What are the benefits of Salesforce Data Cloud, is it a Game-Changer for Marketing*? The Answer is empowerment. It empower the team to deliver tomorrow’s marketing ‘moments that matter’ based on near real-time data, from multiple data sources. But let’s start at the beginning: what is Data Cloud and how does it work.
( * for all teams who’d benefit from data-driven solutions)
Data Cloud unifies real-time data from a wide range of sources to create a unified profile for every customer. Data can be from marketing, sales, commerce, service, loyalty programmes and more.
With all the data combined, data cloud gives marketers that sought-after single customer view. And for every individual customer, Data Cloud unlocks real-time automation, intelligence, and experiences that will feel personal and seamless across the entire customer journey.
Data Cloud’s Single Customer View is Much Needed
Indeed modern marketing teams very much need a single customer view as this is still missing today.
‘Only 28% of global marketing leaders say they are completely satisfied with their ability to create personalised omni-channel experiences‘*, according to research by Salesforce.
Yet, over 70% of customers expect brands to communicate in a personalised manner, across channels.
(*source: Salesforce State of Marketing, 5th Ed).
Another Salesforce study indicated that the average marketer has about 15 sources of consumer information within their organisation. This means that data unification is a marketer’s biggest challenge!
In a single customer view, a shopper who reads your emails about product line A, goes to your store to buy product line B, and visits the catalog at your website about product line C, will be merged into one single, combined identity profile. Etc. You could map all these 15 sources of consumer information to integrate them.
Creating a Single Customer View from Lots of Customer Data
You probably have way more to data and data sources than you think. In fact, the average company has 1,061* applications — that’s a lot of data.
(*source: Mulesoft’s 2023 Connectivity Benchmark Report).
Some New Data Vocabulary
Data, a simple word, but for Data Cloud you need a wider Data-related vocabulary. Let’s have a look:
- Known vs pseudonymous: There is known customer data (i.e. clearly customer data) and pseudonymous data (i.e. data that can be linked back to a customer but that is nonetheless anonymous; e.g. cookie data, IP address, device used). You can find known customer data in your CRM, for example, and pseudonymous data on a DMP.
- Categories of customer data: different categories makes up a customer profile:
- Basic personal data (unique: like email address or mobile phone number; or non-unique: like first name or postal code — which can be in your CRM),
- Interaction data,
- Attitudinal or preference data, and
- Behavioural data.
- Insight: Behavioural data built up over time, becomes Insight. It indicates which offers to give to whom, and who to include in a certain highly tailored email campaign to offer most value to individual customers.
- Attitudinal or Preference Data: Tailoring your marketing to attitudinal or preference data can make a huge difference in customer joy, purchasing and loyalty. Customer truly vary in communication channel preferences, how they like their communication presented. All this aside from their preferences to your product variances and use cases.
Combining the Data
Combining all this data is pure power to please customers. Think of it as being able to offer your customer a coupon to have their favourite coffee drink in their favourite coffee house, just before she usually takes her coffee break. To enable this, you must ensure that the right data is collected, integrated, accurately updated, and made actionable.
In sum, there is a lot to data, which is why Salesforce Data Cloud today is most interesting to modern marketers to unlock their next level of marketing sophistication.
How does Salesforce Data Cloud Work?
Salesforce Data Cloud unifying real-time customer data
Here is a recent Salesforce Data Cloud video (March 2023):
Think of Data Cloud as a central hub, where the customer records from your Salesforce Service, Marketing, and Sales clouds are mapped to a unique customer ID.* Through that central ID, all data become related, searchable and actionable. A great 360˚ view of all data from a customer. Add Einstein, Salesforce name for its artificial intelligence, and you have yourself an immensely powerful tool to help you make the best sales, marketing, service decisions. (*Our prior Salesforce roadmap videos explains the Customer ID concept really well.)
The Development History of Salesforce Data Cloud
Salesforce is notorious for name and label changes. This product morphed exponentially fast. This means that Salesforce relabelled it many times. This can be confusing to customers who have been eyeing a product like CDP over time, and then finding it no longer there.
To bring clarity, here’s our overview from a talk we gave at Salesforce London’s Calling – A community group event in the UK:
What’s the old name of Salesforce Data Cloud?
Let’s go back a few years. The concept of Salesforce Data Cloud was called ‘Customer 360’. For quite some time, it was a central part of the Salesforce vision. (*see our prior Salesforce roadmap videos where the concepts behind C360 are really well explained.) Customer 360 has been a slogan for Salesforce as the company actively worked towards offering companies a complete view of their customers, 1:1 as well as an aggregate level.
End of history lesson. Let’ s look to the future, and now delve deeper so you understand how to use it for your business. There are other options to segmentation for marketing, most notably within Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
SFMC Audience Segmentation Options Today
Let me explain what your segmentation options are today with an example. Say you want to market in Marketing Cloud to a segment consisting of people who have opted-in, who live in London, and bought a ticket in the last 3 months. In Marketing Cloud, you can use:
- Data Filters and Data Relationships (Easiest and for all to use, freely included in SFMC).
- Automation Studio with SQL queries (Requires SQL coding skills, freely included in SFMC).
- Salesforce Data Cloud. (A paid product for Salesforce CRM, which includes Marketing Cloud and more).
Out of these 3 options, Salesforce Data Cloud is the most technically-advanced. It’s perfect for highly innovative companies who perform leading edge marketing. Is that you and your company?
Salesforce Data Cloud will set you back at least 6x the cost of Marketing Cloud at the time of this writing (March 2023). This price tag is prohibitive for some clients, but for others it’ll be a game changer. Let us help you determine what is the best solution for your business.
Salesforce Data Cloud – How to Get Started
Seriously interested in Data Cloud as part of your overall sales, service and marketing solution with Salesforce? We would be happy to organise a free 30 minute initial consultation with an expert, and perhaps even a follow-up demo for you.
We have successfully installed it in other companies, with great success right from the get-go. Think: 800,000 matches profiles in just the first week of data integration. That’s a huge saving and an incredible data enrichment for better marketing to nearly a million customers.
Salesforce Data Cloud – Implementation Preparation
You need to plan ahead, i.e. well, before you purchase Data Cloud. This because you’ll need manage the lead times involved in technically implementing and actually using Data Cloud. It’s best if you talk to us first!
Why talk to us first & plan ahead?
- Data Cloud is all about integrating customer data. Which means you need to have a good understanding of how these integrations work today. On the platform -to – platform- level, you’ll need to consider managing speed and data updating schedules. On the person-to-person, level, the notion of ‘identity’ is crucial, and yes, there has to be a ‘subscriber key’ for every person, so that you can connect MagicMia (who wrote to you via Facebook Messenger) with Mrs. Mars, who is on your newsletter subscribers list.
- Preparation. The third notion to get your mind around as marketing leadership is your resulting new capabilities to create those ‘moments that matter’: you need to orchestrate these experiences. What do you want to happen. How will you and your company apply hyper personalisation?
- (At CloudAnalysts, we don’t want to sell you software, as we sit on your side of the table. Data Cloud is pricey. The Salesforce Data Cloud for Marketing starter price is US $ 108,000 USD/org/year*. You’ll get Data Services Credits and Segmentation & Activation Credits. You’ll pay only for the services you use via those credits.
We can analyse your marketing goals, the state of your data and your budget. Based on our findings, we can recommend either Data Cloud, or a simpler (interim) solution for you. You could get you most of the personalisation options you are after for a fraction of the cost. Plus it would give you your lead time needed to do #1 and #2 mentioned here. Overall, your would ensure you’ll get good ROI from your investment by involving an expert from day 1.
Talk to an Expert
Simply book a call to discuss your interests and requirements.
We’ll hook you up with the resources and people you’ll need to get on your way.
Last Updated on November 6, 2023