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Salesforce Extends Scope of Customer Experience Management Effort

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Salesforce last week unfurled an update to its customer data platform (CDP) that adds promises to make it easier to personalize sales and marketing efforts by leveraging among other things artificial intelligence (AI).

Announced at a Salesforce Connections event, the latest version of Salesforce Customer 360 CDP platform also includes tools to unify customer data and the ability to more easily target specific segments of an audience.

Salesforce Customer 360 is at the core of an ongoing Salesforce initiative to extend its customer relationship management (CRM) applications into the emerging realm of customers experience management. Rather than simply providing access to a database listing of customers, the goal is to provide a set of omni-channel tools for driving sales and marketing campaigns that are informed by AI capabilities enabled by the Salesforce Einstein AI platform.

Dana Chery, senior director of product marketing, told conference attendees that Salesforce Customer 360 is intended to make it easier to optimally deliver those campaigns.

“It’s about delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time,” says Chery.

To achieve that goal Salesforce makes available a range of tools than enable customers to customize Salesforce Customer 360 to their own business processes, adds Chery.

Salesforce is now locked in a battle for control over customer experience management platforms with everyone from SAP and Oracle to Adobe and Zendesk. It’s not clear just yet to what degree Salesforce will be able to leverage its dominance of CRM and a handful of marketing automation platforms it acquired to significantly expand its presence beyond sales departments.  Even less clear is to what degree are people within those sales teams leveraging Salesforce tools to launch their own marketing campaigns.

Regardless of the outcome, the upside is so called spray and pray approaches to sales and marketing should give way to increasing more targeted efforts based on the known attributes of a potential customer. After all, that very fine line between relevant content and spam usually comes down to not just who receives it, but also what’s happening at the moment it gets delivered.

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