On the second day of this year’s Dreamforce (Sept. 21, 2022), Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) announced the launch of Salesforce Genie, along with some important partnerships that will help SFMC leverage real-time data to personalize customer engagement across channels. The company announced these new partnerships during an hour-long Dreamforce session called “Deliver Customer Moments that Count.”
Lidiane Jones, EVP and GM of Experiences Clouds for Salesforce, hosted the Dreamforce session by noting that “71% of customers today want real-time personalization across every channel,” and brands therefore need to have the capability to (1) understand customer needs in real-time and (2) address those needs with personalized messaging across channels. That’s a difficult task because of the proliferation of systems and too much data: companies have an average of 976 separate applications to run their business, which fragments both customer data and digital experiences.
How can marketers build the capability to personalize at scale, across channels? Jones noted that accessing and leveraging real-time data is essential for personalization efforts and orchestrating customer messaging. But getting customers to share their data is an increasing challenge. Jones noted that “90% of marketers say that recent data privacy changes have impacted their work.”
Salesforce Genie: Real-time data for instant activation
Jones offered a simple answer for marketers wanting to access and activate real-time customer data: the newly-launched Salesforce Genie, which Jones described as “a real-time CDP for SF Marketing Cloud that marketers can use to personalize and automate engagement through every channel.” The official SF announcement notes that Salesforce Genie “unifies all of a company’s customer data across channels and interactions into a single, real-time customer profile, so every experience across the Customer 360/SFMC is more automated, intelligent, and real time.”
Identifying moments that matter. Jones explained that the automatic customer profiles created by Genie dynamically adapt with incoming data and can also trigger automatic alerts to sales reps or marketers for relevant outreach. Genie “can help you identify and take advantage of the moments that matter to customers,” empowering you to “make those moments magical,” said Jones. Furthemore, Genie can help marketers with better, and more dynamic, targeting and customer segmentation, “helping you improve your ad spend” and account-based marketing (ABM) efforts.
Personalization and orchestration. Using Marketing Cloud Engagement in tandem with Genie, marketers can take Genie’s real-time data and respond immediately to user activities by automating engagement/outreach efforts to increase conversion and cost-efficiency — for instance, marketers could automate the sending of a follow-up email immediately after an existing customer reaches a new loyalty tier, or trigger a personalized mobile/SMS and advertising journey based on an online behavior (e.g., viewing a product’s price or delivery time) that strongly signals an intent to purchase.
Two new partnerships: WhatsApp and Amazon Sagemaker
Jones announced a partnership with leading, global communications platform WhatsApp, enabling SFMC users to send SMS business messages via the WhatsApp platform. Matt Idema, VP of Business Messaging at Meta, which owns WhatsApp, came on stage and said that “a billion people use messaging apps every day to talk to businesses. Now, marketers can reach out with messaging on WhatsApp about promotions, support, and beyond.”
Next, Jones announced an SFMC partnership with Amazon SageMaker (a machine learning platform) that will enable marketers to integrate their SFMC data to build AI and machine learning models that can predict customer behavior and thereby inform customer engagement efforts. “With SageMaker, you can now build and train AI models with your Salesforce data,” Jones said. Of course, marketers can also build AI models with Salesforce Einstein.
As the official Salesforce announcement said, “the new integration will enable customers to use Amazon SageMaker, AWS’s machine learning (ML) modeling service, alongside Einstein, Salesforce’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology, to build new AI models tailored to the unique needs of their business — and use them in real time across the Customer 360.”
SFMC in action: Build-A-Bear drives personalization
Jennifer Kretchmar, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer at Build-a-Bear, spoke next about her company’s use of SFMC to drive personalization. “We use real-time customer data to personalize experiences and engage with our Build-a-Bear customers across channels,” she said.
Build-a-Bear pulls together data from various systems, including purchasing history and first-party behavioral data gained from customer website visits, to create a unified view of the customer that drives cross-channel engagement. The company has leveraged SFMC to increase digital engagement by 278%.
BaB also uses Einstein to build AI models for predictive purposes and uses real-time data to orchestrate and automate customer journeys, including using popular messaging apps for automated SMS outreach to customers.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud's clear direction
With the launch of its real-time data platform, Genie, and the announcement of new partnerships/integrations with WhatsApp and Amazon SageMaker, Salesforce Marketing Cloud has clearly signaled where it’s headed next: helping marketers unify their data to drive digital personalization at scale and in real-time.
Contact us for more information about how to use Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Genie to improve your marketing efforts.