Salesforce rolled out a revamped version of its customer data on platform on Thursday with additional bells and whistles in the form of smarter segmentation, deeper integrations with Tableau and Mulesoft and expanded partnerships for data activation.
“We’re fully embracing the CDP category,” said Robin Grochol, SVP of product management for Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
On top of its initial reticence to get into the category, Salesforce was also a little late out of the gate with its CDP. The Salesforce CDP, which rebranded from Customer 360 Audiences on Thursday, didn’t become generally available until late last year.
But these days, Salesforce’s CDP is actually helping to attract new business, Grochol said, rather than upselling existing marketing cloud customers on its CDP capabilities.
“We’re seeing new customer interest in the marketing cloud driven from the CDP,” she said.
The features Salesforce is adding to its CDP are designed to help marketers maximize their customer data regardless of whether it’s stored within one of Salesforce’s clouds or elsewhere.
“This is about connecting all of a marketer’s customer data, a lot of which is already in Salesforce, through our sales, service, marketing, loyalty and commerce applications,” Grochol said. “But we also recognize that data can exist outside of Salesforce in a customer’s ecosystem, which is why we want to make it as easy as possible for a customer to pull their data together.”
As part of the revamp, Salesforce is actively building out AppExchange partnerships and integrations to support its CDP so that marketers can activate their segments across the web, mobile and against connected TV ad experiences.
Salesforce is also going to make more use of its MuleSoft acquisition so that marketers can aggregate their data across sources, including external loyalty and point-of-sale systems, AWS, Microsoft and ServiceNow (Salesforce acquired MuleSoft, a middleware company and API integrator, in 2018 for $6.5 billion).
The other CDP updates fall into two main buckets: insights and analytics.
First, Salesforce is enhancing the calculated insights feature within its CDP, so marketers can more granularly define their segments with new fields and filters. Marketers will be able to segment customers and prospects into categories, such as “most loyal” or “most desirable,” understand lifetime value and apply propensity scores to their audiences.
On top of that, Salesforce is going to make it easier to query large data sets and replicate segments so that they can be shared across teams.
And on the analytics and visualization side, Salesforce is incorporating insights from Tableau into the CDP so that marketers can get a better sense of which customers are engaging, what channels are performing best and which campaigns need to be optimized. Salesforce bought Tableau, an enterprise-grade data reporting company, in 2019 for $15.7 billion.
“Marketers need to be able to look at the full body of data, explore it and uncover new things, whether that’s their highest-performing campaigns or when they’re seeing lapses in campaign management,” Grochol said. “That’s what analytics provides.”
Next up, Salesforce is planning to build a connector between its CDP and Datorama, the data integrator it purchased for $800 million in 2018, just a few months after the MuleSoft deal. As part of an upcoming release marketers will be able to create reports and dashboards in Datorama based on the data in their CDP. This could come as soon as June.
Investing more in identity resolution is also on the agenda, Grochol said.
“Anytime you have different source systems feeding your single source of truth,” she said, “identity resolution becomes critically important.”