant. It has helped to inform our roadmap, and our innovations."

Salesforce, FedEx partner for e-commerce

Salesforce and FedEx jointly announced an integration between Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Salesforce Order Management and FedEx ShopRunner, its e-commerce platform. The fruits of the partnership will arrive next spring: Salesforce Commerce Cloud users can offer their customers free two-day shipping and simplified returns without labels that can be dropped off at FedEx locations.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud users will also be able to embed more transparent, detailed information about delivery dates and ship times on their product pages. It is the first major shipper integration native to the Salesforce platform; UPS does offer a shipping, returns and tracking app through the Salesforce AppExchange.

The multi-year FedEx partnership doesn't preclude future integrations with other logistics vendors, said Lidiane Jones, Salesforce Commerce Cloud senior vice president of product management. Salesforce will continue to support its customers based on what they ask for, she added.

ShopRunner helps merchants offer an Amazon Prime-like membership and fulfillment, which customers have come to expect when buying online.
Jordan JewellAnalyst, IDC

The arms race between Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Adobe Commerce Cloud (formerly Magento) is heating up, judging by the recent partnerships each platform forged with merchant services companies, said IDC analyst Jordan Jewell. Last year, Salesforce partnered with Stripe to enable payments processing. Adobe partnered with PayPal for payments earlier this year, and also did its own ShopRunner integration. FedEx, too, finds benefits in these partnerships.

"ShopRunner helps merchants offer an Amazon Prime-like membership and fulfillment, which customers have come to expect when buying online," Jewell said. "It's a mutually beneficial move. Salesforce Commerce Cloud's revenue grows when its customers sell more, and FedEx needs to grow its customer footprint both on the merchant side and on the consumer side."

Don Fluckinger covers enterprise content management, CRM, marketing automation, e-commerce, customer service and enabling technologies for TechTarget.

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