Salesforce CDP rebranded and new marketing features added

 Salesforce has features planned for release in June for its marketing-oriented customer data platform to allow for more granular segmentation, integrations, and analytics with external data sources.

The new enhanced segmentation features will make it easy for marketers to remix new groups of customers with a drag-and-drop interface, so they no longer have to rely on IT staff to build SQL database queries for them.

Robin Grochol, Senior VP of Product Management for Salesforce Marketing Cloud said that one example could be breaking out a group of prospective campaign customers who are loyal top spenders and have previously made e-commerce purchases and clicked on a particular product on a website, and according to AI prediction have a propensity to making purchases.

The platform has also been renamed, having been called up now Customer 360 Audience, but now it’s called Salesforce CDP. Salesforce released its CDP last year, joining a relatively crowded market which includes Adobe, SAP, Oracle and Microsoft and dozens of other CDPs from smaller vendors such as Twilio Segment.

According to Rebecca Wettemann, CEO of Valoir, the Salesforce CDP rebrand will reduce confusion among prospective users. She continues, “It’s significant. Salesforce recognised that both existing customers and those outside the Salesforce flock need to understand what Salesforce offers—calling this a CDP is making it clearer.”

Built on the Salesforce Platform, the Salesforce CDP can ingest customer data from all the Salesforce clouds such as CRM and customer service, and also from external sources outside of the platform. Salesforce is focused on features that help Marketing Cloud users for now.

David Raab, founder of the CDP Institute said that does not exclude Salesforce from transforming it into a more general-purpose CDP eventually. It could potentially have features tailored to users in other areas of business such as customer service and sales. He also said that Salesforce users who haven’t yet bought other CDP tools will be the most likely users of the Salesforce CDP, but those who already have third-party CDPs in place won’t be tempted to replace.

Raab and Grochol both said that CDPs are popular now for two reasons: the COVID-19 pandemic which forced marketers to sharpen all-digital approaches as businesses closed and in-person meetings and transactions came to a halt. The second reason is that CDP tech allows marketers to aggregate customer data spread across more than 8,000 plug-and-play marketing automation tools that they’ve employed over the last decade. Most marketing apps have given marketers the freedom to customise tech stacks to their businesses, but those tools usually ten to build their own data sets in silos.

With a graphical interface, the Salesforce CDP makes it easy for business users to ingest data from multiple different sources. Raab said, “The core fact that is driving the growth of CDP is the fragmentation of the data being spread out over all these tools. People definitely want something to pull it together, and it takes a separate system to do that. It’s not going to be something in CRM, marketing automation or any other product that wasn’t built for it. They need purpose-built software.”

Users of Salesforce CDP also get new integrations to MuleSoft for ingesting customer data from external sources such as ERP and retail POS systems from the likes of AWS, Microsoft, and ServiceNow. Moreover, new connectors to Tableau offer data visualisations to marketers to make better decisions regarding which customer groups to use in marketing campaigns and also to be able to measure the effectiveness of the campaigns.

When it comes to picking the Salesforce CDP over a standalone CDP, these types of integrations may be the deciding factors for Salesforce customers.

Wetteman said,” Every vendor with a CDP is trying to differentiate right now. We’re increasingly seeing companies looking beyond their core CRM vendor when they are looking for a CDP. Salesforce recognises that integration and intelligence are the key battlegrounds for differentiation.”

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