In an ideal world, marketers can build data-driven segments and campaigns to reach the right customers, at the right time, with the right message. Alas, this is not always possible. The data is siloed or unclean. Often both. Tickets are opened. Backlogs swell. Priorities evolve. Compromises by the marketing team are made for the sake of meeting deadlines. “It’ll do for now,” you think to yourself, but there must be a better way.
Enter Salesforce Data Cloud. A marketer’s best friend. Data Cloud is part of the Salesforce Platform, the engine that powers the entire Customer 360.
Salesforce Data Cloud functions as a central hub for all the disparate data sources you need to personalize the digital customer experience – behavioral data and profile data coming in from any number of sources. It ingests data from any data source or platform that generates actionable data for reaching your customer base. It unifies data from these sources to build a 360 view of your customer. Calculated insights and AI-powered models can be stood atop these customer profiles to deepen your understanding of them and segment accordingly. These users and segments can be sent to the marketing and analytics tools of your choice.
These systems are increasingly popular with marketers as their third-party data needs expand alongside the number of channels they need to reach their customers. Combine this with expectations – customers who expect personalization and executives who expect to understand the impact of marketing on the business – and it's easy to understand why Data Cloud is one of the fastest growing products at Salesforce.
So why is Data Cloud right for you?
The marketing technology landscape is growing increasingly complex as new tools are introduced to address client expectations, the need for personalized experiences, and the latest data integration needs. Marketers work with multiple marketing systems, but those systems don’t always tie together, and this often results in duplication and poor data quality. Salesforce Data Cloud was purpose built to solve this challenge. It allows you to collect, organize, and unify data from various sources, such as CRM systems, marketing platforms, and external data providers. Data Cloud then ties the data sources together in a unified profile, which can be added to segments based on shared attributes. Equally important, the unified view of activity can be used in analytics dashboard to help you to gain valuable insights and make informed business decisions.
Salesforce Data Cloud seamlessly integrates with the broader Salesforce ecosystem, including Salesforce CRM, Marketing Cloud Engagement, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud Personalization, and Commerce Cloud. This integration allows you to leverage the customer data from the various Salesforce products, including profile data, service history, marketing touchpoints, and purchases, against one single unified profile. There are native connectors to bring the clouds together through configuration - not an IT development effort. This puts control in the hands of the marketers who need to control their profiles for optimized marketing campaigns. Even if you didn’t have any other third-party data sources to integrate, the shared data between the Salesforce clouds adding to a unified profile is worth it in itself.
For those who are not using other Salesforce clouds, native connectors exist for platforms outside of the Salesforce ecosystem as well, including Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, and Azure. That list is expanding all the time, but for those with data outside those systems, there’s an Ingestion API based that can be used to bring in user activity and profile data from other systems via REST. You could even connect the data sources to Mulesoft and use the native connector for Salesforce’s middleware solution. No matter the complexity of your tech stack and how many sources you have, Salesforce Data Cloud can bring in the data you need. We have been working with Salesforce for a long time; scaling is their superpower.
Despite an organization’s best efforts, sometimes user identification data is not as clean as one would hope. Misspelled names, the use of nicknames, and inconsistent phone number formats are common examples of this. Salesforce Data Cloud offers a host of identity resolution tools to address this problem. Administrators can choose between fuzzy match, exact match, and normalized match to find the optimal approach to stitch user profiles across multiple systems. The order of execution for these match rules can be adjusted to increase the rate of profile unification. With a growing focus on data security and compliance with various acronyms like GDPR and CCPA, it’s important to note that Salesforce puts a huge emphasis on incorporating security best practices into all their platforms. Their commitment to data privacy and compliance ensures the security and trustworthiness of your customer data.
Customers have increasingly grown to expect a personalized experience with your digital channels, and the foundation of any personalized experience is data. This can be gathered directly through your channels or brought in from third-party providers, but once this data is integrated and tied to a unified profile in Salesforce Data Cloud, you’re able to filter the data to personalize your marketing campaigns, improve targeting, and deliver relevant experiences to your customers. Think of all the various forms of data being captured – demographics, website activity, email engagement, preferences, purchase history, etc. – and then about the types of personalized experiences you can provide based on that combination.
With Data Cloud, you’re able to tailor your messaging and offers to specific customer segments, increasing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. On the analytics front, Salesforce Data Cloud provides artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to unearth actionable insights from your customer data. The platform can identify patterns, trends, and predictive models to help you make data-driven decisions. These AI-powered insights enable you to anticipate customer needs, optimize marketing campaigns, and drive revenue growth.
Data Cloud is a robust platform. Salesforce frequently adds new features and integrations. The same can be said about your firm’s infrastructure and offerings as well! To maximize your investment and ensure your Data Cloud is built atop a strong foundation, it is best to bring in the pros.
As a Salesforce Crest partner with dozens of Data Cloud projects under our belt, OSF Digital is perfectly positioned to help you with all aspects of Data Cloud discovery and implementation. We focus on outcomes and using data to further your business as well as the complexities of Data Cloud integrations and activations. Data Cloud may be new to you, but we know the product like no other partner and can help you get the most value out of your investment. Reach out today, and let’s have a conversation about how we can help you transform your marketing capabilities with a customer data platform.
We have three types of packages depending on your specific needs:
The Discovery package provides everything needed for a successful implementation – a comprehensive blueprint with all the configuration outlined, data dictionary, and integration architecture.
The Foundation package is a full implementation of Data Cloud for customers with a smaller number of data integrations, personalization channels, and analytics needs.
The Plus package is a full implementation of Data Cloud for customers with more complex needs – multiple data inputs, multiple channels with personalization, and advanced analytics expectations.