Salesforce names Microsoft Azure as public cloud provider for Marketing Cloud

The expanded partnership between Salesforce and Microsoft also includes plans for new integrations to connect its Sales and Service clouds with Microsoft Teams.

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Microsoft and Salesforce have announced plans to expand their strategic partnership through the migration of Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud to Microsoft Azure. The move is anticipated to allow Salesforce to optimize Marketing Cloud performance to meet increasing customer demands.

In order to support their joint customers using Salesforce CRM and Microsoft Teams, Salesforce will also build new integrations for its Sales and Service clouds with Teams. The integrations will allow sales and service users to access Salesforce records directly in Teams, and is expected to go live in late 2020.

Why we should care

Moving Salesforce Marketing Cloud to Azure will allow the company’s customers to benefit from Azure’s infrastructure which will help brands manage data security, privacy and compliance requirements on a global scale.

The integration between the widely-used Salesforce CRM and Microsoft Teams can be expected to drive further collaboration across sales and service teams by increasing accessibility to data directly within the Teams app. Salesforce and Microsoft customers – like Marriott International – will be able to take advantage of improved collaboration and greater efficiency through the strategic partnership.

“Marriott has more than 7,200 properties spanning 134 countries and territories, so driving efficiency and collaboration is critical,” said Brian King, global officer, digital, distribution, revenue strategy and global sales, Marriott International. “The combination of Salesforce and Microsoft enables our teams to work better together to enhance the guest experience at every touchpoint.”

More on the news

  • By bringing its Marketing Cloud to Azure, Salesforce joins over 95% of Fortune 500 companies using the Azure infrastructure, which covers the most global regions of any cloud provider.
  • “In a world where every company is becoming a digital company, we want to enable every customer and partner to build experiences on our leading platform,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “By bringing together the power of Azure and Microsoft Teams with Salesforce, our aim is to help businesses harness the power of Microsoft Cloud to better serve customers.”

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Merkle report: Personalization gains wide adoption, but marketers can do better

While the right tools may be in place, marketers’ use of individual data sources for personalization is low.

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Performance marketing agency Merkle has released the latest edition of its quarterly report, the Q4 2019 Customer Engagement Report (download required). The report addresses results from a Merkle survey of over 200 marketers from North American brands spanning across industries including retail, high-tech, financial, travel, media and entertainment, health and nonprofit.

The Q4 report explores the various data types marketers use to enable personalization, along with the emerging tools and tactics that drive ongoing marketing improvements. The survey found that while there is broad adoption of personalization across marketing organizations, there is plenty of room for growth.

Why we should care

The survey discovered that 86% of marketers have the budget, solutions and infrastructure in place to drive personalized customer experience across digital channels. Despite having all the right tools, respondents indicated that the use of individual data sources for personalization is low. According to Merkle, 70% of respondents reported that third-party customer demographics are used in email, 40% in digital media, and less than 30% on website.

Source: Merkle’s Q4 2019 Customer Engagement Report

Merkle also analyzed loyalty program tactics used by marketers. The study found that despite respondents indicating an increase in investments in loyalty platforms and emerging technologies, spend on loyalty program management, email marketing and operational resources have stayed the same or decreased. 81% of survey respondents reported they have a defined loyalty program in place.

Additionally, Merkle identified a gap between high-level reporting on data use and available and the use of specific data sources for loyalty programs. 62% of respondents indicated they have loyalty programs that are fully integrated with their CRM data, but are using less of the available data in loyalty efforts compared to wider marketing initiatives; 38% indicate using third-party demographic data to personalize loyalty programs compared to 86% in overall marketing efforts.

More on the news:

  • 60% of respondents reported that a majority of their revenue was driven by data-based triggers but only 28% of messaging is based on one-to-one behavior triggers.
  • Nearly 90% of marketers use personalization on at least one channel, but most have not adopted advanced tactics.

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Lytics launches Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration for customer journeys

With the new integration, users can view customer insights and execute campaigns between Lytics and Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

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Customer data platform (CDP) Lytics announced updates to its platform that will allow users to integrate customer journey execution with Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC). Lytics’ campaign orchestration capabilities can now be used across a number of marketing technologies, including Facebook and SendGrid – in addition to the new SFMC integration.

The integration between Lytics’ CDP and SFMC is expected to allow marketers to import existing campaigns to build new experiences within the Orchestrate Journey canvas. The insights delivered from Lytics can then be used to inform more targeted campaigns and be sent to SFMC for delivery.

Why we should care

Delivering personalized, one-to-one marketing at scale is something we strive for as marketers. Our disparate martech environments tend to complicate this, and customer data platforms seek to address these complications by providing users with a single view of their customer data from the different tools they use. Marrying this data into a single view should help marketers extract new insights to further inform their campaigns.

“The best customer journeys are an open road,” said James McDermott, CEO of Lytics, “and for us, that means giving marketers the freedom to choose multiple paths by integrating with their existing marketing technology stack.”

More on the news

With the new Lytics and Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration, users can:

  • Export audience segments from Lytics into SFMC to continue the customer journey
  • Trigger new experiences in SFMC based on customer events (e.g., opened an email) captured in Lytics
  • Switch between Lytics and SFMC within the same customer journey to deliver a combination of channel and message.

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Survey: Retail brands sharing personalized offers will win over consumers this holiday season

Consumers want to feel better understood by retailers especially during the holiday season, according to research.

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As consumers become increasingly aware of how personal data can be exchanged for value, their expectations from brand interactions are growing — especially for retail brands entering the holiday season.

According to a survey from customer data platform RedPoint Global, 75% of consumers said that they wish retailers understood their personal preferences better and would use those insights to inform future offers.

Why we should care

While the survey specifically focuses on the upcoming holiday shopping season, personalization is not a passing marketing trend. Nearly 60% of survey respondents indicated that they are more likely to purchase from retailers who send them personalized content and offers. With personalization driving conversions and sales, marketers should anticipate that consumer expectations are only going to climb higher when it comes to delivering the right offers.

“It’s clear that consumers have had enough of irrelevant communication from brands that fail to leverage personal preferences and engagement history,” said Redpoint Global chief marketing and strategy officer, John Nash. “Every buyer expects to be treated as a unique individual — and the holiday season is an ideal time for retailers to deliver on these preferences and win customers over.”

But in order for brands to deliver the personalized experience consumers crave, it’s important that marketers consider how consumer data fuels personalized offers. Nash explained, “To achieve long-term loyalty… retailers must build effective relationships with each unique customer across all touchpoints — not just during the holidays, but all year long.”

More on the news

Additional insights from the survey include:

  • 74% of brand loyalty members expect brands to understand their needs and expectations better than other retailers where they are not a member.
  • Over a third of respondents remain loyal to their “go-to” brands for holiday shopping, saying they exclusively purchase from retailers that they have shopped with in the past.
  • Over a third of consumers surveyed said they made a holiday purchase on Amazon Prime Day in July 2019.

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